By Bobby Blakey on April 10, 2016
By Bobby Blakey on April 10, 2016
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:01] Please go ahead and grab a seat, one hundred services here today and wow. Feels like it's been a lot longer than a year and a half to me. I've had the privilege of preaching at 90 of those services, and I feel a lot older than just a year and a half more in my life, not just physically, but I feel like our older soul. I guess like maybe as a pastor, what you kind of forces you to be a little bit old school and that you look at what are really the issues of life, what's really important.
[00:00:35] And one thing that I get to see and and being a part of the church here is I get to see the needs of the people in the church, the needs of the people in the community. And it's definitely changed me. These last 100 services that we've done here at this church, it's opened my eyes to see what's really going on in people's lives and the needs that they have. We've got some young men here at this church who's a whose life had kind of been out of control and there were some drugs involved and or maybe they were just going through a transition with their family. And so some men who needed a place to stay.
[00:01:12] And God started saving some young men and they didn't really have a place to go. Like, they didn't really have a house.
[00:01:17] And eventually we kept seeing this problem and we had people kind of living with other people or people who needed a place.
[00:01:24] And so eventually the church started renting an apartment and we started putting guys in there whose lives have been radically turned around, an apartment full of guys now whose lives were radically different. And then they came here to this church and Jesus saved them. And their lives are on a new path now. And it might not surprise you that just in the last couple of weeks, God has saved another young man who literally didn't have a place to go because fallen into sin and drugs had ruined his life and God saved him. And now he's probably going to be moving into this apartment with these other guys. And so we praise the Lord for things like that around here, because these mean the need ultimately of salvation and then even practically given these guys a place to stay.
[00:02:07] One of the needs that I've really seen a lot of here in Huntington Beach is I've seen a lot of people in this area who are living together, but they aren't married to each other. And Lord has brought a lot of those people here to our church. And we've gotten to talk to them.
[00:02:24] And we've seen many people who have said, hey, well, based on what you're teaching, based on the gospel of Jesus, it's not right for us to be living in the way that we are, to be involved in sexual immorality outside of marriage like God designed. And so we are we want to get married here at this church and we're going to separate. We're gonna split up and then we're going to come back together and do it right and get married or or maybe could you just marry us right now because that's how it's going to work out. But but people who are repenting of their sin and they have the need to start the family the way that God designed it, to be married to one another. And we've married a bunch of those people here at this church. In fact, just though, it might not surprise me that in the last couple of weeks, God save this guy. And that was after the the woman that he was living with got saved here at the church. And now they're both saved and they're saying we need to we need to go apart so that we can come back together and do it God's way and do it right. And so we're going to be having some more weddings here at the church to praise the Lord for people whose lives are being turned around.
[00:03:26] So we're helping people meet needs like where to live or meet, needs to get married.
[00:03:30] But I am becoming convinced that there is a great need here in Huntington Beach, in cities all around here that we need to meet. And I hope it's what our church becomes known for in this area. You know, there's a lot of good causes that churches and Christian ministries can support. There's a lot of problems in the world that need to be addressed and needs that we can meet. But there's one that I think trumps them all. There's one that I think is something that we want to meet here at CompassHB Bible Church, Huntington Beach. And that is the need that everyone has of death. Death is the greatest need around us and people are going to die. And usually we don't list that in the list of needs because we think, well, a house, marriage, family, maybe money, maybe relationships and maybe even medical problems, physical issues, maybe we can help people with all of those needs with hunger, education. But death, what can we do about death? It kind of seems like it's beyond our capability, like it's just an inevitable thing that's going to happen where people are going to die. And I'm here to preach to you this morning, that's not how Jesus sort Jesus saw death as another need of our human race that he could meet. And we want to spread that good news to the rest of the world. So grab your Bible and open it up to John Chapter 11 and let's see Jesus at a funeral here for his friend Lazarus. And if you can remember, a couple of weeks ago at Easter, Jesus said something. I know it was exciting when we were getting together with our families and we were all extra dressed up and they were live animals outside and we were popping balloons and all that good time.
[00:05:08] But maybe you forgot that Jesus showed up at a funeral and he said something absolutely amazing. And John, 11 verse twenty five Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life.
[00:05:20] And if anybody believes in me, even if they die, they will live. In fact, he says that whoever believes in me, whoever lives in me, shall never die.
[00:05:34] Do you believe this?
[00:05:36] And then Martha, who he was talking to, the sister of Lazarus who died. And it makes it clear in verse five that Jesus loved Martha and her sister Mary, who was going to be in our texts today, and Lazarus, the man who died. She said, yes, I believe we believe here at this church that Jesus can meet the greatest need of humanity, which is death. Read with me, John, Chapter 11 versus 28 to 37.
[00:06:01] And let us see the emotional response to Jesus as he comes upon the people who are mourning over the death of Lazarus. So this is going to start out with Martha here in verse 28.
[00:06:13] And when she Martha had said this, she went and called her sister, Mary, saying in private, the teacher is here and is calling for you. When she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.
[00:06:25] Now, Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. And when the Jews who were with her in the house consoling her saw Mary rise quickly and go out. They followed her supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Now, when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And when Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.
[00:07:05] And he said, Where have you laid him? And they said to him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. So the Jews said, see how he loved him.
