What Keeps People from Submitting to Jesus Christ? (Part 3)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, February 16, 2014.
8. Fear of rejection by God - some people fear that God will not accept them because of their past or present sins. A. It is true that God is holy (1Pe 1:16). i. God can't even look on iniquity (Hab 1:13). ii. The foolish can't stand in God's sight and He hates sinners (Psa 5:4-5). B. God is fearful (Heb 10:31; Heb 12:29) and terrible (Psa 47:2). i. Terrible - 1. Exciting or fitted to excite terror; such as to inspire great fear or dread; frightful, dreadful. ii. If this was all a person knew of God, they would likely come to the conclusion that Joshua did concerning Israel when he warned them saying, "Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins." (Jos 24:19). C. But there is more to God than just His terror; He is also very merciful and full of compassion (Psa 86:15; 2Ch 30:9). D. The Lord knows and remembers that we are weak and frail (Psa 78:38-39; Psa 103:14). E. Because of this, God is merciful and gracious (Psa 103:8-18). F. Far from forbidding them, God the Father through Christ invites His elect to come to him (Mat 11:28-30). i. Jesus invites men to come unto Him and drink (Joh 7:37-39). ii. The Holy Spirit likewise invites men to come (Rev 22:17). iii. God invites men to come to Him freely (Isa 55:1-3). G. God promises that He will receive people who come out of false religions (2Co 6:17-18). 9. Fear of unworthiness - some people fear that they are not "good enough" to be a Christian and that they could never measure up. A. The fact is that we are all unworthy of being called children of God and Christians because we are sinners. i. Worthy adj. - Of sufficient merit, excellence, or desert to be or have something. ii. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). iii. Grace and mercy are only for people who are unworthy (Eph 2:4-5). iv. Grace n. - Favour, favourable or benignant regard or its manifestation (now only on the part of a superior); favour or goodwill, in contradistinction to right or obligation, as the ground of a concession. v. Mercy n. - Forbearance and compassion shown by one person to another who is in his power and who has no claim to receive kindness; kind and compassionate treatment in a case where severity is merited or expected. B. Those who feel they are unworthy are those who are of great faith because they trust Christ and don't rely on their merits (Luk 7:6-9). i. The prodigal son who thought himself unworthy to be called his father's son was welcomed with open arms (Luk 15:18-24). ii. Our heavenly Father will do likewise to those who come to Him (Luk 15:10). C. Those who trust to themselves that they are righteous are a stench in God's nostrils (Luk 18:9-14). D. Jesus is worthy to receive all blessings from God (Rev 5:9). i. God's elect are in Christ (Eph 1:4). ii. Therefore, since they are in Christ, they are counted worthy (Luk 20:35; 2Th 1:11). iii. Counted ppl. - Accounted, numbered, etc iv. Accounted ppl. - Counted, reckoned, considered. E. Some people believe that Jesus died for others, but He couldn't have died for them. i. This is impossible. ii. If you hear and believe the gospel, you are passed from death unto life and shall not come into condemnation (Joh 5:24). iii. If a person believes that Jesus is the Christ, he is born of God (1Jo 5:1). iv. You can't believe that Jesus is the Christ without believing that Jesus is your Christ. v. You can't believe that Jesus is the Saviour without believing that Jesus is your Saviour. vi. The Bible is written to believers so that they can know that they have eternal life (1Jo 5:13). vii. If you struggle with believing that Jesus died for you then ask Jesus to help your unbelief (Mar 9:24; Luk 17:5). 10. Fear of failure - some people fear that if they commit to Christ they will not be able to stick with the commitment. A. Commitment to the kingdom of God is a serious thing which is not to be taken lightly (Luk 9:62). B. Jesus taught that one must count the cost before making the commitment to be His disciple (Luk 14:27-33). i. A person has to forsake all that he has to be Jesus' disciple (Luk 14:33). ii. There can be no sacred cows in our lives that we will not forsake for Christ. iii. Christians are the salt of the earth (Mat 5:13), but if they lose their savour, they are good for nothing, not even the dunghill (Luk 14:34-35). iv. Therefore failure should be feared by potential converts and mature Christians alike. C. When a person joins the church and becomes a Christian he must hold fast the profession of his faith and not forsake the assembling of the saints (Heb 10:23-25). i. If we sin willfully after having received the knowledge of the truth, we will be judged severely (Heb 10:26-31). ii. To whom much is given much is required (Luk 12:47-48). D. Though the stakes are high, God will help us stick with it. i. Jesus was tempted, and therefore He is able to help us when we are tempted (Heb 2:18). ii. Jesus was in all points tempted like as we are (Heb 4:15). iii. Therefore we can come boldly unto Him to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:16). iv. God will not allow us to be tempted above what we are able and will make a way to escape (1Co 10:13; Exo 13:17). v. God knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations (2Pe 2:9). E. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and He will direct your paths (Pro 3:5-6). F. If you trust in the Lord, you may fall, but God will not allow you to be utterly cast down (Psa 37:23-24).