Radio Broadcast Tuesday 08/14/2019

Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 59 (08-14-19)

Synopsis

We are in the book of John, chapter 12, after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Then there was a dinner in the honor of Jesus, and Lazarus was there, and then a festival that took place. After the festival, Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. On his way, some Greeks who had gone to worship at the festival, wanted to see Jesus. They told Philip and in turn he told Andrew and they both told Jesus. Jesus then speaks truth about his purpose in coming to this earth, the mission he came to complete.

While all these events had transpired, the Pharisees and religious leaders are getting more and more upset, and sought to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus. After Lazarus was raised from the dead, the word of Jesus was spreading even more. Recall that job security killed Jesus. They could not be teachers of the law if everyone follows Jesus. They wanted people to listen to their teaching of the law that was contrary to what Jesus was teaching. It did not matter to them that lives were changed by the message Jesus taught and the miracles that were performed through him. Their hearts were hard.

But you cannot deny that many miracles had taken place. Because of the miracles, many people put their trust in Jesus. Even Nicodemus, a leading Pharisee, even went to Jesus at night to inquire. Nicodemus had been thinking, “No man can do what he is doing unless God were with him”. So you have two groups of people. There are those who will believe in Jesus and those who will not. So it is today.

There are those who will be willing to stop and listen to truth, like Nicodemus. A man hears truth one day and then all of a sudden his eyes are opened. He accepts the new life of Christ Jesus that is offered and a life is changed forever. One day someone told you about Jesus. You put your faith in what you were told. You put your faith in the fact that God said I was a sinner. God also said Jesus came to die for the forgiveness of that sin and I believed that and I put my faith in that. He said I was dead spiritually and Jesus was raised from the dead in order to raise me from the dead spiritually. I understood that and I believed that and I put my faith in that.

I was born again and something happened. My mind was different. I started thinking differently. My attitude toward things were totally different. Not that everything was perfect overnight. It just means everything was new. My attitude toward life was totally changed and there is no explanation for it. One moment I was in the bar with my buddies and the next day I had no business being in the bar with my buddies. Nobody told me not to go. I just knew I did not belong there any more. One day as a lost person, I would constantly use bad language. Later, your language cleared up. That does not mean I do not occasionally slip when someone cuts me off the freeway. I used to want to go to the bars and now I want to go home. My life changed. How do you explain that change? Was there all of a sudden a psychological thing? No. I just prayed a prayer to a God I could have prayed to any time in my life to come into my heart and make me the kind of person he wanted me to be. If Jesus was not alive that would not have occurred

John 12:31-32
31 “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.” 32 And I, when I am lifted up[exalted] from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

Now Jesus spoke plainly about what he came to do. As believers, we know that he laid down his life of his own accord to fulfill the will of God to the saving of many lives. But no one really understood what he was saying. Jesus is saying, “I am going to die but I am going to be raised. I am in this world and will be killed by the people of this world and be raised. When I am raised, I will draw all men to myself.” We elevate the resurrected life of Jesus. That is where we draw men to Christ. Not that he just died on a cross but that he was raised. The dynamic of Christ’s life is the resurrection. That is why the apostle Paul said that without the resurrection we are to be pitied of all people and are still in our sins, knowing full well that a cross had occurred.

But who has believed the message? People would still not believe the message of Christ, even after seeing all these miraculous signs. Isaiah the prophet wrote about this, this hardness of heart that prevents people from believing the words of Jesus. The question that everyone needs to ask themselves is this. What is the condition of your heart? If you were to hear truth today, do you have a soft heart or a hard heart? The same sun that melts wax also hardens clay. It is not the fault of the clay or the wax. It is not the fault of the sun. It depends on what it falls on. The message of Christ Jesus and salvation by grace alone, that message will either melt your heart or harden your heart. It will do one of the two. It cannot do anything but. The more you hear it and the more you resist, the harder your heart becomes. When that message comes upon a piece of wax, it melts that old hard heart. That is when you are born again.

There is so much evidence to believe that Jesus is God. We have eyewitnesses of Jesus that wrote down the miracles they saw; water turned to wine, a blind man who can now see, and Lazarus raised from the dead. There were eyewitnesses of Jesus who came to be known as the apostles, through whom the word of God was written down. They spread the word of Jesus. They heard his word of life, and after Pentecost, being filled with the Holy Spirit, they understood the meaning of Jesus words. They are truth and they are life.

