3 Most Important Words: Faith
By Bobby Blakey on October 19, 2014
1 Thessalonians 1:10
3 Most Important Words: Faith
By Bobby Blakey on October 19, 2014
1 Thessalonians 1:10
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:01] This week I did something adventurous and I read the newspaper every day. Anybody here still read the newspaper? Anybody still using that for me here? Not many people wanted to see what the headlines were.
[00:00:12] I don't know if you've ever noticed this about the news, but the news is always bad news. Have you noticed that one of the headlines this week, this is the Los Angeles Times right here. Second, Dallas nurse has Ebola. Did you hear about this? Now a second nurse taking care of the man who died from Ebola. And there in Texas, she has now come down with it. And I saw this graphic on the USA Today. This is a little chart right here where the Dow Jones drops 370 points just on the news that another nurse has come down with Ebola. And then we find out that she has flown on an airplane since she came in contact with the disease. And the Dow Jones drops ends up dropping over 500 points in one day because of the fear, the terror of this idea of a book, Ebola. How many of you guys have had a conversation with somebody about Ebola this week? Anybody? I mean, there's a lot of conversation about the fear of what could happen about this disease. The New York Times, they led with a picture of a guy in front of the White House in a hazmat suit with a sign that says, stop the flights. He wants to stop the flights from Africa. And, of course, in classic American fashion, someone someone's taking a selfie right next to this guy in there in that picture here. There's a lot of there's a lot of fear that something bad is going to happen and it could spread everywhere and it could be worse than what we're ready for.
[00:01:41] And it could wipe us out. Another big headline that's been in the news lately. This is The Wall Street Journal. And they've got a picture of a tent city here. And this is in Syria because ISIS is just running everyone out of their homes and they're killing people and they're persecuting Christians. And so this is not something that people are afraid of. This is something that is happening. I mean, right now in the world, people are living in a tent city because they have been forced to flee under the fear of being killed from some terrorist government that is trying to get plan out there in the Middle East.
[00:02:21] Can you imagine? I mean, you walk into Starbucks or you see the news and you see headlines like this.
[00:02:26] Can you imagine if you walked up to Starbucks and you looked at the Orange County Register and it said, man rises from the dead? Can you imagine if that was the headline there? And it's like, actually, this happened 2000 years ago. There were over 500 eyewitnesses. We have written accounts of people who saw him. In fact, the message of this man has been spreading for two thousand years. What if we weren't reporting the good news? Or what if you opened up the Los Angeles Times one day and the headline was Jesus Coming Soon? That was the headline in the newspaper, like, hey, I know we got Ebola going on and I know we got ISIS going on. But, hey, you're something that everybody on planet Earth needs to get ready for. This is something that will surely affect every soul here. Jesus Christ, the Lord in heaven at the right hand of God is ready to return at any moment. Are you ready? What if that was the headline in the news?
[00:03:26] Do we talk about a lot of things that are going on?
[00:03:28] But I want you to see today, as we study God's word, that the two things that we need to think about what happened is Jesus did rise from the dead. And what's about to happen is he is going to come back. And that on any day is bigger news than what's on the headline of the newspaper. That news right there. The fundamental good news of Jesus Christ, that is hopefully what you have put your trust in for the salvation of your soul. That is what you are looking forward to hopefully here this morning. I'm talking to people who would rather be in heaven than be here right now. Can I get name in from anybody? I mean, that's hopefully the good news that we're looking forward to.
[00:04:08] And yet so many times where our thoughts are dominated by death, by lesser things, important things, dramatic things, but not as important as the news of Jesus Christ.
[00:04:19] Grab your Bible and open it back up. The First Thessalonians Chapter one as we are going to finish this chapter here together today. It's been great to study through it over the last seven weeks. And now we get here to verse 10 of First Thessalonians, chapter one. I want to start reading in verse eight, reading verses eight, nine and 10. If you could follow along, if you got one of our Bibles, it's on page nine hundred and eighty six. So this is First Thessalonians, chapter one. Start with me in verse eight. It says this for not only has the word of the Lord, the gospel sounded forth from you in Macedonia and the Caixa.
[00:05:01] But your faith in God has gone forth everywhere. So do we need not say anything for they themselves? Other people are coming to us and they report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
[00:05:34] So we've been saying there's three most important words in the English language that Jesus gives to us. And Mark 115, when he shows up and he says this, he says Repent and believe in the gospel. And so we've taken those three words. We started with the gospel. That's what we saw here in verse eight. This word of the Lord that Paul preached to this church. It echoed from them. It resounded from them. It was like it was so loud, so powerful when the gospel hit this church that there were ripple effects spreading outward and everybody started talking about what was happening at this church. It was like the church was making the news in Thessalonica. And people were talking about it. And one specific thing, if you were here last week we looked at is these people. They repented. They were headed this way. And then their life was characterized, it says, by idolatry, by a lifestyle of sin, by living for what they wanted. And they turned around one hundred and eighty degrees to serve the living and true God who can actually save your soul. Unlike the idols, was anybody here last week when we talked about that? It was exciting. We had a we had our biggest crowd here yet to hear about this 180 degree turn of repentance from your old life to your new life in Jesus Christ.
