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Featured Why do people reject Jesus Christ?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Emli, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    I never understood this. I'm not sure that I'm posting this in the right forum, because it's not a question about theology, it's more a matter of the heart. I just don't understand why people reject Christ even once they know who He is. That some are chosen, some aren't, isn't the question here. Because someone who we never thought would ever become saved could suddenly be saved, so who is chosen or not, who is a goat or sheep, etc. is not important.

    When non-believers reject Christ because they don't know Him yet, because they don't understand Him or because they haven't seen a real Christian showing them the real Jesus, I understand that. No one can come to Jesus unless our Father calls them first, and no one can see Him without their eyes having been opened. When those of other religions who are deceived by Satan is showing anti-christian hatred, I understand that. I have rejected God for both those reasons before I got saved, and many people do, but none of it is really directed at God but at a false image of Him.

    But when people see Him, His goodness, His love, mercy and grace, His righteousness and holiness, then why do they reject Him? What happens in the heart?

    I have seen Christian who know who Jesus is, but who have rejected Him and His teachings, refusing to follow Him. Why? I see those who claim to know Him, but don't walk in love? Why? They reject His goodness, mercy, love and grace, and stay hateful and selfish. I understand that they reject the Holy Spirit. But why? They even attack and seem to hate those who show the fruit of the Spirit and live for God's Glory, even in the name of Jesus who they claim to worship.

    I'm not sure what answer I am looking for. The obvious answer would be pride and jealousy because they aren't changed yet. But it must go deeper. Because anyone who comes to God, He will never drive away. He is faithful and He will change those who seek Him. He will prune the branches who abide in Him. Those who surrender to His will.

    I'm not just talking about sinning or even living in sin for a while, or struggling in our walks. I'm talking about rejecting being transformed into the image of Christ, specifically. Dying to self and to sin. Taking up the Cross. Relying on the Holy Spirit completely and not on yourself. Letting go of the world and having the mind renewed by the Word of God.

    Is it rebellion and self-will? Is it that simple? They just don't want to bow before God? They don't want to surrender?

    Is it false doctrines? If so, then why do people hold to false doctrines?

    I understand what the Pharisees were like. They thought that they were serving God, and they were completely blind to the fact that they were serving the devil by their man-made doctrines. And they condemned Jesus as He was revealing God's love and mercy, and His righteousness and Holiness, to them and to the world. They weren't rejecting God per se, but they were rejecting His nature. But why? If we come to Christ, we receive life and freedom in Him. We lose our lives to receive the new life in Him, but that's an awesome exchange. I ask myself "who could reject that?". And I always get reminded of the answer "nearly everyone".

    The narrow path is amazing. Yes, we suffer and go through hardship, and we give up everything for God. But we are in Him, we walk in love, we are set free, we have a Lord and Savior who just never stops caring for us and loving us. And we get to live for His Glory, and for eternity. He heals us and delivers us from evil. He produces amazing fruit in us, and transforms us into entirely new creations in His likeness. His yoke is easy, because He carries it for us. He gives us power, love and self-control. It is awesome!

    Ever since I got saved, all I have wanted was to become like Jesus. Not to look good to others (though I did fell into that trap for a little while) but to please Him. Because that is His will. There is no salvation without us becoming new creations in Him, by grace and by the work of the Holy Spirit. So why is this where people seem to stumble the most? We are His creations originally, created in His likeness, so why should we want to rebel and stay lost instead of being saved and transformed into the likeness of His image which is in Jesus Christ? Our salvation is so awesome beyond understanding! Why stay in darkness when we can walk in the Light?

    I may be missing something. I feel like I understand it Biblically and I know all the verses, and spiritually, because I know how blindness, darkness, sin, hardness, flesh, false comfort, worldliness and deception etc. works, but I still can't understand it. Because Jesus sets us free from all of it once we believe in Him and in His teachings, and start living according to God's perfect will. It's a free gift. Why reject it? There seems to be this fear of letting go. Faithlessness and unbelief? Lack of understanding? But if that's the case, we can just read the Bible and pray and God will freely give us both faith and wisdom.

    This has been on my mind for a long time now. Because in my mind, if you love yourself, you'll choose Jesus. That would be the selfish choice to me. It's not a self-centered choice, because it gives no glory to self, but it's the choice that yields the best outcome for a person in any situation, since God rewards our sacrifices that we make for Him, either spiritually or sometimes materially in this life or with treasures in Heaven.

    Why??? I guess what I am asking is what happens in reality that makes people not accept Jesus in reality?

    Anything? Maybe someone can at least define what I'm asking here.
     
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  2. Danthemailman

    Danthemailman Well-Known Member

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    If I had to sum it up in one word, "PRIDE."
     
