THE REPORT THAT WILL NOT BE BELIEVED

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He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 

 

There is something strange about writing an article knowing full well it will not be believed.  This is one such article.  The report of the Lord says the gospel will not be believed.  Moreover, it insists most people will refuse to believe the prophecy that the gospel will not be believed. 

 

Isaiah’s prophecy

 

God said to Isaiah: “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’  Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed.’” (Isaiah 6:9-10).

Isaiah could not believe this kind of assignment.  What is the point of preaching to people when you know they will not listen?  So he asked how long this would last.  But the answer brought no reprieve.  God said: “Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, the houses are without a man, the land is utterly desolate.” (Isaiah 6:11).

Since this dire prophecy has never been revoked, it means most people will not receive the gospel of the kingdom of God.

 

Noah’s gospel

 

As with every eternal word of God, Isaiah’s prophecy was in operation even before he received it.  For 120 years, Noah preached a gospel of salvation.  He said God would destroy the whole earth by a flood but would save those who sought refuge in the ark. 

However, the people did not believe Noah.  Even those he employed in building the ark did not seek refuge in it with him.  As a result, all mankind perished in the flood except for eight members of Noah’s immediate family.

Jesus draws a close analogy between the rejection of Noah’s gospel and the rejection of his own gospel.  He says: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:26-27).

 

Lot’s gospel

 

Lot also preached a gospel of salvation.  He told the people of Sodom God would destroy the city because of its wickedness, but would save those who ran to the hills for refuge. 

However, the people did not believe Lot either.  As a result, they were destroyed by fire and brimstone.  Only Lot and his two daughters were saved.  Even though Lot’s wife escaped with them, her heart remained in Sodom.  Against the Lord’s injunction, she looked back wistfully at the smouldering city and was turned into a pillar of salt. 

Jesus draws a close analogy between the rejection of Lot’s gospel and the rejection of his own gospel.  He says: “Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” (Luke 17:28-30).

 

Moses’ gospel

 

Of all people God could choose to pastor the church in the wilderness, he chose Moses; a man with stammering lips.  God chose him because he was determined that the people should not understand Moses’ gospel of salvation.

As a result, although a mixed-multitude of 600,000 people left Egypt with Moses (not counting women and children); only two of them entered into the Promised Land.  Even Moses himself did not make it. 

Jesus draws a close analogy between the failure of Moses’ gospel and the failure of his gospel.  He said to the Jews: “If you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46-47). 

 

Jesus’ gospel

 

So determined was Jesus to fulfil Isaiah’s prophecy that he only spoke to the people in parables.  When his disciples wondered why, he told them bluntly he did not want the people to understand him.

Jesus said: “I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive.’” (Matthew 13:13-14).

Inevitably, the Jews rejected Jesus.  John says: “Although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: ‘Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” (John 12:37-38). 

What about today?  Will we receive the gospel?  We cannot and will not because the prophecy of Isaiah is still in force. 

Jesus used the mouth of Abraham to prophesy that his gospel will continue to be rejected even after he is gone.  In one of his stories, a rich man in hell pleaded with Abraham that a report from the dead should be sent to his living five brothers so they would believe the gospel.  But standing by the word of Isaiah, Abraham maintained it would be pointless.  He said to him: “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.” (Luke 16:31). 

Of course, Jesus himself is the one who rose from the dead.  Thereby, Jesus predicts that most people will not accept his gospel even though he will validate it by rising from the dead. 

 

The broad and the narrow way.

 

How then do we explain the billions of people said to be Christians today?  The answer is straight-forward.  Most so-called Christians are not disciples of Christ. 

Most Christians reject the gospel of the kingdom of God.  We believe the gospel about Jesus rising from the dead.  But we do not believe the gospel preached by Jesus; the man who rose from the dead.  The two are not the same for the simple reason that Jesus preached the gospel before his death.

Jesus says: “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14).  Therefore, when you see a large church, know the attraction cannot possibly be the gospel of the kingdom of God.  When you see the multitude flocking to Pastor Adeboye’s Holy Ghost Night revivals; know for a surety they are not there for the gospel. 

Isaiah asks: “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1).  The answer is that few people believed the report of Isaiah, and few will believe the report of Jesus. 

This is Jesus’ report that will not be believed: “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:25).

So don’t blame me if you don’t believe anything I have written here.  You would just be fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah.  Shalom.