How would you feel if you had a son, and he went into hostile territory to seek out and save people who would never thank him for what he had done? What would you do if these individuals falsely accused your son of crimes he did not commit, had him arrested, beaten, and executed? What emotions would you feel if your son cried out to you to forgive the men who were torturing your son, and he asked you not to hold these crimes against them? What would you do to these men when they treated the love your son gave them as garbage, to be thrown out and disregarded?
We forget that there was a Father who was watching His Son die, as Jesus hung on the cross. God planned this event before the creation of the universe. The Son wanted to save us, and He was willing to take upon Himself all of our sins.
Isaiah continues his description of the Messiah, by informing the reader that this man will feel great sorrow over the hard hearts of many people who will not receive Him and be saved.
Isaiah 53:3c He is … A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
New Testament Fulfillment:
Luke 19:41-42 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”
Matthew 26:36-39 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
A Desire to Save
How does the Lord feel when countless numbers of human souls depart this earth without the covering of His sacrifice? How does the Lord feel after He has done everything He could do to prevent the loss of a single person, and they miss heaven because they were unwilling to be saved?
Anyone who has resided a few decades on the earth knows that a person who does whatever he wants to do, during his life, is a truly miserable person in the deep recesses of his soul. If you want to be a truly unhappy individual, just live for yourself and your own pleasure. We see these people every day, walking around before us—men and women with empty souls who have done whatever their heart desires, only to end up a desolate shell of a human being.
The Gift Of Guilt
The enduring problem that plagues those who live apart from God is the guilt that arises from our instinctive knowledge of our sin, leaving us with self-condemnation. God has hardwired each human being with an internal knowledge of right and wrong. Only by a very long process of denying guilt and a suppression of these feelings can a person finally sear their conscience, until they can no longer feel remorse over their actions.
When Paul wrote to Timothy, describing the conditions of the heart within those who live during the last days of earth, he described a conscience that has been “seared with a hot iron.”
1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…
When the conscience is continually suppressed and a lifestyle of sin continues without repentance, over the process of time our conscience is no longer operational. As a hand repeatedly burned loses the sensation of touch, so also does the human conscience. In the last days, there will exist a large population who have developed a suppressed conscience. For these individuals, it is impossible to repent, turn from sin, and surrender to Jesus as their Savior.
Ephesians 4:19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
This is the common state of those who have continually denied God and have chosen a lifestyle devoid of regulation by the conscience. Eventually, this person may become quite adversarial towards the Christian gospel and the Bible. Once the conscience is made void and no longer operates, this person is unable to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit who is the instrument of salvation. At this point, it becomes impossible for redemption to occur.
This is particularly applicable to those who have attended church and have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even making a profession of faith in Jesus as their Savior. If these individuals fall away from Jesus, it is impossible to renew them to repentance and a desire for salvation.
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Notice that salvation has become impossible for this person, not for God. Anyone who comes to Jesus in sincere repentance for their sins and a desire to be saved will be accepted by God; they shall obtain eternal life. The impossibility resides in the heart of those who fall away; they are unable to find repentance again and return to Jesus, from where their Salvation originates.
The Deception Of A Life Without God
The life of those who deny God, reject Jesus Christ, and continue to live in denial of their conscience garners a result that is unaware to these individuals. Having denied God and having rejected the love of the truth that Jesus had died and offered salvation, God turns these persons over to their own deception and allows them to live free from God. In the same way that we might give up on a person who has continually rejected us and our love, God will honor the wishes of those who do not want Him in their life.
At this point, without the covering of God’s protection, these individuals accept the “lie”—described by Paul in 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2; offered by satan to Eve, in Genesis 3:4.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness…
Genesis 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…
The lie is the false assertion put forth by satan that a person does not really need God—we can be our own God. It was the desire of Lucifer to elevate his throne equally with God’s throne, and be worshipped by all creation as God. As a result, Lucifer was destroyed, cast out of heaven to the earth, and became satan—the adversary of God.
