Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD


Monday, July 05, 2010

Responding to Jesus

Responding to Jesus

It appears to us that very little attention is paid in church circles to how Jesus preached the Gospel. Radio waves and popular literature are replete with invitations to “accept Jesus in your heart,” to “accept the Lord,” or “pray the sinners’ prayer.” But how did Jesus make his evangelistic offer of salvation?
It is a shocking fact that he did not begin and end by offering his death as atonement for sins. Certainly the death of Jesus and his resurrection are fundamental elements in the Gospel of salvation. But that is not all. Listen to the master teacher in his final evangelistic statement and appeal.
John 12: 44: “Jesus raised his voice and said, ‘The person who believes in me does not just believe in me but in the one who commissioned me. I came into the world as a light so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in darkness. And if someone hears my message and does not respond to it, I do not judge him: I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who refuses to listen to me and will not receive my words has one who judges him. The word which I spoke — that is what will judge him at the last day, because I did not speak from myself, but the Father who sent me, He gave me a command as to what to say and speak. And I know that His command means eternal life…’”
It is perfectly plain from these climactic words of Jesus that our salvation depends on believing in Jesus: “The one who believes in me does not just believe in me but in the one who commissioned me.” But Jesus clarifies what he means by “believing in” him. This fact is mostly overlooked by Bible readers. Jesus goes on by way of explanation: “If someone hears my message/gospel/word and does not respond to it…” So, then, what Jesus demands for salvation is a response to his preaching. The crucial factor is intelligent, positive reaction to what Jesus said, not just to the facts of his death and resurrection. Jesus repeats this vital point with a different phrase: “The one who refuses to listen to me and will not accept my words…will be judged by my message.”
We have here a brilliant summary from John, who personally witnessed the ministry of Jesus, and understood what is involved in salvation. Jesus states, as he constantly did, that he came to save the world. But how is the world to be saved? By listening to and accepting Jesus’ word or words. Those who fail to respond to his word and words do not become disciples of the Lord Jesus.
It is a matter of concern and alarm that in current preaching nothing is made of the word/ words/message of Jesus. Only his death and resurrection are put to the public for belief.
But this is to cut the Gospel in half. The fact is that there are [30] chapters of recorded Gospel preaching by Jesus, the twelve and the seventy in which there is no mention yet of his death and resurrection. The Gospel preaching of Jesus, his word/words/message, centered entirely and exclusively on the matter of the Kingdom of God. An examination of Matthew, Mark and Luke shows that Jesus preached as Gospel much more than a message about his death and resurrection. The statistics look like this:
There are [30] chapters of Gospel preaching (Matt. 3-15; Mark 1-7; Luke 4-8), during which Jesus and the Apostles take the Gospel to the public. But in these [30] chapters there is not a single word said of his death. It was not until Matthew 16, Mark 8 and Luke 9 that Jesus “began to tell them” about his death and resurrection. But note well: the accounts make it quite clear that he had been preaching the Gospel prior to that moment. It follows, then, that the Gospel is firstly about the Kingdom of God and also about the additional facts of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Why is this so important? We have seen above (and the point is repeated throughout the teaching of the whole New Testament) that salvation comes by response to what Jesus said and taught, not just to what he did on the cross. Jesus raised his voice in John 12:44 to insist on this central truth: “He who refuses to listen to my words…He who does not accept what I say…” remains lost in darkness.
Professions of belief in Jesus are hollow until we allow Jesus and the Bible to define what it means to “believe in” him. The most personal and intimate aspect of Jesus is his words. His words declare his mind. So it is through intelligent acceptance of his words that a relationship is made with him, in addition to acceptance of his sacrificial death. Jesus did much more than die. He was a saving teacher as well as being the crucified, risen Savior.
