Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.” – John 6: 68-69 (NLT) Sometimes we read the Old Testament accounts of the nation of Israel in relative disbelief. Here was a God who showed Himself mighty on behalf of His people over and over again only to be met with derision, unbelief and spiritual adultery. This was the God who delivered the ten plagues to Egypt while sparing the nation of Israel. The God who freed them from 400 years of bondage only to watch them whine about the wilderness and actually wish they still were in chains! The God who fed them with manna from heaven and water from a rock. The God who parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River. Yet despite these and many other displays of who God was, they were in constant rebellion to Him. They either quickly forgot or didn’t appreciate all God had done. They must have felt some level of entitlement to have their immediate needs met constantly. They left God and consorted with the false gods and idols of their unbelieving neighbors. They disobeyed God with seeming wanton lust and went as far as to offer their own children as human sacrifices to this idolatry in their lives. I think sometimes we look upon these tales incredulously and fail to realize that often, we are no better. You adulterers!Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. – James 4: 4 (NLT) Friendship with the world? Far too often we are caught with split loyalty, which is no loyalty at all. The carnal thinking church produces carnal thinking Christians. The slightest thing comes against us and our natural reaction is not to look upward to but to look outward. Like the Israelites before us we too can forget all that God has done in our lives. We can forget that He rescued us from the Egypt that is this world. We can forget that He broke the shackles of slavery to sin that were around our ankles and delivered us from bondage. We too can wistfully look back to Egypt and fondly reminisce about a time when we were bobsledding to hell and beaten down by the devil. We can forget the supernatural provision God has given us and the supernatural protection He has afforded. We can prop up the gods of this world like the Philistines used to have to prop up Dagon. We can bow down to the gods of mammon and greed and sadly may not even have to leave the church to do so. We can get bad news or have a big decision to make and seek all the worldly advice and wisdom we can handle before finally falling to our knees and looking up. God would lament in the Old Testament about the condition of the hearts of men as opposed to what they merely said about Him: The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouthand honor me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of meis based on merely human rules they have been taught. – Isaiah 29: 13 (NIV) There is nothing new under the sun. Too often we are Christians by word only and not by deed. It is easy to raise your hands on Sunday when all is right in the world but to seek His face in the valley we too can so easily forget. We too can so easily become unappreciative. Some of this is simply a product of poor teaching in the churches. When we teach the bless me theologies of the world we develop Christians who believe they are entitled. Then when something goes wrong we can tend to shake our fist at God because we somehow think it shouldn’t happen to us. We have been incorrectly taught that the things He has saved us from are things we have “given up” for Him. We haven’t done anything for Him beloved. He has done everything for us. The key verses today stand as a reminder of who God is supposed to be to us at all times. The verses come at the end of a hard teaching Christ was giving to His followers. As His ministry wore on, more and more people were following Christ with their mouths but not with their hearts. Jesus decides to thin the herd out by imparting deeper spiritual truths to them. The result is one of the saddest verses in the Bible: From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. – John 6: 66 (NIV) The sad truth today is that the church is filled with just such believers. People who are followers in words only. If the teaching would ever get deeper than sour spiritual milk – they would turn back and follow Christ no more. But leaders today are more inclined to keep the sermons light. Make them “culturally relevant.” Nothing about the blood. Nothing about the cross. Nothing that might scare them away from coming back next week to hear the same messages that deliver absolutely nobody. Jesus turns to the 12 though and asks if they too will now leave Him. The key verses are their answer. It needs to be our answer as well when we are faced with the trials and tribulations of this life. It needs to be our answer if the teaching gets tough. Pick up my own cross? Well, to whom else should we go? I must suffer persecution for Your namesake? Well, only You have the words of eternal life. I must face tribulation? Well, You are the Holy One of God. Do we truly get this today? Can we wrap our hearts around it and hold on for dear life? To whom shall we go beloved? To the world? To the solutions of a world that is controlled by Satan? To our friends, who while well intended, are not actually God? Shall we turn to false preachers to have our ears tickled by what we like to hear? Are their words the words that give eternal life? Realize today that you can be purpose driven right into hell. When we are walking in the wilderness and are unsure where to go or how long our suffering must last – to whom do we turn? Is it our family? Our pastors? Where is God in our equation? Oh preacher, you don’t understand my situation. I don’t have to! God does! Who has the words that give eternal life? I may preach them but they are not my words. They are His and His alone. Do we understand who we have living inside of us? Jesus Christ is the Holy One of God! I can almost hear the incredulousness in Peter’s voice here. Lord??? To whom would we go? Are you kidding me? There is nothing anyone else can offer me that will be better than the Holy One of God! Bad medical report – to whom shall I go! Just lost my job? To whom shall I go! Don’t know where the kids are? To whom shall I go! Marriage seems to be falling apart? To whom shall I go! I do not know where this writing finds you. It finds me at a crossroads and I do not know the way. But I know someone who does. I know the God who not only knows the way but created the way! The world? The experts of the world? The solutions of the world? The despair of the world? Why would I ever want that? To whom shall I go? The one whose words bring eternal life. To the Holy One of God. Who else? Rev. Anthony.