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Unbelief and a Wonderful Invitation

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
March 9, 2021 7:00 am

Unbelief and a Wonderful Invitation

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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March 9, 2021 7:00 am

The media reports it, so it must be true: the majority of Americans are Christians. But what does that really mean when that majority doesn’t appear to be living according to God’s standards? Today on The Bible Study Hour, Dr. Boice will clarify that being a Christian is not about checking a box on a survey. Rather, the Gospel is a living, active message that has the power to change lives.

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The media reports itself must be true right the majority of Americans are Christians. But what does that really mean when that majority doesn't appear to be living according to God's standards will today on the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce will clarify that being a Christian is not about checking a box on a survey.

Rather, the gospel is a living, active message that has the power to change lives. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. If you ever felt burdened by sin and guilt. If you ever struggled with unbelief. Today's message is for you. Let's listen together. Ms. Dr. Boyce shares about the freedom and hope we have in Christ.

I'm going to talk a bit today about the school of Jesus Christ because part of the text that were studying issues the invitation to do just left, and learn from Jesus, but I think another question, where did schools come from worded this idea of formal academic training originate teaching. Of course, began on the home, home is the source of many of our great institutions, government, medicine, medical care and education, but if you're thinking in a formal sense most people trace the origins of schools back to Plato's Academy in Athens.

He had studied with Socrates but Plato was the first one to set up a formal program in the fix place extending over a period of three or four years he established his school on the outskirts of Athens and the playing field was named for a Greek athletic hero's name was Hockaday medicine so Plato school became known as the Academy was followed by Aristotle. Aristotle studied with Plato for about 20 years and eventually he set up a school of his own and he did it in the same way that it out on the playing field elsewhere in Athens in the name of this playing field was a lie. CAR Lyceum is very interesting that the Greek word for these playing fields was gymnasium argument, nausea, and that from those three words say Academy the lease. I am again lousy him most of the countries of the Western world have devised their names for schools Germany undergraduate schools are called again lousy him in French public schools of the lyce and many American and other English-speaking countries. Call variety of their schools, academies, certainly an interesting testimony to the impact of the Greek thinkers and there have been literally millions upon millions of students throughout the world. All these various institutions that can trace the origins of the academic enterprise of the Greeks. Yet or not as many people in the school of Plato and his successors as have become students in the school of Jesus Christ. Jesus invited people to come to his school when he said come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Let's a great pattern of education on the marvelous invitation, but the sad thing is that not all people are willing to matriculate in Christ school matter-of-fact.

This particular section of Matthew's Gospel.

Matthew 11 and 12 gives us examples of many people who were unwilling to do it in Christ day on Sunday. We looked at one example.

Not a very good one because it was a questionable situation, but at least it was an example of a somewhat less than positive reaction to Jesus Christ was that of John the Baptist in the Baptist and communist Jesus forerunner he had received a sign from heaven, identifying Jesus as the Messiah should, but Jesus had not been carrying out John's prophesied work of judgment and so when he was imprisoned off by himself, undoubtedly depressed by the treatment he was receiving. He began to wonder whether Jesus was really the one I sent his disciples and Jesus asked that question. Are you the one who should, or should we look for another and Jesus replied by directing them to the Bible is doing what the Bible it said the Messiah would do next chapter were going to see the reaction of the religious leaders of the day nurse wasn't a matter of doubt i.e. rejected Jesus utterly and I hated him for it. We find as we get toward the end of that chapter that their professional jealousy erupted in a desire to killing for the very first time here we see that desire to do away with Jesus merging in their hearts, which eventually we know lead fiction now in these verses. Verses that were looking at today. That is, John 11, beginning with verse 20 under the end of the chapter were dealing with the people at large. What Jesus had to say about them. He denounces them for their unbelief was a question of doubt in their case. In John's case it was Is not unbelief it's being one Oz Guinness called into minds, one hand you're inclined to believe they are and your not inclined to believe you quite decided the issue yet, but where were dealing with the masses of the people. It wasn't a question of doubt in their case it was the best in difference, but the real meaning of the indifference was unbelief. They saw Jesus they recognize what he was doing that. They just weren't impressed even though he done so many miracles among them so they turn their backs on him and went their own way, refusing to come, refusing to repent of their sin, refusing to believe Jesus would denigrate dealing heal the servant of the Roman centurion we read about that in Matthew 18 cured Peter's mother-in-law the fever we read about that in the same chapter and cast out demons, he healed a paralytic. He raised the dead girl the life he had restored psych to two blind men. He cast out a demon from a person enabling them to talk and is only a selection of the many miracles of Jesus was doing that, in spite of at the people in cars in Bethsaida, and Capernaum wouldn't repent of their sin and come to him in faith.