[00:07:17] But some of them said, could not. He who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying. Do you see the logic there? Look at what Jesus can do. If only this man was still alive. Then Jesus could have healed him of his disease and he could have kept him alive. That's the logic of the craft, that Jesus is proving himself as a meter of the needs of humanity. And it started. We've seen many different signs, many different miracles that Jesus has done throughout the gospel of John. And again, John writes about the miracles, the signs of Jesus so that we would believe in Jesus, so that we would have this eternal life in Christ. And so he started out. Anybody remember the first miracle? It was a while ago. Now we've done 29 sermons now on the Gospel of John. But the first miracle was at a wedding where Jesus turned some water and he turned it into. It was a practical need. They ran out of wine at the wedding. Boom. Jesus is turning some water into more wine. And we began to see him start meeting the needs. Crowds are following him. They're hearing his teaching. They're getting hungry. He feeds 5000 men, not counting the women and children, which are somebodies lunch. He multiplies it and feeds thousands. And he's meeting the physical need of hunger there. He begins to start healing people. He does a miracle where he walks on water. He begins to teach things that are clear statement where he's claiming to be God. And then what they're referring to here in verse 37, there's a man who's born blind and Jesus opens his eyes so he can see. Jesus is proving that he can meet our needs. And finally, they say, well, too bad this Glasser's guy die because if he was just alive, I'm sure Jesus could occur and he could have healed and he could have done another miracle. And Jesus he could work with people who are living. But I guess he's out of it, out of it now because he's dead. So I guess we don't have any hope now.
[00:09:21] Too bad.
[00:09:23] And what we'll see is that Jesus has a different response to death than you and I right now here in America when it comes to the issue of death. Most people would like to avoid the idea altogether. That's the way that we live. Let's just try not to think about it. I've literally had people tell me that they're trying not to think about something that is going to happen to them. They're just going to try to live in an ignorant bliss right now and deal with it later. So people are trying to do and when we do have to deal with death, because people that we know and love are dying and we have a memorial service or a funeral or we have to go to the hospital or the mortuary and where we have to come face to face with death, we try to sugarcoat it.
[00:10:06] We try not to really come to grips with it. We try to make it all about just like a party in their honor and a celebration of of the good times. And we don't really ever think about how we should respond to the reality of death.
[00:10:19] And Jesus here. If the teacher is here and he's calling to you and he wants to show you his emotional response to seeing these people weep over Lazarus death.
[00:10:30] They're like, oh, if only he was still alive. Jesus could do something. That's what these people.
[00:10:35] They believe that Jesus can meet their needs if they're living. And Jesus thinks that death is a need that he can meet for you.
[00:10:44] He thinks it's a problem that he can solve Jesus the resurrection and the life. He doesn't think death is the way it's supposed to end. Say he's offering everyone who believes in him life after death. In fact, he goes so far as to say that if you live in Christ, you will never die. He thinks it's something he can do something about, unlike us. Well, we don't have the hope of people coming back after death. Jesus does.
[00:11:11] And so if you look back at verse 33, when Jesus saw Mary weeping and the Jews who had come with her, see, they they had professional mourners might have even been hired to come and mourn. I mean, they would have really had some time where there would have been weeping, just going through boxes of Kleenex here. And maybe people came because they they cared about this family and their hearts were broken and they were there to grieve with Martha and Mary, or they could have even just been professional mourners or or people who would just go to mourn because that was such a part of the culture and the custom here among the Jews. But when Jesus sees Mary weeping and then he sees the whole crowd around her weeping and she says, if you had been here, he would have died or we think you can meet our needs. Jesus Jesus. It says you're in verse 23. Do you see that? Where it says he was deeply moved in his spirit. Jesus as an emotional response to the weeping that is going on around him. He's deeply moved. And I want to suggest to you that if you study the Greek language, if you look at the word that is translated, deeply moved here, I want to suggest to you that that's not a very good translation of that word. In fact, that kind of think they they're admitting that. I can see they put a number one there, at least in the English standard version. And if you scroll down to the bottom there and you see what the footnote is for number one, it says Jesus was deeply moved or was what's the word there? Anybody got indignant saying. Now, we're gonna get to the verse that a lot of people know, Jesus wept because a lot of kids like myself when we were growing up a church and they wanted you to memorize a bunch of verses, that was an easy one to add to the list. Right. Jesus wept. I got that one down. John Eleven thirty five. So we understand that Jesus here is it's a very sentimental moment when he starts to cry with the crowd of those who are mourning and weeping around him. But before we get to Jesus crying, he's actually feeling the first emotion is indignation. OK, so we're gonna see two responses from Jesus when he encounters the death of his friend Lazarus. And no one is indignation if you want to write that down, if you're taking notes here, indignation. I mean, this is a this is a kind of anger is what it is. And you might have heard it referred to it's usually a phrase righteous indignation. So this is anger at what is not right. If you want to define indignation there, it's when you are angry because something is not right. Something unjust is happening. Someone is being taken advantage of. You realize the system is corrupt and it's mistreating people. And you realize that the law maybe has mishandled someone's case and you feel a sense of injustice in the world and you're angry about it because things aren't right how they should be. That's indignation.
[00:14:11] And so when Jesus sees death here, he is angry about it. He thinks that something is not right.
[00:14:19] You see, when God created the world, when he said the work of his fingers that we can see in the moon and the stars being set in place. And ever since God created the world, the heavens have been declaring to us the awesome majesty of our God as we see the night sky and the sun rise and set in the bright glory of the sun. And they've been declaring to us, well, that the God who who said that in the heavens, while he's mindful of man when he created us and when God created us, he said that it was what? What did he say about his creation? He was good.
