When You Draw Away From God
Jutting out of the Scriptures like mountain peaks are warnings and examples sharply declaring that many will turn from Christ and walk with Him no more.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1Ti 4:1)
The object is to reveal to the Christian that many who have shouldered the faith with them will not keep it till the end. Their longing for the world will grow more than their longing for Christ. The result may come gradual or quickly. Yet it will come, inevitably, as one dies to Christ through their ongoing love for the world.
Jesus carefully presented this to His disciples.
In Joh 6:63 He explained, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” The Spirit of God (that quickens or makes alive) and the spirit of this world (that diminishes and takes away life) are two different entities moving in two completely opposite directions. So much so that Paul later wrote, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other.” (Ga 5:17)
In spite of this stark revelation, Jesus further declared in Jon 6:64 “But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.”
Choosing not to believe God has unspeakably huge ramifications, including being shut out from God’s eternal Kingdom. “No man cometh unto the Father,” He later said, “but by me.” (Joh 14:6) Simple as that sounds, it is the profound and universal Truth, spoken by Him Who cannot lie. (Tit.1:2) Those who believe the God of the Bible will live. Those who do not will perish in their sins.
There is no need for God to go into more and more words to convince. All around liars spend many words to convince and justify the teachings of men and devils. With God, His simple yes is yes; and His no is no. (Jam 5:12) Moreover, He is completely aware of those who believe what He says and those who do not. Also are those whose unbelief is so callous they will outright betray Him (and those who are His).
“And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” (Joh 6:65) Religion has never saved anyone; nor can it, neither can anyone’s good works. Only God can save eternally, and that by His own Holy Spirit. “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:9)
Yet this is a hard saying. It was hard then and it is hard now. The evidence is all around. The carnal man does not like being left out of the control booth of his life. He doesn’t mind God’s help; but He doesn’t want God’s ultimate control. Yet such is the calling of Christ. “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (Joh 5:19)
To be Jesus’ disciple you must pick up your cross each and every day and submit to God’s Spirit, which means dying daily to your own human control. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Lu 9:23)
“And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Lu 14:27)
Even in the light of His many miracles, signs and wonders, His personal and up close relations with then, His walking and talking, eating and living among them, and manifesting the Father to them, while in the flesh, they would not listen to His requirements for discipleship. And “from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (Joh 6:66)
Take note of the number of this verse: 666. It’s the number of a man–specifically man that rejects God. It is innate in mankind to reject God. This is what sin is. To His closest disciples the Savior guides His Words.
“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?” (Joh 6:67)
The question is almost rhetorical. Yet it must be asked. Because one of them, indeed, will go away from him. That is Judas. The others, though equally fallen and weak, as is common to all sinners, will remain true to Jesus in spite of the costs.
Today we are encouraged when we see others come to Christ and our church growing. Discouragement sets in when we see others leave. So too were the faces of Jesus’ closest disciples when they saw so many simply walk away from Him. Nevertheless, those who stood faithful would see a day when thousands would be added to their fellowship in just one day alone. (Ac 21:12) Jesus plainly knew this, though they did not.
Yet in asking the question it was as though He was giving them a way out–an option also to leave. Jesus holds no man in bondage. “Will ye also go away?” (Joh 6:67)
Here enters the answer for the entire world. It flows out of the mouth of the chief disciple. In view of all that Jesus presented and offered mankind, Peter knew there was none like the Messiah, nor ever was, even among the greatest kings and prophets of Israel. “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (Joh 6:68)
Where do you go when you go from God? What’s out there that’s better than He? Eat the meat of the world–any part of the world–and you will perish. That is its greatest reward. Eat the meat of Christ and you will live–forever! There is no choice greater than Christ. There is none with higher rewards. There are many choices less than He. Yet none greater.
The faithful band of disciples knew this. Hence` they chose to cling to Christ. Then, through the mouth of Peter, once more, they declared to Jesus their Lord, and unto all the world, “And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Joh 6:69)