Not to believe in Christ as the Son of God is called a sin leading to damnation in the Bible, and this message shows why. It also shows how individual people may receive Christ, exactly what this involves, what it leads to.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to believe on his name.
And our subject is the personal receiving of Christ, how he must be personally received. Now, there are many distinctions between people among human beings. There are obvious distinctions, there are any number we can draw. There are rich, there are poor, there are famous, there are obscure people, there are strong people and weak people, and so on. We could go dividing people up into categories, but there are only two categories that determine eternal matters and where we will spend eternity. And those categories are believers, unbelievers, and really, ultimately, they’re the only two categories that matter. The only categories that matter for eternity. Will you be rejected by God or will you find acceptance with God? Are you an unbeliever or are you a believer?
I’d like to say a few things, first of all, about unbelief, being an unbeliever. The most amazing rejection of Christ is spoken of here, verse 11. He came unto his own and his own received him not. He came to the human race that he had made and the human race rejected him. Specifically, he came to the Jews, his own people, and they, by and large, rejected him. And then there’s the contrast in verse 12, but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. This is an astonishing rejection. The Jews were a sample people. When we think of their rejection of Christ, don’t focus your mind upon them and their foolishness and their unbelief, because really, they only did what we all do. That’s the truth.