[00:14:56] But see, then we fell into sin. And then the wages of sin, the consequence of sin there in Genesis three, it says, is that death from dust, you have come up from the ground and to dust you will return.
[00:15:10] And so death is the consequence of sin and years Jesus encountering those who are weeping in mourning because someone they love has died. And it stirs up Jesus and he's angry.
[00:15:22] I would suggest to you that he is indignant at death itself. Angry that this is happening.
[00:15:30] This is not what God intended when he created the world and said it was good, God wanted to have a perfect relationship with his creation, where he would be our God and we would be his people. And sin has now marred that relationship. And we have fallen from the glory of God. We are separated from him. And the consequence of our sin is eternal separation from God through death. And here is Jesus when he encounters it, getting angry.
[00:15:59] This is not right.
[00:16:02] And it says that he is greatly troubled there, as the phrase goes on. He is indignant in his spirit and greatly troubled. It's the same word when it talks about in a previous passage, the waters being stirred up. It's like Jesus is getting stirred up inside of him. He's getting shaken up here. He's starting to feel it now. And so you see that he's like, where have you laid him? Like, I'm going to go and I'm going to do something about this. I'm going to solve this problem of death. I'm going to change this story from a sad story where everybody's mourning. Two people in a few minutes are gonna be rejoicing with joy, inexpressible Amen to bring Lazarus back from the dead. Hey, where have you laid him? They said, Lord, come and see. But as they're on their way there with the people mourning around him, it says, Jesus wept.
[00:16:50] Like he feels the pain. Of the people there.
[00:16:55] And he cares for them. He's he has sympathy. That's our second response that we see from Jesus here, that he is sympathetic.
[00:17:02] And what a refreshing bit of news this is to see that Jesus is one who not only tells us to weep with those who weep, but he as God actually weeps with the mourners here himself. Sympathy. Let's just define it like that. Sympathy is compassion for someone's need. Sympathy is when you have a problem. And I make it my problem. I feel your pain. I feel what you're going through. It's a it's a it's a mutual feeling that we share.
[00:17:32] So here's Jesus, let's just consider this for a moment. Jesus new Lazarus was gonna die even before he came. Remember a few weeks ago, when we look out, Jesus even waited before lives, before he came to visit Lazarus and all these people, when he shows up, like if you had been here, if you had been here, no Jesus purposefully came after Lazarus was dead. He knew he was going to die and he knows that. Just in a few more verses, we're not going to get there this morning. But if you come back next week, he's gonna say, Lazarus, come out and Lazarus is going to rise up from the dead. And all the morning we're gonna dry it all up, everybody, and we're gonna start celebrating that Lazarus is back. So he knows that he knows he was going to die and he knows he's gonna raise him from the dead. But right here in this moment, in the in between, when everybody's feeling sad and they're mourning the loss of their loved one.
[00:18:25] Jesus weeps with the.
[00:18:29] What an amazing thing that when you are experiencing pain and the loss and you think there is no hope when it comes to either the fear of your own death or the loss of someone that you love, that Jesus weeps with you.
[00:18:44] What an amazing God we have.
[00:18:46] To take notice of this in such a way and not just to say to us, get over it and get your act together and believe in me, I'm going to work it out. It's all going to be about my glory and the resurrection in the end. No. Now, when it's time for mourning, he mourns with those who mourn and he weeps with those who we've got to look 19. And you'll see another example of Jesus weeping now in our passage when it says Jesus wept. The word is more like Jesus shed a tear. It's more like there's a few tears that fell down the face of Jesus. It's not the word for hand me a box of Kleenex necessarily. In our passage. But here is an example of Jesus weeping. This is Luke, chapter 19, verse 41. Here's another passage where Jesus is overwhelmed with sympathy towards those that he's seeing towards the people around him. And this is really the whole city of Jerusalem. This is right after he's come in on the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday. And they've been having the palm branches out and they've been saying Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. And here's Jesus response. Luke 19, verse 41. And when he junior and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, would that you even you had known on this day the things that make for peace or if there could be peace here in Jerusalem. But now they are hidden from your eyes. You can't see it for the days will come upon you and your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and harm you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you because you did not know the time of your visitation. Here's Jesus looking out over the city of Jerusalem and he's prophesying about the destruction that is going to come upon the city. He's prophesying that this same group of people who are going to reject him, even though they were shouting blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. One Sunday, he knows that by the end of the week they're going to be shouting, crucify him. And he looks at them and he says, because of your rejection of my visitation, because he did not receive me as the anointed one from God, your enemies are going to close in around you and you will be destroyed. Not one stone upon another. And if you know history, you know that in year 70 A.D., the Romans came and they surrounded the city of Jerusalem in a very similar way to their military tactic that Jesus describes here. And his lament. And they destroyed the city. And what Jesus prophesies here happens is the judgment of God upon the people for rejecting Jesus. And here's Jesus. He knows that judgment is going to come. He's prophesying about it. But what is he doing? He's weeping over the people.
[00:21:35] He's sympathizing with that.
[00:21:38] Even as he's prophesying their judgment, he is. His heart is breaking that they could not know peace with God. That they could not see it.
[00:21:49] What a god we have that he is mindful of people like us when we hurt, when we cry, when we face our own mortality, which is the consequence of our own sin.
