Will Ye Also Go Away?
James L. Reynolds
(John 6:53-69)  "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. {54} Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. {55} For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. {56} He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. {57} As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. {58} This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. {59} These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. {60} Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? {61} When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? {62} What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? {63} It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. {64} But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. {65} And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. {66} From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. {67} Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? {68} Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. {69} And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."
    We would like to briefly consider this morning a question posed to the apostles by our dear Lord and then also contemplate on the response which He received from the apostle Peter.
    The question is found in verse 67.
(John 6:67) "Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?"
    And then we read Peter's response which is found in verse 68.
(John 6:68) "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life."
    Our Lord had been teaching that He and He alone was the "bread of life" and that only by partaking of His flesh and blood would anyone have life, that is eternal and everlasting life.
    Many of those who had heard our Lord were not able to comprehend His words and concluded that His sayings were too 'hard' or difficult to understand and therefore they "went back, and walked no more with Him".
    When our Lord posed this question to the apostles it was certainly not a question of ignorance on our Lord's part, for He had known from eternity past all events that would ever transpire. Every action of every creature that has ever lived or shall ever live is fully and eternally known by our omniscient Lord. This is declared in verse 64 of the Scripture we just read.
    Yet, as with many of the questions which our Lord asked and which are recorded in His Holy Word for our instruction, this question which was posed to the apostles was a question designed to pierce the hearts and minds of those to whom it was posed. And it was intended to also similarly affect those who would throughout the ages read it in God's inspired record. This question was asked to the end that all who hear it would be caused to deliberately and consciously consider their own convictions.
    For a few minutes this morning we would like to consider and mediate upon our Lord's question to the apostles and see if we can validate that our personal and individual responses would be the same as that of Peter's.
    Let us therefore first take a brief look at some things which people go to that are false comforts or false hopes and thereby show that the only real and lasting comfort and hope is truly going to the Lord Jesus Christ.

 We would also hasten to note that there is a vast distinction between coming to Christ in spirit and truth by the blessed Holy Spirits' leadership as shown forth in the Bible and coming to Him in an outward appearance only.
    Many of those to whom our Lord spoke in John 6 had followed Him because He had satisfied their temporal physical need for food. In the first thirteen verses of John 6 we have recorded for us the account of Jesus miraculously feeding about five thousand. When they later sought Him the Lord declared unto them the actual reason that they did so. He then instructed them to seek that meat which endured to eternal life.

(John 6:26-27) "Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. {27} Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed."
    Our Lord then continued, as He had always done, to instruct the people that the "work of God" was that they believed "on him whom He hath sent." They were not to believe on the law and ordinances to commend themselves unto God. They were not to believe in their own works to commend themselves unto God. The only work which would be commendable to God was the work performed by His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
    So then with those thoughts in mind let us for a very few minutes consider the religious world's concept of 'coming to Christ'.
    There are many and varying reasons for which people come to the Jesus of the religious, often so-called 'Christian' world.
    We are going to take a brief look at some of those reasons that people may use for their 'coming to Christ'. We desire to again point out that these people are not coming to the Christ of the Bible but to the Christ of their depraved and religious minds.
    As previously mentioned, by briefly looking at some things which we can not go to in order that we may be favorably commended unto God we trust that it becomes glaringly evident why the Lord Jesus Christ is the only One we can go to.
    There are those who go to the 'socially correct fraternity' for comfort and hope. They go to the Jesus of their imagination because they feel it is the socially correct thing to do, that it will somehow prosper them in the eyes of their peers and perhaps make them to be looked upon as 'pillars of the community'. Many politicians are prone to be religious for this very reason. In the upcoming months I am confident that many of those vying for public offices will attempt to deceive the public by putting on a religious veneer or pretense.
    One of the vilest and most morally corrupt men that the United States has ever had as president was often photographed coming out of a big Washington, DC church building with a Bible in his hand. This same man, in many of his speeches, made reference to God and His Word. Yet, by his immoral actions it was evident that he did not know the Jesus of the Bible.