[00:06:47] And what we have here today in verse 10 is we have this faith that we want to talk about what we're supposed to believe in as Christian people. And this idea of belief or faith, it's probably out of the gospel, repentance and faith. Anybody out there could be talking about faith. Oprah's talking about faith. Right. Many Christian people will tell you they have faith in Jesus Christ. And what I have found and I would imagine you have experienced this as well, when a lot of people tell me they have faith in Jesus Christ, what they mean is that they agree intellectually with the facts of Jesus Christ, that they believe it's true, that they think it's historical.
[00:07:31] It actually happened that this verse right here, it says that this man, Jesus, while he rose from the dead and now he's in heaven, he's the son of God and he's in heaven with God. And he is going to come someday to deliver us from this wrath is judgment that is yet to come.
[00:07:50] That's the message here that you would that's the content of what we would believe.
[00:07:56] Now, unfortunately, I think even maybe here this morning, we've got a lot of people who right away if I asked you, do you believe that Jesus is the Christ died for your sin rose again, do you think he's in heaven right now? And do you think he's coming back? I think I would have a lot of people who would say yes to that. But I think that's because maybe some of us are confused about what faith is. Faith is not intellectual agreement with the facts. Faith is placing your trust, transferring your trust, giving your life over to those facts. It's something that you don't just know in your head. You participate in now it becomes your entire life story. That's what faith is. One of my favorite stories that I've heard so many great preachers tell this same story growing up and going to church. I've heard this story about a tight rope rope walker at Niagara Falls. As anybody else ever heard this story before, many preachers have used this illustration. Now, I've never been to Niagara Falls. I know some of you have. I have a friend who was telling me about it and he says the power of this waterfall is just so deafening, so overwhelming. Like, you just know, if I got swept away into this waterfall, I would be done. It's just something that that demands fear. It demands are kind of like you would imagine being in the presence of God. It's just something that's overwhelming. That's what one of my friends who's been there told me. Well, the story goes that one day they spread it a tightrope right over the waterfall there at Niagara Falls and a man was going to walk on the tightrope. And as you can imagine, a great crowd came to see, like we like to see here in America, probably hoping the guy was going to crash and burn. I mean, that's kind of how it works, right? And so a great crowd comes to see a man who's gonna tightrope walk and maybe he's got the pole to help him keep balance. And he goes across Niagara Falls on top over the waterfall and everyone's like, I can't believe my eyes. This is amazing. People are overwhelmed. And then he says, hey, who like that? And people are cheering. And he says, Let me show you this. And he gets a wheelbarrow and. Takes the wheelbarrow over a cross and he's like before he does it, he says, Who believes that I can take this wheelbarrow across this line, across the waterfall? And everybody's like, of course, we think you can do it right. Kind of hoping maybe it doesn't happen. Right. Get my today would be like all iPhones outright. Everybody. Everybody ready to record this disaster. Right. And he takes successfully this wheelbarrow all the way across and back.
[00:10:29] And he's like, who thought I could do it? And of course, everybody now they're like, we knew you could. Right. And so he's like, who wants to get in a wheelbarrow? Who's ready to.
[00:10:42] That's the definition. That's a great definition of faith.
[00:10:46] I don't just believe that Jesus Christ historically rose from the dead. I'm now ready to trust my death, my life, my eternity. I'm now ready to hand that it over to Jesus Christ.
[00:11:00] That's different than just thinking that he can do it. The question is this morning, do you think you're going to rise from the dead?
[00:11:08] Do you think that you have victory over death? That's what faith would produce in your life. Is this confidence that I can't wait for Jesus to come back from heaven? Because I know I'm going to be with him. I know that he rose from the Dead Sea. And I think I'm going to participate in that throne with me. The First Corinthians, Chapter 15, a great chapter on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I mean, it starts with the gospel. It's one of the longest chapters in the New Testament. And then it starts to give you thoughts about the resurrection. And the first thing it tries to convince you here in First Corinthians 15 is that the resurrection actually happened. This is historically accurate. Jesus Christ really did die on that cross. And three days later, on Sunday morning, he really did come back from the dead. Feeding the powers of sin, overcoming the grave. It's saying that really happened. And the main argument it uses here in First Corinthians 15 is many of us saw him. We saw him after he died. In fact, it says that a one time over 500 people, hundreds of people were eye witnesses. If you had that many eyewitnesses, in any case, anywhere in the world, you are going to win with that level of eyewitnesses. And at this time, when he's writing First Corinthians, one of the first books to be written in the New Testament, he's saying, hey, you go talk to some of the people.
[00:12:34] In fact, Paul, who's writing in this letter, even says I'm one of the eyewitnesses to Jesus Christ. I saw him with my own eyes. And I will declare to you that that and Shirley Rose from the dead.
[00:12:47] I have seen him.
[00:12:49] And he begins to say now, as he moves past the historical accuracy, he begins to say. And let me tell you how important it is that you believe in the resurrection, because that's your hope of salvation. That's the hope that you have that something good will happen if you were to die. Pick up this with me in verse 12, First Corinthians, chapter 15, verse twelve. See if we can follow his line of reasoning here.
