“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”—John 3:19
In sending out the seventy, Jesus bade them, as He had bidden the twelve, not to urge their presence where they were unwelcome. “Into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not,” He said, “go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” They were not to do this from motives of resentment or through wounded dignity, but to show how grievous a thing it is to refuse the Lord’s message or His messengers. To reject the Lord’s servants is to reject Christ Himself….
To those busy towns about the Sea of Galilee, heaven’s richest blessings had been freely offered. Day after day the Prince of life had gone in and out among them. The glory of God, which prophets and kings had longed to see, had shone upon the multitudes that thronged the Saviour’s steps. Yet they had refused the heavenly Gift.
With a great show of prudence the rabbis had warned the people against receiving the new doctrines taught by this new Teacher; for His theories and practices were contrary to the teachings of the fathers. The people gave credence to what the priests and Pharisees taught, in place of seeking to understand the word of God for themselves. They honored the priests and rulers instead of honoring God, and rejected the truth that they might keep their own traditions. Many had been impressed and almost persuaded; but they did not act upon their convictions, and were not reckoned on the side of Christ. Satan presented his temptations, until the light appeared as darkness. Thus many rejected the truth that would have proved the saving of the soul.
The True Witness says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock” (Revelation 3:20). Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God or through His messengers is a knock at the door of the heart. It is the voice of Jesus asking for entrance…. The impressions of the Holy Spirit if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow.—The Desire of Ages, 489, 490.
Further Reflection: Exodus 34:7 reminds us that we have a merciful God, but He does not overlook sin. How does God reclaim one whose life has been marked by repeated transgression?