Suppose the pollution level in the air we breathe and in the water we drink were suddenly to become twenty times what it is today. Furthermore, suppose that as a result of these increased rates of pollution, death becomes inevitable for every person. For some with poor health and low resistance (such as elderly people), death would take place in a few days. For other stronger individuals, death might not strike for two or three weeks. But the result of this pollution for everyone would be death. At the end of one month’s duration, there would not be one survivor.
Suppose also that this is a completely hopeless situation. Humanly speaking, there is no way to correct this pollution problem. All of the worlds scientists totally fail to come up with any solution, and time is quickly running out. There is no hope, no help, no remedy. Mankind is doomed!
But before mankind perishes, from many millions of light years away, a kind creature on another planet sees our plight (our difficult problem) and has compassion upon these doomed earthlings. Quickly he enters his spaceship and zooms to planet earth, and with his advanced technology and scientific know-how he offers a substance called "pure-fission" which when applied to the atmosphere or to the water produces a mild nuclear reaction which brings immediate purification!
How do you suppose our visitor from outer space would be greeted by us earthlings? Would we rejoice at his coming? Would we cheer his arrival? Would he be given the greatest welcome possible? Would he be received with open arms and grateful hearts and hope-filled eyes?
Did you know that a very similar situation has actually happened? Earthlings were facing a terrible pollution problem. It was an inner pollution problem known as pollution of the heart (Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23). This terrible pollution always brought about sure death, because the pollution of sin when it is finished brings forth ______________ (James 1:15; compare Romans 1:32; 6:23 and Ezekiel 18:4). Moreover, the situation was absolutely hopeless (Eph. 2:12; 1 Thess. 4:13). There was nothing man could do to make his heart clean.
But then, from out of the heavens came a Visitor, a Saviour who had a remedy or cure for mans pollution problem (John 3:13-17). How was He welcomed and received by those He came to save? Was He received and welcomed with open arms when He came to rescue and save lost people (John 1:11)? _________ The Bible says, "And this is the condemnation, that ______________________ is come into the world, and men loved ________________________ rather than ___________________ because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). How tragic! Men chose to continue on in their pollution! They did not want to be made clean! They decided to continue walking on the road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13). What did they do with the Visitor from outer space? Read Matthew 27:31? ___________________________________________________________________
When the Saviour came to this earth from heaven, the majority (most of
the people) rejected Him and R___________________ Him N_______ (John 1:11). A
minority (a small number, a
"few" Matthew 7:14) did receive and welcome Christ the Saviour. What
promise does God give to every man, woman, boy or girl who receives His Son (John 1:12)?
If the King or President of another nation were to come and visit our country, he would, under normal circumstances, be given royal treatment. Our government would care for him in every way. He would be provided with the finest sleeping quarters. He would be served the most delicious food. He would be presented with the best entertainment. In short, he would be treated like a King!
When the King of the Universe came to visit this earth, how was He treated? Was He
provided with the finest sleeping quarters (see Luke 2:7)? ________ Was He given a
beautiful palace to live in (see Luke.9:58)? _______ Was He
given royal treatment and treated like a King (see Matthew 20:18-19; 27:26-31)?
_______ What kind of love and respect did they show for their KING (John 19:15)?
Though most of the Jewish people (the majority) rejected Christ, we would expect Him to be well received by the people from His own home town of Nazareth. After all, this was the place where He grew up (Luke 2:51-52). Think for example of a presidential election. A presidential candidate is usually able to at least win in his own home state! He may lose all of the other states, but usually the people from his own state vote for him! How popular was Jesus among the hometown crowd? Did the people of Nazareth consider Jesus their hero? Did they think He was the greatest prophet that ever lived?
Read Luke 4:16-30. Did these people love to hear Christ preaching
Gods Word to them? ________ What did they want to do to Him
(verse 29)? ____________________________________________________________
When the Lord performed the miracle of feeding a huge crowd of people about how many people were present if you do not count the women and children (Matthew 14:21)? _____________________________
The people thought that Christ would make the perfect King (see John 6:15)? Why did they seek Christ (John 6:24,26)? _____________________________________________________________ Did they want Jesus to give them food for their stomachs or food for their souls? ______________________________________
When Jesus began giving the people food for their souls (teaching them Gods Word), what began to happen to all those people who were seeking to make Him their King (see John 6:41,52,60,66)? _________________________________________________________________________________________________
Though the Lord started with thousands of people, how many did He end up with (John 6:67)? ______________________ Soon He would lose one more (John 6:70-71)!
What was the one thing that attracted Peter and the other ten disciples, not
counting Judas (John 6:68)?
_________________________________ Did they want Jesus to feed their souls? ____________
Read Matthew 21:42. In Acts 4:11 Peter told the Jews that the Lord Jesus Christ was the stone which they rejected ("whom ye crucified"--verse 10). What a marvelous and wonderful thing God had done! He took that rejected Stone, and by resurrection He made this Stone the Head of the corner (Acts 4:10-11)! The cornerstone is the most important stone in the whole building! The key question is this: What will you do with this Stone? Here is your choice:
Either you are on the Rock by faith or the Rock is about to fall on you by
way of impending judgment! Where are you in
relationship to this Rock? You can trip and fall on this Stone and be broken
(see Matthew 21:44; 1 Cor. 1:23; 1 Pet. 2:8; Isa. 8:14-15) or you
can let it fall on you so that you are pulverized or crushed (Matthew
21:44) or you can plant your feet on its firm foundation and let it support you and hold
you up (1 Peter 2:6)! Dont reject Gods Rock! Rely and
rest upon It! "On
Christ the solid Rock I stand! All other ground is sinking sand!" Edward
When the Lord Jesus claimed to be the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-18), how did the Jews respond? There was "a division" (John 10:19) among the people. What did the majority ("many") say (John 10:20)? ____________________________________________________________________
What did the minority ("others") say (John 10:21)? _______________________________________________________________
What did the Good Shepherd promise to do for His sheep (John 10:11,15,17,18)?
Read John 12:32 where the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of His death on the cross. When He is lifted up on Calvarys Cross, He will ____________ _______ _________ unto Himself! Certainly this does not mean that all men will be saved. What does it mean?
When the Lord Jesus died, there were two other crosses, one on His right hand and the other on His left (Mark 15:27). The Lord Jesus draws all men to the center cross where they must choose to receive or reject the Crucified One. There are only two choices that a person can make, as symbolized by the other two crosses:
As you think about this question, it would be helpful to carefully read Luke 23:39-43. Also you should realize that there was a time when both of the criminals (robbers) rejected the crucified Christ (see. Matthew 27:42-44). Thankfully, one of them repented and changed his mind! Instead of being a Christ-rejecter, he became a Christ-receiver! What about you? What will you do with the One who died on the center cross for you?