Acceptance or Rejection of Jesus: More Than Just A Choice Between Colors of Underwear

Posted: February 19, 2015 in 99-Uncategorized

Luke 10:1-16 — Today, we move on to vv. 8-12 of this passage. To illustrate this passage, let’s think about the fact Jesus began life looking for a place to be born. Joseph and Mary had gone back to Bethlehem, Joseph’s ancestral home, for the Roman census taking. They could find no place, no room where they could stay. They were rejected most everywhere they went in Bethlehem in part because there private places available and partly because Mary was about to give birth. Acceptance came only through the generosity of an innkeeper who knew of some animal stables outside town. The caves were made for the care of newborn animals so the thought was that in the absence of a proper place in town, it would be perfect for delivering and keeping newborn Jesus protected and warm. Jesus’ earthly life was about acceptance and rejection from the beginning and it still is. Here, we see in this passage that Jesus understands there will be acceptance and rejection of His message and He is preparing the disciples for both possibilities. There is no middle ground with Jesus. Either you accept Him fully or, in the absence of that, you reject Him fully.

In this passage, we see Jesus tell the disciples that in the towns that accept them that they are to accept whatever hospitality is given them and then they are to heal the sick. It is in Mark 6:5 that tells us that faith and healing go hand in hand. If we accept Jesus as our Savior, we believe that He is God in the flesh. If we believe this, we have faith that Jesus is who He claims to be. If we believe He is who He claims to be, there is faith. If there is faith, we open the way for His healing, both spiritually and physically. I have never seen an atheist healed by the power of God. We hear stories even today of the power of prayer and the action of faith. These are the modern day miracles of healing of cancer that we blow off as explainable. These are the miracles granted to those who have faith in Jesus Christ. In order to access the miracles of God today and as well in biblical times comes down to faith. If we truly believe in Jesus as the Son of God down deep into our soul and without doubt that He is God in the flesh and really believe that He can change things, we have the faith of Moses. God granted all these miracles to Moses because Moses actually deep in his soul believed that God would do as He said. Faith is necessary for miracles. How hard core is your faith in Jesus? Do you have lip service faith while in the back of your mind think that miracles are just made up stories? Or do you believe that Jesus is still in the miracle business. It is about full acceptance or no acceptance. It about acceptance or rejection.

In this passage, we see that it is yes about acceptance or rejection but rejection has a price greater than we want to realize in today’s world in which God’s judgment is downplayed. In giving us free will, God took the risk of us rejecting Him. He did not want us to robotically be His children so He gave us free will. In our free will, we have the choice to accept or reject the One Who Made Us. In today’s world, hell is rarely ever spoken of in any serious way. It is rarely preached on. It is rarely discussed. We present the benefits of accepting Christ as our Savior but never the cost of rejecting Him. We speak of God’s love but never His judgment. It is almost as if we have made the acceptance of Christ as our Savior as a choice between what gloves to wear on a cold day rather than a choice that has significant eternal consequences. In today’s world, in order to reconcile ourselves to the God of love only God that we have fashioned that any and all roads lead to heaven. Thus, hell has been eliminated. You can believe whatever you want to believe and do more good than bad and you will make to heaven. God is a God of love only. There is no hell anymore. As the GEICO commercial with the little old ladies says, “That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.” God is a just God as well as a loving God. We cannot delude ourselves into thinking that rejection of Jesus Christ as your Savior has no consequences in eternity. It is more than just a choice about what underwear to wear today. It is more than just a choice between ice cream flavors. There are consequences to this rejection. Sodom was destroyed by God for their hedonistic lifestyles and their rejection of God. Jesus is the only way to the Father. Accept Him or reject Him. Sodom will be better off on judgment day than one who rejects Jesus. There is hell. Or Jesus and all the prophets and God Himself are all liars and lunatics. In order to pursue the things that we want to pursue in life, not just now but always, we have rationalized away hell. But it is real. It takes faith to believe in hell too. Otherwise, we rationalize away the need for judgment. We rationalize away consequence. We rationalize away our very real need for Jesus.

He becomes an underwear choice. He becomes a menu option at a restaurant. He then becomes a liar when He says He is the only way to the Father. He is a liar here too when He says there is judgment for rejection. Is this the basis on which to face your eternity. Have faith that what Jesus says is true. Have faith that there is really a hell and it is an awful place to spend our eternity. Have faith that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Have faith that one sin taints you in God’s eyes. Have faith that you deserve hell with one sin. Have faith that you can never be good enough to get to heaven. Have faith that we need to be perfect 100% of the time in this life to reach heaven. There are no scales on which we weigh good vs bad. We must be perfect and we will never make it there on our own. We need an intercessor. We need to be clothed in someone else’s perfection. We need Jesus. It takes faith to say these things. Accept or reject. You have free will. But the consequences are real. It is more than just the gray underwear or the black underwear. It is an eternal choice. Heaven or hell. The New Jerusalem or a fate worse than Sodom. These are the real consequences of acceptance and rejection.

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