[00:13:13] Now, if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? Now, he's not saying that the Corinthians are saying Jesus didn't rise from the dead. He's saying they're acting like people aren't going to rise from the dead. But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain. And your faith, Sikh faith is only as good as what you put your faith in. Well, if Jesus didn't rise from the dead, then your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God because we testified about God, that he raised Christ. We preached it like it was truth whom he did not raise. If it is true that the dead are not raised. If people can't rise from the dead, if there's no life after death, then Jesus didn't get it started for the dead or not raised. Not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile. You are still in your sins. And also those who have fallen asleep and Christ, people who have already died as Christians, they have perished. And then he says this important thing to think through in verse 19, if in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people, most to be pitied.
[00:14:30] If we're here today and we're saying that Jesus rose from the dead and that really didn't happen, then all of the mockery from the world and people feeling sorry for us for believing this very narrow religion, they would say they would be right to mock us and we would be miserable people. If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, never hurt somebody when they're arguing maybe with somebody who doesn't believe in Christ, they say something along the lines of, well, let's just play this out. What if you're wrong and what if I'm wrong? You ever had that conversation before where they say, well, if you're wrong, where are you going to go? And then the person's like, you know, awkwardly says, well, I guess I'll go to hell. And it's like, yeah, you're busted, right? I mean, that's kind of how this conversation goes. But if I'm wrong, what happens to me right then? And the argument there is like I still live a pretty good life. I'm okay. That's not what the scripture says here today. The scripture is making an argument against that.
[00:15:24] It says if Jesus didn't rise from the dead, then what we're doing here today doesn't make sense.
[00:15:31] And you have put your hope, your trust. You have given your soul to something that fundamentally cannot save you. And you are still in your sin. The resurrection determines everything about Jesus Christ. And it determines everything about you, because what this passage is implying is that Jesus's resurrection is your hope for resurrection. The fact that Jesus rose from the dead is the only way that you could go to heaven when you die. You're in the wheelbarrow is what it's saying. And if he can't do it, it's not going to happen for you. Is that how you think about it? Not like it historically happened. But this is my hope. This is my trust. If I were to die today and stand before the gates of heaven, my hope for why they would open up the doors and let me in is because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. And I put my faith in what he has done. That's your only hope, my friends.
[00:16:33] That's everything. Do we. Do we have that rock solid understanding?
[00:16:40] How often do you think about the fact that is it a headline in your life that a man rose from the dead on the third day? You know, that's really why we have church on Sunday morning. I don't know if you've ever put that connection together, but we call it the Lord's Day because on Sunday is the day that he rose from the dead. And every single time that we gather here together, the fact that we're doing it on Sunday morning is supposed to make us think about what Jesus did and how. That's my hope. And there is only one way that God wants you to live that life. And that's knowing with 100 percent confidence that if you were to die today because Jesus rose from the dead, you would still live. No other religion on this planet offers 100 percent assurance in your soul that you will be with Jesus Christ when you die. Do you have that blessed assurance here this morning? Let's get that down for point number one. We want you to live without fear of dying, live without fear of dying. And the only way that you can do that is to have put your trust in the one who has defeated death for you, the one who has already over calm. And now that's what an important thing for you to ask your own soul here today. Do I know where I'm going with 100 percent certainty when I die? Do I have no fear of of hell of condemnation of being apart from Jesus Christ? Turn with me to Revelation Chapter one. Let's just hear it straight from Jesus Christ. There's many eyewitnesses that we could read in the scripture that testify to the resurrection all over the New Testament. But let's see what Jesus Christ himself says. And let's get a glimpse of who Jesus Christ is today. I don't know if you've ever read the Book of Revelation, if you've ever seen this unveiled version of Jesus Christ in all of his glory. A lot of times when we talk about Jesus as it approaches December, we think of a baby in a manger as it approaches Easter, we often think of a man dying on the cross. We definitely have more in our Bible about the man and his death on the cross. But here in Revelation, we get who Jesus is today. And just just exalt Jesus in your mind as we read these words. Look at Revelation, chapter one, verse 12. This is who Jesus is right now in heaven.
[00:19:08] John is writing this and it says, Then I turn to see the voice that was speaking to me and I'm turning I saw seven golden lamp stands. And in the midst of the lamp stand, there was one like a son of man.
[00:19:22] That's a reference to Jesus Christ in his clothes with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest and the hairs of his head. They were white, like white wool and like snow and his eyes. They were like a flame of fire.
[00:19:38] His feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace.
[00:19:42] And his voice was like the roar of many waters, maybe like the sound of Niagara Falls.
[00:19:47] And in his right hand, he held seven stars from his mouth. Came a sharp two edged sword. And his face or his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
[00:20:01] And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Something so overwhelming, so overpowering. But John, who knew Jesus well, who was reclining on him at the Last Supper when he sees the risen Lord Jesus Christ as he is in all of his glory.
[00:20:20] He falls over as though dead. Is that how we're thinking about Jesus Christ and hear what Jesus says to his disciples that he loves? But he laid his right hand on me, saying, Fear not I. And the first. And the last. And the living one I died.
[00:20:41] And behold, I am alive forever more. And I have the keys of death and Hades. I mean, you cannot make a more authoritative statement than what Jesus Christ says right there.