[00:22:00] It is that because that you sinned, that you will die. Now God is merciful and gracious. The moment you sin is not the moment that you die, but because you have fallen short of the glory of God, you will someday die.
[00:22:15] And Jesus even knowing that even decreeing that weeps with you as you mourn that. What a compassionate guy.
[00:22:24] But then look at verse 45. And look what he says here, not only is he sympathetic, but then after he's weeping over the city of Jerusalem, he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold. And we've heard this story before where they've turned his father's house into a place where they're making money. He says to them in verse 46, saying to them, and he's written, My house shall be a house of prayer. But you have made it a den of robbers.
[00:22:51] What kind of a man is this? What kind of a god do we have? Where he'll weep over the people who are going to be judged. And then he'll go into the temple and drive people out of it, saying that they've made it about money and not about the worship of his father or prayer to the Lord. A guy who is both sympathetic and angry at the same time that you are God, is, is that how you see him? When God introduces himself in Exodus 34, when he says to Moses, Here's who I am. Let me show you my glory. He says that I am a God, a bounding and steadfast love and faithfulness of forgive thousands. And I'll give mercy to whoever will call upon me. But I will by no means clear the guilty. Nobody's getting away with it. Even to the second or the third generation. When Jesus comes. When he's got the word who became flesh. And he puts on humanity and becomes one of his own creation. It says that Jesus, when he was among us, we saw his glory. Glory as of the only begotten from the father, full of grace and truth, man. Judgment must happen because of sin. There's anger in God's heart when things aren't right. And yet he is so sympathetic that he will take that judgment upon himself and he will be the one who dies in our place.
[00:24:13] That's the guy that we serve. Now you think about him. Can your God get angry and cry with you all at the same time? Because that's who Jesus Christ is.
[00:24:23] In fact, we see this really play out in the Psalms that we're reading, go to the Psalms with me. And if you didn't read on the weekend, we'll catch you up right now. Look at Psalm seven and eight. Check this out. And look what it's saying here. And the reason we're reading the Psalms is we want to know who God is. We want to experience eternal life in a relationship with him day by day. And here in Psalm Seven-Eleven, it says one of the most intense statements in all of this scripture. Did anybody read this yesterday? I mean, this Seven-Eleven right here, they ain't offering fully free Slurpee. I'll tell you that much right now. This is all different kind of 7-Eleven. We've got going on here in the Psalms. It's one of the most intense verses you might ever read. It says God is a righteous judge and a God who feels indignation every day.
[00:25:14] That's how you think God is. He's angry. Every day that things are not right in the good way that he created them to be, that sin has curse this earth and that death is now happening and people are choosing to deny him and live in sin. He's angry every day. Righteous indignation, it says here. Anger because it's not right.
[00:25:41] Is that how you see God and do you see God as one who is going to judge that sin must be judged?
[00:25:48] He cannot tolerate it. He will not put up with it, not for forever. He might be patient, but eventually people will die. Eventually. Judgment will come. He must, in fact, David, here, as he worships the Lord for who he really is in Psalm seven, David even says, if I'm not right. Judge me. David says, search my heart. Search my mind. Hey, if I have enemies that I've mis treated. If I have friends that I've wronged. If I'm not right before you, then judge me because you are right to judge. It is right for God to be angry when things are not as he commanded them to be.
[00:26:30] Anybody want to say amen to that here this morning? I mean, is this the God that you believe in? Because this is the God as he reveals himself to us that when things are not right, God gets angry and he is going to do something about it.
[00:26:47] He will be patient, but not forever. His patience is for a limited amount of time, and then the judgment will come.
[00:26:55] But then you get to our Song of the Day. Chapter eight, where it's describing his glory above the heavens. And then it says in verse three in verse for what we already read. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers. Wow. Look at how awesome God is in the moon and the stars which you have set in place.
[00:27:12] But yet what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you care for him.
[00:27:18] So here's a God that that could righteously just judge the earth with flood or with fire. I mean, he would be right to judge. And yet, in his lofty throne, in heaven above, he is caring and noticing and mindful and even sympathetic for the people who are sitting against him. The people who are dying because of their sin that they did against him. Yet he is weeping in mourning and it says very clearly in the Bible that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
[00:27:51] There is no joy for God when people die in their sins. He is mindful of us. What a transcending God. And yet so intimate to care about what happens to creatures like us. That's who we have to worship.
[00:28:09] And it's important that we worship him in the way that he's revealed himself. It's important that we would see Jesus walking into a memorial service. If you ever go to a funeral, if you're ever at a memorial service. Next time that you're there, I want you to think that this would make Jesus angry and he would probably be crying with everybody else here.
[00:28:28] That's who our God is.
[00:28:30] And here we get to see him today in human form and encountering people that he loves dying and he weeps and he's angry about.
[00:28:43] And we need to know Jesus, we need to see how he responded and really that's going to inform then how we should respond as we know Christ and death should bother us.
[00:28:55] Death is not what God wants.
[00:28:58] God wants people to have eternal life. God wants people to know the resurrection and the life so that when they die, when their body dies, when their physical body stops working, their soul will live on. In fact, it's such a quality of life that we have when we know God. It's like we don't really die, basically, is what Jesus says.
[00:29:18] And John Alev, that's what God wants. So if you've accepted death as a part of life, I'm challenging you right now to rethink that statement.
