Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Conclusion to Dr. Whitcomb’s message

Turn to John 6:2.  Several months have passed now. Five thousand Nicodemuses are following Jesus by night and day all over Palestine because of these miracles.  They were fascinated, they were electrified by the things they saw with their eyes. And they were not disappointed.  “And a great multitude followed Him because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased.”  Instantaneous, spectacular healings of hopeless cripples, leprous people, men born blind;  one word from Jesus  and they were instantly and totally healed.  They were so fascinated by this that they forgot  to bring food, they forgot to provide for their families. And they suddenly found themselves desperately hungry in the middle of the wilderness.     

Jesus said to a boy, ” Let Me have this lunch.– two fish and five loaves.”  An hour later a whole mountain of food, sufficient to feed 5000 men plus their families with baskets full of food left over.  Do you think there were any skeptics left in that group?  No, look at verse 14.  “Then those men when they had seen the  miracle that Jesus did said, “This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.”  “We’re convinced– the greatest miracle worker in the world. — we nominate, in fact, we have just elected Jesus to be King!  Anyone who can feed us with miracles is our candidate for King!   Not a dissenting vote, not a minority opinion. They all agreed.  Not one skeptic in the crowd.


Do you think this thrilled Jesus?  No,  the Lord Jesus totally rejected all of them.  Look at verse 26.    “Jesus  said, ye seek Me, not because ye saw the miracles, (not because you understood what they were for, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled.”  “The whole relationship between Me and you is mundane, physical, material, carnal level; what you can taste. What you can see with your physical senses. I am the Bread of Life.  That’s what the miracle of the loaves was to illustrate.  You’ve missed it.  He that cometh to Me shall never hunger spiritually.  You need spiritual bread and you don’t know it. He that believeth on Me shall never thirst spiritually, and you haven’t the faintest sense of need of thirst for the real things of God.  But I said unto you, that you also have seen Me, and believed not.”


You say, it says that they saw and accepted the miracles and believed.  What does Jesus mean when He says, “They believed not?”  He is taking about that level of faith which brings salvation and eternal life.  Jesus patiently explained to them that they were sinful, that He came from Heaven to deal with the sin problem, and that apart from Him they could not have the sin problem solved. They were spiritually doomed!


Do you know what their response was to this?  “We are through with you!  We didn’t come here to hear sermons, especially sermons about sin.  We came here to be entertained. To have our curiosity satisfied;  we came here to marvel at signs and wonders; we didn’t want sermons.”  And one of the saddest verses in the New Testament is John 6:66.  “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him.”   “Good bye, Jesus!  If you don’t give us more miracles, we’re going home.  We are through.”


Jesus turned to the twelve with a heart filled with sadness and said,  “Will ye also go away?  Is that the basis of your relationship with Me, too?”   And after a pause, Peter, speaking for the group, said, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal life.”


That’s the difference.  Peter believed the words of Jesus, and not merely what he saw with his eyes.  He had eternal life.  And, of course, the real tragedy behind that statement by Peter is that even in that day, one was an apostate–Judas Iscariot– he didn’t believe.  Another was a pseudo-intellectual–Thomas– who had to have a sign  in order to confirm his feeble faith.  And Jesus said to Thomas after He demonstrated His resurrection body, “Thomas, you have seen Me and believed.”  Miserable faith!  “But blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.”   That’s a most amazing statement that ever fell from the lips of Jesus, especially for our day and age. How can Jesus be taken seriously when He says a thing like that?


If you think that is amazing, how do you like this statement by our Lord?  “If you don’t hate your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, your husband, your wife, your son, your daughter, if you don’t hate them in comparison to your love for Me, you are not worthy to become my disciple.”  How can He expect you, 1900 years after He walked this earth to abandon your closest family ties, to go to the ends of the earth and, if need be, to suffer martyrdom in love and devotion to a man you never saw or, on this earth, ever will see?  “Blessed are those who have not seen, but have believed and obeyed.”


