Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“The trees of the Lord are full of sap.”
“Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted.”
Jesus, in Matthew 15:13
Throughout history, men have quarreled fiercely, even fought wars, over who is serving God and who is not. The entire history of man can be learned, in general, by following the records of wars and false religion. But Jesus let us know the simple fact of the matter; namely, if God doesn’t make a person His, that person just does not belong to God. This is what the Lord meant when he said, “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted.” At the present, only those whom God has called are in His kingdom. In the end, only those whom God chooses from among those He called will be saved.
As simple a truth as that is, it is a difficult truth for men to receive. The nature of man rebels against the notion that God is in absolute control of His kingdom. But there are no unguarded borders and no illegal aliens in the kingdom of God. Every person who now shares in God’s kingdom received a personal invitation from God to leave their own country and kin and come to Him. In other words, to use Jesus’ imagery, there are no trees anywhere in God’s kingdom except trees He has personally chosen and planted.
Let’s humble ourselves before God and confess this unchanging truth. Only those whom God cleanses from sin are cleansed from sin. Only those “born of God” are “born again”. Only those called by God can come to Jesus. Only those baptized by God’s Spirit are baptized; only those circumcised by God are circumcised; and the only people on earth who know God are those who have been taught personally by Jesus, God’s Son.
Until God makes a man worthy of eternal life, that man is unworthy of it, no matter what anyone thinks of him or what he thinks of himself. Earthly titles and reputations count for nothing. God’s precious Son Jesus had a reputation among some men for being a great prophet. That opinion meant nothing in heaven. Jesus also had a reputation among certain religious leaders in Israel for being demon-possessed. That opinion didn’t count with God, either. Men not only can be wrong; men are wrong, all the time, unless God makes them right. And the sooner we confess that truth to ourselves, the sooner we will be in a position to receive the help that our heavenly Father wants us very much to have.