Why Do People Reject Jesus?

Bible Book: Psalms 
Subject: Rebellion; Lostness; Love for Jesus; Ambition, Wrong; Friends, Wrong

Why Do People Reject Jesus?

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, PastorLife
Introduction

Psalm 2

Why do people rebel against the Lord? Let’s look at three points found in Psalm 2 that help us answer this question. In essence, Psalm 2 reveals the mistakes that people make in regard to choosing the proper place and proper people needed to live a life that is blessed, meaningful and filled with purpose.

I. Their Associations are Misplaced

In essence, they have chosen the wrong friends, and it should be noted that many tragedies begin at this point in one's life. Wrong association can lead temptation, aberration and finally termination. Wrong friendships have led to the downfall of many people, some of who have had incredible spiritual privileges  Take Judas as an example, he walked with Jesus and rubbed shoulders with the men who would change the world with the Gospel message, but he chose to associate with the enemies of God and look what it cost him.

There are four kinds of friends in this world.

A. Evil Friends Lead to Trouble

Remember Ahab. Elijah said of him that he had caused Israel to sin against God. In fact, his reign was so devastating that it appeared that all of Israel might depart from God because of him. But the Lord raised up a prophet named Elijah who called the people back to God and called Ahab to account before the Lord. (See 1 Kings 21:21ff)

B. False Friends Lead to Deception

Someone has said, "An open enemy is far better than a false friend." Another saying among leaders is this: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!" How true that is.

Judas was a false friend.

Delilah was a false friend.

Psalm 41:9 speaks of a false friend who rose up against David.

The believer has a Friend closer than a brother in Jesus - but we must be careful of other friends - for some of them are false.

C. Godly Friends Lead to Blessings

(David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi)

Good friends are hard to find, especially in bad times. Jonathan was a good friend to David during the very difficult times in David's life.

Ruth was a special friend to Naomi when they had little to eat and not much of a future on the horizon.

A good example of how hard it is to find a needed friend during difficult times comes from the life of coach Pepper Rodgers. "A few years back Pepper Rodgers was in the middle of a terrible season as football coach at UCLA. It even got so bad that it upset his home life. He recalls, "My dog was my only friend." I told my wife that a man needs at least two friends and so she bought me another dog.'" James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 227.

D. The Heavenly Friend Closer Than A Brother

In John 15:15 and Proverbs 18:24 we read about the Friend who is closer than a brother. Above all else, everyone needs this Friend, Jesus!

He is Lord

He is Sovereign

He is Savior

He is Master

He is King

He holds many other titles, but the sweetest title is “The Friend Closer Than A Brother” or "the friend of sinners. In all the associations you form, none is so important as knowing Jesus.

But, look further at our scripture and note …

II. Their Ambitions are Misleading

The writer of Psalm 2 reveals that the people who live a life of failure – a life without God – have wrong ambitions. Note what they are …

A. Power

Control and freedom are at the heart of man's rebellion against God. Man wants to be his own boss. What he does not realize is that one only finds life in giving it up. Listen to what Jesus said, “If a man saves His life, he will lose it, but if he loses his life for My sake, he will find it!”

What power does a man really have? Even a giant feels the pain of a bee sting. A single fly caught in the throat of a millionaire can kill him.

Chuck Colson once said, "Power is like drinking saltwater, the more you drink the more you want."

The Jewish Talmud states, "Ambition destroys the possessor."

One great problem with mankind is that we seek power rather than simply attaching ourselves by faith to the all-powerful God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

B. Pleasure

Jeremiah 5 tells the story of the broken yoke as an example of how the people in his day had broken from God so they could indulge in adultery. God seeks to restrain our desires so that we do not destroy ourselves, but often man thinks God is trying to keep us from enjoying ourselves.

Imagine a little child who finds a knife that has fallen to the kitchen floor. Its gleaming surface appears to be the perfect plaything. The child reaches for it, but just then mom reaches down and picks it up, saying, “No, no! You can’t have that.” The child wrinkles up his brow and cries with howls of rebellion. Sadly, the child has no idea what his mom just saved him from!

In life, God seeks to keep us from those things that will destroy us, but sadly we seek to throw off His restraints so that we can play with the world knives.

C. Possessions

The world is in a mad dash for all they can obtain of this world’s goods. I watched a game show on television some time ago which allowed the winner to run through a store and put all he could obtain into a grocery basket in a declared number of seconds. It was amazing to see the wild expressions of the anxious runner hurling himself down the aisles to get items in that grocery basket. He was congratulated for all he won, and he looked in the basket with glee at all he obtained. But, think about it, in a matter of days or weeks all of that will be gone. That is like life without God. It is a mad dash for stuff that will not last and will not matter one hundred years from now. On the other hand, what you have in Christ will never age, decay or die.

D. Pride

Philip of Macedon, wrestling in the games, was thrown in the sand. Rising, he saw the mark his body had left on the ground. He exclaimed, "How little a parcel of earth will hold us, when we are dead, who are ambitiously seeking after the whole world while living!”