[00:20:58] I'm the living one. I'm the eternal being. I died and hey, I am alive forever more. Really? When you see him announce himself as the living one. When I read this passage, I come away like, well, if he is the living one, if he is the eternal God, of course he was going to rise from the dead. It's almost like how did he even die in the first place? Do you see that in this passage? Like he's an eternal being? He's not like us, though. He's never had the wages of sin to produce death in his life.
[00:21:32] No, he had to willingly give up his life. That's the only way that he died. He could have stopped it at any moment. He is the living one for all of eternity. He has been. And he died and then he rose again. And here's what he wants everybody here to know. He holds the keys to death and to Hades. He holds the keys to your life. He holds the keys to win. You will die. And he is the one who gets to decide where you go when you die. That's what he's saying. He's saying I'm the tightrope walker. That's what he's saying. There is a great gulf between a god in heaven and you in your sin. The wages of your sin is dead. But I am the one. Put your trust in me. Get in the wheelbarrow, so to speak.
[00:22:20] I'm the one who can control not only when you die, but even more importantly, where you will go when you die. I have the keys. He says.
[00:22:32] I don't know what you're thinking, but when I think that I think I want to give the keys of my life to Jesus Christ, I trust that he could guide me for the rest of my life better than I could figure it out for myself. I'm ready at this point to get in that wheelbarrow, because now I'm starting to realize that's the one safe place to be, is with that guy in that wheelbarrow.
[00:22:56] I want to be with him. Have you put your trust like this?
[00:23:00] Have you said I'm giving my eternal soul up to Jesus Christ? And I, I don't I'm afraid of death to some degree, like everybody is. But actually, I've kind of overcome that fear because I believe that, Jesus, he will save my soul. He will keep it secure. And I will see this glorious Jesus Christ when I die. To me. To John. Chapter eleven. John, Chapter 11. Jesus Christ has a lot to say, not just about his resurrection, but about, ah, resurrection. And that's what I'm trying to help you see as we try to define faith here this morning from the scripture. It's you now participating in what Jesus has done that you would have a hope of a resurrection. And this is the story of Jesus, his friend Lazarus, and then his sisters, Mary and Martha, who were so sad that their brother had died. And if you know this story and John Eleven Jesus is going to and a mighty demonstration of his authority over life.
[00:24:01] He is going to shout to Lazarus, Lazarus, come out. And what is Lazarus going to do? He is going to rise from the dead.
[00:24:09] But before Jesus even does that, look what he says here in a in verse twenty three, John. Eleven verse twenty three. Jesus here is talking to Martha and Jesus said to her, your brother will rise again. And she thinks he's talking about in a future sense here Martha. She has this faith. She believes in a resurrection. And Martha said to him, I know that he will rise again. I believe they basically you're going to save his soul. I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day. And Jesus said to her, hey, I want you to think about this. I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though, he die, yet show he live and everyone who lives and believes in me.
[00:25:00] That's the word for faith. You've transferred your trust into me. You shall never die. Do you believe this?
[00:25:08] Jesus Christ asks. And she said to him, Yes, Lord, I believe I know who you are. You are the Christ, the son of the living God who is coming into the world. Everyone who believes in me will never die. And if you do die in a physical sense, you will rise again. Could you imagine a better headline for the newspaper?
[00:25:32] What does ISIS have to say about this? What does Ebola have to say about this? It doesn't matter what happens to you in the here and now. You could know this morning that you will be with Jesus Christ in the there. And then this is good news, my friends. This is what we need to be believing in our hearts.
[00:25:52] Every single one of us, the way is narrow and you cannot go through with your loved one. You cannot go through with your pastor or your spiritual mentor. You. I have to say to Jesus Christ, I'm gonna get in the wheelbarrow. I'm going to give my entire life up to you because I believe in you. Not just in what you did, but really in who you are.
[00:26:17] You are the resurrection. You are the life. This is the view of Jesus Christ that we need to have now. I'm not one to seek out near-death experiences. Right. I mean, you give the choice to me. I'm going to end up in the lazy boy recliner. And I'm sure some of you guys are with me and some of you guys are a little more live on the edge. I had a guy who was a he was a Cessna airplane pilot. You like to fly fly small airplanes. He actually is a pilot in Alaska. OK, which to me just sounds crazy right there. And so he was my friend and he kept telling me, I'm going to take you on an airplane.
[00:26:50] And I was like, no, actually, you're not right. But he was bigger than me. He was older than me. And he wanted me for some reason to go on recess that airplane with him. Right.
