Wednesday, April 17, 2024

You Must Work or You Won't Eat


You Must Work or You Won't Eat

Well, praise Jesus, everyone. There's an old saying that everyone knows, that if you don't work, you don't eat. And this concept is also true both physically and spiritually. Whatever that you want to do good in this life, anything that you want to be really good at or anything that's worth anything, you have to put blood, sweat and tears into it. You have to put a lot of effort into it. Yet a lot of Christians think this does not apply to their salvation. It doesn't apply to working for Jesus. So they put all of their effort into worldly things. They spend a lot of time getting a degree or becoming educated for whatever position they are at their workplace. But they don't work for Jesus. They're not sweating for Him. They're not laborers in His field. But we know that for anything else in the world that we want to accomplish, anything that's worth anything, we have to put effort into.

Jesus hasn't called us as His disciples to just sit back and to do nothing. He's called us to specific tasks. He wants us to daily deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. But that doesn't mean that we just sit around and do nothing and say, well Jesus paid it all on the cross. He carried the cross to Calvary so that we can just sit back and relax and be on vacation. Jesus wants us to be diligently working for Him, calling people to repent. And it seems a lot of the Christian culture has turned their back on the work of the Lord. Jesus is still going out, calling people to repent, while His supposed people are just sitting back relaxing and not doing anything, thinking that they're once saved, always saved, so they don't have to lift a finger to call people to repent or to do the work of the kingdom of God. Now Jesus called His disciples to be part with Him, to do His work, to eat His flesh and to drink His blood.

He was the bread of life. And this saying, even to the disciples back then, apparently was offensive enough that most of the disciples left. I want to see if I can find it here and read it. I believe it's in John chapter 6. Yeah, Jesus says, 26Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

You see, a lot of people, when they saw Jesus do these miracles, like turning a few pieces of bread and fish into a lot of bread and fish, they thought, we'll make Him king, because He will give us an easy life. We won't have to lift a finger to work. This guy can just produce food out of nothing. So why would we ever work a day in our life again for food, or why would we have to pay taxes or make money when this Jesus can do everything for us?

And that's what a lot of Christians think today. They think that if they repent and if they put their faith in Jesus, Jesus will do all of their work for them. And they think that they're just once saved, always saved, they don't actually have to repent of sin, because that would be a work. And they have Jesus totally wrong. They don't realize that Jesus calls us to daily deny ourselves, take up the cross and to follow Him, and that's work.

28Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” 30Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?

Now this is funny to me, because Jesus had already turned the bread, He'd already multiplied the bread and fed all these thousands of people, yet these same people say, what sign will you show us to prove that you are a true prophet, that you are the Son of God? So they obviously didn't even recognize that He had already done a miracle.

31Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” 32Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”

See these guys still just, they wanted to escape earthly work. They were thinking, perfect, just give us this sort of bread that we never have to work again or pay taxes and we'll believe in you, Jesus.

35And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

And that is truly a wonderful blessing, knowing that if you eat Jesus' flesh and drink His blood, if we eat His body, then we will be raised up on the last day. The last day of our life we will not end up going to hell, but we will enter into the Lord’s Kingdom with thanksgiving in our heart, because He has saved us. But when Jesus said this, a lot of the people complained and turned away. It says,

41The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

See if we come to Jesus, we will have everlasting life. We will eat His flesh, drink His blood, and we will work for Him. But when people learn that Jesus did not just come to save them from worldly problems, He did not just come to die on the cross and then say, Well now you can live life joyfully and you do not have to do anything. When people learn that, then they say, Well I am out. If I have to actually work, then I will just go back to doing my worldly work that I was doing before. Why would I put my faith in Jesus when I actually have to have a relationship with Him, when I actually have to eat His flesh and drink His blood? See working for Jesus and being in a daily relationship with Him is hard work. And not a lot of Christians want to actually engage in a living relationship where they are eating Jesus' flesh and drinking His blood. They do not want to abide in Him. All they want is religion. And that is why they enjoy going to church once a week and having ungodly fellowship with Christians. They love the term fellowship because to them it just means a once a week gathering where they can talk about whatever they want and then leave and go out to lunch.

Jesus was offering something completely different than what these Jews or what these modern-day Christians want. He was offering Himself as the bread of life that comes out of heaven. And if we eat His flesh and drink His blood we will live forever. But it will take work. And that is why the Jews turned away. They thought, Well we do not actually want to work for Jesus. We just wanted to set Him up to be king so that He would then kick the Romans out and He would give us the easy life. We would not have to work for bread. And Jesus would just do it all for us. He will make that guy king. And the same is true today. As soon as Christians learn that they really have to work for Jesus, they really have to repent of their sin, eat Jesus' flesh, drink His blood, that is when many Christians turn away from the gospel. They turn away from the truth.

But how about you? Are you willing to lay your life down for the Lord, to turn away from the things in the world that are sinful, to live the gospel of Jesus, to preach His gospel so that your family members, your friends may actually repent? And even if they do not repent and go with you, will you still go with Jesus even if no one else goes with you? As for me, I want to continue following the path of Jesus, preaching His gospel, doing His work, and enduring with Him to the very end of my life, because I know that He is the only one that has the words of life. And remember that is what Peter said. Jesus said to Peter, will you turn away also? And he said, no, where else will we go? Only you have the words of life.

See everything else in this life is perishing. Everything else is on its way to hell. Everything in this world is going to, it's going to burn up. It's going to be like chaff. But Jesus, His kingdom and His words will be forever. So we need to make sure that we're actually connected to Jesus, we're hearing His voice, we're walking with Him every day. So I want to pray for those of you that want the words of life working in you, that want to hear Jesus and want to overcome this world. Lord Jesus, I pray for your true church. I pray for those brothers and sisters in the Lord who want to hear Your voice and who want to hear Your voice and step outside the world of sin and bondage. Everything that comes is distractions from Satan. I pray that we can overcome in Your name and eat Your flesh and drink Your blood and have the words of life in us. I pray that You speak to us, that You build us up and that we could conquer evil and just truly overcome in Your name that we could be the sons and daughters of Your kingdom. I pray that You bless the family of God and have Your curse continually on the wicked, that people would repent or perish. We pray in Your name, Lord Jesus, that we would have the power of the Holy Ghost in us, that we would be salt and light in encouraging people to truly repent and to come out of the world and to touch nothing unclean. We pray this in Your name, Lord Jesus. Amen.