Take the four greatest rulers, perhaps, that ever sat upon a throne:

1. Alexander

It is said that when he had so completely subdued the nations that he wept because there were no more to conquer, and at last he set fire to a city, and died in a scene of debauchery.

2. Hannibal

He filled three bushels with the gold rings he had taken from the knights he had slaughtered but died at last by poison administered by his own hand, unwept and unknown, in a foreign land.

3. Caesar

After having conquered eight hundred cities, and dyed his garments with the blood of one million enemies, he was stabbed by his best friends in the very place that had been the scene of his greatest triumph.

4. Napoleon

After being the scourge of Europe, he  died in banishment on an island, nothing but a conquered man and a captive of others.

So are those who align their lives outside the will of God, have wrong associates and mistaken ambitions, but note a third mistake.

III. Their Awareness Is Mistaken

Missing or mistaken information can doom a person or their plans. On January 28, 1986, NASA launched the shuttle orbiter STS-51-L, also known as Space Shuttle Challenger. Within 73 seconds of leaving the launch pad in Florida, the shuttle broke apart, killing everyone onboard. A flawed O-Ring was the culprit; however, the shuttle was launched in weather that was clearly too cold. Over 30 million Americans, including thousands of school children around America. Within one hour of the horrible accident over 250 million Americas had heard the news. Bad news travels fast! This accident was avoidable.

Listen carefully – the greatest accident you can make in your life is avoidable. Many people ruin their lives and go out to meet God unprepared because of three simple mistakes.

A. They are Unaware of or are Rebellious toward the Plan of God

We read in Isaiah 57 about the plans of God. His plan is to restore, to redeem, and to remove the sins of the unrighteous; however, there must be a contrite heart for this to take place. Many people are unaware or simply in full rebellion regarding God’s plan to forgive sin and give them eternal life.

Also, note that…

B. They are Unaware of or are Rebellious toward The Wrath of God

The Lord sent His Son to be the Redeemer of all who would believe upon Him. Yet, when He came, evil men sought to destroy Him. They crucified the Son of God. Acts 2:22-24 explains that God raised Christ up from the dead.

"Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power."

The attempt was made to destroy the Savior, and it failed. What will be the end of those who reject the Son of God and side with those who still seek to annihilate Him from their lives? They do not realize that a day of wrath is coming. The Lord will become furious in a moment.

It is interesting that in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the Lord will come for those who know them and will rescue them out of this sinful world. But in the same moment, in the same twinkling of an eye, the wrath of God will come upon the unrepentant. Let every believer in this room rejoice that you are on the right side of the coming moment. Let every person without Christ consider his or her position right now. You are a moment, a mere heartbeat, from meeting the full judgment of every sin you have ever committed.

Turn to Christ now. The Lord asks, at one point in the Old Testament, "Why will you die, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked." It is not God's will that you perish but that you live.

In 2 Peter 3 we read about the scoffers in the last days. Yet, we are told that these mockers have forgotten what happened in the past to those who doubted God's warnings. God loves you, but His offer has a limited time for acceptance.

Finally, note that …

C. They Are Unaware of or are Rebellious toward The Blessings of God

What does the word Kiss mean? It means to touch, it also means to catch fire. It means to have a passion for the Lord. Even the saints of God can have a new passion, a new zeal, a fire in their heart for the Lord. Kiss the Son of God. Let the small flame in your heart turn into a blaze. Reach out and touch Him like the woman with the issue of blood. Kiss Him, like the woman who kissed his feet and wept because her many sins had been forgiven her.

 Lay hold of Jesus. Note is another meaning of “kissing” the Son. It means to grasp and not let go. Someone well said, "You can't shake hands with a clenched fist." Indeed, you cannot. Jesus opened His hands to take the nails for you, so why not open your hands to take hold of Him and the salvation that He offers.

Conclusion

Kiss the Son!

i. Let it be - A Kiss of Reconciliation

It means to send up the white flag and surrender to His Lordship. Remember when Jacob met Esau, they kissed.

The Prodigal Son, when he arrived received the kisses of his father.

In 2 Corinthians 5 we are said to have the ministry of reconciliation. Indeed, anyone who comes to Christ has been reconciled to God.

ii. Let it be - A Kiss of Dedication

In ancient times people would kiss the feet of a king. It was a sign of homage, of devotion, of total commitment. That is a commitment all can make and some of us who know Him as Savior can recommitment ourselves to total devotion.

iii. Let it be - A Kiss of Adoration

It speaks of love.

Like Mary who came and fell at His feet, kissing them.

The songwriter penned,

"Oh, for grace to love thee more!"

Let that be our theme today.

He came as Savior, He is now the Seated Intercessor in Heaven, He is coming as the Sovereign Lord of glory. Kiss the Son, embrace Him, accept Him!