    Those who are in the same league as these religious deceivers may themselves be deceived by them. But a true, obedient, prayerful and studious child of God will not be deceived by them. And many times these peoples' genuine motives are apparent to all those around them, including the lost as well as the saved. And it is certain that these people's true motives are always evident to our Omniscient God.
    The Lord Jesus spoke of these type of people in Matthew 23:5.
(Matthew 23:5) "But all their works they do for to be seen of men: ..."
    Then there are those who go to the 'solve all my problems fraternity' for comfort and hope. They go to the Jesus of their imagination because while they are going through a difficult time in their life they are lead by someone to believe that 'coming to Christ' would eliminate those current problems and also assure their lives to be without future problems.
    Of course there is no question whatsoever that truly coming to Christ, the Christ of the Bible, forever solves the greatest problem which any of mankind have ever faced. That problem is, "How does a spiritually dead and unclean sinner stand in God's acceptable presence?"
    The only way that anyone will ever be permitted in God's acceptable presence is to be as perfectly holy and righteous as He is. There are absolutely no exceptions. And the only way anyone can be as holy and righteous as God is to have His holiness and righteousness imputed unto them. For a mortal to stand in God's acceptable presence they must be clothed in the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    The apostle Paul was a partaker of that imputed righteousness and rejoiced in that divine imputation.
(Philippians 3:8-9) "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, {9} And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"
    Paul knew that his own righteousness would never avail him favorably before God and that ONLY the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ would sufficiently answer that question, "How does a spiritually dead and unclean sinner stand in God's acceptable presence?"
    However that imputation of Christ's perfect righteousness unto each of God's children was not without a great and almost incomprehensible cost. But that total cost was born by God, in the three persons of the Godhead. If God's people were to be receive Christ's righteousness then something must be done with their sin. It could not just be set aside or ignored by a thrice holy God. It must therefore be imputed to one who could pay its debt. That double imputation is clearly and distinctly set forth in Paul's divinely inspired epistle to the Corinthian church.
(2 Corinthians 5:21) "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
    As we said, truly coming to Christ, the Christ of the Bible, forever solves the greatest problem ever facing mankind. That problem being, "How does a spiritually dead and unclean sinner stand in God's acceptable presence?" But does that true and genuine coming to Christ assure us that there will be no more difficulties in our lives? Actually, we are given assurance to quite the contrary. In this world God's people are going to have problems! We know this from personal experiences, our own and those of others, but more importantly we know it because it is declared unto us by God himself.
(John 16:33) "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
    Things are not going to be easy in this life for God's people. Perhaps if they were easy then His people would not have as great a desire as they should for their 'heavenly home'. Those who look to their heavenly home and their Lord there will live Godly lives which will bring troubles upon them in this life. Those troubles will in turn cause the saint to look more towards their heavenly home and their Lord there, which will in turn lead to a more godly life, which will in turn lead to more troubles, etc. Again, we see this from experiences, our own and those of others, but more importantly we see it declared in God's inspired Word.
(2 Timothy 3:12) "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
    Could it be that our looking for our heavenly home is directly proportional to the measure of godliness in our lives? That is, "Do we live a godly life in direct proportion to our looking for our heavenly home?"
    God has not promised His people that their lives would be 'smooth sailing' or a 'bed of roses'. But He has promised them that He will ever be with them to provide all that they need.
(Hebrews 13:5-6) "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. {6} So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
    When a true child of God undergoes trials and tribulations they are encouraged to 'faint not' for "If God be for us, who can be against us?" Therefore take courage child of the King when things look hard and bleak, when those of the world seem to be getting the upper hand on you, "because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
    Then there are those who go to the 'genealogical records fraternity' for comfort and hope. They go to the Jesus of their imagination because they believe that their ancestral records will make them acceptable in God's presence. There is that false hope in their ancestry or family associations which some people may go to. There may be those who feel that because they were brought up in a 'Christian' home and because they attended church services from their youth up that they are therefore going to be accepted favorably in God's everlasting presence. Tragically however that is not a valid belief. Now while it is certainly more beneficial to have been brought up in a 'Christian' home than in an openly sinful and rebellious one, that upbringing in and of itself avails nothing in relation to being accepted everlastingly in God's sight.
