BAPTISM OF OPTIMISM: REJOICE!

 

He was born to die. He always knew it. He planned it. But even at the very darkest hour He knew there was a call for unbounded optimism: He would soon open the Way to Life.

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Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. [Hebrews 12:1-2]

COUNT IT ALL JOY

Mature Christians of the real variety are very well acquainted with giving a message most will reject. As the Lord Jesus engaged in the greatest ministry of all time with a perfect message expertly delivered and a perfect teaching curriculum second to none, no one was more aware of the inherent difficulty of the task at hand than Him, in that His perfect message would be wasted on the majority.

It would seem, during His time, that all impartial hearers and personal witnesses of His love, compassion, mercy, mighty works, and incessant miracles would immediately join up with Him in a veritable heartbeat if for no other reason than that nothing they experienced could be denied. Denial of His extraordinary presence and perfection was impossible. His ministry was that clear. It was absolutely astounding.

And yet, as a stark testimony to the sheer impossibility of errant and immoral human beings besought with a sinful human nature—obstinate and unyielding at its core to any and all reform—recalcitrant and unruly—not only did the majority of His own people reject His message, they also rejected Him and drove His Name into the dirt.

His “own people” constituted not only His fellow Israelites in general but also the political leaders of His nation, the religious leaders of His nation, the foreign leaders in positions of authority in His nation, an untold number of His relatives, and even members of His own immediate family. One can only wonder at the great mental, moral, and emotional disconnect existing in the heart of the willfully lost and the message that could set them free. The Lord had effectively given everything He had, even acting as a supernatural electrician running miles of spiritual romex connected to the power plant of Heaven directly to their hearts and all they had to do was flip a switch. BUT NO.

And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.” The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” [Mark 3:2-22]

Rather than acknowledge the great Light that had arrived for their salvation and honoring Him and praising Him and being thankful for Him they instead said He had an illegitimate birth, that He was a drunk and a glutton, that He was crazy, and that He was demon possessed. If this does not reveal to an impartial observer the wickedness of humanity nothing ever will. These hell bound moral laggards, at that time the greatest DAs in the history of the world though perceived by the world as upstanding and trustworthy, were the epitome of deceived demon-influenced dunderheads which a sinful unseeing nation prostrated themselves before and trusted exclusively with no thought of thinking for themselves or even giving God a glance. The blind were truly leading the blind but only because the wimpy blind yielded to the authoritative blind because they were far too fearful to risk thinking for themselves.     

And yet none of it took the Lord by surprise. No one was more aware of the utter depravity of humanity. He created humanity. He watched humanity fall. He saw humanity from the very beginning from the Garden up to His present and knew very well what He was dealing with. And He came to this earth anyway. He subjected Himself to the vast stupidity and hate anyway.

He knew most would reject Him. He knew most would find fault with Him. He knew most would count themselves better than Him. He knew most would trust their own inclinations or those of their betters. He knew most would not budge an inch from whatever their chosen belief system was. He knew the majority of the indoctrinated and brainwashed would willingly remain that way.

He knew, for most of the people He preached to, that facts would never matter. Nor would the truth matter. Most would not and could not appreciate the truth. For most there was simply no love for facts and truth if these in any way violated their chosen beliefs.  

BLINDED BY SIN

And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains. [John 9:39-41]

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [2Corinthians 4:3-4]

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.” [Revelation 3:17-18]

How spiritually blind must one be to indignantly and continuously reject the very Light that would heal their blindness and allow them to see spiritual reality? How dark are the hearts that refuse the Light which would otherwise brighten their being and deliver them from the eternal night?

THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM

Yet there were others, a decided and relative few, who took a completely different tack. They were personally bold enough to go against the grain of the fallen world and deceitful sinful culture. These were spiritual pioneers who would rather seek Light and salvation even it meant inviting the wrath of the wayward and cause ongoing personal suffering. They possessed a gravitas that strengthened them against all onslaughts from evil, both human and demonic, and allowed the Lord to greatly supplement their strength with a spiritual power none could resist.

These composed the Remnant. He would rescue these. He knew they would comply. He knew they would surrender to Him and obey. Why? Because they had already been communicating with Him through prayer and supplication for years, long before He ever arrived as one of us. They had been asking for His help. They knew He could help. They wanted Him. They longed for Him. They would do anything for Him. They knew He was and had always been the answer.

Of course, due to their excellent attitude and desire for actual spiritual reality they did not fare too well with other members of society who were impossible to communicate with on a spiritual level. These had a different mindset. They had very little in common with the unrepentant. The Remnant, with reference to this world, knew something was off. They refused to make peace with sin or accept the sinful ways of the world, though they also knew it would make life more difficult.

They knew the way of the Lord Jesus was the highest way, the most pure and righteous way, and they would do their best to follow it. Thus, they rejected the social relativism of the sinful culture which always sought an extremely low common denominator. Such relativism is, of course, the administered agenda of the controllers since dumbed-down masses all on the same drivel-inspired page of monotony are much easier to control and use to do their bidding. And the exact dynamic is present in Unreal Christianity.

