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Unbelieving Disciples (Mass Majority)

         “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. [John 6:64-66]

         The Lord was constantly weeding out unbelievers. These were people with apparently sincere hearts who disagreed with Him, but such disagreements never came up until He taught on a certain subject. Until then, they liked Him. Afterwards, they left Him.

         As in the case of Gideon’s 32,000 being whittled down to 300, most disciples never make the cut.

         Some may think the Lord was severely hurting His own cause by being such a stickler for correct teaching. Here was a Man who put the detail in detail-oriented. Why didn’t He just leave well enough alone and give certain followers the benefit of the doubt?

         Churches are formed around certain beliefs. Various Christian churches and groups have various beliefs. Over many decades, distinct denominations have been formed that hold strictly to their bylaws. Each thinks it is correct. Each thinks other Christian bodies are wrong in some respect, or at the very least, that they are different. The Lord did not create denominations. He created ONE body of believers.

         “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46]

         It is good when we as Christians can relate to other Christians, though our points of commonality are often few. Yet, the Lord Jesus did not care about merely reaching some mere modicum of agreement. Instead, He was only concerned with getting everyone on the same page, the same single page—His Page. Going down His list of requirements, believers and churches okay certain bullet points but invariably reject others. If enough rebellious people can gather as a group, however, they collectively find comfort in their rebellion. “This is the way we believe,” they may say.

         The Lord never gave anyone the option of creating his or her own group apart from His full requirements. It was always, and remains always, His way or the highway. As followers of the Lord Jesus, we will either do everything He says and obey all his teachings, or we will only obey a portion.

         Partial obedience is okay if done in ignorance, though one must rest assured that the Lord will go to war against such ignorance and bring a full revelation of truth if the disciple is willing. Christians are comforted by thinking the Lord will cut corners in their case, or in the case of loved ones. No one knows a human heart but the Lord. Yet, the evidence of what is in one’s heart cannot be hidden when the Lord shows up. The more His presence is manifested, the greater His light will shine on error and disobedience.

         “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” [John 3:19-21]

         The light of God shines on all darkness, regardless of type. It is interesting that the Christian proponents of greater spiritual light often fight the greatest battles against those who would rather protect and defend the darkness they’ve chosen for themselves. At the end of the age, as now, unreal Christians will greatly outnumber real Christians.

         So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” [John 6:67] [1]

         The Lord’s curriculum is much more difficult and demanding than we have been led to believe. It costs us everything. It is only for the fully committed and dedicated. For the comparative few who decide to enter the narrow gate (The Door), and proceed down the difficult narrow road (The Way), their hardship and suffering will always be accompanied by spiritual victories and the presence of the Lord Himself. They will abide in His love, their joy will be full, and they will persevere to the end.

         All others are religious pretenders and unbelieving disciples, and will eventually flake off.

         © 2011 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.

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One Fruit Two Fruit Good Fruit Bad Fruit

         “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.

         “Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.” [Matthew 7:13-20]

         The gate to life is narrow. The Greek word for this gate is stenos. The way (road) to life is also narrow. The Greek word for this road is thlibo. The first Greek word portrays a small gate. This small, narrow gate contrasts with the wide gate that leads toward destruction. Anyone can enter the wide gate. It takes little effort. The narrow gate, however, forces a person to get real. It is the gate of the repentant, humble, disciplined, and committed. It is the gate associated with bravery and courage. It is difficult. There is opposition.

         The narrow road is also difficult. The Greek word defines it as compressed, as with pressure on all sides, as one may press grapes. It is constricted, and associated with affliction and distress. One must be very strong and valiant to walk this road. The Lord contrasts this road to life with the vast, wide way that leads to annihilation. There’s no pressure on Broadway. It’s a walk in the park on a sunny day.

         The false prophets hang out on the broad way. They are ravenous wolves disguised as sheep. The people on the broad way have no idea. To them, the false prophets are good guys. They look like sheep. They act like sheep. The people do not know they are deceived. They think they’re on the right road. They think the false prophets are real prophets. They support them. They honor them. They even love them. All is well on Broadway. There is little pressure, no affliction or opposition, and nothing to stop freedom of movement. At the end of the broad road is a cliff. At the bottom of the cliff is the lake of fire. The road to hell is comparatively easy. One needs zero courage or discipline to get there.

         The narrow road, by inference, is manned by true prophets—the ones who tell the whole truth and pay for it. Any study of Old Testament prophets reveals that they each shared very difficult lives. They were greatly opposed. Most were killed. True prophets are as spiritual sheep with absolutely no disguise or guile. They are real. They are not above suffering. They are known by their fruits. The apostle Paul describes spiritual fruit in the following passage:

         But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. [Galatians 5:22-26] [1]

         From this we get a clear indication of the contrasts between the true and false prophets. And though all believers are on the way toward being perfected by God, the above is also a guide toward perceiving the difference between Real Christians and Unreal Christians. The real guys are busy fighting the good fight of faith. Their road involves pressure from all sides. They have subjected themselves to the discipline and work of God. They fight against sin, instead of submitting to it. However, because the Lord grants spiritual strength, power, ability, and gifts, the end result is the carrying of an easy yoke and light burden. It is the Lord’s intention that this be a road of joy. But the narrow way is only possible for the fully committed. Whoever looks back goes back.

          Consider the lives of the Lord Jesus, the apostles, and the early believers. Consider what they were subjected to, what they endured, and what they achieved, both in their own spiritual lives and in the world. One is known by the fruit one produces, and the Lord is the only Judge.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

[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.