    Aaron, the first high priest that God ordained had two sons, Nadab and Abihu, and these sons were also priests in the tabernacle. But they were also lost and wicked men. Their sonship to Aaron availed them nothing in God's acceptable presence when they violated His holy ordinance.
(Leviticus 10:1-2) "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. {2} And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD."
    Of the high priest Eli's sons we read:
(1 Samuel 2:12) "Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD."
    Through the years I have been told by someone how that they had 'Christian' upbringing or how that their mother or father were godly and righteous people, as if those things were of an everlastingly beneficial nature to the person telling of those things.
    Many of the Jews who were living during the time of our Lord's earthly ministry put great stock in their ancestry, as if that ancestry was going to favorably commend them unto God in the eternal and everlasting realm. These people were Christ's own, that is His own nationality, kinsmen according to the flesh. But that national kinsmanship availed them absolutely nothing in respect to being commended, everlastingly, to God.
(John 1:11-13) "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. {12} But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: {13} Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
    Then there are those who go to the 'baptismal waters fraternity' for comfort and hope. They go to the Jesus of their imagination because they believe that by going into the waters of baptism they are made acceptable in God's sight. There are basically two classes of this type of person and we will briefly touch upon both this morning.
    Firstly there are those who believe that they were baptized as infants or young children and that such a baptism merits them towards God. Beloved, one of the most tragic and soul damning deceits that satan has ever fostered upon religious mankind is that of infant baptism. I knew a lady for over forty years who told me on occasion that she was 'baptized' in her youth. She actually found comfort in that act performed on her over eighty years ago and evidenced a belief that it would make her acceptable in God's presence. In the forty plus years that I knew her she had always shown a moral and decent life. But, as far as I know, she never acknowledged herself as a sinner in need of Christ's atoning blood. She had been deceived into thinking that her 'baptism' would avail her favorably unto God.
    Then secondly there are those who justly decry infant baptism but who themselves rely upon the waters of baptism to commend themselves unto God. In the area of Tennessee in which I reside there is an abundance of these people. They declare that none can be saved without baptism. These people have in reality gone to the waters of baptism instead of to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ for their acceptance in God's everlasting presence.
    Then there are those who go to the 'church role fraternity' for comfort and hope. They go to the Jesus of their imagination because they believe that their 'church membership' will commend them favorably unto God. Many of those who are 'members' of the big, well known national or international churches are of this cluster. However, eternity will reveal that it mattered little if the one being so deceived was a member of a large well known 'mega church' or a small, local, almost unknown assembly. Whenever anyone trusts in their church membership and affiliation for acceptance unto God they have not gone to the Christ of the Bible but to the Christ of their depraved and wicked mind.
    Church membership will not favorably commend one unto God. And for those who are truly God's children and yet continue in sin and rebellion against Him, their church membership will not stay God's chastening rod from them. Ananias and Sapphira were members of one of the Lord's true churches. Yet their deceitful and sinful act brought the chastening hand of God upon them and their sin resulted in their deaths.
    Then there are those who go to their 'good works fraternity' for comfort and hope. They go to the Jesus of their imagination because they believe that by their 'good deeds' and 'good works' they will favorably commend themselves unto God and gain acceptance in His everlasting presence.
    There are undoubtedly many unsaved people who have a genuine care and compassion for those less fortunate than themselves. Countless 'charitable' organizations exist which provide relief for the temporal sufferings of the poor and destitute. Many of those who are involved with these organizations are to be commended for their labors and efforts.
    I personally think that God uses these organizations for the general comfort of many of His creatures. When the motive is to provide needed help and comfort with the glory going to God the provider is to be commended.