[00:29:29] Death is the enemy of life that Jesus is angry out and came to get rid of once and for all. It is our greatest need. Greater than hunger, greater than education, greater than relationship, greater than money, greater than all other needs is our dealing with death. How are you going to prepare for your own death and for the death of those that you love? This is really the greatest issue on our planet.
[00:29:57] And if something can be done about it, that's what we're here to say at this church this morning.
[00:30:02] Something can be done about a you go to that CompassHB Bible church, that one over there on Argosy. Yeah, I. I've seen you over there at that church. What are they all about? What's their crusade? They want to find the homeless a place to live. They want to reach the poor. What do they want to do? Well, they've got a clear issue they're trying to reach. Oh, yeah. What's their issue?
[00:30:19] What are they addressing over there? Death. That's what we're going after. We're taking it on face to face. We're angry at it. We're crying about it. And we don't think it's what Jesus wants to happen to people. Anybody with me on this? We're going after death. We're not just trying to delay it. We're not just trying to postpone it. We're not just trying to send you home for a few more years. We want you to send you into a new quality of life, eternal life and knowing God. Now, let me just say I would appreciate it if we could start addressing this issue of death right now. Okay. Everyone, you know, is on their way to dying because everyone, you know, has sinned. It is only a matter of time until they face the wages of their sin, which is death. So we can do this different ways. We can wait till it seems like people's bodies are almost shut down. Or we can view everybody as a soul who needs to know Jesus right now. Because let me just say, as I've said before, let me say it again, because I think it's important for us to consider that hospitals are terrible places to have a conversation. Ever been to a hospital? Ever tried to talk to somebody? It's not conducive for the most important conversation of your life to be in a place where you're literally being stuck with needles while we're trying to talk right where you're maybe so. So kind of on drugs that you can't even think clearly where you're maybe in such physical pain that it's going to be hard for us to keep a conversation going. And if you've ever tried to talk to someone at a hospital, which I've tried to do before, you're constantly interrupted. Right. So you guys have tried to get a good night's sleep at a hospital like that happens, right? Damn. It's a 24/7 environment. People always coming in like they've got something important to do. More important than your conversation, because they're trying to keep so-and-so alive right now. Right. We should be trying to talk to the people that we love. Well, before they're about to die, it would be good to talk to them at Starbucks or in a couch or some kind of chair that reclines where they're comfortable. Right now would be the time to talk to. See, I get these calls and I have no problem receiving these calls.
[00:32:36] I you call me because you've got a loved one that that is dying and you want me to show up at the hospital and try to talk to him. Hey, I will show up at the hospital and I will try to talk to him. But the truth is, I'm telling you now, why didn't you talk to him way before then?
[00:32:53] That's the question. That's what we're here to do. We're here to say, hey, I know you have all everything it seems that you would need live in an Orange County to your family member. It seems like you've got a fine life, but you really you don't have a fine life because the greatest need. You're not even thinking about it. The greatest need that you have is what are you going to do about death? That's what we should be saying to every single family member that we've got. And I love you enough to care about you to talk about this now while we can still talk about it, OK?
[00:33:25] Now, God is amazing and in his grace and he saves people who are on their deathbeds, maybe, you know, somebody who had a deathbed conversion. But I'm trying to get in your mind here this morning that every conversion is a deathbed conversion because we're all about to die.
[00:33:41] Some of us just might look a little bit closer than others. OK, but that's the truth. Everybody don't deceive yourself here. And thinking that you've got plenty of time, you don't know how much time you have. You don't know how well your body is going to keep working. Death is coming because of our sin and we need to do something about it now while we have a chance.
[00:34:04] And so I want to encourage you to watch just a couple of questions, if you want to look at the back of a handout here, we we don't have our normal fellowship group. So these are personal questions for you to think through. And what are you doing to meet the greatest need of humanity? I would hope that if somebody was hungry, you would buy him lunch, somebody was sick, you would take him soup, you would pray him. You try to help him get in to see a doctor, if you could. If somebody was poor, you would maybe and give them some financial resources. But if somebody is going to die, if that really is our greatest need, what are we willing to do about it? What are you willing to do about it? And then before we start talking about other people, let's start with yourself. Do you know that you are ready to die? As Jesus met that need for you.
[00:34:53] He's ready to do something about it if you go back to John, Chapter eleven. Jesus is ready to take matters into his own hands here. And he is going to bring Lazarus back from the dead. He thinks that all of these miracles that we've been building up to death is still something that Jesus can do something about.
[00:35:13] That's the message of this story here today, that we had a situation here at our church that's happened in the last year, and now, you know, as we've talked about this before, if you've been around long enough, you've heard me say, hey, let's talk to people before they end up in the hospital. Let's go reach our family members now. And I got to tell you, I can tell some people in this church are taking that very seriously. And I could tell some of you guys are really reaching out to your family members because over 100 services that God's blessed us with. I've seen something that I've never seen at church before, even though I've been going to church my whole life. I've seen more family members getting saved here at this church than I've ever seen. And I don't really know how to explain it because a lot of times family can be the hardest people to reach because they're the ones like, yeah, we've seen your whole life. Right. Like, we we changed your diapers and now you're gonna tell us the secret to eternity. Yeah, right. You know, I mean, that's a tough sell. People who are older than us, they've known us. They kind of now. Now we're going to start teaching them, though, the way to live. That can be really tough. But for some reason, here at this church, God is bringing in family members who are getting saved. And it's amazing to see. And so I just want to encourage those of you who are praying and reaching out and bringing your family members in. Well, praise the Lord for your efforts and what you're doing, because God is working among us and family members are getting safe.