Isaiah 14:13-15 For you have said in your heart: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
For these reasons, a discussion with many atheists who have maintained a life without God for a number of years is frustrating for the Christian and an irritation to the atheist. Evidence plays no part in convincing those who have reached a place of impossibility with God. Seeking to present evidence, irrespective of how compelling it is, will have no effect upon the persistent nonbeliever. The difficulty is in knowing with certainty whether or not a person has reached the place where they cannot be saved.
For this reason, it is always a good idea to make an effort to witness to those who are nonbelievers, with the hope that the Holy Spirit may still be able to reach their conscience. We cannot know the true condition of a person’s heart, even when they oppose us adamantly with our efforts to convince them of their need for Jesus. It would be a mistake to assume that a person cannot be saved just because they will not accept our witness of Jesus Christ. We must try to present the Gospel to every person and pray that the Holy Spirit might be able to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Whether or not an individual has reached a place where they cannot be saved is not our concern. We are to present Jesus, and His desire to save, to everyone. Salvation is of the Lord, not from us.
Luke 18:27 But Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
An Internal Witness
We were created with the capacity to know that God exists, and we understand that we were made for a purpose. We feel this conviction deep within our heart. We know that there is more to life than just living and dying. No one has to explain this to us; we understand it inherently from the deepest recesses of our soul.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 …God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart... (NLT)
Without God and the surety that we are made for a purpose, we are left with a sense of hopelessness, bitter grief, and emptiness. None of us wants to believe that life has no meaning and our existence here on earth is a mere cosmic accident. This is the reason why we are so busy within our lives, searching with such fervor for satisfaction. We are looking for the meaning of our existence, although it eludes us. We seem to understand that life can be satisfying, though the manner in which this is achieved is a mystery.
We try to attain happiness through a career, money, relationships, pleasure, and travel. Regardless of how many things we accumulate, the number of relationships we have or the places we visit, there remains a missing piece. People who have sought their personal fulfillment through all of these pursuits describe the emptiness and lack of satisfaction that remains, even after all their dreams are achieved.
The Purpose Of Our Life
The truth is, we were created for an immense purpose. We were made for God. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being. We discover who we are by finding out who He is. It is through a personal relationship with our Creator that all things in life come into focus. The reason why our existence is often confused and meaningless is because we have left out the most important piece. On the day we come into a new relationship with the Lord, everything changes—life takes on meaning and purpose. Until we realize this and begin to live for the One we were created for, we will remain unsatisfied and never find true and lasting happiness. God has created us with a fervent desire for Him. He created us for Himself—to love and glorify Him forever. There is a great cavernous void in our life that can only be bridged by a true relationship with our Creator.
This relationship is only possible if God initiates the connection. Because all persons exist as fallen beings (imperfect)—first, God must remove our imperfection in order to have fellowship with us. Jesus came to be the instrument whereby our sins could be removed and convey to us perfect righteousness. In order for God to forgive sin, the penalty for those sins must be exacted. Jesus offered to stand in our place and take the full penalty that all human beings have accrued since the beginning of the world. The fact that He rose from the dead, after having taken those sins and died for them, is our assurance that God has accepted His sacrifice and has made salvation and a relationship with God possible.
All that any person must do, after hearing what Jesus has accomplished for us, is receive the pardon God offers us for our sins and take Jesus as our Savior. The moment we ask God for His forgiveness and receive Jesus as our Savior, God removes all of our sins as if they never existed and conveys to us perfect righteousness.
Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
Where The Journey Begins
I have discovered that there is complete satisfaction in Jesus. Not in religion or church, but in Jesus alone. Until a person finds their fulfillment in the God who made them, religion and going to church is a colossal waste of time.
The reason why Jesus left heaven and came to earth was to allow us the opportunity to know the true and living God personally, as one person knows another.
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3
Up to the time when Jesus arrived on earth, God was a distant ideal that could never be fully understood. He was in heaven; we are here on earth. The distance between us seemed infinite and unbridgeable. When God came to earth in the form of a man—someone who is like us, a person whom we were able to see and understand—for the first time, mankind knew what God was truly like. By Jesus’ arrival on earth, we know and understand who the One true God is.