[00:27:03] And so we got at a little airport here in California and we took off and we it's me and my friend is this big guy, tough guy, airplane pilot and one guy in the back. And we take off in this little airplane, not much bigger than the SUV driver next to you on the freeway. Right. Except we're flying way above the freeway. Right. And as we kind of reach our cruising altitude, I hear this and it's like the engine stops working on this airplane. I am I am freaking out in my mind. And I look over at, of course. Tough guy, Mr. Alaska here. And he's just like, straight ahead. No problem. And it's so loud in this airplane. I look back at my buddy who's got like the earphones on and he's just like two thumbs up in the back seat. And I'm like, okay, I don't want them to realize I'm a wimp freaking out here. Right. So I just try to play it cool. And then this orange light starts flashing on the dashboard. And I'm pretty sure that's the made a signal. You know what I mean? And I'm just. And then the engine does it again. It just. And it's like we're hanging there in the air thousands of feet above the freeway below us. And I'm just picturing this airplane just slowly, you know, straight down nose dove. Right. And I'm just sweating. I it is now like a million degrees. And I'm thinking, this is it. And I start to think about, like, I'm going to die. I mean, that's what I'm thinking. And we keep going. And it does it again. And this time I, like, grab my friend and I'm like, do you see that orange light guy? And he now is trying to break in his composure a little bit. And he's like, yeah, let's take this baby down for a landing, you know? And I'm like, let's do it.
[00:28:56] And we get in this, you know, turn and we make this descent and we land. And actually, it's I mean, the engine completely failed.
[00:29:03] But the but the landing was no big deal, you know, and and he could tell I was nervous, like he could tell.
[00:29:10] I was thinking this was the end. Right. And this guy, he's like discipling me. And he comes up to me and he's like, did you think that you were going to die? And I was like, Yeah. And he's like, Were you afraid of that? He starts confronting me about being afraid of dying in his airplane, of no engine. You know what I mean? And he says two things to me that I'll never forget. One thing he says is, hey, we couldn't touch that baby down anywhere. We could have just landed that thing on the five freeway. I'm thinking, oh, yeah, that happens all the time when you're driving. Oh, yeah. I'll just I'll just move over. Right. Airplane coming. Right. The other thing he said is, hey, don't you understand? God knows when we're gonna die.
[00:29:53] And God is holding us right now in his hand. I mean, what do you have? Have you put your faith in Jesus Christ? Then why would you, of all people, be afraid of death? He says to me. I mean, he's confronting me about being afraid of dying in the airplane. And you know what? He was right. Because when I act like I'm afraid of dying, what I'm saying is I don't really trust Jesus has power over death. I don't haven't really put my trust in him to hold my soul and never let it go that he's got the keys to death and to Hades.
[00:30:34] And it's so important that every single person here that you have put that trust that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. And that is your hope that you could leave here today, my friend. With 100 percent confidence that you will be with him. When you done, I go back to First Thessalonians, chapter one.
[00:30:52] That's the good news from the past that, as you can see, really affects our future. But there's there's more good news about Jesus Christ. And this is something that sometimes we don't talk about as much. Sometimes we we only look back at Jesus Christ. But this passage says that the Thessalonians, a big part of their faith, they were waiting for his son from heaven like the Thessalonians.
[00:31:16] And this is going to become clear as we read through the rest of this letter and study it together. The Thessalonians thought Jesus was going to show up at any moment. And we're gonna see later in Chapter four as we get into this passage on the rapture. We're gonna see that somebody in their church had died and they were like so concerned for that person, like he had missed Jesus coming back. I mean, these people way back at the beginning of Christianity, these people thought Jesus was going to return at any moment. That was their expectation. I mean, like at any moment the skies are gonna break and we're gonna be caught up and meet him in the clouds. And so it's like the thing that people would say about the Thessalonians, that reputation in the community was these people think this guy Jesus is coming down out of heaven to deliver them from some kind of wrath, some kind of judgment. At the end of all things like they're waiting for, it is how it's translated. The words on a Menno and Menno is one of my favorite words in the Greek. It's the word that we often translate to abide. It's like when Jesus says abide in me, it means to remain somewhere, to stay somewhere in this honor prefix here. It just makes it more emphatic. It's saying remain and stay right here with the expectation Jesus is coming to get me at any moment.
[00:32:36] That's how these people live their life.
[00:32:39] Like, the word we use is imminent. Hopefully you've heard that word before. One thing that the Bible says over and over is that this is the future event. When Jesus Christ is going to come back, it's coming like a thief in the what? In the night. Right. You heard that before. I mean, the idea the main thing you need to know about eschatology, the study of the end times, the study of the last things. The main thing you need to know about that is it could happen at any moment. That is the major application of the scripture. And so if I really believe in a resurrected Jesus Christ, I've really given him my hope for my entire soul. I see him right now at the right hand of the father. And at any moment, I'm waiting for the clouds to break. Any day now, he's going to come and get me. That's what these people thought. He's gonna come and deliver me. I know. Judgment is coming. But Jesus will come and rescue me. He'll save me from all of that.
[00:33:36] See, that's his future expectation.
[00:33:40] Is your faith in Jesus Christ only looking back or or does it look ahead? That's the main idea. You get about the Thessalonians. They had a lot of expectation of being with Jesus Christ, seeing him in all of his glory. Meeting him in the clouds. They thought it could happen at any moment. And people were like, these guys, they just think Jesus is going to come back. That's what the people were saying about the Thessalonians. Go back to First Corinthians. Fifteen, turn over to First Corinthians fifteen. And let's pick up where we left off about the the resurrection, because it's going to say more about this, that the natural conclusion to the doctrine that Jesus rose from the dead is that he's alive and that he's going to return. And it says this here in the first Corinthians 15, look at verse 20, picking picking up right from where we left off in First Corinthians. Fifteen, it says. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. It's true. And the he's the first fruits. The first of many of those who have fallen asleep. Of Christians who have already died for us by a man came death by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead for as in Adam, all die.
