The Choice Is Ours

January 8, 2016
by Joel Jongkind

John 20:27b – Do not be unbelieving, but believing. (NKJV)

These days, a lot is said and written about the irrelevancy of our Christian faith. Some months ago, there was a report in our local paper about a minister of the gospel who had preached for many years and submitted faith-based articles to a number of newspapers. Then suddenly, he announced in one of his columns that he no longer believed. All religions are manmade, he said, a figment of people's imagination. In the weeks following, there were a couple more articles in which he tried to justify his position, but then, there were no more. A minister in our province recently announced that she is an atheist, yet she preaches in a Christian church. It makes you wonder. There are so many people who just don't believe, and so many who at one time did believe but then lost their faith.

This is not new. At the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus spoke in the synagogue in Nazareth one Sabbath. He quoted a passage from Isaiah 61:1-2.

Luke 4:18-19 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. (NKJV)

And then He began His sermon: "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:21b NKJV) Pretty soon, the people in the synagogue were very upset by His statements.

Luke 4:28-30 – So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way. (NKJV)

All through His ministry, there were those who believed and those who did not. In one of my Bibles, the headings of some passages about Jesus in the book of John read like headlines in a newspaper: "Rejected by His Own"; "Many Disciples Turn Away"; "Jesus' Brothers Disbelieve"; "Rejected by the Authorities"; "Renewed Efforts to Stone Jesus"; "The Plot to Kill Jesus"; "Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane"; "Peter Denies Jesus".

Since then, all through history, millions of people have believed and still believe in Him, but there have been, and there are even now, many who reject Him. How important it is for us who believe to steadfastly confess that Jesus is the only Son of God, the Messiah, the Saviour, the King of kings, and Lord of lords!

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are so many people who just don't believe, so many people who have lost their faith. We pray, Lord, that You would speak to the hearts of people so that the fire of faith may be kindled or relit, that many more people would believe in Christ as Saviour and Lord. We offer this prayer in His name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>

Meaford, Ontario, Canada


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen.


    May it be so Joel.


    Thank you for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.


    Praise God and pray that those who gave up or recant the gospel will have their eyes and hearts opened anew.


    Thank you for your message and prayer for which I shall repeat this prayer for my sister and family. God Bless.


    Dear Joel:
    Thank you so much for writing this devotional and praying to our Lord for those who don’t believe. I pray this prayer everyday as well.
    May God bless you always.


    Good Morning Joel
    I pray with you, for the pouring forth of our God’s mercy. That as the time draws near, the eyes and ears of many may be opened, and their hearts may be soften, and receive the Way of salvation. Yes, Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Rejoice Joel.
    (USA)


    Thank you to Joel for giving this devotional today. I know of the atheist pastor because friends of mine attended the church and many folks left church including my friends and unfortunately although they have never lost their faith, they have not entered a church since then. So sad. Praying that God will bless those who were blinded by this unbeliever.
    (ON)


    Enjoy your writings.
    These people bother me that they say they no longer believe but are still in the pulpit. I do not care that they are “good people” if they no longer believe I think they should be removed. Now maybe that is just me.
    I remember a fiasco when a man preached from the pulpit how he was going to take over the church and pulpit with his new denomination.
    That was stopped quickly but alot of hurt feelings.
    Then there was the man we personally knew. He decided he could no longer do, in good faith, infant baptism. He did it right by going to Presbytery first. He resigned as minister of that congregation and I have always felt he did it correctly.
    (ON)


    Thank you for your truth today.


    Thank you, God bless your writing and prayer.


    Thanks for the reminder that all is not as it seems – even in the church.
    This fact underscores the need for each one of us to be discerning, especially when it comes to matters of faith. Even unbelievers can present a logical argument for the existence of God, in an effort to persuade us to believe that they, too, are cultivating a belief in God.
    We must ever be certain of what we hold true so that they cannot shake our foundations.


    Well said Joel: We who still believe must be strong and bold and stand firm in our faith. Not to weaken and say, like some, that all will be saved, that all religions are the same. Praise the Lord for your faithfulness.
    (Ontario)


    Thanks Joel, please continue to send to me. For us to not give up on hope yet we need each other to build one another.


    Yes. Getting a negative response has dissuaded so many of us from sharing the good news! We are afraid of pushing people away. But the church will not survive if we let the enemy use his tricks on us to keep us silent and ineffective. I pray for the courage and wisdom to be open about my faith with those I don’t know, so that they may perhaps, come to faith. There is a lot of anger and disdain out there toward the church. Thanks for the encouragement.

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