[00:36:40] But we had one lady and she called me and she said, hey, by my mom, she's elderly and she just had a heart attack. And will you come and talk to her in the hospital? I met this lady when she was in the hospital before. She was a really friendly lady. And she was involved in this is bad idea like of Christian science in her life. And in this kind of cult group, they basically tell you that you're perfect and they tell you that you're so perfect that you shouldn't even need to go to the hospital or something like that, because it's just about how you're thinking. And you should just keep telling yourself that you're perfect. And so this lady with first time I met her in the hospital and she was in some pain, turned out to be gallstones and she was there in the hospital. You could tell she felt bad about even being there because of the way this this colt had messed with her mind that it was wrong for her to even ask for help or even to admit weakness because she was supposed to somehow be perfect. And so now I'm driving up on the scene and she has almost died of a heart attack. And in this scene, that would be comical if it wasn't so serious. There is just like all of these fans pointing at this woman and there's ice all over her because she tells me she feels so hot. She says, like, I don't understand why I'm feeling so hot. I'm feeling like I'm on fire, she says. In fact, her daughter has even made for her this special gown there in the hospital. That breathes a little better because she's just so hot. She's got like ice all over her and fans blowing on her. And she says, you know what? I almost died. And if I had died, let me tell you something. I realized I didn't know God.
[00:38:24] If I had died, I wouldn't have been with him when I died.
[00:38:30] She says this to me as there's like fans on her because she's feeling super hot. You see what's going on here. You feel the happiness of this situation. And I'm trying to tell her why she didn't know God. I'm trying to tell her the good news of Jesus Christ, that he can prepare her for death. He can meet her last and greatest need in life. And the nurses are interrupting. And the fans are grown really loud. And it's not going well.
[00:39:03] All these people are trying to. They're trying to visit her and. Sure. Their love. And I'm like. Will you leave so she can get saved in Amen. And so praise the Lord. She didn't die there in that hospital and she got to go into this other facility. It was actually right down the street from my house. And there were nurses there taking care of her. And I could calm me and her daughter.
[00:39:23] We would gather together and the three of us, we would have our long conversations outside under God's beautiful creation. He spared her life so that we could keep having these conversations. So why do you think you felt like you were far away from God? Why do you think your whole life you thought you've known God? And now when you're about to die, you realize you don't know him. Why do you think you don't know God?
[00:39:48] And we start to get into what's the big problem for this woman?
[00:39:51] It's a big problem for a lot of people, is that she has bought the lie. And especially how this cold just impressed it upon her that she is perfect. She thinks of herself as a good person. And so why, if I'm a good person, why would I have that feeling where I'm not ready to be with God? And she's trying to figure this out. And she's starting with this false premise that she is a good person.
[00:40:22] And so for an hour, I have to plead with her.
[00:40:25] With her daughter chiming in and we have to preach scripture to her and we have to try to get her to think through who entire her entire life. Are you telling us you never did anything wrong? Your entire life?
[00:40:37] Not one thing.
[00:40:39] Not one time where God said to do this. And instead of doing what God said to do, you did this instead. And we're pleading with her to reconsider. That may be before God. She is not good. And we're begging with her to understand this. We're able to have these long conversations about it. And I kept coming back. And then one day she finally started to see herself for who she really was.
[00:41:07] She said, well, what would I do about it now? When we began to talk about, well, there is one who is good, one who was perfect, who was righteous, and he died in your place. And if you'll trust in him, you'll get his righteousness and then you'll be ready to die. We started to tell her the good news of Jesus.
[00:41:24] And we started to preach to her that he died and rose again, and that's her hope of eternal life. And you could see it starting to come together and she's starting to get it. And finally, she says, I want to tell God I'm sorry.
[00:41:40] When she cries out right there. For forgiveness of our sins and for a new life in Jesus Christ. Now, she never fully recovered from this heart attack.
[00:41:50] She was able to go back to her house, but she had to have 24/7 nurse there with her. And so she didn't get to come to church. She didn't get to do some of the things that you would expect to see somebody do when they believe in Jesus because her life is so close now to the end.
[00:42:07] And so you're always kind of wondering about a deathbed conversion. Is it? Is it real or not? I heard that prayer and it seemed so sincere and it was powerful to see her really get it. But is she really said? I don't know.
[00:42:19] And just a couple of weeks ago now, she passed away. We're gonna have a memorial service here at the church, not this Saturday, but next Saturday at eleven thirty, and I'm meeting with her daughter, who's here at our church. She's part of our family.
[00:42:32] And she was the one who brought me to talk to our mom. And I'm like, well, what do you think? I mean, I didn't get to see her as much after these conversations stopped. I mean, do you think that she really repented of his sin and put her faith in Jesus? And she's like, well, I'll tell you one thing about my mom that that changed from that day on. And she was always ready to apologize.
[00:42:55] Like from that day on, she had no problem saying, here's a person who's lived their entire life. And now at the end, did they finally learn what it means to be sorry? To tell people that they're sorry for the way they've treated them and to be sorry before God and she says, my mom, she learned how to be sorry.
[00:43:13] For real, we'll praise the Lord for that. Praise the Lord. That it wasn't too late for her to have her greatest need met, which is death.
[00:43:24] And he came just in time. But how many people do we know who are headed towards death thinking they're good people, only to find out the horror and the heat of the realization that they don't know God?