And so Jesus says judgment is coming upon those of sober works.

Let me read them well. Do you harness rodeo but say that if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. When I tell you it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.

You, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies.

No will go down to the depths of the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you as a serious words. Nobody likes to hear about judgment for the very fact that it is so serious. What we want to do is somehow refuse to think about it. Of this by refusing to think about it it might go away. We we say, even if we had might somehow be moment of accounting at the end of history that it involves I can't be too bad because actually we're pretty nice people are. We are to be judged for our sin be sent to hell.

Jesus talked about no more than anybody else does be a question of spending some quality time with old friends dumped out of all that there might be a lot of old friends there, but it's nothing to make light about and Jesus talks about it very seriously. Here are lessons about judgment in those verses the snake through them a little bit. First of all, there will be a judgment.

I say we like to push that often I think about it very much. But Jesus doesn't treat it lightly. He says it's something to be thought about seriously and feared.

Secondly, there are degrees of punishment is one of the frightening things in this passage is it talks about it because Jesus said the terrible as the judgment upon Tyre and Sidon will be, it won't be as bad as the judgment upon cars and in the strata terrible is the judgment upon Sodom will be, it won't be as horrible as the judgment on Capernaum people about ancient time Tyre and Sidon are judge because of their sins, and rightly. But they had never heard of Jesus Christ hadn't had an opportunity to reject him as these other cities of Christ day so there judgment will be more severe. First thing we learn about judgment from these verses from the lips of Jesus Christ is of the worst sin of all is unbelief. We normally think that's why we think of open, visible sins against humanity as being the worst of all, we were just to ask people generally thinking in terms of sin. What we consider the greatest sinners in the world to be his people would think of some great monsters of the past they think of people like Adolf Hitler or Idi Amin or Stalin in the low back further.

People like Genghis Khan or Nero and someone because were thinking only in outward things. But that's not the way Jesus talked those people were sinners. All right, I did many terrible things but there's no record of the people of chorus and the SATA Capernaum, having done anything particularly evil or offensive or inhumane. They were just people going about their lives in a nice perfectly unbelieving way is the way we do. Many people in our day. Do yet they refused to come to Jesus. Jesus said that sin is the greatest sin of all and it's going to bring a greater judgment upon them the judgment upon these other people think that we think of currently say certainly God's going to judge him greatly about America with many opportunities to hear the gospel and yet it won't do it. It will go its own way, what's the root of the sample Jesus suggest it's pride because is an echo of a reference to Isaiah 14 in his words. Verse 23, where he talks about them being brought down to the pit when they wanted to go up to the heaven is really echoing these verses about the king of Babylon, which may actually be a reference to Satan who said I will ascend to heaven I'll make my throne above the stars of God, I'll be like the most high God says to the proud ruler, it shall be brought down to the grave in the depths of the pit.

That's what God says to all turn their back on Jesus Christ and his fourth lesson about God's judgments.

It's based in part upon his contingent knowledge. That means that people are judge not only for what they do, but for what God knows they would've done under different circumstances. Because you see Jesus says Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom would have repented at the miracles that had been done in the cities of his day had been done among them, for they are not as guilty as those who come later, who had the miracles and refused to believe sometimes quoted DA Carson for his comments on Matthew is one of the best of the commentators and he applies it this way in a particularly sober moment. The final judgment. God will take into account not only North Americans in every North American's moral standing.

In response to Jesus Christ and use of opportunities as compared with say every human's use of the same, but also what both parties would've done of their roles and advantages had been reversed. Well, I think of that I tremble in the United States of America and for you if you have not yet given your life to Jesus Christ and certainly heard the gospel you haven't responded to it. Well, Hebrews 23 assessment. How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation is one last point about the judgment and it is that God doesn't owe salvation to anybody that's a hard lesson for most people today to accept because we think somehow just isn't fair. Everybody is at least owed a chance. But God doesn't see it that way, say, although the people of Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom would have repented would've been saved to Jesus would come to them and to done the miracles in them that he done to the later city.