Surely the apostles would not die for a lie, or put their lives at risk or be allowed to be beaten for a lie, to simply play a silly game. All the apostles were martyred. Why? If people of this world persecuted Jesus, as the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Lazarus, then could we also see how people today, so hard and blind, would also be opposed to the message of life we preach of Jesus? But we proclaim the resurrected life of Jesus! There is no other life worth living.

Logic testifies how foolish it would be not to believe that Jesus is who he claimed to be. Logical reasoning says that Jesus is a liar, a lunatic, or he is indeed Lord. The only logical conclusion is that he is God. How foolish to believe any differently. If God is not real, or there is no after-life, then I would just be praying to the air, with nothing to lose, if Jesus is not God. If this life is all there is, then just eat, drink and be merry, for that is all there is. What a meaningless life, without God, a short period on earth with hangovers, disappointments, sorrow, grief and eventual death.

But if God is real and Jesus is God and there is a resurrection, there is a life after this one is over because Jesus, who is God, said there is. If Jesus is God, then everything he says can be trusted. And when he said there is a place called hell that we will go to if we do not receive his offer of life, then there is everything to lose. Do not be foolish or hard of heart! God offers you not just a life to come but His very life in you to be lived today, and that life is full of joy and allows you to live in a new way, as many believers can testify.

Transcript

John 12:25
25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

What is he talking about here? I want to see Jesus. So they went to a person and asked, “Do you want to see Jesus”? If you had your salvation, and you are the only one who had salvation, and then you decided everyone else can go to hell. You say, “I am not going to talk to anybody about Jesus. I have got my salvation and you have yours. I got mine. Good luck.” So dying to self is dying to the opinions of others. When you become a child of the living God and you are out in the workplace among non-believers, then you will be about as popular as the Titanic sinking. You have to die from running for sheriff.

As a non-believer, Bob had his own business with employees and a lot of customers. Most of his customers were Jewish. When he became a Christian did that change anything? Yes, it did. Bob said he had to make up his mind, “Do I want to be popular or do I want to be a child of God? I had to die to the desire for acceptance. I had to realize that I will not necessarily be accepted.” Bob had a friend who had a cross and a star of David. So if a Jewish man came in he would show him the star of David. To the others, he would show them the cross. That is a friend being double-minded, afraid of what men might think.

Bob had no problem working with people of the Jewish faith or anything else. He found he was more respected than before. You have to die to worrying about how people will receive what you say. Let your light shine where you are. If you did have to hold onto self acceptance then you will lose your life.

Matthew 5:15-16
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

John 12:25
25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Hating your life in this world. Where I lived everything is kind of okay, with a nice wife and a nice business. Not much to hate. But put that in perspective of the larger world, where there is a Hitler and a Saddam Hussein and all that you see in the world today. Can you say you can love the world? Is there really anything to love when you think about it? We come to the point of saying, this world is temporal.

Bob’s son was talking to a man who became a millionaire at 30 years of age. He was searching and saying life is all meaningless. Just do a search in Ecclesiastes and you will see more clearly how meaningless life is without the life of God living in you. This is what Solomon, who started out well, discovered in this matter.

Ecclesiastes 5:10
10 Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

There are people in all walks of life who have asked, “God, there has got be more to life than what I am experiencing. You work your tail off in order to make more money. You go home and go to sleep only to wake up and start making some more money. You work to make more money only to pass it on to your children for them to make money. There has got to be more to life than this.”

For 36 years, Bob was looking and not finding the answers. Bob thanks God he met a man who was bold enough to tell him about Jesus. Bob is so grateful to Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ. At that time, Campus Crusade for Christ was solid in their belief and testimony of Jesus Christ.

John 12:26
26 Whoever serves me must follow me;

Jesus was still on this earth. You must follow me. Where did he say we are to follow him to? Where was he going? Jesus was going to the cross. Do not stop before you get to the cross. Many people stopped following him before he got to the cross. Peter almost stopped and even denied him because of the people beating Jesus to death and was overcome with fear. You have to follow him to where he is going.

John 10:17-18
17 “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Do we follow Christ today? You are not following Jesus today. When you are born again, you are indwelt by the Spirit of Jesus. You do not follow someone who is living in you. You are led by the person living in you.

