Where are you and what is your attitude toward Christ? Do you say you believe without putting “feet” to your faith? Do you believe He exists without trusting Him personally? Are you convinced He is who He said He was and live your live accordingly? Do questions about other religions or science confuse you? Or do you believe something else?
Even as professing believers we can fall into some of these attitudes. We can trust God for our salvation, but be contrary about obedience in certain areas or refuse to trust the Bible wholeheartedly. Or we can be confused because He isn’t working in our lives the way we want. We can believe He isn’t answering our prayers. Could it be that we have a wrong understanding about God and how He works in our lives? I hope you’ll read today’s post and evaluate where you are.
2 Samuel 17 & 18
5 Reactions to the Claims of Christ
Where are you?
John MacArthur points out in his Daily Bible that this passage “catalogues the different reactions of people to Jesus’ claims.” We still see the same categories today.
First, those who are “convinced” of the truthfulness of His claims—faithful believers.
Verses 40-41a, “Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, ‘Truly this is the Prophet.’ Others said, ‘This is the Christ.'”
Part of the meaning of the words “faith” and “faithful” includes the idea of “unquestioning belief or loyalty.” The convinced are loyal to Christ.
Verses 41b-42, “But some said, ‘Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?'”
“Contrary” people are still around. “All the pastor wants is your money.” “Churches are full of hypocrites.” “The Bible was just written by a bunch of men.” And the list goes on.
Verse 44, “Now some of them wanted to take Him …”
There is a move today in our country, and it’s growing stronger, to make speaking biblical truth a crime. There are those, for instance, who would love to see anyone who speaks out against homosexuality or abortion arrested for what they call hate crimes.
Verses 45-46, “Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, ‘Why have you not brought Him?’ The officers answered, ‘No man ever spoke like this Man!'”
These men had been sent to arrest him, but when they went they didn’t know what to do because they saw something about him they didn’t understand. The Pharisees challenged them by saying, “Are you also deceived?”
Many people are confused today. They’ve seen just enough truth to think there might be something to it, but have not made the choice to believe. Often these people fear man more than God. They may be afraid to speak up or seek out the truth because of what people will think.
Proverbs 29.25 says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.”
Or they’ve heard questions about other religions:
“Don’t all roads lead to God?”
“How could all those Muslims be wrong?”
Or tried to use human reasoning:
“How is it fair that an evil person could get saved on his deathbed?”
“How can the miracles in the Bible be true?”
“But science says …”
“Why would the Bible condemn someone who’s gay when they say they’re born that way?”
There is a fifth group, too, the “religious authorities,” we might call them the “religious establishment.” These people are often more concerned about maintaining their position and authority than in being a true follower of Christ or in seeking biblical truth. These people respond in the complete opposite way from John the Baptist, who said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3.30).
Many in the religious establishment today are busy trying to stay “relevant.” For years some have ignored the first few chapters of Genesis in favor of a more “enlightened, scientific” view of creation. Others have “evolved” in their views about homosexuality and other politically incorrect issues. Still others refuse to discuss these subjects at all, preferring to teach more palatable things, some lifted out of context like false advertising claims.
Sadly, they can have a profound effect on others. They may put pressure on friends and family members not to leave their religious “tradition,” even though their church has actually left them and biblical truth. Continue reading