You know what the answer is, don’t you?  Jesus knew that this was possible because Jesus knew that when He went to Heaven, He would send the Spirit of God who would take the Word of God and make it infinitely more real, more persuasive, more overwhelmingly powerful than any combination of sense experiences that this world can offer.  It’s the Holy Spirit who can make Christ real to the hearts of men.  And modern science know nothing about that.  That is the whole basis of our relationship to an invisible person, The Son of God.


Our Lord told about the tragedy of a man who thought that you could be saved by what you see– by visible evidence.  As the scene opens in Luke 16,  this man has already died and is in torment in Hades.  Lifting up his eyes to Heaven above, he saw the father of the nation of Israel, the friend of God, the man of faith, Abraham, and with him, to his utter surprise,  he saw the familiar figure of a beggar who had been beside his own gate for years, eating crumbs and garbage from his table and kitchen– a man who had nothing, except simple faith in God, and there he was with Abraham, in Heaven.


In desperation he said to Abraham, “Send Lazarus back to the world of the living that he may testify to my five living brothers so that they won’t come also to this horrible place of torment.”  That was a spectacular plan for converting his brothers.  What would you think of the impact on those five living men if they suddenly heard a knock on their door and opened it to see this dead beggar whom they had seen every time they went to visit their brother at his palace, alive from the dead and to  hear him say, “I have seen your dead brother in torment,  and he told me to tell you to repent and to believe God, lest you join him there forever.”


Do you think that might stir up interest in the things of God and increase church attendance?  Abraham said by the Holy Spirit of God,   “NO!  They have Moses and the prophets, they have the Bible, they have the Holy Scriptures. Let them hear them.”


And the rich man revealed exactly why he was where he was when he said in response to that challenge,  “No!  But if someone went to them from the dead, they would repent. My brothers, you see, demand empirical proof.  They have to see something tangible, they are scientifically minded.  Our whole family demands evidence. We will not submit to old wives’ tales and ancient stories in a holy Book.  But give us some evidence and you will see a result.”


And Abraham said to him and to us today, “If they believe not Moses and the prophets, if they will not accept God’s own Word, neither will they be persuaded though one rises from the dead.”


Do you believe that?  Well Jesus proved it.  He did raise a man from the dead, whose name also happened to be Lazarus and the result, according to John 11 and 12 is that the enemies of Jesus, instead of all being converted, decided to kill Lazarus too. And there is only one explanation to that and it was written 600 years earlier by Jeremiah who said, “the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it.” 


Jesus confirmed it when He said, “Our of the heart of man proceed evil thoughts.”  Your thoughts and your observations of the world around you do not determine what kind of a heart you will have toward God,  but your heart will determine what your mind will do with the facts.  Did you  know that?  Did you know that a man convinced against His will, (against his heart) is of the same opinion still?


Did you know that faith does not come by what your see?  But faith comes by hearing with the ears of the heart, and hearing by the Word of God.  Did you know that without faith it is impossible to please God?   For he that cometh to God must not see or feel with tangible, experimental, visible evidence, but he that cometh to God must believe that He is. And that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Those are God’s terms. 


What are you waiting for?  What am I waiting for?  More evidence, more confirmation, more proof,  a wider consensus of contemporary, scholarly opinion concerning the Bible?  If you are waiting for anything more, you will never have it and you may never be saved.  You  have committed the unpardonable sin; you have rejected God’s only way. The only way of assurance of the things of eternal life is by taking Him at His Word through the illumination and convicting power of the Holy Spirit of God Himself.  If you reject the Holy Spirit’s witness, you’re doomed.  God has nothing more to say, nothing more to offer to you forever.  You will come to God on His terms only.


You don’t say, wait until I think it through or wait until I investigate a little more.  Paul said, “Behold now is the day of salvation.”   You come to God on His terms–unconditional surrender– or you have no guarantee you will ever make it. God’s message to our generation  happens to be identical to that of the first century; that is, you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ without any visible proof whatsoever.

    You say, those conditions are hard, this doesn’t meet my criteria of verification.  God is not going to revise His plan for you. God’s Word stands with infinite, final authority. and man today has the same needs as men from the fall of Adam and until the end of the world. May God speak to our hearts on the basis of His own precious Word and bring us to the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ in saving faith, in submissive, obedient faith, now.     


October 17, 2007 - Posted by | Evolution

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