John 16:13
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

But in the time of Christ walking on the earth at this time in history, first you go to follow him to where he is going. He is going to the cross and the resurrection.

John 12:26
26 and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

2 Corinthians 5:6-7
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

That is why there is no fear in death for a Christian. We know something. We just going to a different realm. It is a realm that does not have the stuff we see. I enjoy the animal kingdom, most of the human kingdom and the nature, seeing God’s creation. But compared to heaven, no comparison. We cannot fathom heaven. It is like talking to baby in a mother’s womb, if that were possible. Baby says, “I am comfortable here”. When we die, we are absent from the body but present with the Lord.

John 12:26
26 and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

John 12:27-28
27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”

This is a statement made prior to his arrest. Remember when he was saying, “Father, if it is possible, take this cup from me”. Here he is saying, “Father, save me from this hour. No, it was for this reason I came to this hour”.

So what is Jesus saying here? The Lord Jesus Christ is saying in his agony, “Lord, if there is any other way to save humanity except for me to go to the cross to take upon the sins of the entire world, apart from me having to become sin, then do it, but it is not my will but your will be done.”

2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Bob taught Sunday school once and a young teenage girl asked, “How can someone be so full of agony that he could sweat great drops of blood?” Bob asked, “Do you think that if you were sentenced to die in an electric chair with an injection of some kind, do you think you would sweat with great drops of blood?”” “No, there are lesser men than Jesus that have gone to their death and have not done that”. Bob then said, “Let me ask you another question. Suppose you knew you were to go out in the field, stripped of all your clothes to be molested and raped by two hundred men, do you think you would sweat great drops of blood?” “Yes”, she said. “That is what Jesus did. It was not death that bothered Jesus. It was taking on all the vile sins of the world where one sin alone would be enough to send him to the cross. That is what he was agonizing over. If God did not save me, he could not save you. Our salvation is tied up in one man, Jesus Christ. If God saved him, we would not be saved today. But it was for this hour that Jesus came.“ Jesus said, “Father, glorify your name”. Make this plan known. A plan proclaimed is just a plan proclaimed. A plan proclaimed and then demonstrated is making the plan known. It is putting action to your words.

John 12:28-31
28 Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.”

The prince of the world in the context of this scripture is Jesus. Who was driven out of this world? Jesus was. If you can mark these scriptures, Isaiah 9:6 and Acts 5:31, you will see that Jesus is identified as the prince. Who is the church today? Born again believers. The Holy Spirit came to live in you and placed you in the body of Christ. The church is the body of Jesus. It is not our body. It is his body. That church is in mystery form. Where is our king? In exile. He was driven out. Who drove him out?

John 1:10-12
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

We crucified him. The prince of this world will be driven out.

John 12:32
31 “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.” 32 And I, when I am lifted up[exalted] from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

Jesus is saying, “I am going to die but I am going to be raised. I am in this world and will be killed by the people of this world and be raised. When I am raised, I will draw all men to myself”. We elevate the resurrected life of Jesus. That is where we draw men to Christ. Not that he just died on a cross but that he was raised. The dynamic of Christ’s life is the resurrection. That is why the apostle Paul said that without the resurrection we are to be pitied of all people and are still in our sins, knowing full well that a cross had occurred.

1 Corinthians 15:12-22
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

John 12:33-34
33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

34 The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”

You are claiming to be the Christ yet you are saying you are going to die. How can you say the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man? They are still not understanding.

John 12:35-36
35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”

Children of light are the representatives of the light of the world, Christ Jesus. Jesus is appealing to men to come into the light, to believe in the light while you have the light. Believe the truth so that they may have life in his name. God wants men to be born again, to become children of God, and the only way is through Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life.

John 12:36-37
36 When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.

Is that not amazing? Anyone born again today has a testimony. What is your testimony? Your testimony is you went through life so many years lost, bouncing prayers off the ceiling and where nothing made sense. You had no meaning and no purpose. You were just existing.

One day someone told you about Jesus. You put your faith in what you were told. You put your faith in the fact that God said I was a sinner. God also said Jesus came to die for the forgiveness of that sin and I believed that and I put my faith in that. He said I was dead spiritually and Jesus was raised from the dead in order to raise me from the dead spiritually. I understood that and I believed that and I put my faith in that.

