Summary: Sometimes we may get disillusioned with church, but we all need a divine teacher; can you think of a better than Jesus? He understands us, knows all our faults; yet He loves us more than any other. And He alone can give eternal life.
TO WHOM ELSE SHALL WE GO?
A. HUMOR: THE KARATE DOG
1. Henry went to a pet shop to buy a watchdog for his wife Helen. “I have just the dog for you!” and brought out a miniature Pekingese. Henry, “That little thing? It couldn’t hurt a flee!”
2. The store owner said, “Ah, but he knows Karate! Watch this…” He pointed to a cardboard box, “Karate the box!” The dog shredded it. He pointed to an old wooden chair, “Karate the chair!” and in moments it was reduced to matchwood. Henry said, “I’ll take it!”
3. At his house, he presented the dog to his wife. “That little thing?” she said. Henry said, “Don’t be fooled, that dog knows Karate!” Helen said, “Now I’ve heard everything! Karate my foot!” (Jim Ellsworth)
1. 66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You [alone] have the words of eternal life.” John 6:66-68, NKJV
1. 5,000 -> 500 -> 12. There have always been periods when the church expanded and times when it contracted. Often it occurs because God is sifting His people, getting out the chaff.
2. This happened in John 6. The multitudes of disciples left Jesus and it looked as if even the 12 would, but they held fast to Him.
3. So we’re going to look tonight at why so many left Jesus, the question of ‘where else could we go?’ and the conclusion that eternal life can only be found in Jesus.
4. The title of tonight’s message is, “To Whom Else Shall We Go?”
I. REASONS PEOPLE STOP FOLLOWING JESUS
A. STARTED FOLLOWING FOR THE WRONG REASONS
1. Some had followed Jesus for the FISHES and LOAVES, or because they got a handout from the charity bag that Judas carried. These are like people who become Christians because they want to receive blessings from God. They follow during the good times, but if the good times stop, they leave.
2. Others followed Jesus because He was new and exciting. He told interesting stories and was always doing or saying something unexpected. But when His teaching became talk of crosses and stuff they didn’t care to hear about, they moved on to the next exciting teacher, who will tell them what their itching ears want to hear.
3. Still others followed Jesus because they thought He would use His supernatural power to overthrow the Romans and set up God’s Kingdom on earth. When it became apparent He wouldn’t, they abandoned Him. They’re like many today who insist the Rapture will happen in their lifetimes. But when they see it won’t, they sour and walk away.
B. THEY DIDN’T WANT TO PAY THE PRICE OF FOLLOWING JESUS
1. The Rich Young Ruler thought he wanted to follow Jesus, but he didn’t want to pay the price of surrendering his idol – money.
2. Others had girl friends or husbands who didn’t want them to follow Jesus. They heard Jesus say, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple” Lk. 14:26. And they went away sorrowful, not willing to leave those they loved more than Him.
3. Others heard Jesus say, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” Mt. 16:24. But denying themselves and cross-bearing wasn’t what they wanted, so they leave Him, even today.
C. THEY DIDN’T PERSONALLY TRUST HIM
1. When Jesus started talking about people “eating his flesh & drinking his blood” (Jn. 6:53), it seemed repulsive, like cannibal talk. Drinking blood is forbidden in the O.T. It seemed like crazy talk.
2. But if they had really known His character, they would have perceived, like the 12, that He was speaking of spiritual things, not physical (Jn. 6:63). But many didn’t trust Him.
3. There are times in every Christian’s life when things happen which contradict God’s love for us. Something devastating happens. Will we trust Him? Job had an experience like that. He said, “Though He slay me, yet will I TRUST Him” (13:15). We must learn to trust that somehow, it’s going to work out for our good.
II. TO WHOM ELSE SHALL WE GO?
Peter was inspired with this thought; if you’re going to leave Jesus, where are you going to go that’s better? We all need a divine teacher. Is there a better one than Jesus?
A. WHERE ELSE CAN YOU GO FOR COMFORT, GUIDANCE, INSPIRATION, HELP? Will you go to: