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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

John 6:52-68: Why Did "Many" of Jesus' Disciples Stop Following Him? Is There a Lesson Here For Christians Today?

John 6:52-68: Why Did "Many" of Jesus' Disciples Stop Following Him? Is There a Lesson Here For Christians Today?

This instance is where Jesus wanted his listeners to understand that the eating of his flesh and drinking his blood would be done in a figurative way. He was emphasizing that all who receive everlasting life must exercise faith in the sacrifice that he is to make when he offers up his perfect human body and pours out his lifeblood. Yet, even many of his disciples made no attempt to understand his teaching and so objected by saying: “This speech is shocking; who can listen to it?”

After many of his disciples left and no longer wished to follow him, Jesus asked his 12 apostles: “You do not want to go also, do you?” What Peter said next is key and is something that Christians can learn from:

"Who shall we go to? You have the MESSAGE OF ETERNAL LIFE." - John 6:68 (The Jerusalem Bible)

Today, which organization provides the ESSENTIAL Scriptural teachings for true Christians such as:

--- Exactly who is God? (John 17:3 and 2 Thess. 1:7, 8, among others, show how essential such knowledge really is.)

--- Who, alone, is proclaiming God's Name as He says must be done in the last days? (Ezek. 39:6, 7; Jer. 17:19-21)

--- Who, alone, is actively preaching the kingdom in the entire world as Jesus said must be done in the very last days? (Matt. 24:14; 28:19). Not all the nearly 1 billion members of Christendom combined are as active in "all the nations" as is the Watchtower Society, and no other organization even begins to approach the Watchtower organization in publications which further that "Great Commission." And certainly none of Christendom's organizations are actively preaching the kingdom message at all.

-- Who alone has actually made a reality of the "one body ... one spirit ... one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all"? - Eph. 4:4-6. Who has really embodied a great crowd who sincerely strive for "complete lowliness of mind and mildness, with long-suffering ... earnestly endeavoring to observe the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace"? - Eph. 4:2,3.

This very solid unity or "oneness" which is so often criticized is, in itself, a necessity according to Scripture (and reason). It is also unique among all the organizations claiming to be Christian today.

Obviously there are other important Scriptural teachings which this organization lives by that other organizations either completely ignore or give only lip-service to. But when considering only these few essentials even, it becomes obvious that there is either only one organization today being guided by Jehovah's spirit or there is none.

Many who became Jehovah's Witnesses came to the same conclusion Peter came to in John 6:68 in spite of some doubts about the certainty of various other teachings and Scriptural interpretations by the Watchtower Society. Some of these teachings can seem quite important, but, EVEN IF wrong, these are not really the "messages of eternal life".

Shouldn't these Witnesses hope to follow the God-appointed leadership on earth which has "the message of eternal life" even if it tells them a few things they personally find difficult to accept or understand? Even if they believe they can prove it is probably wrong in certain of these secondary areas? After all, "Who else is there to go to?" Who else has the message of eternal life?

It's not worth being "right" and losing everlasting life for it. There must be priorities in all things. Being right in one area does not compensate for being wrong in a greater area. Who would choose an operation to remove a small non-harmful blemish which may be causing some slight irritation when there is a distinct possibility that the operation itself will lead to death?

Jehovah's servants are commanded to be "fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought." (1 Cor. 1:10; Php. 2:2; 1 Pet. 3:8) This means, of course, being united where the interests of pure worship are involved - the important things - not in minor matters that will be resolved as maturity is reached. (Rom. 14:2-6, 17) They are to be "of the same mind in the Lord." (Php. 4:2), not to be quarreling, but to "think in agreement." (2 Cor. 13:11)

For more, see:

Unity - Links to Information (Search For Bible Truths)


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