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  3. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    Of course! But I can't accept that simple answer for something that is this complex. Pride sums up all rebellion almost like love sums up the Law. But I don't understand it. Because my pride didn't stop me from surrendering, and I had a lot of pride. But I gave the pride to God and He overcame it because I love Him and need His love. What stops others from doing that?
     
  4. eleos1954

    eleos1954 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mankind is in the middle of a war ... a spiritual war ... between good and evil. One falls into temptation and chooses that way or one chooses Jesus. Satans deceptions are very subtle. For every truth in Gods word, Satan has a lie, and people fall for them. This war started in heaven and came to earth.

    Revelation 12

    7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

    8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

    9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

    Ephesians 6:12

    because to us the wrestling is not against blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

    The good news is that the war has been won by Jesus and we are waiting until He comes back to take all the survivors home.

    God Bless
     
  5. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

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    The one word answer 'pride' is correct, but it is more than just pride.
    There is the love ofsin, the reluctance to accept restraint or to humble oneself.

    In many ways the unbeliever has a clearer idea of what Christianity means then many Christians.
     
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  6. tampasteve

    tampasteve Messianic leaning Lutheran Staff Member Red Team - Moderator Supporter

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    Sometimes people suffer a traumatic personal, familial, or other experience that causes them to question these aspects of God. Why would a loving god allow XYZ to happen? If I was following God correctly and loved him with all my heart, why did xyz happen to me? This was my personal issue, eventually God led me back, but this is not something to gloss over. I thought it would never happen to me, that my faith was solid, but when life takes a turn, sometimes our faith wavers or even dissipates entirely. It is easy to think that it cannot happen to us, that we love God enough to see through the current tribulation, but when it does, that is when reality happens.
     
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  7. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    This, I understand. Very well. If I could blame everything on the devil, I would. But James 1:14 puts all responsibility on ourselves. And though Eve blamed the serpent and Adam blamed Eve, it was their own choice to sin. It is the devil and his angels and demons who misleads, deceives, tempts us, causes us to hate God (spirit of the anti-christ more than anything else), creates opportunities for us to sin etc. But it is still our own sins that tempt us away from God, especially after we are saved. If we submit to God and resist the devil, he flees from us. And God looks at the heart. So what happens in the heart that causes us to give in to pride and rebellion?
     
  8. JoeP222w

    JoeP222w Well-Known Member

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    Romans 1:18-25 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (19) For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. (20) For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (21) For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (22) Claiming to be wise, they became fools, (23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (24) Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, (25) because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    If they eternally have rejected Jesus Christ, they never were a Christian.

    Because they are loving their sin more than they love God.

    Again, if they reject the truth of God, they are simply revealing that they are not Christians.


    Romans 1:18-25 again.
     
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  9. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    You are definitely right. And it is exactly reality where I think my focus is. It is when God becomes real, and faith becomes real, and evil becomes real where the issue seems to happen. I was in a bubble for two years, then God popped it, and trials happened. I tried to flee from God, but He led me back. I ended up in a terrible place, and I looked away from Jesus. I denied Him with my actions, but I never stopped believing (because of His work in me, I'm taking no credit). And just like when Satan wanted to sift Peter like wheat and Jesus prayed specifically that Peter's faith wouldn't fail, after my trials, all that was left for me was my faith. And it was the best thing that could have happened for me, because it refined me. But most doesn't even come to the place where God sends trials, because the trials would cause them to fall away. I had a house that was on sand and fell apart but God then built me a new house on the Rock.
    But a lot of people's faith wouldn't survive the flood. They fall away, or they stay in their deception. God doesn't even send floods to them and they just stay in sin... It's confusing to me. Because I'm not talking about those who are seeking God, but about those who doesn't want to change, those who haven't repented or did once but then stopped. It makes no sense to me why they reject Him.
     
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  10. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    It's quite a leap to Christ from knowing there is God. Even from praying to God. Coming to Jesus means surrendering yourself. I know a particular guy who finally broke down to pray to God but still after 10 years of various people working on him won't come to Christ and as we well know Jesus Christ is his salvation. He stated outright that he is afraid of what this new man would look like . He knows his old man. Ya we all do, the drunk, the drugs, the mouth, abuse. I will say that coming to God has changed that part , don't know if it will last, but none the less he still has not come to Christ.

    I had to be brought low, so I knew no way out and I willingly came to Jesus begging if He is the way as everyone says He is I give myself to Him, "I need you Jesus to be in control of my life" were my words. That's all it took and everything about my life changed and still is changing 40 years later. Sometimes we have to be broken like a wild horse.