Bible readers should earnestly question the foundation of their belief system and ask what those “cliché-like” phrases such as “accept the Lord,” “open your heart to Jesus” really mean.
The true disciples of the Bible are those who have “listened to” Jesus’ Kingdom Gospel. They are those who have received the words which God has given through Jesus. Jesus reported to God: “the words which you gave me, I have given to them and they have accepted them” (John 17:8). The born-again sons of God are those who receive Jesus by “believing in his name,” that is, everything he revealed in his preaching and teaching as well as his death and resurrection (John 1:12).
How wonderfully united the Bible writers were on this crucial issue of what it means to “accept Jesus as Savior.” Matthew and Luke record Jesus’ precious words about how the Gospel of the Kingdom is received or refused by various ones who are exposed to it. “When anyone hears the word/Gospel about the Kingdom and does not understand it, the Devil comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart, so that he cannot believe it and be saved” (Matt. 13:19; Luke 8:12). This is the essence of the Christian Gospel and how it must be received in faith. The critically important factor in salvation, says Jesus, is intelligent reception of the “word about the Kingdom” (Matt. 13:19).
Since the Devil knows well that this Message of the Kingdom is his greatest threat, he does all he can to remove it and suppress it. On no account does the Devil want the Gospel as Jesus preached it to be heard. The Devil wants the world to remain in darkness. Only the preaching of Jesus can dispel that terrible night of confusion and error.
In Luke 8:12 Jesus said that those who hear his Gospel-word are the objects of the Devil’s attention. The Devil, Jesus said, is bent upon taking that Gospel away from the heart of the potential Christian, “so that he may not believe it [the word/message/gospel of the Kingdom, Matt. 13:19] and be saved.” It is of the highest significance that Jesus is talking here expressly about how to be saved, and yet at this point in his preaching career he has not yet mentioned a word about his death and resurrection! (see Luke 18:31-34).
The evidence is entirely clear. Jesus’ concept of salvation is this: An intelligent reception of his Gospel of the Kingdom as well as the related information about his death and resurrection are essential for the saving process to get underway.
You may ask, “What is the Kingdom of God?” The answer is that it is the hope of all the prophets of Israel. It is the Kingdom which will supersede all present national governments at the time of the resurrection of the dead (Rev. 11:15-18). This is the moment to mention another devastating confusion which has hit some systems of Bible teaching. It is sometimes said that the Kingdoms of this world have already become the Kingdom of God and of His Messiah. This is fundamentally untrue. It is only when the seventh angel sounds the resurrection trumpet to summon the dead from the graves that the rulership of the present world passes fully into the hands of Jesus. Revelation 11:15-18 is an absolutely sure anchor of truth in relation to the Kingdom, the heart of the Gospel.
The Kingdom of God is in fact the heart of the new covenant which Jesus ratified in his blood by dying for the sins of all men. Just as Moses in Exodus 24 rehearsed all the words of the covenant in the presence of the people, and then poured blood on the document containing the covenant and on the people, so Jesus as the ultimate Moses laid out his Kingdom/Gospel/words before the people and then in the presence of those who had accepted it he prepared to pour out his own blood to ratify and seal that new covenant. What specifically is the content of the covenant? Jesus made it more than clear. “Just as my Father covenanted with me to give me the Kingdom, so I now covenant with you to give you the Kingdom, and you will be seated on twelve thrones to administer the tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:29, 30). There is the heart of the Gospel and the heart of the covenant.
Everything Jesus taught focused on the Kingdom and the invitation issued to us all to take part in that Kingdom and in its administration of the world — the world as it will be renewed at the great restoration promised in Acts 3:21: Jesus must be retained in heaven, said Peter, “until the time comes for the restoration of all things as declared by the prophets.”
To that great moment Christians are to look forward in joyful anticipation. The distress of the present time “cannot be compared with the glory which will be revealed in the Sons of God” (Rom. 8:18), immortalized at the resurrection and presented to Jesus as co-heirs and rulers of his coming Kingdom.
This article was taken from:
Responding to Jesus