New Testament Christianity is a taught religion. Because such is the case, proper knowledge is essentially connected to that of following truth. Because one must as an individual must believe and obey God’s truth freedom of personal choice is a crucial concept that one must personally exercise (John 6:44-45). God thus has procreated us when we reached a specific point in our lives in becoming accountable or responsible for our actions to have the capacity to use our reasoning abilities to ascertain truth and in so understanding such to believe and obey such, thus becoming Christians—members of the church of Christ.
Because God through His love has made adequate provisions for our Salvation, and because Christ through His love and devotion paid the ultimate sin debt for us to obtain Salvation does not mean that all accountable sinners will believe and obey the conditions to be saved from their sins. Given the fact that we are free moral agents in the decisions that we make there have been and always will be those who reject both the facts and conditions of the gospel and thus refuse to obey such.
As we carefully study Acts 13:14-51 we read of such a situation that developed in the preaching of Paul and Barnabas in Antioch of Pisidia. As they came into this community they went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day. After the reading of the law the rulers of the synagogue gave them the opportunity to present a word of exhortation to those gathered there.
The record in Acts 13 informs us that Paul stood up and gave a summary of Old Testament History as it related to National Israel regarding its formation and the scheme of Redemption that would be offered to the world as it would come through Christ. Paul, with great power demonstrated that Christ was revealed in the person of Jesus; how His work was prepared by John, how He confirmed His Deity by his death, burial, and resurrection from death.
At the conclusion of this sermon the Jews left the synagogue and the Gentiles besought Paul and Barnabas to remain another week and engage in additional preaching that related to the gospel. The next Sabbath day brought the city together to hear God’s truth. The Jews were moved with envy and opposed the gospel of Christ. By divine inspiration Paul spoke to them stating that they had judged themselves unworthy of eternal life.
This same action in the minds of rejecters of truth happens today when upon hearing the gospel moves individuals of their freedom of choice to reject the opportunity of salvation in Christ that God grants unto all accountable individuals through the Gospel. Let us consider how individuals judge themselves unworthy of eternal life.
One judges self unworthy by refusing to be an honest hearer. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17). The word of God is truth (John 17:17). Yet if one is unwilling to look at God’s truth in an honest way one’s personal dishonesty will bring about self condemnation (Acts 13:44; Matt. 13:15; Luke 8:15).
One judges self unworthy by refusing to discern the reality of the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Christ. The Old Testament prophecies regarding Christ are clear. It is beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Old Testament prophets spoke about Jesus of Nazareth. In Acts 13:32-42 the evidence was made clear that such applied to Jesus as the Christ. The ultimate evidence was His resurrection from death (2 Cor. 3:12-15).
One judges self unworthy of eternal life by the sin of envy. Envy has always been a great problem leading to sin. Such was the case after creation regarding Satan, who envied God. Such was the case during the personal ministry of Christ and during the first century regarding the preaching of the gospel and such is also the case today. Envy involves strong displeasure regarding the advantage or prosperity of others (Acts 13:45; Matt. 27:18; Gal. 5:21).
One judges self unworthy of eternal life in speaking against the word of God. Such is opposition to the truth (John 8:32; 17:17; Luke 10:16; Acts 13:45; 19:9). Speaking against the word of God is speaking against God.
One judges self unworthy of eternal life in contradicting and blaspheming the truth of God. Contradicting and blaspheming the truth of God means to verbally oppose and speak in a way that one rails against truth as demonstrating an attitude of hatred for such, Such indeed is a grievous sin (Acts 17:45; 18:6; 13:50; 1 Tim. 1:19-20).
One judges self unworthy of eternal life by denying his God-given privilege of acceptance, obedience, and faithfulness to the gospel. Consider the great price that has been paid for the salvation of humanity (Heb. 2:1-9; Acts 13:46; Rom. 1:16-17; 10:12-13). We injure God when we sin against Him. To deny one’s God-given right to the gospel only adds insult to the original injury. Can one fully comprehend the righteous fury and terrible punishment that awaits all who will never accept, obey, or remain faithful to the gospel of Christ?
One judges self unworthy of eternal life by putting the word of God from him. When we discuss the concept of putting the word of God from the life of any individual we are not discussing only a failure to accept, obey, and/or be faithful to such; we are discussing a complete rejection, repudiation, and a turning away from the truth that is irreparable. Such is a total rejection of truth where he can never receive or obey such (Acts 7:51; 13:46). One in such a condition can never be saved from sin as he has burned his last bridge.