New International Version (NIV)
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven .33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
I am sorry I am supposed to get back to you earlier but I do hope you excuse the passing of a good friend. So here goes.
For years I have been told that if you (as a Christian) deny Jesus in public Jesus will deny us before His Father. As such when I watched shows about people who are left behind after the rapture, there could always been a possibility when people point a gun at your head and ask you to deny Jesus. “What do I say?” “What should I do?” I thought if I deny Jesus I would end in hell. So I thought why not bite the bullet. But here is an interesting scenario, what happens if the gun is pointed at my wife’s head? My son’s head? Hmm. Would Jesus understand?
Or have you been in a situation when you are still a minor leaving in Asia? In Asia the child’s faith is really up to the parents. I remember the day I came home after receiving Jesus. When my dad found out, I was almost disowned. So could you imagine, when I had to get baptized. I remember those days my Sunday school students were frighten to let their parents know they believed Jesus. So I am sure when some are asked, they deny Jesus. So would they go to hell?
Have you also been in a situation wherein you were lost in the wilderness? When you had disappointments with God? When you didn’t mean what you said or were not aware of what Jesus really taught? I mean only until the last 3 years, I realized what the Gospel really meant. For years I thought Christianity was obeying the 10 commandments! I lived (emphasis livED) under condemnation! I too wondered by sinning if I had ever denied him. So there is this fear of finally reaching heaven and hearing him say “I never knew you”.
Well let’s look at the passage. IN CONTEXT!
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
10 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
Notice who was Jesus referring to?
He was not referring to the Gentiles. He was referring to the lost sheep of Israel. The LOST sheep. People who were not saved or saved yet!
Let’s go on.
“9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Fatherspeaking through you.”
So you see there are 2 groups of unbelievers here. One who would receive the apostles. One who don’t. Those who do not receive the apostles are called undeserving and wolves. They are people who reject the rest, and who will flogged the apostles in local councils and flogged in synagogues. These are people who reject the good news. These are people who “deny Jesus”. They reject his message and his healing and his authority.
21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parentsand have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[b] 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
Notice Jesus spoke about “them” and that “they” would hate the apostles?
You see dear friends, this is a time when Jesus had yet to die and his mission here (in this context) is to reach to the lost Jews. This was Jesus’s gospel campaign so to say. It was his cry to reach the lost.
Yet Israel was the most religious country at that time, they had the temple, the Law and the scribes, Pharisees and also the priests. Yet lost? You see Jesus said “brother will rise against brother”. What does this mean?
Jesus is saying this there is now a new way to reach God. Not through the temple, nor the rules, nor the rituals, nor even the commandments. The new way is simple. Him. The commandments … they don’t make you righteous. It’s simple. Knowing the commandments do nothing for you. Obeying 9/10 commandments do nothing for you. Only when you obey 10/10 for 24 hours and without failing from the day you are born until the day you die, you are righteous.
So God made it simple, he said “look if I can find one man who could do that, I will make the whole human race righteous”. He found that man. Jesus. Just like Adam, one sin all sin. Jesus one righteous, all born in Christ in righteous. So righteousness was Jesus to give.
So when the Jews heard this, a Jew would rise against another Jew. Paul says those born under Hagar will always persecute those born under Sarah. Brothers against brothers. The Pharisees will hate the apostles. They hate them because the fisherman is righteous before God, the tax collector is righteous before God. The prostitute is righteous before God. Because after the cross, righteousness is a gift. It is not an achievement.
Paul was such a person, he rose against Jewish Christians.. until he became one. he rose against his brothers and when he was touched by the grace of God, he too was persecuted.
So who does the Father ask before He judges a person to determine who is righteous? Who gives righteousness? Its Jesus. When your righteousness is base on the law, you say I don’t need Jesus. That’s how you deny Jesus. That is also how Jesus denies you.
So Christian Jesus is not saying that to you. He is saying it to the lost, receive me and I will receive you. After you have receive him, you are one with him and he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5).
For those of you who are new, these series of articles are dedicated to refuting the teaching that a believer can lose its salvation. I am using a reference of 70 ways a believer can fall away from a blogger who name himself smashing idols.
(His full article is here: http://smashingidols7.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/70-ways-a-believer-can-fall-away/
Also you can follow the refutes of his 70 ways here by just click to this link:http://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/tag/70-ways-to-lose-your-salvation/)