It is only from the words of Jesus Christ and none other where we receive the eternal and fixed promises of hope and redemption
By Donald Whitchard
John 6:67-69,Matthew 7:13-14,Isaiah 55:8-9,1 Corinthians 1:18-29,2 Corinthians 11:13-15,John 16:7-13,2 Peter 1:3
Summary: When Jesus spoke about the Bread of Life, His analogies troubled a lot of His hearers who found His teaching hard to understand (John 6:51-65) and ended up walking away from Him. In asking the disciples if they wanted to go away, Peter’s response was the model of faith and assurance (vv.67-69).
Jesus’ teachings either inspired or infuriated those who heard Him. They continue to have the same effect on anyone who reads His words as recorded in the Scriptures today and decides whether to surrender their lives to Him or reject His mercy and reap the eternal consequences. When He taught about the Bread of Life and used His body and blood as analogies, many people misunderstood His figurative language and thought it sounded like some kind of cannibalism and a source of offense to them. They had ears yet did not really hear the message. It all ended with a huge number of would-be disciples abandoning Him. He then turned to the twelve men who had given up much to follow Him. He asked if they were going to go away as well. Even if that were to happen, the mission of redemption for which He came would still be accomplished and His message would still be spread both in Judea, Samaria, and the world (Acts 1:8-11). Others would follow Him, so any thought of His work ending up as a failure was out of the question. He was God Incarnate (John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:16-18), and His Sovereign will would never be altered nor thwarted due to the fickleness and inability of people to think deeper than what was expected of them.
Simon Peter spoke for the small band of loyal men who still clung to His words and who had witnessed His miracles and stood in amazement at the authority He clearly demonstrated. Peter said these words that have grounded countless millions in a faith and life that could not be overcome by the works of the world, the flesh, and the devil. The words of Jesus Christ have life, meaning, purpose, hope, love, grace, and mercy to every man, woman, and child who ever bowed before Him and confessed Him as Lord and Savior even if the end result was a martyr’s grave dug by the hatred of His foes, both human and hellish. It is only from the words of Jesus Christ and none other where we receive the eternal and fixed promises of hope and redemption, freedom from the bonds of sin, death, and the literal hell that would be our destination if it were not for His undeserved mercy. The world and its attempts to lure us away from Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6) has no alternative for what He declares and proclaims. Yet, the god of this world, Satan, will continue to try and distract as many people as he can. What are some of his schemes in relation to the truth of God?
He steers humanity to accept the beliefs and thinking of “the majority”, such as what their peers think or say, or whatever the latest polls would tend to indicate, or the latest trends, plus a host of other deviants. Jesus had a word to say about “majority thinking” (Matthew 7:13-14). They tend to take the “broad road,” especially in terms of religion or personal convictions that are at odds with the Scriptures and the call to travel on the narrow road that leads to salvation. A follower of Jesus will always be in the minority and be subject to persecutions and trouble (2 Timothy 3:12) yet will be delivered from the wrath that is to come on all who reject His offer of salvation. If we followed the whims of the majority in the days of Noah, we would have perished in the flood (Genesis 6-9) and in the desert in the days of Moses after doubting the report of Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 14:6-9, 27-30).
The devil also uses the pronouncements of human wisdom, using it to lead people into a false oasis of truth and hope. Educators, media personalities, and “pop” psychologists try and persuade the public that we are the center of all that is and nothing else needs to be examined, studied, or questioned. This is in clear violation of the decree of God (Isaiah 55:8-9), and He uses the preaching of the Gospel to present the truth and the true wisdom that too many people are unwilling to accept or believe (1 Corinthians 1:18-29). He uses the words and teachings of “preachers,” so-called “prophets,” and self-appointed “apostles” in these last days to turn people away from the Gospel and instead settle for a diet of ear-tickling fluff and icing that sooth egos and affirms our sense of worth and “esteem.” These false teachers were a problem for the first-century church and are as a flood in these last days, all predicted in Scripture (Acts 20:28-31; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 2 Timothy 3:1-8, 4:1-5; 2 Peter 3; Jude). Our lack of biblical literacy and study have played a major role in this deception (Acts 17:11), and not only will these false shepherds be condemned for their treachery (Matthew 7:21-23), but we will be held accountable as well for putting up with them in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
We also use the dictates of our “consciences” and the direction of our “feelings” as some kind of truth monitor. Our consciences are like clocks in that they have to be set properly and that is only by the skill of the one who made them, none other than the LORD Himself. He is the Master Craftsman who takes us and makes us into fit vessels for service. Scripture warns of feelings and a conscience void of moral and ethical standards (Matthew 15:12-14; Acts 23:1, 26:9-11; Proverbs 14:12, 28:26; Jeremiah 10:23). Who is it then we should go to in order to receive reality, fact, truth, and assurance? None other than the Lord Jesus Himself. The Scriptures tell us as much. it is Jesus who provides the “food which endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27,35,40). He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). He has been confirmed by God the Father through His miracles and resurrection (John 5:36; Romans 1:4). His apostles were prepared by Him to carry on and complete His work under the guide of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-13). They were His spokesmen under His authority (1 Thessalonians 4:1-2, 8; 1 John 4:6; Jude 17), teaching the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:20-21, 37; 2 Peter 1:3) and writing the New Testament as the Divine Word to teach us today (Ephesians 3:3-5; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Thessalonians 2:15, 3:14; Jude 3).
It is obvious that it is Jesus and no one else to whom we need to go. He is the Son of God, the One who gives the eternal words of life, and the One who today calls you to come home out of the fog and despair of the world and its concoction of counterfeits, deceptions, and lies. Peter declared Jesus to have the words of life. After reading this message, you would have to agree with him and place your faith in Christ just as he and countless others have done throughout history.
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Donald was born and reared in the authentic Cajun country of south Louisiana. He is a 1978 graduate of LaGrange High School in Lake Charles. He is also a graduate of Louisiana College (B.A. in History Education, 1984), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1994) and Andersonville Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry, 2000). He is an ACPE Certified Chaplain with training in Trauma/ER, NICU, and Psychiatric Pastoral Care from the McFarland Institute in New Orleans (2003). He has over thirty years of ministry service, which concluded when he was called to serve as pastor of Meadowbrook Baptist Church in Muskogee, Oklahoma from 2017-2018. Due to health concerns, he retired from public ministry in 2020 and now devotes his time to internet evangelism through the writing of Bible studies, sermons, and articles on current issues for varied Christian webpages and ministries. He is a regular contributor to sites such as Rapture Ready and Sermon Central as well as Inspirational Christian Blogs. He and his wife Cathy are both active members of Eastern Heights Baptist Church in Muskogee. Don will often serve as a panel member of the Gospel Rescue Mission Pastor’s Round Table Broadcast, shown monthly on the mission’s Facebook page as his health allows. He has a personal evangelistic blog as well and can be contacted at his Email address.