It has to be one of the most awful shared feelings of humanity and one of the most overused, yet effective tools of the enemy. Rejection. I almost feel like it deserves a line of its own.
Ricky Bible was my bus stop nemesis in second grade. He found great pleasure in causing me great consternation making me feel overlooked and left behind. I’m hopeful that he has changed his ways. Each day as a second grader I was dropped off at Cisco Intermediate school by my brother, Randal and our friend, Ricky Wendy, so that I could catch a bus to the Eastward Primary school. Almost every day I cried whenever they dropped me off because I knew that Ricky Bible would be around to torment me. His standard line was that I had been left behind by the bus driver. He would describe my bus and my driver and then claim that the bus had already come and gone. I’d been left behind. Rejected. I would simply stand and cry at the thought and he would stand and laugh. Now, I was a wimp, no question, but I think it is safe to assume that he was something worse. Those nasty childhood wounds. It always seemed ironic to me that his name would be “Bible”, such irony. In truth, I only missed the bus once and in that instance an angelic young girl from the Intermediate school delivered me to the Principal who arranged for my transportation to the Primary school.
Having endured Ricky Bible, having lost both parents by age 8, having suffered the consequences of many bad decisions (at least one of which left me in jail for a night), having been on the losing end of many bad relationships and the cause of many others and finally, continuing to be the sort of oddball person who always seems to have a different sort of perspective on most things; rejection and I have become much more than mere “acquaintances'”. Often I tell my lovely wife that I feel like a Martian; i.e. totally out of place, rejected by all. Only a few nights ago I lay in bed reliving and regretting the sins of my youth, vividly recalling my failures and wallowing in self-pity like a mud-loving pig. I deserve REJECTION.
Let’s face it, even in the land of “more than plenty” many of us find ourselves feeling rejected more than we ever should. It haunts us and pursues us and, as odd as it sounds, fills us with self-focused pride. Huh? The sense of rejection is nothing more than a frailty of the flesh that can easily become a tool of the devil. Seriously, that’s all it is. When I dwell on everything I’ve messed up in the past or how sorry I am or how ignored I am or why that someone who I may not even know looked at me “that way” – it’s all about me. It is self-pity and foolishness. It is especially foolish in light of Jesus’ words in John 6. Yes, you may have been truly rejected more than once in your lifetime but trust me, rejection has been put to bed. The sense of rejection so easily becomes that frame of mind that simply exists to give the enemy a foothold in a person’s life. It’s nothing but bad and serves no noble purpose in our lives. It insidiously leads us into the corner of self-pity and as Oswald Chambers says, “Self-pity is of the devil”. Self-pity is a product of Hell.
Here’s the truly good news: Jesus has rejected rejection. Rejection has not only been put to bed but it is dead. There truly is no rejection in Jesus Christ for those who come to Him. The only way that rejection has room in a believer’s life is through the pride of the believer. Jesus totally banished rejection to Hell for those who would come to Him. Oh, I know, we all get rejected by someone or something or some company or somebody’s dog or kid or a number of things but hear me – earthly rejection is temporary, empty, powerless and ultimately dead because Heavenly acceptance has been extended. Awesome.
“All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” John 6:37
Shouldn’t He qualify that a little? I mean, does He understand what He is getting Himself into? I’ve got a tremendous amount of baggage. Maybe I’ll just put a few “bags” away before I come. It will make it so much easier for Him to accept me. If I could just get myself cleaned up a bit before I head His way. You know, dump some bad habits. Clean up my language. Control my wandering eyes. Become a better parent. Apologize to everyone I ever offended. Come back to church. Quit drinking so much. Move out of my girlfriend’s house. Clear my record. Blah. Blah. Blah. Think of whatever you want that keeps you from coming to Jesus, any of your many failings – past, present or future and then realize this: No conditions. “…whoevercomes to me I will never cast out.” (Emphasis mine – which should be obvious since most Bibles don’t have bold or italics.)
The Reverend Frank F. Limehouse, III, whose sermon motivated this article, puts it like this.
“I don’t care where you’ve been or what you’re involved in now, no matter how bad you think it is. We do not say to you to clean up your act and deal with this thing first and then come. That is not the good news! That is not the gospel! We only say come. He will speak to you as he sees fit. We only say come. We have God’s word on this. There is no adjective or adverb to qualify. He said, I will in no wise cast you out.”
Whoever comes to me... No qualifications. No conditions. No requirements. No nothing.
Never… Let me write that again. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Typically, whenever I use this word, I use it in vain. Rarely do I keep my “nevers”. Yet, we know that Jesus always means what He says and always honors His word. He is eternally faithful. Paul writes that “even when we are faithless He remains faithful.” “I will in no wise cast you out”.
Jesus offers ongoing, eternal acceptance. It is almost too good to be true. Yet, I believe the biggest difficulty is not in understanding His offer but in coming to Him. He will not force Himself on anyone. He offers you the Way, the Truth and the Life and then invites you to come. Heaven is the unhindered presence of God and why would God want anyone in His presence who does not want to be there? Think about it. He gives us the self-dignity of choosing. He is the Sovereign God who loves so deeply, so honestly, so purely – His grace truly is amazing. Don’t reject His offer.
Dump rejection. It’s hellish and sinful. Dump your sorry old self and come to Jesus. Come everyday. Take Him. He offers Himself without reservation. He is Life abundant.
He will never cast you out. Hallelujah!