Have you denied the God of the Universe? Believe it or not, this is an important question for all of us to think about. It’s clear in Scripture that eternal life is freely given to those who trust God and believe His Good News, and just judgment is carried out on those who deny Him. But there is more than one way to deny God. Here are three that I found in the New Testament.
1. Denying that Jesus is Who He said He Was
“Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? That is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.”
1 John 2:22-23
There are many people in our world today who think of themselves as spiritual or even religious people. They believe that God exists, and they attempt to worship him in their own way. Maybe they even see Jesus as a great teacher or a prophet from God. But if they don’t believe that Jesus is who HE said He is, they are denying Him.
Seeing Jesus merely as a great moral teacher is still rejecting Him and therefore rejecting God. God directs our attention to Jesus as the Savior of the world and He doesn’t offer us any alternative paths (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).
So rejecting Jesus is rejecting God. But, as John 1:12 says, “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Anyone can be a child of God, if they would believe upon Jesus.
2. Not Acknowledging Jesus Before Others
“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my father who is in Heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I will also deny before my Father who is in Heaven.”
So maybe we do confess that Jesus is Lord in our hearts. But we can still deny Him by being ashamed of Him before others. Now, we have all been slow to admit our faith before others. We live in a culture that is increasingly hostile towards religion and specifically Christianity. Christians are painted as morons who believe in stupid, harmful, and bigoted fairy tales. This can sometimes lead us to shrink back, and refuse to acknowledge Jesus before those who we think will mock us.
This is tragic. It makes Jesus look small and it’s a denial of everything that He is. But be warned, if we decide to deny Jesus before men, He will also deny us before the Father. And when we stand in the presence of God unless Jesus says, “He’s with me,” we’re not getting in. The proper response to the Christ is not shame or fear, but boldness and an eagerness to share Him before others.
“They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works.”
So maybe at this point you feel like you’re doing pretty good. You confess Jesus as Christ, and you are proud to say that you are a Christian. My next question for you is, “What does your life say?” It is possible for us to shout from the roof tops “Jesus is Lord and I am His disciple!” yet have such messy lives that our words are drowned out.
In Titus 1, Paul speaks about false teachers denying God by their works. But any of us can live in a way that contradicts what we say. Faith in Jesus will always change the way we live. So if your life looks like nothing has changed, something’s not right. Our lust is a denial of God’s good plan for sexual desire. Our pride is a denial of God’s place as center of all things. All of our disobedience is a denial of God’s role as rightful Lord of all Creation.
You words may acknowledge Jesus, but do your works deny Him? Are you loving others (John 15)? Are you obeying Him (John 14:15)? Are you bearing fruit (Galatians 5:22-23)? Are you sacrificially giving yourself and your resources to others (2 Corinthians 8:1-5)? Are you seeking God in His Word?
Many of us will look at these points and see some of ourselves in one or all of them. If you do feel shame because of the ways you’ve denied Him, there is Good News. Even denial of God was paid for at the cross by Jesus, as we see so clearly with Peter. If you turn from that sin of denial, and receive Jesus by faith, that sin will be forgiven.
Keep trusting Christ fam.