OUR GLORIOUS PRESENT

People are waking up. People are gaining their sight. By allowing evil the upper hand and freedom to show itself in all its wickedness, that which had previously been hidden behind dark shadows has emerged into the open. They think the coast is clear. They think they are free to sin to their heart’s content with no ramifications or accountability. They have revealed themselves for what they are. And people are noticing. Those who desire righteousness are raising up a standard, first, in their own lives and then against the wicked. Many are coming to an understanding of repentance, what it is and why it is necessary.

Real Christians have always known from the time of their born again experience that a spiritual Rubicon must be crossed and that one can never go back. They know that when a person makes a commitment to the Lord Jesus it is an irrevocable commitment. There is no looking back or turning back or desire to do so. They know they have crossed a line of separation. The terms of the New Covenant demand it. Those who have recently been awakened know they can never unsee what they have already seen. They know too much.

They know the only remaining direction is forward.

The world of fakery, much of it media-inspired, whether cultural or religious, must be left behind.

BAPTISM OF OPTIMISM

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. [Psalm 23:1-3]

But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, and I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones. [Psalm 52:8-9]

The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. [Psalm 92:12-15]

He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf. [Psalms 11:28]

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” [Jeremiah 17:7-8]  

Do not fear, O land, rejoice and be glad, for the Lord has done great things. Do not fear, beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness have turned green, for the tree has borne its fruit, the fig tree and the vine have yielded in full. So rejoice, O sons of Zion, and be glad in the Lord your God; for He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain, the early and latter rain as before. The threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil. [Joel 2:21-24]

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10b][1]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on July 11, 2022, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Really enjoyed this today, RJ. If Jesus could rejoice in His extremity, then we can also rejoice in Him, no matter what.

    Like

    • AMEN. Thank you Linda.

      We see from the Lord’s excellent attitude in the face of so much difficulty that great unseen and unperceived things were being accomplished in the Spirit through His work though He often suffered throughout the process. He had an inestimable weight to carry and deal with every single day and this undoubtedly took a toll on His appearance. Isaiah prophesied the following about Him:

      He has no stately form or majesty
      That we should look upon Him,
      Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
      He was despised and forsaken of men,
      A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
      And like one from whom men hide their face
      He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
      [Isaiah 53:2b-3]

      Rather than beam with pride and feel great about oneself for mere worldly accomplishments with no spiritual fruit as so many do, the Lord appeared outwardly to be a loser and a failure. He knew He would get no credit from the world. Meanwhile, He kept going, achieving the perfect will of God, going against the grain, rowing upstream, overcoming the current, and achieving prominently in the Spirit. Somehow, He did this with internal spiritual joy even though His exterior might have been pained from anguish. Imagine anyone working extremely hard to accomplish a lengthy task under rough conditions. Though difficult, there is a sense of satisfaction and happiness due to what is being accomplished. Then imagine someone doing this and getting very little or no credit or acknowledgement for it. Only the Lord knew what He must do and what He was getting done.

      How joyful He must have been therefore, to achieve His great victory, to DEFEAT Death, Hell, and the Grave, and how joyful He is when anyone of us acknowledge His greatness, embrace His great Salvation, follow Him, dedicate our lives to Him, and attempt to accomplish as He did.

      Blessings. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jesus is our rejoicing!

    Like

  3. When I was a teen, the passage that helped me avoid peer pressure through life was in John 2:24 where it says Jesus entrusted himself to no one because he knew what was in the heart of man.
    That was a warning to me about mankind, human leaders and even myself.

    Like

    • Thanks Gary. I appreciate you bringing this up. Would that more Christians were aware of this otherwise obscure verse and what it entails.

      One should know that the Son only entrusted Himself to, or believed in completely with no reservations, the Father. Yet Christians are coerced to take this relationship and apply it to the clergy-laity relationship, in that one must entrust oneself completely to one’s Christian leader (pastor, priest, etc.). This makes certain leaders unaccountable and we should know what always happens next.

      Here is the verse in context:

      23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. 24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. [John 2:23-25]

      This is an interesting passage. In Verse 23, it appears as though everything was on the level, that many were believing in Him, which can only be a good thing. Yet it could very well be they were only believing “in His Name” or what He could do, since they observed undeniable signs, without actually believing in Him. The Lord knew their hearts were not right. Somehow.

      Also, it is the same Greek word in Verse 23 (translated as believed) and Verse 24 (translated as entrusting). In other words, the Lord did not believe in them though on the surface they were believing in Him. Thus, they were only professing an outward surface belief without involving their heart or entire heart, and He knew this. This kind of false believing does not a spiritual relationship make.

      One must know, therefore, that many Christians express the same kind of incomplete or surface belief which does not involve their entire heart. Their hearts have not been circumcised. The Lord wants us to believe in Him as He believes in the Father and He will only entrust Himself to those who do.

      Blessings to you Brother. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment when you have so many irons in the fire.

      Like

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