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Was It Easier Back Then?
by Wayne Blank
But did they really have any advantage over others who lived at other times? No, not really. It surely was no advantage for Judas Iscariot, and he wasn't the only one of the "many" people who followed Christ, who were personally taught by Him, and then fell away right to His face:
"Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? ... From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him." (John 6:60,66 KJV)
Who Were They Actually Rejecting?
The reason that happened, one of the reasons, is that many of them were simply followers of His popularity. They jumped on the "band wagon" because of the liberation that He spoke of, but when it came to actually believing and doing what He taught, they fell away. They "talked the talk" but they didn't, they wouldn't, "walk the walk." They liked the promised destination, but they refused to do what He said would get them there.
"Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21 KJV)
But who were they actually rejecting? Certainly they rejected Jesus Christ, but, as He stated in the verses above, they were rejecting God because nothing that Jesus Christ taught was of His own. Everything that He said was spoken exactly as God told Him to do. They weren't rejecting the words of Christ, they were rejecting the Word of God (although "Word of God" is actually dual in meaning, see The Logos):
"Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works" (John 14:10 KJV)
In one of His most famous parables, that of "Lazarus and the rich man," Jesus Christ made plain that no one from any particular time has any advantage over any other (see also When Did Faith Begin?). The Holy Bible ("Moses and the prophets" is a summation of the written Law and Prophecy) is all that is needed, anytime, anywhere.
"If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." (Luke 16:31 KJV)
Fact Finder: God's true servants will some day be responsible for having led some to the salvation that is made possible only through Christ himself. But how are God's true servants also going to be responsible for "what is written in the books" that will be read on the Judgment Day from which others will be condemned to the lake of fire?