Summary: Don’t join those who rejected Jesus on this earth but receive Him for who He is before it is to late.
CLARIFICATION: (Spurgeon once said, ‘All originality and no plagiarism makes for dull preaching.’ I in no way claim ‘all’ originality in my sermons for I look to a variety of Scholars and Pastors for help in crafting the content and structure of a sermon. At the same time I try to give credit where credit is due about 85% of the time. The 15% that I don’t cite is due to carelessness or laziness. My citations are not scholarly but I give credit where credit is due so I try not to fall in the unethical pit (sin) of plagiarism. Now that my conscious is cleared I hope you enjoy the sermon.)
I became a Christian in college. When you first become a Christian everything is fresh and new to you and you just want to know all about the Lord that you can. A common thing among believers is to have favorite Bible verses and when I was in college I liked to know what some persons favorite verses were. I asked this one person what their favorite verse was and they said they would not tell me because it meant to much to them. So, a few days passed and I asked again and they still would not tell me. A long time later I asked again and they said they did not want to tell me because their favorite verse was so dear to them that it made them cry when they read it and they would be embarrassed to cry in front of me. So, I said just tell me on the phone. So, they said, I will tell you but you have to look it up later and read it.
That person’s favorite and saddest verse is in our Scripture reading today. Let’s read John 1:1-13 on page 788-789 and see if you can see which one this person was speaking of. (Read it)
It was verse 11, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive Him.” Jesus was the creator of all who has ever existed. He came to the people of the world, but the world did not receive Him. He came to Israel but they did not receive Him. He came to Santa Monica, but His own, those whom He created did not receive Him. He came to Yale Street, but His own, did not receive Him.
Isn’t that one of the saddest verses in the Bible? This verse reminds me of a woman who was part of the college ministry BASIC that we have at Santa Monica College. Nicole was a woman about 24-25 and she had a form of Autism, but you would never really know it. She interacts so well with people. And she is possibly the nicest person I know. She knows all the names of the people in my family and the names of my pets. When I talk with her she asks me how our pets our doing by name. I have never seen her do anything wrong to someone else, I don’t think she even thinks about harming people with words or violence. She is so pleasant to speak with anybody. When she walks in a room, she carries herself to say, I am here, let me greet you and really invest in your life. But there have been times in Nicole’s life, when she was younger and even now when she goes into a classroom full of her peers or into a group of people and acts all nice and people just ignore her b/c she is different. They just continue on doing there own thing. We all have had times of thinking we were going to be received well but were just given the cold shoulder. It hurts.
Jesus was rejected and he showed His emotions when He was rejected, but not because of feeling sorry for Himself but for those who had rejected Him. Do you remember when He wept over Jerusalem b/c if only they had know that He could have brought them peace, but they rejected Him.
Jesus, who is God and creator, came to His creatures as Creator and Savior. And most ignored Him, some took interest and killed Him. Jesus still comes today to people, and few are hostile, but most just ignore Him. But if you look in verse 12 you will see that some receive Him, “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” Jesus comes here today and He made you and He is your creator, there is nothing you can do to change that, but do you know Him as Savior?
This morning we are going to explore two things: What does it mean to receive Jesus and what does it mean to believe in Jesus? The reason why you need to listen because ultimately it is a matter of Heaven and Hell, but also I would hate to be included at the end of my life with one of the saddest events of all history: Jesus coming to me and me being part of those who do not receive Him (Pray).