[00:43:39] You know, I hope we don't need them to have a heart attack for us to think that they need to have a new heart.
[00:43:48] And so I encourage you to get a little bit angry about death, to weep with those who weep about death and to start meeting the need that people have now by praying and by addressing it as Jesus does here, where he loves people.
[00:44:03] And so he wants to do something about it. In fact, go to Hebrews chapter to turn turn Hebrews Chapter two and let's see what Jesus does here about death. A couple of things that he now offers to us is our response here in the Book of Hebrews. And one of them is Hebrews Chapter two verses starting in verse five and hear a quote, soul mate.
[00:44:26] Just interesting how this is all work together here that we're on soul mate. And yet here we have a passage that deals with death about soul mate. Look what it says. And Hebrews, chapter two, verse five for it. It was not the angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere. Yeah, we know where it was testified.
[00:44:49] We just read it. So I'm Chapter eight versus three and four.
[00:44:52] What is man that you are mindful of him or the son of man that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels. You have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet. There's the quote. Now, here's what we're supposed to think about it now. In putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. He's talking about mankind at prison. We do not yet see in everything subjection to him, but we see him. Here's who we can see him, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely who Jesus gave. The whole point of Hebrews is that Jesus is greater than the angels. Jesus is better than the new covenant we have in Jesus is better than the old covenant. In the Old Testament, Jesus is better. We'll here's him humbling himself to becoming a man lower than the angels, namely Jesus. And he's crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he Jesus might taste death for everyone.
[00:45:55] What an amazing thing that God created the moon and the stars would not only notice his creation, he would become his creation, and he would taste the consequence of death for your sin, not only for you, but for everyone.
[00:46:09] So that now he all glory, all honor is to him because he suffered for us, offering us a way to meet our greatest need of death.
[00:46:20] He's tasted it.
[00:46:22] For all.
[00:46:24] So let's thank God for that. Our response, a couple of things about our response here is we want to thank Jesus. He met your greatest need. We want to thank Jesus that he tasted death for you.
[00:46:35] Not only does Jesus want to meet all of the needs that we normally think of our physical needs and how he cares for us and how he loves us, but our greatest need. He came and he tasted death for everyone.
[00:46:48] So he is crowned with glory and honor because of how he died for us.
[00:46:55] I mean, there are people who think that they've just resigned themselves, that they're going to die and there's nothing they can do about it. And who knows what happens after that? No body will just be there on the ground. And maybe they think nothing happens or maybe they believe in reincarnation and they just think that's the way there is.
[00:47:11] And what can you do about it? Well, we need to go and tell them Jesus already did something about it.
[00:47:16] We already tasted death for them. He met their need. Go to Hebrews Chapter four. Not only did Jesus die, but here it says that Jesus lives. He is the life story. It's amazing that he died. But. But he rose again. And now he offers to all of us this resurrection life. And here's the life that we have in Jesus. Hebrews four, verse 14. Since then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens. Wow. Who is this? Who could actually go into heaven on our behalf. Jesus the son of God. So let us hold fast our confession, our faith, our belief in him, for we do not have a high priest who is unable to key word of the day here, who is unable to what he sympathizes with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are yet without sin.
[00:48:08] But we have a God who is reigning in heaven above who can speak for us before the majestic throne of the father. And yet not only can he speak to God and all of his holy splendor, but he can relate to us and sympathize with us in all of our weaknesses.
[00:48:27] Jesus has experienced the same temptations that you have experienced. But he never once gave in to them. Jesus has been tested with the same trials that you've been tested with, and he always passed Jesus has even encountered the death that is coming upon us all.
[00:48:47] And he could sympathize.
[00:48:50] And when you've lost a loved one, and I know we've got people here who have lost precious family members in the last year, I want you to know that Jesus weeps with you.
[00:48:59] You're angry at the separation of death and what it's wreaking in our world. Hey, Jesus has that same indignation. He sympathizes with us.
[00:49:09] So and here's the good news about it. Verse 16. Let us then with confidence drawn here to the throne of Grace because of Jesus his life. Now we can go right into God's presence, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. And isn't that good news for everybody here today? You now and you have in your time of need, you've got something going on that's over your head. You got something that that's beyond what you are able to do. Well, there's an access, a 24/7 access to the grace of God, to his mercy that he will give to you through Jesus Christ. He is ready to sympathize with whatever you are going through here today. He can have compassion. He can feel your pain. And he will meet you with the mercy and the grace that you need. In fact, when it comes to crime, here's what you need to trust when it comes to our sadness over our sin. Let's get this down for our second response here. You can trust he will wipe your tears away. Not only does Jesus know how to weep with those who weep, but he knows how to comfort. He is the God of all comfort.
[00:50:22] And there will come a day where there will be no more crying and revelation. Chapter 21, verse four. It says, In the new heavens and the new Earth in the new Jerusalem, Jesus won't be weeping over the new Jerusalem. He'll be wiping the tears out of everybody's eyes.
[00:50:40] That's what it says, in fact, is prophesied in Isaiah twenty five. Everybody turn with me to Isaiah. Twenty five. Come on, grab your Bible and turn there with me to Isaiah. Twenty five.
[00:50:50] And let's see the prophecy of what we're gonna do about death and all of the weeping and the mourning that comes, all of the tears that are going to be shed. Overall, the people who have died throughout human history. What is God ready to do about it? When he gets together with his people in this place called Mount Zion, in the future, when God is renewed to perfect relationship with his people, when he will be our God and we will be his people.
