Why people leave the Church?
John 6:66 -
Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Today's message which coincidentally has the number 666 talks about people who followed Jesus, listening to His teachings, been fed by Him, healed by Him, yet left Him because of a statement they heard Him say. After that they hated Him so much that they sought to kill Him and thus Jesus for a period stopped visiting Judea.
Had Jesus not spoken to them about eating His flesh they would have stayed with Him and continued to follow Him.
We as people of the world would have suggested to Jesus to continue and give them time and slowly by slowly make them understand and then possibly they would have accepted His teaching on the flesh.
Forget about that time even today if I walk into a congregation and give a teaching on this very matter I am very sure more than half the congregation would either throw me out or would walk out of that hall.
Many Pastors or Preachers refrain from giving people solid food for the reason that they would lose their congregation. They continue feeding them spiritual milk for years and years and therefore we find most congregations filled with overgrown babies of 15yrs to 20yrs and above in the Lord.
If we see, before Jesus spoke these words He had fed about five thousand with just 5 loaves and 2 fishes, He walked on water, healed people etc. Even after doing all these, yet just one statement caused them to overwrite all these and walk away leaving Jesus.
It is not that we need to give people solid food in the start but gradually build them with first milk and experiencing the glory of God and then give them solid food. But not giving solid food at all may cause you to have a very large congregation or lots of people to fellowship with but then you are just fooling yourself by thinking you are doing God's work.
Jesus said those who left Him were not His sheep for they were not given from the Father therefore Jesus did not regret them leaving.
We need to ask ourselves how many among our congregation are really the Lord's sheep? Even if they lift their hands up and praise God, they are there only because they need healing, food, clothing, housing, job, money, all in all they are concern with only physical earthly needs.
When we start telling them to give up their desires and live in the desires of Jesus Christ we will hardly see people calling themselves Christians. Unless we are ready to eat the flesh of Jesus which means to make the desires of Jesus our own, we are not confirmed as the Lordís sheep. Jesus says only His sheep follow Him.
Like the number of the scripture puts it, those who are not His sheep leave for they are children not of the Lord but of Satan. We cannot be the Lord's children as well as Satan's by saying Lord, Lord and still having our hearts lost in the pleasures and desires of this world.
One day the Word of God will expose our heart, so let us today start not to harden it and let us surrender ourselves to the Lord and being less of ourselves let us be more of Him.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, our flesh is weak but our spirit willing. Help us Lord that we not be children of the flesh, born of the flesh and going to dust for the flesh goes to dust. We are your children, children of your Spirit born of the spirit, led by the Spirit and having eternal life, for from the Spirit comes life...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scripturesr ]
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
12 For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food.
13 For every one that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe.
14 But solid food is for fullgrown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.
1 Wherefore leaving the doctrine of the first principles of Christ, let us press on unto perfection; not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2 of the teaching of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.
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