    But, if the provider of that help and comfort is in anywise doing these things as a means of 'indebting' God unto themselves then their actions become an abomination unto the Lord of the universe.
    In Matthew 25 the Lord commends the 'sheep nations' for showing kindness and compassion in providing food, shelter, clothing and visitation to those in need of such things. Their good works were accepted by Him because they were done with the proper motive.
    Conversely in Matthew 7 we see a group of people who claim to have done many wonderful works in the name, that is the authority, of the Lord Jesus Christ. These peoples' motives were to gain God's approval and acceptance by the things which they were doing. As their motives were wrong so also the end which they expected did not materialize. They were not in reality working a good work but a work of iniquity. Therefore they will one day be given a terrible and heart rending command by the Lord of glory, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
    Also included in this class of those who trust in their works to commend themselves unto God are those who proclaim that their 'coming to Christ' was of their own choice and free will. According unto their reasoning the Lord Jesus Christ made it possible for them to be accepted in God's presence and if they will approve His labors and accept them then their acceptance in God's presence will become a reality.
    Sadly these people, many of whom may be actual recipients of God's sovereign love and redeeming grace, have a malformed concept of their own innate wickedness, sinfulness and depravity. And they also possess a woefully inadequate perception of the perfect holiness of God. For brevity's sake we will not examine the myriad of Scriptural evidence showing the fallacy of such a concept of 'choosing God' or 'accepting Christ' but we will note a few verses which illustrate man's true moral condition.
    Of our best state we are told that it is altogether sinful.
(Psalms 39:5) "... verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah."
    We are informed in Isaiah 64 as to the moral value of our righteousness.
(Isaiah 64:6) "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
    The truths of both our unaided ability and our genuine desire to 'come to Christ' are clearly and forcefully declared in the two following verses of Scripture.
(John 5:40) "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life."

(John 6:44) "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."

    There is no work of righteousness that we have done or shall ever do that will ever be acceptable in God's sight in reference to commending us unto Him for everlasting acceptance.
(Titus 3:5) "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, ..."
    We have attempted in the time allotted unto us this morning to make it evident that there is nothing which we can ever do or that any other mortal can do for us to pay the sin debt that we owe and therefore make us everlastingly acceptable in God's presence.
    Those who have been redeemed from the curse and penalty of sin have been redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ and by Him alone!
(Hebrews 1:3) "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
    We pray that it may have been made evident to all our hearers this morning that only a true, Spirit lead coming unto the Lord Jesus Christ will make one acceptable and that everlastingly so in God's presence.
    To deny self instead of trusting in self is to manifest that the Holy Spirit is drawing one unto Christ.
    Listen unto the kind and reassuring words of our dear Lord to those who have been burdened by the awful weight and penalty of their sin and who have turned from every vain and false hope of comfort to the only sure and steadfast hope, the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Matthew 11:28) "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
    There is a sure and true rest for those who are burdened by their sins and that rest is ONLY in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    We would be derelict in our responsibilities if we did not also bring to your attention that as there is no one but the Lord Jesus Christ that those seeking relief from the sin curse upon them and for relief to their sin sick souls may to go to, so there is no one or nowhere that the unrepentant sinner can go to in order to escape God's sure and just wrath. People can not out run God, either lost people or saved people. Jonah thought to flee from the presence of the Lord but he found out that it was impossible to do so.
    The term used to refer to this attribute of God is 'omnipresence'. It is a combination of two words, 'omni' from the Latin 'omnis' which means 'all' and 'presence' which is defined as the 'state or fact of being present'. The 1933 Funk & Wagnalls dictionary defines 'omnipresence' as 'The quality of being everywhere present at the same time'. Quite literally 'omnipresence' means 'all present' or 'present everywhere all the time'. There is no being but God who possesses this attribute.
    The Psalmist was enabled to get a glimpse of God's omnipresence and spoke of it in Psalm 139.
(Psalms 139:7-12) "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? {8} If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. {9} If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; {10} Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. {11} If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. {12} Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee."