[00:51:17] Here's a prophecy of that day and what it's going to look like in the future. And it starts in Isaiah. Twenty five, verse one. Oh Lord, you are. My God, I will exalt you. I will praise your name for you have done wonderful things. Plans formed of old you have followed through with them faithful insure now specifically jump down to verse six. Look what it says is going to happen on this mountain. The Lord of Hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food. What a gathering it's gonna be when Jesus and his people are finally together united and it's gonna be a feast of rich food, a feast of well aged wine, of rich food, full of marrow, of aged wine, well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces and the approach of His people he will take away from all the Earth. For the Lord has spoken. This is why Jesus is angry. This is what he wants to do. He wants to swallow up death forever.
[00:52:30] He wants to sympathize and come up to every crying eye. And he wants. Can you imagine someday the resurrected Lord, the King of all Jesus Christ, walking up to you and wiping the tears away from your eyes.
[00:52:45] That's the heart of Jesus Christ. That's what he wants to do, and it will be said on that day, verse nine. Behold.
[00:52:52] Can you see this? Can you see who he is? This is our God. We have waited for him that he might save us. This is the Lord. We have waited for him. Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. When we are in the presence of Christ, when we've been there ten thousand years, bright, shining as the sun, we will see death not as the inevitable end. We will see it as just one more need that we had back down here on planet Earth.
[00:53:24] On the old Earth, when we're living in the new heavens and the newer and the new Jerusalem and we will see how Jesus met this need, and he swallowed up death forever and he wiped away our tears.
[00:53:36] Do you believe you're gonna see this someday?
[00:53:38] Do you believe you're gonna live in an environment where you never go to another funeral or you're never to attend a memorial service where no one, you know, ever dies and no one ever cries like Kleenex will be out of business in the new Jerusalem done forever?
[00:53:59] Because that's how Jesus wants it and that's what he intends to do. And so sign us up.
[00:54:06] Well, what are what's going to happen in our next 100 services? I don't know. I have a feeling we're just getting started. I have a feeling we're just the beginning of seeing what God's going to do, because if he can give people roofs over their heads and he can unite people in marriage when they want to do it wholly in God's way. Well, what's the greatest need? Who is Jesus going to give new life? Who is he going to eliminate the fear of death? What if you told the city of Huntington Beach or Garden Grove or found value or whatever city you live in around here? What if you thought that you could tell your city that we could do something about the problem of people dying in that town?
[00:54:45] That's what we're here doing. That's what Jesus has already done. And let us thank him for tasting death for us and let us trust him.
[00:54:54] Let us wait for that. There's coming a day when he'll swallow it up forever and he'll wipe away the tears from our eyes. And we will rejoice and we will be glad that we saw the day as Jesus intended, where there is no more death and no more crying.
[00:55:08] And we will worship the Lord Jesus Christ with souls that cannot die. And in undying love for him. I hope you have this. And if you're here today and you've got a nice life, maybe you feel like your life's fallen apart. Well, let me let me tell you, as my dad once told me many times, actually, when I was growing up here, when I was having a rough time and I was crying or something, my dad gave me the sympathetic word, son. You can always get worse. So my dad would say to me, you can always get worse. We think we've got it rough in this life. Let me tell you, the real problem that we've got with life is death. Let's do something about it here in Huntington Beach. Let's see what Jesus will do in the souls of those around us. Let me pray. We thank you so much for your favor upon us, for your goodhand, upon us here at this church.
[00:56:03] And God, just the stories of people who are professing faith, people who are confessing their sin, and they're confessing that Jesus is the one who has died and risen again, that he is the resurrection and the life. And they're believing in Jesus and they're finding a new kind of life and they're no longer afraid of death. Can we praise you? For the work that you can do to meet our greatest need. They give us life after death. And even those who live in Christ will never die. We believe that here. And we just I pray that we would see the emotions that stir up within Jesus when he sees Mary weeping and the crowd around her weeping because Lazarus has died. Guy, we thank you that you are a God who is sympathetic with our weaknesses. God. We praise you here this morning.
[00:57:00] We thank you that you are a God who is angry when things are not right, that the injustice we see all around us, that maybe sometimes we feel indignation when people we know and love are mistreated in this cruel world that we live in. Now, we thank you that you are also angry at injustice.
[00:57:21] And guy, we thank you that, your grace, and your truth go so beautifully together that your steadfast love and faithfulness describe you, that righteousness and mercy kiss each other. God. We thank you that you are a God who is both angry about sin. And so you have declared that because of sin, there must be death. And yet you would be mindful of us and you would taste death for us and you would offer us now life that we could come into your presence and whatever grace is needed here, whatever mercy. Is represented here in this room that in the name of Jesus, we can come to you and ask you for it this morning and we will find it in our time of need. Can we give you all the glory? What a great an amazing God you are to us. What a story it is that you would become one of your creation, that you would die on behalf of us, and that someday, because of this victory, you will swallow up death and that you will wipe away the tears from our eyes. Now we believe it and we want to see it. And we will wait for that day when there is no more death and no more crying. And God, I pray for those who are still living under the fear of death right now. For those who still have that sadness and that sense of loss, they don't have the confidence of eternal life got even here this morning among us. We asked that you would give your life and meet the need of death for those who will cry out to you and ask for your salvation. We pray this in Jesus name and all God's people said, Hey, man.
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