[00:34:51] So also in Christ shall all be made alive, but each in his own order. Christ. And then the first fruits then at his coming, those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end. This is what we're talking about. Tell us when. When Jesus returns. When he delivers the Kingdom of God to the father, he gets his people and gives them to the father after destroying every rule and every authority and power, for he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for God has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when it says all things are put in subjection, it is plain that he is accepted who put all things in subjected subjection under him when all things are subjected to him. Then the son himself will also be subjected to him, who put all things in subjection under him. That God may be all in all.
[00:35:51] I mean, this is clear on your time on. Do you see this?
[00:35:54] This is a big statement that Jesus makes that the Bible makes from the Old Testament to the new, that Jesus Christ is coming back. And a very clear testimony of the scripture is that he you want to talk about what's going on with the nations of the world. Some day, Jesus Christ is going to establish the kingdom of God on planet Earth, and he will reign and everything will be in subjection under him. That sounds like pretty good news to me. I would vote for King Jesus every single time, right?
[00:36:28] I mean, do you believe this?
[00:36:30] I mean, when you're reading about what's happening in the world, is this always the way that it ends in your mind? Absolute authority. The world has now peace united under one monarchy, king, Jesus Christ, reigning with the authority of God himself.
[00:36:49] That's the history of the world. That's how it ends right there. That's the tell us the end of it all. Is Jesus Christ reigning? And the idea of the scripture is this glorious view of Jesus when he comes on the clouds and he establishes his rule. That could happen in our lifetime. That could happen soon. That could happen this week for all that we know. And we are supposed to live like we're waiting for it. Like I'm just remaining here. I'm just staying here. I'm expecting it to come. Does that define your life, your faith in Jesus Christ?
[00:37:26] To Philippians Chapter three Philippians Chapter three says it this strongly. It basically even says that if if you're a Christian here, you're you have a greater allegiance than America.
[00:37:39] I know that might sound a little bit traitorous, like a little bit edgy here, but it's saying if you're a Christian. Yeah, you might. You're your dwelling right now. You might be as an American citizen right now. But where is your citizenship? Where does you really belong? If you have put your faith in the one who rose from the dead. Well, that's what Philippians three, verse 20 says.
[00:38:02] Look at this with me Philippians Chapter three. Look at first 20 here. It says, But our citizenship, it's in heaven. And from it we await a savior any day now. Our friends, the Lord Jesus Christ. And here's what he's going to do. Who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. So if you die, you can have confidence that your soul is going to be saved by Jesus Christ if you put your faith in his resurrection. But then it says maybe you won't even die. Maybe you will be change. Jesus Christ. He will just come back and he will transform you into from your body.
[00:38:51] You've got now into his glorious body. Now, that might sound a little sci fi to maybe some of us here on our first read, but that's the idea that Jesus is the first fruits, that Jesus has now blazed a trail that all of us are going to follow in the disciples.
[00:39:08] They interacted with Jesus in this resurrection body where he was appearing in the room with them and he was eating food and they could kind of recognize him. And it says you're gonna get a body like that someday. If you're a Christian, you don't really even belong here. Your citizenship right now is in heaven. And you should have such a longing, such a passion to see Jesus Christ. You should be able to say, hey, my life is Christ. To live is Christ. And to die is what my friend. Oh, man.
[00:39:44] Like you said, what you were thinking on Tuesday morning, this week. So is that what you were thinking on Thursday night when you were going to bed? Were you thinking. I'm living this life and I'm waiting right now and any moment, I mean, I'm living today like it could be my last day because I have the faith that Jesus is coming to get me to take me home where I really belong. Do you ever get homesick down here when you're reading the headlines of the newspaper, the averages? Where's King Jesus to come and make it all right. He's come in, my friends. Hang on. Hold on.
[00:40:18] I would like to see Jesus Christ come in our lifetimes. It can anybody else with me on that? I mean, throughout the history of the church, there's been this word, this Aramaic word that the Christians have repeated. Maranatha. Have you heard this word? This is a word we need. We need to use here at CompassHB Bible Church, Huntington Beach.
[00:40:35] Maranatha, it means calm. Oh, Lord, it means Lord. Come quickly like I want. Jesus Christ. I'm waiting for him.
[00:40:44] Do you have this future direction in your life where how you see your story ending is better than it is right now? When you get to be with Jesus Christ, could you say to me here this morning, the best for me is yet to come? And I honestly believe that because I get to see my Lord and savior Jesus Christ go to first Peter, chapter one.
[00:41:07] I mean, one thing we are we are promised is that this life for Christians, it is going to be a difficult life. And the way that we are supposed to think about the challenges in this life is that they are temporary and they do not compare to the eternal weight of glory that we are going to experience. And we need to have this faith that there is future grace.
[00:41:30] Not only that we have been saved in justified from our sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the past. But do you have this future expectation that Jesus is yet to deliver you from the wrath that is to come? That there is more of your salvation than you have yet experienced? You will get out of this body of flesh. And instead of you having this long distance relationship with your Lord Jesus Christ, you will be physically in his presence.