    The Holy Spirit has to prepare us, when the heart is opened up to the message then someone with the words can be effective. The Lord knows when that time is for each one. It's important that they hear the Gospel message even if they do not accept Him at that time. That was the case for myself, at least I had heard it and when I was brought low, no one had to say a word but me to Jesus directly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  11. eleos1954

    eleos1954 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of
    sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand, I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin," (Romans 7:19-25).

    We are new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Yet, we're also still desperately wicked. We won't be delivered from this until we receive our new bodies in the future resurrection (1 Cor. 15:35-45). For now, we still live in fallen flesh and struggle with the sin nature that affects all of who we are. It is in the battle between our old sinful selves and our new redeemed selves that our victories overcoming sin, and failures in sin, manifest. So, even as Christians, we are still touched by sin in all areas of who we are, hence, we are desperately wicked--in that we are still completely touched by sin. The difference is that we also now struggle against our wickedness because we have been changed by God. We have been made new creatures, and because of that work of God we can now recognize our sin and seek to turn from it, where the unbeliever will not.
     
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  12. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    Thanks. I needed to read that verse.

    Why?

    I agree. They never belonged to Christ, never surrendered to Him.
     
  13. RaymondG

    RaymondG Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it could be an issue in the one we are observing....they have pride, jealousy etc.... Or it could be something in the observer...

    Sometimes we put ourselves in the seat of Jesus and say that rejection of our words and interpretations are a rejection of Jesus'......If you dont believe what I am saying, you dont believe Jesus.......If you doubt me, you doubt Jesus...

    We can also feel sometimes that the fate of another's soul is in our hands.....like we have gained them if we believe us, and they are lost of they dont.

    This way of think is untrue. No one that The Father give Christ, will He lose....save the son of perdition. And God will save who he pleases, whether or not I utter another word from this day forward.

    The thing I would ask myself, is why do I feel others are so lost when they dont listen to my words? Why do I esteem myself as one who must be heeded without question, unless the listener is filled with pride or jealous? Why is rejecting Jesus the same and rejecting me?

    Sometimes the reason why a lot of the world appears shady.......is because we havent removed our (sun)shades....
     
  14. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    By the way, I was made to be uncomfortable in my sin lol ! That's what I mean by being brought low, but it was more than that, it also was my experiential life fell apart as well.
     
  15. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    I understand what you mean. We have to see our need for a Savior before we can accept Him. We have to understand that we are deserving of Hell and not only that, but that we are sinners who cannot be good no matter how hard we try.

    I guess I was already at my lowest with no other way out the first time I heard the Gospel. And that was because Jesus spoke to me and I googled it. It was so easy to surrender. Still, afterwards I still had to fall again very far in order to give up some parts of my past that I was holding on to. Twice. I hope there won't be a third time.

    So would you say that fear is behind the guy's reluctancy to surrender? Fear of maybe walking in the light or accepting love?
    I will pray for the guy.
     
  16. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    Yes, I agree. But that part comes after we surrender our lives to Jesus, after He gives us the new nature. I'm wondering about why people reject the new nature.
     
  17. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    This has been so on going, there is abuse in his upbringing. He grew up to be self sufficient out of necessity, only God really knows His heart. I don't want to say too much in an open forum.
     
  18. GTW27

    GTW27 Junior Member

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    "I had to be brought low" And I had to be brought lower than low. Picture for a moment, The Potter and the clay. Now see the old pot(vessel) spinning on The Potters wheel. Suddenly The Potter uses His finger to destroy the old pot(vessel) and immediatly begins to work with new clay to form a new pot(vessel) for noble(His use). By starting afresh, than it truly can be said, "The old has passed away, and all things become new" I personally, had no way out, and layed it all down, then and there.
     
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  19. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    Your answer is off-topic.

    This question is about Jesus, about Truth and about God's plan of salvation. It's not about interpretation. But the Gospel is simple: believe, repent and be baptized. Surrender to Christ and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. Be a new creation with a new nature, abiding in Him, obedient to His will. He sets the rules, not us. He is God, not us. That is what this thread is about. Why people choose to reject His plan of salvation and replace it with something else?
     
  20. eleos1954

    eleos1954 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If one truly accepts Jesus their life will begin to change and continue to change in the way of the Lord. The Holy Spirit begins His work in the believer and they are receptive. However, it is also taught there are these as well ... in that one rejects the work of the Holy Spirit, their life does not change. They deceive themselves.

    1. Matthew 15:8 These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

    2. Isaiah 29:13 And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.

    3. James 1:26 If a person thinks that he is religious but can’t control his tongue, he is fooling himself. That person’s religion is worthless.

    4 1 John 2:9 Those who say that they are in the light but hate other believers are still in the dark.

    5. Titus 1:16 They claim to know God, but they deny him by what they do.They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit to do anything good.

    1 Corinthians 2:14

    But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
     
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