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In the Word

    by Chuck Livermore

Many Disciples Turn Away
Date Posted: September 1, 2009
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"

When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"

But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.
John 6:60-69 NKJV

Sandy sat across the table talking about her departed love one. “I know that the claims of Jesus are exclusive. I know that no one has eternal life apart from Him. That is why I could never be a Christian. Jesus won’t accept someone who is good and kind like my mother just because she was a Buddhist.”

It is difficult to know how to comfort someone faced with this fact. Will God indeed send millions to hell who don’t follow Him just because they have rejected His way and followed another? Fortunately, I am the judge of no one’s eternal destiny and I condemn no one for whatever belief they posses. I can honestly tell Sandy and those like her that it is not up to me, you or her to determine who has played by the rules and who has broken them.

But Jesus did say that no one comes to the Father except through Him. If there is a way that this can be interpreted to mean that those who are sincere will be accepted, I would not protest. But it is not an interpretation that is obvious to me. Anyone who thinks that they can climb in another way seems to be gambling with eternity. And eternity is much too valuable a prize with which to gamble. We must not turn from Jesus to another path or person. As Peter said, “You (Jesus Christ) have the words of eternal life.” There is not another in whom to trust. Nor can you can ever save yourself with your own piety.
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Biography Information:
Chuck Livermore's knowledge of the word is the result of a lifetime of study and reading. He is part of Galilee South Community Church, a multi-ethnic congregation in South Denver. He attended Wayland Baptist University and has participated in world evangelism through research of unreached peoples.
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