    After being defeated by the Israelites the Syrians concluded that 'The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys,' and that if they fought the Israelites in the valleys they would be victorious. Their ignorance of God's omnipresence lead to the deaths of thousands of them. Even though Ahab was exceedingly wicked before the Lord, God used him to defeat the Syrians because they attempted to impugn His majesty by denying His omnipresence.
(1 Kings 20:28) "And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD."
    There will come a time when those who have rebelled against the Lord, those who have spurned His holy Word, those who have mistreated His beloved children will attempt to flee from His presence and His just and holy wrath. They will beg the mountains to fall on them and hide them.
(Revelation 6:15-17) "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; {16} And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: {17} For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
    These people apparently will believe that it is be better to be crushed to death with mountains and rocks, that if in so doing they would be able to escape ' from the wrath of the Lamb' and the everlasting punishment that awaits them, than to stand and face His wrath. All their pleas are to no avail however, for all who die outside of the Lord Jesus Christ must stand, clothed in their own robes of loathsome and disgusting sins, before the omnipotent and thrice holy God. And they must give an account to Him for the things done in this life.
(Romans 14:12) "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."
    All the efforts of those who try to escape God's presence are for naught.
(Jeremiah 23:24) "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD."
    In that day it will be manifest that there is no one who is able to stay the Lord's hand of judgment and wrath.
(Deuteronomy 32:39) "See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand."
    Let each of us who have been divinely enabled to flee to the Lord Jesus Christ seek to live such godly lives that all those whom we come in contact with may have a genuine desire to go to Him also.
    Also, let us never weary of warning those about us to flee from the sure and certain wrath to come. Let us point to the only One who is "an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast", the Lord Jesus Christ.
    In closing this lesson we would like to take just a few minutes and comment upon an aspect of grammar.
    In our English language we have what is called an indefinite article and also what is called a definite article.
    If we use an expression such as a dog, a car, a house, etc. we are using the indefinite article because we are not specifying a particular item to the exclusion of all other such items.
    If we use an expression such as the dog, the car, the house, etc. we are using the definite article to the exclusion of all other such items.
    It is very important that we understand the Holy Spirit's use of the definite article.
    After David had sinned with Bathsheba an killed her husband Uriah he thought the thing was hid. But Nathan the prophet came to him and told him a story of a rich man who spared his own lambs and took one from a poor man. David was furious and said that the man should die.
(2 Samuel 12:7) "And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man."
    The Holy Spirit used the definite article to indicate that David was the man to the exclusion of all other men .
    When Rabshakeh, the Assyrian came to intimidate the Jews he spoke of how all the gods of the lands whom he had conquered had been unable to save them out of his hand and he foolishly declared that neither would the God of the Jews be able to save out of his hand. When Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers he took it into the temple and spread it before the Lord.
(2 Kings 19:14-15) "And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. {15} And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth."
    The blessed Holy Spirit led Hezekiah to use the definite article indicating that the LORD is the only true God, to the exclusion of all other false gods.
    The Lord Jesus Christ used the definite article in reference to Himself as the only way of coming to the Father acceptably.
(John 14:6) "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
    The Lord Jesus in this verse of Scripture declares that He is the ONLY and the EXCLUSIVE Saviour. He declares that He is 'the way' and in so doing He excludes ALL other ways as false ways. And He also declares that no one can come to the Father 'but by me', again excluding ALL other means of acceptably approaching unto the Father.
    The religious world has many ways of approaching the Father acceptably, but they are ALL false ways. There is but one way to be accepted in the Father's presence. There is but One Whom we can go to in order to be accepted in the Father's presence and that One is the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Acts 4:12) "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
    In reality truly coming to the Christ of the Bible is a manifestation of ones' agreement with Peter's statement that there is nowhere, no thing or no one but the Lord Jesus Christ to go to in order to acquire everlasting acceptance in God's holy presence.
(John 6:68) "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life."

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