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Entering Eternal Life (3 of 5)
Tony R. Nester
"How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the
Messiah, tell us plainly." (John 10:24 NRSV).
It seems like a fair question, doesn't it?
Why shouldn't God make himself clear to us?
Why are there so many religions?
Why do we have to guess which ones are true?
Why doesn't God do something so stupendous that there
would be no doubt in anyone's mind about God's
Why doesn't Jesus appear in this sanctuary right now
so our eyes could see him and so that every
one us would put our complete faith in him?
Tell us plainly, show us clearly, make it obvious!
Jesus replied to his questioners by telling them that
he had told them all they needed to hear, and shown
them all they needed to see in order to believe:
"I have told you, and you do not believe. The works
that I do in my Father's name testify to me." (John
Then Jesus tells them why it hasn't been enough for
"But you do not believe, because you do not belong to
my sheep." (John 10:26 NRSV)
This sounds strange to us. Is Jesus saying that some
people can't believe because they haven't been chosen
to belong to God? There is a teaching called
predestination that some Christians have used to say
just that. According to this teaching there are some
who are chosen and can't help but believe, and others
who are not chosen and can never believe. This
doctrine has a long and confused history in Christian
I think Jesus' words here have a different meaning.
Jesus wants everyone to believe in him and desires
that everyone belong to him. Just a few verses later
in this chapter Jesus is inviting these same people do
come to faith in him. (See verses 37-38).
God's gift of salvation is for all who will receive
(Romans 5:6 NRSV) "For while we were still weak, at
the right time Christ died for the ungodly."
The ungodly includes ...
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