33 Then Pilate went back inside the palace and called Jesus to him and asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 Jesus said, “Is that your own question, or did others tell you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “I am not one of you. It was your own people and their leading priests who handed you over to me. What have you done wrong?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If it belonged to this world, my servants would have fought to keep me from being given over to the Jewish leaders. But my kingdom is from another place.” 37 Pilate said, “So you are a king!”—John 18:33-37 (NCV)
”Are you the King of the Jews?” The question that Pilate asked or similar questions are still being debated today. Jesus answers with a question of His own. “Is that your question or did others tell you about me?” It is almost as if Jesus is asking Pilate, “do you care or are you just curious because others have asked that question?” Do you really want to know who I am? Pilate avoids answering the question by saying he is not one of the Jews and asks Jesus another question. “What have you done wrong?” Jesus answers by telling Pilate about His kingdom and His servants. He explains that His kingdom is in another place. Pilate responds with “So you are a King!” What is our response today? We may say, “Of course, Jesus is the King of the Jews!” But that answer avoids the real question: “Is Jesus the King in our lives here and now?” He is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all. He will not accept being the Number One God in our lives, He will only accept being the only God in our lives. Jesus died for our sins, how could we offer Him anything less than everything we have and everything we are. Please take the time to listen to this song.
44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me is really believing in the One who sent me. 45 Whoever sees me sees the One who sent me. 46 I have come as light into the world so that whoever believes in me would not stay in darkness. 47″Anyone who hears my words and does not obey them, I do not judge, because I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for those who refuse to believe in me and do not accept my words. The word I have taught will be their judge on the last day. 49 The things I taught were not from myself. The Father who sent me told me what to say and what to teach. 50 And I know that eternal life comes from what the Father commands. So whatever I say is what the Father told me to say.”—John 12:44-50 (NCV)
Because of His great love and mercy, Jesus gives one more invitation to the crowd to believe in what He has said and who He is. He is telling them since you have seen and heard me, you have heard and seen the Father. Every word Jesus said and every act He committed came directly from the Father. On judgment day, the unbelievers will be judged by the words that Jesus was teaching. After all, Jesus was the Word Incarnate, the Living Word, the Word that was established in the beginning. In Jesus, there was life and that life was the light for all the people. 1 In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were made by him, and nothing was made without him. 4 In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.—John 1:1-5 NCV)
Jesus is God, God is Jesus, Jesus is the Word and the Word is Jesus and in Him is life and light. God and Jesus are in perfect agreement and have been since the beginning. The Word that Jesus spoke was commanded by the Father and contained Life. It is the same Word that has saved us and will keep us until the day Jesus returns. The world needs to hear that Word today, so they can ask the Lord for help. 14 But before people can ask the Lord for help, they must believe in him; and before they can believe in him, they must hear about him; and for them to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them; 15 and before someone can go and tell them, that person must be sent. It is written, “How beautiful is the person who comes to bring good news.”–Romans 10″14,15 (NCV)
37 If I don’t do what my Father does, then don’t believe me. 38 But if I do what my Father does, even though you don’t believe in me, believe what I do. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 They tried to take Jesus again, but he escaped from them. 40 Then he went back across the Jordan River to the place where John had first baptized. Jesus stayed there, 41 and many people came to him and said, “John never did a miracle, but everything John said about this man is true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.—John 10:37-42 (NCV)
Jesus is setting a great example. He does exactly what His Father does and they should believe Him. If they can prove that He has done anything that God Himself would not do, then they have every right not to believe in Him or what He says. But if they cannot find anything that He has done in opposition to the Father, then they should believe Him. Everything that John said about Jesus was true and Jesus had been faithful to that description. Jesus issues the same challenge to non-believers today. If you can find any sin in the things I did in my lifetime or if you can find one promise that God has not been faithful to fulfill, then you shouldn’t believe me or my Word. But if you can’t find anything, then why don’t you accept my Word and accept me as your Savior and Lord? It is really that simple. Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.—John 14:6 (NCV)
13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.—1 John 4:13-17 (NLT)
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told His disciples and us that He would send us a Comforter and that Comforter would teach us everything. 25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.—John 14:25,26 (NLT)
The Holy Spirit abides in us and His job is to teach us everything, including how to love God and how to love others. The English language does not have words for different kinds of love. In the Greek, there are at least 6 words for love, Let’s look at four of those. We have philos or phileo (brotherly, friendly love), storge (natural or love for family) eros (sexual) love. These three can be accomplished to a degree in the natural and involve both parties loving and giving. The fourth word is agape (unconditional) love. This is the love that comes only from God, It is the love that only the Spirit can teach us. It is unilateral love, God loves us whether we return that love or not. The flesh can not love in that respect. This is the love that we are to be striving to show to others. But, as Paul said, we “must strive toward the mark”. We must keep practicing loving without expecting anything in return.
