Hello everybody and welcome in to episode 190 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Luke 9 today and our focus is on Is Everybody Who Comes to Jesus and Claims His Name A Saved Christian? We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in  Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Something unusual happens in today’s passage. Several people come to Jesus, and, rather than welcome them with open arms – He challenges them. One man declares His intention to follow Jesus, and Jesus tells Him that He basically has no home to live in, implying that following Him would be difficult. Jesus calls another man to follow Him, and when that man balks because of the impending funeral of his father, Jesus tells the man to “let the dead bury their own dead.” Finally, another man says He wants to follow Jesus, but he needs to go say goodbye to the people in his house, and Jesus tells that man that anybody who puts his hand to the plow of doing God’s work, and then turns back, is not worthy of the Kingdom of God. What gives here – why is Jesus being seemingly harsh – why is He not more welcoming to these people that seem to want to follow Him? Here is Spurgeon with some insight into that question:

Like our Lord, we meet with many persons who are great at resolving. “I will; that I will. Solemnly, I declare that I will.” They are willing to make that declaration as publicly as you like; and stand up, or fall down, or do anything else to declare that they have resolved. I frequently hear persons exhorted to give their hearts to Christ, which is a very proper exhortation; but that is not the gospel. Salvation comes from something that Christ gives you, not something that you give to Christ. The giving of your heart to Christ follows after the receiving from Christ of eternal life by faith. It is easy to work our friends up so that they say, “We will give our hearts to Christ,” but they may never do so, after all. If, with broken heart and contrite sigh, they had confessed their guilt, and had penitently cried, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” they might not have looked quite so well, but there would have been more hope of them. We cannot come to Christ unless Christ comes to us, and gives us a broken heart and a contrite spirit. If there be no repentance, depend upon it that that faith which we think we have is not the faith that will save us. Give me faith with tears in her eyes; I know her to be the true child of God. The faith that makes me feel my ruin, confess my sin, and lay hold of eternal life, because otherwise my merits will bring me to eternal death, this is the faith which saves. But some people are very great at resolving rather than repenting and believing.
These people show, generally, very great confidence in themselves. This man said, “Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.” There is no prayer, “Lord, help me to follow thee,” “Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe,” “Leave me not, or I shall wander from thee,” but it is just this, “I have made up my mind to this, and I am a strong-minded person, and able to carry out what I determine. Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.” That is our duty; but that duty we shall never attain apart from divine help. “He that trusteth in his own heart is”—what? A convert? No, “a fool”, and “a fool” is another name for a sinner. Go, write on water, and return to-morrow to read the phrase thou hast inscribed; and when thou hast done that, trust thine own determinations. Go, and say that thou wilt pluck the moon out of her orbit, or stay the sun in his blaze at mid-day; and when thou hast done these things, then canst thou so control thyself as to be ever faithful to thy Lord without his help. I would have you deal far more in confession than in resolving, much more in believing than in bearing testimony to anything you have done yourself, or hope to do yourself, or resolve to do yourself.

C. H. Spurgeon, “Fickle Followers,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 38 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1892), 434–435.

Showing great confidence in themselves is the very opposite of what our declaration should be. Rather than trusting our decisions and resolve to save us, I much prefer the declaration of that great and hopeful song All I have is Christ by Jordan Kauflin:

I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Bible Memory verses for the month of July: 47I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:47-48

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