With all the proofs of Who Jesus was, how can anyone not believe?
There is a very simple yet heartbreaking answer to this often-asked question.
Every person on earth is a sinner, (“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23) and sinners do not want to have their sins exposed by the Light, but instead end up hating the Light. (John 3:19&20)
Well, then, you might say, if that’s true, how does anyone ever believe in Jesus (the Light)?
Here’s how: even the ability to hate sin and the desire to be forgiven is a gift of God. That gift can be accepted or rejected by each person because every person has free will.
Those who see they are sinners but do not want to humble themselves before God and ask for His forgiveness become haters of the light. They refuse to believe, not because they don’t have enough proof of Who Jesus is, but because they don’t want to admit who they are in the eyes of the Holy God.
Click on the picture to the left to view or download the questions for this week’s lesson on “Prophecies”. We’ll be looking at a few of the Old Testament prophecies which pointed to Christmas.
This is such a puzzle to most of us. Why does God allow ISIS to crucify Christian Pastors, and slaughter innocent children in front of their Christian parents in the middle of a country which so desperately needs the Gospel? Why doesn’t God step in and protect the ones who are faithfully serving Him in this world?
I’m sure I can’t fully answer this, but a scene in the book of Revelation comes to mind:
“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of th-11ose who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.” Revelation 6:9-11
There are just a few things to observe from this future event:
- Isis martyrs and many other Old and New Testament believers in the One, True God (Jesus) are in this group pictured in Revelation. These are the ones who have been martyred for the faith throughout history.
- This is an honored, special group of people, evidenced by where they are standing, under the altar of God, in His throne room.
- They are just as curious as we are about why God keeps waiting to finally destroy all the cruel enemies of God. They cry for all martyrdom to be over.
- They are rewarded with a white robe. Why is this a reward? Not exactly sure. White robes are what the raptured saints will be wearing as soon as they are snatched out of the world, resurrected out of their earthly bodies, and gathered around the throne. (described in Revelation 7:9&10) And, white robes are what all believers in the One, True God (Jesus) will be wearing someday as we return with Christ on white horses (described in Revelation 19:11-14). Perhaps the reward here is that the martyrs receive their white robes first, before any of the rest of us do.
- They are told to rest with the current horrible situation on earth. How can they rest, knowing what their fellow believers are facing? Their rest has to be based on their trust that God Himself knows what He is doing.
- They are told that there are a few more people to be martyred for their faith on the earth, and those future martyrs are not going to be robbed of their opportunity to join this elite group. In other words, to be martyred is an honor, and there is a job they are needed for, and Lord wants them to get their chance!
Again, I’m not sure this completely answers our questions about the suffering of faithful servants of God, but I am comforted in my heart to know that God is allowing these things, that He does have a purpose, and that those martyrs will someday give out a group shout, “It was worth it!!!”