1 Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 2 This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.—1 John 4:1-3 (NLT)
As we all know not everyone that speaks to us has the Spirit of God abiding in them. There are those sent from satan who masquerade as “angels of light” but are actually false prophets. 13 These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.–2 Cor. 11:13-15 (NLT)
We must always test the spirit and see if it acknowledges the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The devil knows that God exists and he knows the Scriptures better than we do. The Spirit that dwells in us will witness to us if a person has a kindred Spirit to ours. But if you are in doubt, you can always ask if they believe that Jesus shed His blood on Calvary for our sins. If they acknowledge that this is true and they acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus, then we have assurance that it is not a false spirit. 3 So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.—1 Cor. 12:3 (NLT)
6 When God was about to send his firstborn Son into the world, he said,
“All of God’s angels must worship him.”
7 God said about the angels,
“He makes his messengers winds.
He makes his servants flames of fire.”
8 But God said about his Son,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
The scepter in your kingdom is a scepter for justice.
9 You have loved what is right and hated what is wrong.
That is why God, your God,
anointed you, rather than your companions, with the oil of joy.”-–Hebrews 1:6-9 (GW)
All the angels and every other creature must worship Jesus Christ as Lord of Lords. We are all made for one purpose and that is to glorify God. Some will say, “Not me!”. But Scripture says, “As certainly as I live, says the Lord, everyone will worship me, and everyone will praise God.”–-Romans 14:11 (GW) 10 so that at the name of Jesus everyone in heaven, on earth,
and in the world below will kneel
11 and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God
the Father–Philippians 2:10, 11 (GW)
His Kingdom will be forever. We cannot choose whether or not, we will bow, but we can choose when we bow. We need to humble ourselves and do it now. so that we can spend an eternity with Jesus in heaven. God doesn’t send people to hell, if we end up there it is because we worked hard to get there. Salvation is free but the “wages” of sin are death. Wages implies that we earned it, it is what the devil pays those that serve him.
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. 8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.–Col. 2:6-10 (NLT)
Accepting Jesus as our Savior is the first step in our journey to heaven. The next step is to allow Him to be Lord of our lives. This means being obedient to His teachings and following His example. If our roots are to grow down into Him and our foundation is to be built on Him, then we must spend time getting to know Him. As we study and meditate on His Word, our faith will grow stronger each day. This knowledge of the truth of Jesus should cause our hearts to overflow with joy and our lips to sing His praises. We must guard our hearts and our minds. The world is full of people spouting vain philosophies and nonsense. They are possessed, obsessed or influenced by evil spirits. They speak of religion and try to compare it with Christianity, which is a relationship with Jesus. Religions are based on man’s thinking and can change every time the wind blows. Our relationship with Christ is built on the Solid Rock and will withstand every storm and fiery dart that the enemy hurls at us. We are in Christ and He is in us, so we are complete with Christ as our ruler and authority.
22 Stay away from lusts which tempt young people. Pursue what has God’s approval. Pursue faith, love, and peace together with those who worship the Lord with a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments. You know they cause quarrels. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel. Instead, he must be kind to everyone. He must be a good teacher. He must be willing to suffer wrong. 25 He must be gentle in correcting those who oppose the Good News. Maybe God will allow them to change the way they think and act and lead them to know the truth. 26 Then they might come back to their senses and God will free them from the devil’s snare so that they can do his will.–1 Timothy 2:22-26 GWT)
If we worship God with a pure heart, it will cause us to want to pursue faith. love, and peace. One of the quickest ways to turn a non-believer away is to get involved in discussions about doctrines and whether to eat meat, smoke or drink. We must be kind and lead them into a discussion about salvation. Until a person accepts Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior, the rest of the Scripture is and will be a mystery to them. We are to offer them Jesus. Once they have accepted Him, God’s Holy Spirit comes to abide in them. It is His job to lead us and them into all truth. As we listen to His quiet, gentle voice, our hearts will turn to the Lord and we will follow Him because we love Him, not out of an obligation to do so. God’s Holy Spirit will free us from the snares of the devil and teach us God’s will.
11 I, yes I, am the Lord, and there is no other Savior. 12 First I predicted your rescue, then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world. No foreign god has ever done this. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the Lord. 13 “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.”–Isaiah 43:11-13 (NLT)
Although God was speaking to the children of Israel in this instance, it is still true for us today. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is immutable and omnipotent. He exists outside of time as we know it. God divided time into segments for our benefit, but He is not bound by hours or days. He is our Lord and Savior and no one else could do what He has done for us. No one can undo what He has done. He has promised to never leave nor forsake us. He never has and He never will. His faithfulness has no limits. It continues forever. 1 I love you, Lord; you are my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.–Psalm 18:1,2 (NLT) We owe Him all our love. He gives us peace beyond our understanding which causes us to tell the world about the goodness of our Lord and Savior.
1 Peter 3:13-17 (NLT) 13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
We are all guilty! We have felt that gentle nudge from God’s Spirit and said nothing, we have heard that soft quiet voice and still we did nothing! The King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe has issued the command to go and spread the gospel to all of us. (Ref. Matt 28:19, 20) And in individual situations, He has asked us to speak out and invite others into His Kingdom. Why don’t we speak out? Are we afraid that our friends and acquaintances will mock us, make fun of us, reject us? Always remember this, they did the same to Jesus and we are not greater than our Creator. But the most important thing to remember is that it isn’t us they are rejecting, it is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We are going to suffer in this world, and as Peter tells us, it is better to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil. Matthew 5:11-12 NLT “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.