Acts 13:38 ...Be it known unto you therefore, brethren, that through this man is proclaimed unto you remission of sins: 39 and by him every one that believeth is justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you which is spoken in the prophets: 41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; For I work a work in your days, A work which ye shall in no wise believe, if one declare it unto you. 42 And as they went out, they besought that these words might be spoken to them the next sabbath. 43 Now when the synagogue broke up, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. 44 And the next sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spake out boldly, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first be spoken to you. Seeing ye thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
A. Is there anyone really unworthy of eternal life?
B. What is the possibility of my proving to be unworthy?
Hebrews 10:26 ...For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries. 28 A man that hath set at nought Moses law dieth without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses: 29 of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
C. By their own choice, fleshly Israel had made themselves
Romans 10:1 ...Brethren, my heart's desire and my supplication to God is for them, that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
I. How Did They Judge Themselves Unworthy Of Eternal Life?
A. First, by their failure to discern the Old Testament Scriptures!
Acts 13:26 ...Brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and those among you that fear God, to us is the word of this salvation sent forth. 27 For they that dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him.28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet asked they of Pilate that he should be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb.30 But God raised him from the dead: 38 Be it known unto you therefore, brethren, that through this man is proclaimed unto you remission of sins: 39 and by him every one that believeth is justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you which is spoken in the prophets: 41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; For I work a work in your days, A work which ye shall in no wise believe, if one declare it unto you.
Romans 11:7 ...What then? that which Israel seeketh for, that he obtained not; but the election obtained it, and the rest were hardened: 8 according as it is written, God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this very day.9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, And a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them: 10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, And bow thou down their back always. 11 I say then, Did they stumble that they might fall? God forbid: but by their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if their fall, is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 13 But I speak to you that are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I glorify my ministry; 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy them that are my flesh, and may save some of them. 15 For if the casting away of them is the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
B. Second, by their failure to hear with sincere motives and an
Acts 13:44 ...And the next sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God.
Matthew 13:10 ...And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 And he answered and said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And unto them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them.
Luke 8:15 ...And that in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and
good heart, having heard the word, hold it fast, and bring forth fruit with
C. Thirdly, by their hearts being filled with jealousy because of the
Acts 13: 45 ...But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed.
Matthew 27:17-18 (Same attitude shown toward Jesus) ...When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ? 18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him up.
Romans 10:16 ...But they did not all hearken to the glad tidings. For Isaiah (53:1) saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. 18 But I say, Did they not hear? Yea, verily, (Ps.19:4)Their sound went out into all the earth, And their words unto the ends of the world. 19 But I say, Did Israel not know? First Moses saith, (Deut.32:21) I will provoke you to JEALOUSY with that which is no nation, With a nation void of understanding will I anger you. 20 And Isaiah (65:1)is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I became manifest unto them that asked not of me. 21 But as to Israel he saith, All the day long did I spread out my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
Acts 5:12 ...And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch....17 But the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy, 18 and laid hands on the apostles, and put them in public ward.
D. Fourthly, by their rejection of God’s favor for them to hear the
Acts 13:46 ...And Paul and Barnabas spake out boldly, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first be spoken to you. Seeing ye thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Romans 1:16 ...For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God
unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the
Greek. 17 For therein is revealed a righteousness of God from faith unto faith:
as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith.
E. Fifth, because they contradicted and blasphemed - thrust the
Word of God from them !
Acts 13:45 ... But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed.
Acts 7:51 ...Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52 Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? and they killed them that showed before of the coming of the Righteous One; of whom ye have now become betrayers and murderers; 53 ye who received the law as it was ordained by angels, and kept it not....57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed upon him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Acts 18:5 ...But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 And when they opposed themselves and blasphemed, he shook out his raiment and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
Acts 19:9 ...But when some were hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
John 12:48 ...He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day.
II. WE TODAY CAN ALSO PROVE OURSELVES TO BE UNWORTHY OF ETERNAL LIFE...
A. First, we can refuse to acknowledge that the Old Testament Messianic prophecies were validated completely in Jesus...
John 5:39 ...Ye search the scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of me; (ASV)
1. This means that we have rejected God since the Scriptures are His word...
John 5:38 ...And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He sent, Him ye believe not. (ASV)
B. Second, we can fail to hear with sincere motives and an
1. This can be due to preconceived ideas, bias, self-will,
jealousy, lusts, etc.
Matthew 13:15 ...For this people's heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them. (ASV)
Mark 4:15 ...And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; and
when they have heard, straightway cometh Satan, and taketh away the word which
hath been sown in them....
18 And others are they that are sown among the thorns; these are they that have heard the word, 19 and the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (ASV)
2 Peter 1:1 ... Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them
that have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our
God and the Savior Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the
knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that his divine power hath
granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the
knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue; 4 whereby he hath
granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises; that through these
ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption
that is in that world by lust. 5 Yea, and for this very cause adding on your
part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge;
6 and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and
in your patience godliness; 7 and in your godliness brotherly kindness; and
in your brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound,
they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus
Christ. 9 For he that lacketh these things is blind, seeing only what is near,
having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins. 10 Wherefore, brethren, give
the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these
things, ye shall never stumble: 11 for thus shall be richly supplied unto you
the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
By Ron Lehde
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