Jesus came to remove the barrier and infinite gap between a perfect and Holy God, and all of us who are imperfect and unable to reach God ourselves.
Isaiah describes Jesus as a man of sorrows.
If you have ever watched a person suffer, then perhaps you can understand the meaning of Isaiah’s words. To observe someone in misery is emotionally overwhelming and exhausting. Imagine God, looking down from heaven, seeing each one of us suffering throughout our life and missing the incredible blessings He created for us to enjoy. He knew that we would never be able to achieve true satisfaction and the genuine purpose for which we were intended, unless He intervened and came to save us.
As Jesus watched our lives, His heart was moved with compassion. He saw us in the true state of our desperation, and He was compelled to act. He would come to earth and die for our sins, so that they would cease to exist and our estrangement from God would come to an end. As Jesus walked amongst us, He watched our suffering because of sin. He longed to remove our curse and looked earnestly towards the day when He would hang on the cross and bear all of our shame. When that day arrived, it was both wonderful and wicked. Our sins would be removed—but at great cost to the Son of God. Jesus was made sin for us. Could we fathom what this means? I think not. The perfect Son of God was covered with filth, bathed in the stench of our wickedness, and He took it all.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (RCR)
Jesus did not die only for those who would receive Him; He also gave His life for those who would never receive His sacrifice for their sins. At the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus contemplated the immensity of the cup He was about to drink from. He asked the Father if there was any other way that human lives could be spared from judgment. The response was swift and certain: Jesus must go to the Cross, or we would be lost.
The sorrow Jesus must have felt at the moment He was made sin for us is unimaginable. I believe that the suffering Jesus endured at the Garden of Gethsemane and upon the Cross is beyond our ability to comprehend as mere human beings. It is likely that it will take eternity to allow us the capacity to understand the depth of Jesus’ suffering and the grief He felt as He made His life an offering for us.
The interesting fact of Jesus’ sacrifice is that He did not have to die for us. It was of no consequence to God if the entire human race perished. God neither gained nor lost anything by Jesus’ death for us. He was already perfect and complete in Himself. He does not require the love or fellowship of anyone to increase His glory. He did not die for us because we are so wonderful and we deserved such great love. Our ability to understand these truths is predicated upon the view we have of our personal state. If we do not understand our destitute condition, then it will be very difficult for God to save us. If we deny that these things are true, then we will never be able to come to God in a meaningful way. No person can truly be saved until they reach the end of themselves and believe that only God can save them.
There are many people today who claim that they once believed in Jesus and were faithful servants of the Lord. Like Judas, they really never believed, and their actions in following Jesus were simply mechanical and contrived. There was no moment of sincere repentance over their sins and a deep need to be forgiven by God. Those who do not come into a relationship with the Lord, by sincere repentance and a genuine belief that they are a hopeless sinner without Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins, cannot be saved. The thief on the cross next to Jesus did not understand all the theological points of Christianity, but he did understand one thing: he was a sinner, in need of a Savior. He believed that Jesus was dying for him; and when he said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom,” this was his sincere expression of sorrow for his sins and a belief that Jesus could save him.
Jesus became a man of sorrows, and He was aquatinted with bitterest grief because of my sins and your sins. We can be thankful and very glad that He was willing to bear the unimaginable horrors that were thrust upon Him. He did this to show us how great the Love of God is for a world that did not recognize Him when He came. Sadly to this very day, the world continues to ignore and reject Jesus.
The preceding is from the new book: “These Things Were Written: An Expositional Treatise Of The Life, Death, And Resurrection Of Jesus.”
Categories: Christians Endorsing Gay Marriage, Disregard for the Bible, Going to Church but unsaved, Jesus Church, Prayer For America, Religion vs. Relationship, Robert Clifton Robinson, Sexual Immorality, Speaking out against sin, The Last Days, The Time and Season of Jesus Return, These Things Were Written, True Repentance, Watching for Jesus return, We must repent