[00:42:01] This thought is supposed to dominate our thinking. It says it first. Peter, chapter one is saying, hey, if you're having a trial, I'll look at verse six with me. If you're having a you're having a hard time. It says in this, you rejoice, though, now for a little while because that's what life is compared to eternity. Here, it's a mist. It's a breath. So short, a little while if necessary.
[00:42:24] You have been grieved by various trials so that the tested genuineness of your faith, seeking your faith persevere can be proved genuine when life is so difficult. Do you have something in the future that you keep on putting your trust in in the future of Jesus Christ coming to get you?
[00:42:43] It says the tested genuineness of your faith more precious than gold. The parishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
[00:42:57] Though you have not seen him, you love him, though you do not now see him. You believe in him. You have faith, even though you've never seen him. Your faith is in him and you rejoice with joy. That is inexpressible even now, and filled with glory. And someday you'll obtain the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Do you see that there is yet a future sense of salvation, that you already are saved? But there is also a not yet aspect to your salvation that right now you're telling me if you're a Christian, that you've given your entire life.
[00:43:34] You've said, I'm going to deny myself, take up my cross and I'm going to follow this man who died for me and rose again. And you're telling me you've never even laid eyeballs on it.
[00:43:43] You've never even talked to him face to face, and yet you're gonna tell me that you've given your whole life to him, that you love him. Imagine your joy, my friend. When you see him someday. Imagine the joy. Of experiencing his glory and sharing in it with him. That's what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. It means not just in what he did historically, but I'm going to experience that glory with him in the future and I will worship him and I will praise him and there will be people all around me and all they will want to do is worship him as well.
[00:44:23] Do you long for that? Do you desire that? I mean, honestly, right now. Are you comfortable here in this world or do you want to be with Jesus Christ? Which one would you desire more? I don't know of anybody who's ever been in a long distance relationship. Anybody ever tried a long distance relationship? A lot of not many of you guys. Wow. No. Anybody. A long distance relationship. Who here has ever had their heart broken in a long distance relationship? All right. There we go. Thank you. Let's get real. This is church. I was in. I was in a long distance relationship. My family moved out to Texas.
[00:45:02] And I as soon as I was moved to Texas, you know, I came back to California. That's kind of my perspective on. And I came back as quick as I could. But then I would still go visit my family in Texas. When I was in college, I was going to college here in California. But during the summer, I would go to Texas and I met this this girl, this vision, this ray of sunshine. Crystal San Nicolas was her name. And I met her at college. And then I would go back to Texas, to the wilderness, to the desolate wasteland, away from the one that I loved. And I did this year after year after year. And I thought, wouldn't it be nice somebody should sing that, you know, if we could just stay together when the day is done, you know? And I thought about that and a scheme that I planned. And I saved money and I had this deal. I had this plan that she was going to come and visit me in Texas and spend time with my family at our house in San Antonio. You know, folks who know what salsa should taste like if she was going to come and experience that and Chewy and then after that, we were going to get engaged.
[00:46:09] That was my plan, say. And she came out and we had this great week with my family and it was all working out and everybody was getting along.
[00:46:18] It was exactly how you would have wanted it to be. And now we're in the airport and we're getting ready to fly back to California. Just me and her. And she looks at me and she says, Why are you smiling so much? You know. Because I know it's about to happen. Right. I got something burn in a hole in my pocket right now. I've dropped some money on this rock, you know. Now, this was January of 2002, just a few months after 9/11. So we got on this Southwest flight from San Antonio to L.A. X and this flight. It was like we had the airplane to ourselves, basically. I mean, not many people were flying in those days. If you can remember. And here's to crazy young people in love just flying. Right. And we do we do our takeoff. And the engine of this plane is working very well, I notice. And the pilot, he says we've now reached our cruising altitude of thirty thousand feet. I'm going to take off the seat belt sign. You're free to move about the cabin. And as soon as he says that, I pop open that seat belt. I drop a knee right there in the aisle and I pull out that ring and I say, Krista, will you marry me? And it's like there's nobody around to even witness this moment. It is literally like we are on the clouds in up there, in the sky, together in love. The moment we've been waiting for is here. And I just thought that would be a cool story about how to get engaged. But now it has become, in my mind, a symbol that someday I will meet the one that I love in the air.
[00:47:58] I'm not talking about my wife. I love her. But the long distance relationship that I've got. The one that I long to see is my Lord Jesus Christ. He took my son and he died for it. And he rose again. And, you know, he's prepared a place for me. And I know he's coming to get me. And someday I'm going to have another one of those moments where I'm going to be caught up.
[00:48:21] That's what we're gonna learn in First Thessalonians Chapter four, that those of us who believe this, we will be caught up. We will be with Jesus in the clouds. And then it says, this is my favorite part. And so we will always be with the Lord.
