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What Keeps People from Submitting to Jesus Christ? (Part 1)

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I. There are many things which keep people from submitting to Christ, such as:
1. Reprobation - some are natural men who have not the ability to understand and believe the gospel and submit to it.
2. Pride - the pride of even God's elect can prevent them from submitting to Christ.
3. Apathy - some people just don't care about truth.
4. Accountability - some people do not want to be held accountable to God's law by a church and pastor.
5. Love of sin and self - some people love themselves and their sin more than God and will not give it up to follow Him.
6. Love of family - some people love their spouse, parents, or children more than God and can't bear the thought of hurting or angering them by submitting to Christ.
7. Fear of ostracization - some people fear being ostracized by family, friends, acquaintances, or coworkers for their faith or church.
8. Fear of rejection by God - some people fear that God will not accept them because of their past or present sins.
9. Fear of unworthiness - some people fear that they are not "good enough" to be a Christian and that they could never measure up.
10. Fear of failure - some people fear that if they commit to Christ they will not be able to stick with the commitment.

II. The call to men to repent and believe the gospel
1. There was a time in which God turned a blind eye to the ignorance of Him by the heathen, but since NT times, God now calls all men everywhere to repent (Act 17:30).
2. The fundamental call of the gospel is to repent, believe the gospel, and be baptized (Mar 1:15; Act 2:37-40).
3. God hath reconciled His people unto himself by Jesus Christ being made sin for them (2Co 5:17-19,21).
4. Gospel ministers have been committed the word of reconciliation and our call to men is "be ye reconciled to God" (2Co 5:19-20).
5. But like some of Israel, "they have not all obeyed the gospel" (Rom 10:16).
A. There are dire consequences to not obeying the gospel (1Pe 4:17-18).
B. There will be eternal consequences for some who obey not the gospel (2Th 1:8-9).
C. My job is to exhort men to behold the goodness and severity of God (Rom 11:22).
D. Knowing the terror of the Lord, I persuade men (2Co 5:10-11).

III. Reasons why men will not submit to Jesus Christ
1. Reprobation - some are natural men who have not the ability to understand and believe the gospel and submit to it.
A. Natural men have not the ability to understand, seek God, or do good (Rom 3:9-12).
B. They are not, nor can be, subject to the law of God (Rom 8:5-7).
C. They cannot please God (Rom 8:8).
D. But not all people who don't obey God are reprobates.
2. Pride - the pride of even God's elect can prevent them from submitting to Christ.
A. Pride will prevent someone from seeking after God (Psa 10:4; Hos 7:10).
B. Pride - The quality of being proud. I. 1. a. A high or overweening opinion of one's own qualities, attainments, or estate, which gives rise to a feeling and attitude of superiority over and contempt for others; inordinate self-esteem.
C. A proud man has such a high opinion of himself that he will not humble himself and admit that he is a sinner in need of a Saviour.
D. Pride will eventually lead to a man's destruction (Pro 16:18; Pro 18:12; Pro 29:23).
E. God hates pride (Pro 16:5).
i. Most men do too.
ii. Worldly men hate pride in others.
iii. Godly men hate pride in others and in themselves.
F. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Jam 4:6).
G. Therefore God's children should submit themselves to God (Jam 4:7).
3. Apathy - some people just don't care about truth.
A. Jesus hates lukewarm religion (Rev 3:15-16).
B. Apathy toward truth is a great epidemic which we face today, just as Israel did of old.
C. Truth is fallen in the street and has failed (Isa 59:14-15).
D. When truth is perished, people stop obeying the Lord (Jer 7:28).
E. People who are not valiant for truth won't know the Lord (Jer 9:3).
F. The lack of truth in a land goes hand in hand with a lack of the knowledge of God (Hos 4:1).
G. The reason why people don't come to the knowledge of the truth is because they don't want to.
i. If someone asks God for wisdom, in faith, not wavering in their heart, it SHALL be given them (Jam 1:5-7).
ii. This SHALL is as sure as the fact that Jesus SHALL save His people from their sins (Mat 1:21).
iii. Therefore if people have been exposed to the truth, but they reject it, it's because they don't want to understand and believe it, because if they did they would ask God for wisdom and it WOULD be given them.
H. If people don't care about truth, they will obviously not submit to Jesus Christ Who is the truth (Joh 14:6).
I. God will send people a strong delusion who receive not the love of the truth (2Th 2:10-12).
4. Accountability - some people do not want to be held accountable to God's law by a church and pastor.
A. A pastor is supposed to preach the word boldly and not hold back (2Ti 4:2).
B. Church members are supposed to submit to the pastor who teaches them the word of God and watches for their souls (Heb 13:7,17).
C. A pastor's job is to admonish the brethren under his care (1Th 5:12).
i. Admonish v. - 1. gen. To put (a person) in mind of duties; to counsel against wrong practices; to give authoritative or warning advice; to exhort, to warn.
ii. Some people don't like this and will turn away from it (2Ti 4:3-4).
D. Church members are also supposed to submit themselves one to another (Eph 5:21; 1Pe 5:5).
E. The idea of accountability is too restrictive for some people, therefore they will not submit to Christ and His church.
5. Love of sin and self - some people love their self and their sin more than God and will not give it up to follow Him.
A. There are those who cannot cease from sin (2Pe 2:14).
i. This is not the case with a child God saved by grace (Rom 6:11-14).
ii. Those who were the servants of sin should become servants of righteousness (Rom 6:17-18).
B. There are those who love this world too much to submit to Christ.
i. Rich young ruler is a good example of such (Mar 10:17-22).
a. The young man was concerned about having eternal life (Mat 10:17).
b. He was not so concerned about giving up all and following Christ though (Mat 10:21).
1) This man was a child of God, which is evident because Jesus loved him (Mar 10:21).
2) Even children of God will turn from following Jesus when they are not willing to forsake all and follow Him.
3) The love of money is the root of all evil and will lead to a man's destruction (1Ti 6:10).
c. Following Christ costs. Those who will follow Christ and be His disciples are called to deny themselves and take up the cross and follow Him (Mar 10:21 c/w Luk 9:23 c/w Luk 14:27).
1) Deny - II. To say ‘no’ to the claims of. To refuse to recognize or acknowledge (a person or thing) as having a certain character or certain claims; to disown, disavow, repudiate, renounce. III. To say ‘no’ to a request or proposal, or to him who makes it; to refuse. To refuse or withhold (anything asked for, claimed or desired); to refuse to give or grant.
2) To deny yourself is to say "no" to yourself and your desires.
d. Jesus invites people to count the cost, just as one would in any other major endeavor, before following Him (Luk 14:28-33).
ii. The parable of the sower shows us that there are those whose growth is choked by the cares and riches of this world (Mat 13:22).
iii. Pleasure is another thing which will prohibit one from following and continuing with Christ.
a. A love of pleasure will choke the word and make a believer unfruitful (Luk 8:14).
b. There also those who love themselves and are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God (2Ti 3:1-4).
c. These have only the form of godliness and should be withdrawn from (2Ti 3:5).

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