He didn't do it so they perished from the choice was God's we think God owes us mercy. But if it's mercy were talking about a Campione! of God owes us anything that he owes us his judgment at the only thing we really deserve what we need to do is escape that the only way we escape it is by the mercy of God, and that depends upon the sheer electing grace of God only now that's a wonderful thing because at this point, having talked about. Depending judgment on these cities who had rejected him and his message Jesus begins to talk about God's mercy and this is wonderful uplifting and thrilling. Charles Spurgeon, a great Baptist preacher. Imagine that if this points the late must of been on Jesus as he spoke about judgment began the left and something like a pleasant expression must have crossed his face and he began to thank God for what we call electing grace and Spurgeon says that's the way you have to think about election.

You have to think about it, with thanksgiving, because what Jesus does stop in his words of judgment. He lifts his eyes to heaven, he begins to pray, and this is what he says. I praise you father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you hidden these things from the wise and learned, but you have revealed them to children. Yes father for this was your good pleasure when he talks about children.

Of course he doesn't just mean little children that we doesn't exclude them even supposed to come in a humble way, confessing their sin and looking to God for grace and he says those who do have have had the gospel revealed to them by God the father. Two kinds of Revelation is a kind of revelation that we call a general revelation or a natural revelation is what God has revealed himself in the world as we see it and everybody can see a Paul writes about in a Roman sink is because we reject that revelation of the wrath of God comes upon the human race in the particularly upon cultures like ours ago, their own way. But in addition to that kind of general revelation is also a specific revelation of God to the individual which opens the individual's eyes to see the truth in Moses heart actually do embrace Jesus Christ for salvation is what Jesus is talking about here what he says about it. First of all, he says the gospel because that these things is known to God. Only since he alone is its author.

Nobody can invented. Secondly, no one knows what God knows except Jesus because the gospel is been committed to them by God because being God's son. He alone knows the father then thirdly, he says it's the father's pleasure that the son should reveal them to those to whom the son chooses to reveal them is a remarkable series of statements because in the first of these three paragraphs of Revelation is said to be given by God and according to God's good pleasure while in the second paragraph the same revelation is said to be at the discretion of the sun. In other words, it puts God the father and Jesus Christ the son on equal footing. Furthermore, when it talks about the content of the Revelation, it all has to do with Jesus Christ and that when Christ other words, Jesus lifted up only as the Savior but is the very son of God who determines the outcome of the destiny of every man or woman.

I say that's astounding because the manager said that is either insane or a deceiver. He was exactly who he claimed to be CS Lewis great Christian apologist makes that point, he says, can you explain Jesus Christ as being in the same person hardly probably recall the most sane person that ever lived. Was he a deceiver was. It was a terrible one because he sent countless millions of people to help by believing in a false gospel of the same time he was also the worst because he got everybody to believe, and even members of his own family believed them.

He said that doesn't explain Jesus Christ reside in saying that is not a deceiver. He must be. We said he is see the son of God and the Savior one who invites us to come. That of course is where all of this ends up to see talks about judgment. First of all he talks about election is our only hope that when he gets to the end what he has for us is a great gospel invitation. People love lad I suppose these verses are among the most favorite verses in the Bible.

And simply because they are an invitation. Jesus says come to me all you who are weary and burdened about give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light and interesting that this gracious invitation comes from the lips of Jesus Christ the same one just moments before had pronounced the most terrible of judgments upon the city's SATA and Carson and Capernaum, my sister gracious wealth for several reasons. First of all, the invitation is for everyone.

Jesus words are spoken to people of all ages and all backgrounds and all races, all nationalities, all levels of education any kind of variation that you can find among people who live on the planet. It embraces them all we tend to think some of us when we talk about religion.

These things are somehow for somebody else. Someone who perhaps is inclined that way is a little bit religious, or something of that nature, but Jesus doesn't like that kind of the distinction.

He says it's absolutely for everybody at all, universal offer.

You say to yourself, well what is it that I need, particularly in order to hear and respond to the invitation of Jesus Christ answer is a simple assistance in one of our hymns, not conscience make you lingered or fitness bodily dream all the fitness he requires is to feel your need of him.

You don't feel the need for Jesus Christ.

Your condition is most pitiful.

If you do that's the only qualification of all the Gospels forgive the invitation is for you.

Jesus says whoever will lay, secondly is for those who are burdened by sin, weary and burdened in these verses doesn't prefer to have mere physical weakness or what we might call the burdens of the hard life. Of course the deal with a sense of sin, need, and guilt.