[00:48:37] That's got to be the desire of your heart. And here's two great ways to know if you've got faith. Number one, can you live without a fear of dying? And number two, are you looking forward to meeting Jesus? Let's get that down for point number two. Look forward to seeing Jesus like that should be the focal point. The direction your whole life as a Christian from the moment you get saved is just ramping up to the climax of the day that you get to be in the presence of Jesus Christ. And I'm sure, like John, we will be overwhelmed with his glory when we see him and we will worship him. And I wish that would happen today. Can I get name in from anybody on that? That's what we're waiting for. See, I'm waiting for it. I'm expecting it to happen. This is what it looks like to get in the wheelbarrow, it's not somebody saying, oh, yeah, another sermon about Jesus Christ rising from the dead. Heard that? No, it's like my whole trust is in there. I think someday if I die, hey, don't worry about me because Jesus Christ, he's got my soul. And actually, I'm rooting that I won't die because he's going to come and give me. And I'm ready for that. I'm looking forward to that. You want me to First Corinthians, Chapter 11. I don't know if you know this, but today we are going to celebrate communion for the first time in our new church. I thought after talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ and putting our faith in his resurrection, it would be appropriate to take a moment and consider his death for us on the cross. And here in First Corinthians, Chapter 11, we have instructions about how we are supposed to think about communion. This ordinance that Jesus Christ said that he wants his disciples to do. And since we think that First Corinthians was written even before the gospels were written, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This could be the first time in scripture that it instructs us about communion. So I thought it would be good for us to look at First Corinthians, Chapter 11. Start with me in verse 23.
[00:50:45] Here's instructions. It says, For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you that the Lord Jesus on the night before he was betrayed, he took bread. And when he had given thanks, that's what Communion's about. It's about giving thanks for what Jesus has done.
[00:51:02] He broke this bread and he said, this is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me in the same way also. He took the cup after supper saying this cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this in as often as you drink it in remembrance of me. And then he says this for as often as you eat this bread and shrink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. How perfect is that for us here today? Right. I mean, that's the whole point, that Jesus Christ died for you. But he didn't stay dead. He rose and he's coming back.
[00:51:45] And when we do this communion, this remembrance, we're proclaiming that we believe we have put our faith in Jesus Christ, that his body on that cross. That was a sacrifice to God for my son. And that his blood being shed. That was to cleanse me from all of my iniquities, from all of the ways that I have fallen short of the glory of God. Someday I hope to experience the glory of God.
[00:52:15] But you can tell right now I'm not there and you're not there. We have all fallen short. And yet, Jesus Christ, he put himself on the line for you. He shed his blood so that your sin could be washed away. Raced forgiving and that you now could remember that. And you could say thank you to him. And when we do this, what we are saying to the world is we still have faith in the resurrected Lord and we believe that he is coming back. And I want to make sure before we do this communion right now that you really have that faith in Jesus Christ. You know, this little piece of bread we're gonna hand out and this little cup of of juice that we're gonna give you. They come with a massive warning label. The warning label is bigger than the elements we're gonna give you right now. Not everybody here should partake in this communion.
[00:53:08] Look at what he goes on to say here in first 27. He he explains to them how to do it. But then he gives this warning, whoever therefore eats the bread and shrinks the cup of the Lord in an urn worthy manner.
[00:53:23] We'll be guilty. Concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself then. And so eat of the bread and shrink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. In fact, even goes so far as to say. That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died. Hey, this is we can't be talking about anything more serious than the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for your sin.
[00:53:55] And it would be the height of hypocrisy for someone here today to hold up the bread that is the body of Christ, the symbol of the body of Christ, and to hold up the cup, that is the very blood that he shed for you and to say, look at Jesus dying for my sin while we are still actively in that sin right now in our life, it's saying, don't do that, examine yourself.
[00:54:19] And if you know here today that you have not put your faith in Jesus Christ, the first thing I would like to say to you is now would be a great time to. Get in the wheelbarrow. That's the first thing I would like to say. I mean, what better moment could you have than now to put your trust in Jesus Christ and leave here today with 100 percent confidence of where you're going? When you die, I want to strongly encourage you if you don't have faith in Jesus and you know it right now. Today is your day of salvation.
[00:54:47] And if you do have faith in Jesus Christ, I've got to ask you, are you in sin right now? Because Jesus, he didn't die for your sins. So you could still be doing it. His blood was shed to wash it away. His body was sacrificed, says that he died, that you might he died for your sin, that you might live now in righteousness. It is by his wounds. You have been, it says, healed. Say. So let us take this very seriously here today. I don't want to stand before that Jesus in Revelation and act like he's gonna be OK with sin in my life. So we're gonna have the band come up. They're gonna come up right now and they're gonna sing a song. It's gonna be a song about the thief on the cross. A man who right there, right before he died, he acknowledged his sin and he cried out to Jesus Christ to remember him when he came in his kingdom. And Jesus said to that man, today, you will be with me. And where where did he say paradise say? And I wish that somebody maybe why you're here in this song, you will say to Jesus Christ that you're ready to get into that wheelbarrow, that you're ready to follow him by faith.
[00:55:59] Maybe some of you need to just take this time while you hear this song to pray, to confess your sins, to remember what Jesus has done and to say thank you to Jesus Christ. The ushers are going to come forward. They're going to give you a piece of bread and a cup. Please just hold those and then I'll come back and we'll partake all together.
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