Warning Signs | Don't Reject Christ, Day 4
If you hear the voice of God today, you better respond today.
VERSE OF THE DAY
'So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.' Hebrews 3:19
What do you think it feels like to know you have only one week left to live?
What might be some of the positive aspects of knowing you only had one week left?
What kinds of things would you want to make sure you did during that last week?
Make sure you die without regrets. Mend relationships. Have long overdue conversations. Put affairs in order. Do all the things on your bucket list.
What did Jesus do? Jesus taught with a sense of great urgency and left us all with a warning: If you hear the voice of God today, you better respond today.
Read John 12:37-43
37 Although he had performed so many signs in their presence they did not believe in him, 38 in order that the word which Isaiah the prophet spoke might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed our preaching, to whom has the might of the Lord been revealed?” 39 For this reason they could not believe, because again Isaiah said: 40 “He blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they might not see with their eyes and understand with their heart and be converted, and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke about him. 42 Nevertheless, many, even among the authorities, believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they did not acknowledge it openly in order not to be expelled from the synagogue. 43 For they preferred human praise to the glory of God. John 12:37-43 NASB
Based on this description, what do you think it would have been like to be in the crowd that heard this teaching from Jesus in Jerusalem?
Why is it surprising that more people did not believe in Jesus?
What does John tell us about the reason for the people’s disbelief?
It is called “judicial blindness”, that which God permits to come over the eyes of people who do not take the truth seriously
Does it bother you to think about the fact that the people were unable to believe? Why or why not?
Why do you think John chose to include the passages from the Book of Isaiah in his description of the people listening to Jesus?
Isaiah’s story relates because it is similar to the Israelites in the Old Testament. These people had rejected God’s message and messenger. They had heard the voice of God, but did not respond. Therefore, God had hardened their hearts and no longer called out to them.
Why, though they might have believed, did so many refuse to acknowledge their belief in Jesus?
What does it look like to love the praise of men more than the praise of God? Have you ever felt that tendency? If so, when?
We want to be both followers of Jesus and to be loved by those around us.
The truth of the gospel is a dividing line that commands full allegiance.
We cannot have it both ways.
For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV
Read John 12:44-50
44 Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, 45 and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. 46 I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. 48 Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, 49 because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me.” John 12:44-50 NASB
In your own words, How would you summarize the warnings of Jesus in these verses?
Faith in Him brings salvation; to reject Him is to face eternal judgment.
Does it bother you that Jesus issued so many warnings during His ministry? Why or why not?
Can you think of another time in the Gospels when Jesus issued a warning? Why do you think He so often did so?
Read Matthew 13:37-43
37 He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, 38 the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 Just as weeds are collected and burned [up] with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear. Matthew 13:37-43
What similarities do you see in this warning from Matthew and the passage from John?
How are the warnings of Jesus an expression of His love and mercy? Given that, how should we view those warnings?
Jesus was a straight-shooter. He didn’t pull punches or sugar coat the unbridled truth. He did this because He loves us enough to tell us what is necessary and warn us about upcoming disasters in order to effect lasting change in our lives.
The sinner is actually passing judgment on himself, not on the Lord.
What are some excuses we might give for not taking these warnings seriously?
Better to fear God and go to heaven than to fear men and go to hell!
42 Nevertheless, many of the leaders believed in Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue. 43 For they loved praise from men more than praise from God. John 12:42-43 Berean Study Bible
Read Hebrews 3:14-15
14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. 15 Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.” Hebrews 3:14-15 NLT
How does this warning from Hebrews reflect the teaching of Jesus in John 12?
Why is an immediate response to the voice of God necessary?
Tomorrow is not promised.
There are no guarantees you will hear the voice in this way again.
Today is the day of salvation. Respond. You might not have another chance.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near” (Isa. 55:6).
Unbelievers will still be responsible to answer for every part of the Word they have ever heard or read, because it all points us to Jesus Christ as Savior.
“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:14 NLT
How might we help each other hear and obey the voice of God?
Who in your life might need to hear the warning of Jesus this week? What are some ways you might humbly but truthfully extend that warning?
How can the authority of Jesus as seen in John 12 encourage you to boldly share the gospel and the warnings that come along with it?
Thank Jesus for His willingness to tell you the truth. Ask for the strength and courage to daily respond to His voice, even when that response requires you to be uncomfortably honest and forthright with those around you.