We talk about don't need preaching that that need the most people feel is not what we have in view here at all people of Jesus day didn't have any felt needs for Jesus. They were doing quite well by themselves, and even how much of a sense of center they would've come to him sense of sin. That's what you need to recognize that your life is not what it should be that you violated the moral law of God that you've gone your way instead of coming to him that your unbelief is the most offensive thing of all, because when you hear the gospel.

It is the equivalent of looking up into the face of God Almighty and saying God you are a liar. I don't believe it sense how bad that is that you need a Savior, then the invitation is for you is I don't see much of that today. Sometimes I'm asked the question is America experiencing spiritual revival and I we say no.

What about all the big churches we have.

What about all the people who call themselves born-again. Very impressed with that because it's not accompanied so far as I can say with any great sense of sin and need accompanied by a turning to Jesus Christ and saving faith your God by large numbers of professing Christians, regardless of the moral tone, or the spiritual usefulness of their lives, then you'll be impressed by what is happening today because as the Gallup poll tells us there are more alleged born-again people in America today than ever before your impressed by large churches.

Think of ours is an age of exceptional blessing because it never been so many opportunities to build large cathedrals to call attention to individual ministries of your impressed with money. You must be nearly static today because the money that flows into the churches is great and seems to be increasing even in the liberal churches, though the numbers are going down looking for something else you're looking for a mature knowledge of God and real godliness on the part of Christian people. If you are troubled by the declining moral tone of our time. Even in the fellowship of confessing believers, then you must grieve for the state of today's church along for a revival.

Discipleship is present. People are sensitive to sin. And they turn from it.

They turn to Jesus Christ, where salvation and relief and rest alone may be found. We don't see much of that today. Except in rare cases, even though religion or spirituality has become so popular well the invitation is not only for everybody not only for those who have a sense of sin and are burdened by its it's also an invitation to come and learn about Jesus and Jesus called his disciples to follow him as he does in these verses that end, the chapter he's comparing the Christian life to a path he's walking along that are there to follow along.

Besides, when he challenges his disciples to learn from him.

He's referring to Christianity as a school which used to be both the subject matter and the teacher was both of those are important we are to follow him. He's our master. We are to learn from him.

The is our teacher and Christianity involves it all. Verse 29.

The authorized version translates the words learn from me as learn of me and some people see that Sable slapped the difference. The reason you have that variation is that the Greek preposition Paul can be translated either way.

Can mean or from an English has no perfectly comparable work. So when the translators put it in English they have to pick one of the other, probably both are involved, Jesus says, and learn of me also says come and learn from me first is what he's talking about in John 17 when he talks about salvation. This is eternal life, that they might know you the only true God and Jesus Christ of you upset. That is to know Kim in a personal way to have that kind of personal relationship, but it also involves the from because having come to Jesus, that we might learn of him.

We also need to learn from him because he is our teacher and that's what it is to go on in the Christian life. Well, the final thing is this the invitation is an invitation to come and find rest, that's for tired and weary people. As a matter fact he talks about rest twice thoughts about arrests that is given come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest in, and secondly there's arrests that is found. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. We needed both Jesus is the only one where you will find rest.

If you are poor struggling or burdened you may be laboring up the mountain of lifelike program was in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's progress with that great love sin on your back, but is going to take that off the new nobody can. If they could they wouldn't do it because they're worried about their own burdens, the kind of world in which we live. But when pilgrims came to the gate of the cross, he found that great burden off of the shoulders down the hill tumbling told and eventually fell into the grave or Jesus Christ.

Now the resurrected one had been buried. That's what Jesus says here you troubled burdened by sin, you have worries that you can't resolve problems that you can solve your greatest problem is your sin thing for which you will be most fiercely judged is your unbelief. Jesus invites you to calm confessing that sin.

Trusting him putting your faith in him and finding that rest which is salvation. You do it. This is the time to do it. The invitation is from the lips of our Lord.

Father, we bow our heads and humble acknowledgment that salvation is your work and the gift of grace and mercy flows from you alone. We don't deserve it. We can't command that we can't earn it. If you've invited us to come. We ask who visits who is among the elect's the answer is those who come to repent of their sin. Those who lean upon Christ else and seek rest and salvation and what he is done is our father we ask you to accomplish that in the lives of many people today because it pleases you to do it.

Amen.

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