I was born again and something happened. My mind was different. I started thinking differently. My attitude toward things were totally different. Not that everything was perfect overnight. It just means everything was new. My attitude toward life was totally changed and there is no explanation for it. One moment I was in the bar with my buddies and the next day I had no business being in the bar with my buddies. Nobody told me not to go. I just knew I did not belong there any more. One day as a lost person, I would constantly use bad language. Later, your language cleared up. That does not mean I do not occasionally slip when someone cuts me off the freeway. I used to want to go to the bars and now I want to go home. My life changed. How do you explain that change? Was there all of a sudden a psychological thing? No. I just prayed a prayer to a God I could have prayed to any time in my life to come into my heart and make me the kind of person he wanted me to be. If Jesus was not alive that would not have occurred.

What do you have to lose? If Jesus is not there, if this is a big farce, then what is the worst thing that is going to happen to you? You will just be praying to air. How big of a deal is that to be praying to air? On the other hand, if Jesus is the truth and He is the life, then your whole life will change. And when you die, you will go to hell if you do not believe in God. What kind of gamble is that? You have got to be a fool not to understand it. It is either praying to air or getting saved.

If Christ Jesus is who he claimed to be, God, and he said to you that you are lost, then you are lost, if he is God. If He is not God, who cares if I am lost. Do you not realize what conclusions can be drawn concerning the testimony of Jesus, of a man walking on the earth saying he is God. You can only conclude that he is an imposter, a liar, a maniac or he is God. Any man proclaiming himself to be God must be a liar, a lunatic, or he really is the Lord God.

Now what is the most logical conclusion from the evidence we have? Every one of those apostles were martyred for preaching Christ. Paul was flogged many times. Peter was hung upside down. People do not do that for a lie. You do not do that for a little game you are playing with people. They knew Jesus was raised from the dead and he was alive living in them. And on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came to live inside people, that was an experience no one can deny. To deny that is to call all of them liars. You would have to call Jesus a liar, all the apostles a liar, and everyone for over 2000 years a liar who proclaimed to be born again of the Spirit. Either you call them a liar or you have been deceived. You would have to say we have a mental problem or are an imposter or really had an encounter with God. Bob was changed from a man who all he cared a about was business and himself to a man who all he wanted to do was share about Jesus. God changes lives.

Yet people would still not believe the message of Christ, even after seeing all these miraculous signs. Isaiah the prophet wrote about this.

John 12:38-40
38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”[Isaiah 53:1]

39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

40
“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
nor understand with their hearts,
nor turn – and I would heal them.”[Isaiah 6:10]

The same sun that melts wax also hardens clay. It is not the fault of the clay or the wax. It is not the fault of the sun. It depends on what it falls on. The message of Christ Jesus and salvation by grace alone, that message will either melt your heart or harden your heart. It will do one of the two. It cannot do anything but. The more you hear it and the more you resist, the harder you heart becomes. When that message comes upon a piece of wax, it melts that old hard heart. That is when you are born again.

You cannot see because you do not want to see. I could take you to the most phenomenal sights of the world, the Grand Canyon. How many think I can take you there and you cannot see it. How? You turn your back on it. That is all you have to do to not see. Turn your back on it. That is all you have to do. You think you have to give up something. Yes, you have to give up hangovers, disappointments, and misery in order to have the joy of Christ Jesus. Is that not something worth giving up to have Christ Jesus with no disappointment with Him and everything that is in Him, even eternal life?

John 12:41-42
41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.

42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him.

So you have one group that says, “I have seen the miracles” and another group that says, “I believe”. Are you like Nicodemus, who came to Jesus at night and said in his heart, “No man can do what he is doing unless God were with him.” Nicodemus came to Jesus at night to inquire, “What is this?” Being still in darkness and not understanding, Jesus told him, “unless you are born again you cannot enter the kingdom of God”. Was he being a smart guy or was he genuinely seeking for the meaning of life? Was he pondering that maybe Jesus really is the Christ, God in the flesh, who has the answers to life? Was he coming to Jesus to allow his heart to be melted with truth? Will you allow the hard layers of your heart to be broken up so you may be born again?

Classic Christianity

What About 1 John 1:9 Booklet


Order from our online store: Bible Studies, Books, Witnessing Tracts, Audio Cds, DVDs and More.

Purchase and download Bible Studies, the Closer Look Series & more.


%d bloggers like this: