By Bobby Blakey on September 15, 2019
By Bobby Blakey on September 15, 2019
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:00] At the end of life. There will be a test and this test will have one question. And it's a pass or fail.
[00:00:11] You're either right or you're wrong for all of eternity and the answer. It's something that you need to know here tonight. The question is.
[00:00:20] Do you know Jesus? Do you?
[00:00:25] No, Jesus and I invite you to turn in your Bible to Matthew 7:21, because we get to see here in Matthew 7:21 what it looks like when someone faces the test, the test, that is the day of judgment when they stand before the Lord Jesus Christ. And unfortunately for this person, they fail the test, in fact, Jesus says there will be many on that day. Who fail the test? This is Matthew 7:21. This is page 812, if you got one of our Bibles.
[00:01:04] And it says, not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.
[00:01:10] But the one who does the will of my father, who is in heaven on that day, many will say to me, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
[00:01:21] Cast out demons in your name and do many mighty works in your name.
[00:01:26] And then will I declare to them, I never knew you. Depart for me, you workers.
[00:01:38] Of lawlessness, you see, there's really two ways to ask this question we could ask, do you know Jesus? Or we could also say, does Jesus know you?
[00:01:50] Do you have a relationship with him because there are going to be let's make no mistake here tonight. There are going to be many people who have praised Jesus in a church service, many people who've read of Jesus in the scripture.
[00:02:01] And they're going to get there on that day and they're going to say, Lord, Lord, I know who you are and remember all the stuff I did for you. Remember the the missions trip I went on or the service project I did. Or that the kind way I treated people.
[00:02:16] And Jesus says, Depart from me. I never knew you. So there really is nothing more important that you and I could talk about tonight.
[00:02:26] Then what it means to know Jesus and what we're going to look at here together in two verses in the Book of Philippians is perhaps the best definition of what it means to know Jesus in the Bible. So please turn over there with me to Philippians, chapter three, verse ten and eleven. And Paul. It was almost like he was finished. It was almost like he was wrapping it up. Hey, rejoice in the Lord. And then he just started going into his own personal testimony, how he used to think that being born a Jew and doing all these good works.
[00:02:57] He used to think that that was what made him righteous before God. But he realizes now it just made him religious. And the only way to get righteous is through Jesus Christ.
[00:03:09] And so all the things that he used to count is gain. He now considers them lost.
[00:03:13] In fact, in verse eight, he goes so far as to say he counts everything in the loss column compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ, Jesus, his Lord. He'll lose everything and he'll count it as trash so that he might gain Christ. He's been telling us that Jesus is better here in this chapter and then inverses ten and 11. And he gives us the definition of what does it mean to know Jesus? He says that I may know him. And the power of his resurrection. And may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. That by any means possible, I may attain the resurrection.
[00:04:05] From the dead.
[00:04:07] They all count at all, lost. I'll count everything in this life. Everything in this world, it's all lost to me so that I may gain Jesus. Because here's what I really want. Here's my number one burning passion is I want to know him. And if you're my Christian brother or sister, if you have believed in Jesus at the moment that you believe in Jesus, you receive what? Anybody who believes in Jesus. They get what?
[00:04:34] Eternal life. That's what the scripture says.
[00:04:37] As Sean 316, whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life. And eternal life is not just living forever in heaven. It's not just going to be with God when you die.
[00:04:49] Eternal life. Jesus says in John 17 verse three. Eternal life is knowing God. It's being reconciled to God in a relationship that you have with God through his son, Jesus Christ. And here Paul is saying as an example to all of us who believe, hey, this is what life really comes down to, that I may know. And that's the answer to the test.
[00:05:16] That's the ultimate question.
[00:05:20] Now, he already gave us a great definition of who Jesus is back in verse eight, he just says that I may know him, but look at how he defined Jesus for us, probably with his three most popular or common names here in verse eight. He says, indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. My Lord. Christ, Jesus, my lord. Now, a great way for you and I to think about who he is, that who we want to know as the son of God.
[00:05:58] Let's start with all the way back to the beginning as we turn back to the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms. All of them. They refer to the Messiah as how it was in Hebrew. Christoph's is how it is in Greek. It means the anointed one, the holy one, the one coming from God who's been promised a gold.
[00:06:21] The one who was going to come to save God's people, that's who is the Christ, and there's hundreds of years of prophecies telling us how he was going to come, where he was gonna be born, that he would be a man of sorrows and great suffering, but that he would not stay dead. No, the holy one would not see corruption. But up from the grave, he would arise with a mighty triumph. You would ascend into the skies and he will reign forever as king of kings and Lord of Lords.
[00:06:52] That's all prophesied before he ever shows up.
[00:06:57] And when he shows up, when it actually happens that God, the son of God would become a man.
[00:07:04] The Angels says you will name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.
[00:07:12] That's what the name Jesus meant. Jesus is like the Greek way to say Joshua in the Hebrew.
[00:07:18] The Lord is salvation.
[00:07:21] So he's a holy one, the anointed one, the prophet, priest and king coming from God. And then he actually does humble himself to be born as a baby. And he lives a perfect life for 33 years.
[00:07:33] And then he suffers and dies on that cross, but he doesn't stay dead. Now he rises and he ascends into the skies. And he's now at the right hand of the majesty on high.
[00:07:47] And he's been given the name now, the highest title that anyone could be given all the authority and heaven and earth, dominion, power.
[00:07:55] They all belong to him because he is the Lord, the boss, the supreme one, above all.
[00:08:04] That's who Paul wants to know. I want to know him.
[00:08:09] The one they were writing about hundreds of years ago. The one who came and actually they ended the whole dating system is B.C. and A.D. because it's all based on the life of Jesus Christ.
[00:08:22] Two thousand and nineteen years ago, he came and we're still talking about it. And you know where he is right now? Well, some of us have been reading in Revelation and we've been seeing him with his eyes of fire and his face shining like the sun and the sword that's coming out of his mouth. And he's ready to ride down on a white horse and establish his kingdom here on Earth.
[00:08:43] Jesus is coming back as Lord of Lords, and he will rule over the nations of the earth. And no one will stand against him.
[00:08:55] And his wrath will be poured out upon all of the sin. I mean, he took the wrath of God for us. But those who choose sin instead of Jesus, they will still experience that wrath in judgment of God.
[00:09:08] That's all coming. That's who Paul's talking about here, he says. I get to know him. This is the one that I can have now, a relationship with.
[00:09:19] When he died, he died for me. When he rose, he rose for me and I know him now. And the power of his resurrection. I have fellowship in his sufferings. Like this is a real relationship. It's me and Jesus.
[00:09:36] And we just kind of say here tonight that it is so much better to let Jesus run your life than to run your own life. Can I get a man from anybody on that? Jesus is a better master than you are. He's a better master than any other person that you could live to serve. He's a better master than all of the ways of this world and the sins Jesus he if there's one person you want calling the shots for your life. His name is Jesus Christ.
[00:10:01] He is the only master who will not take life from you, but actually gave his life for you.
[00:10:10] And if you think it's a bad rap to have to obey all the commands of scripture because Jesus is Lord and he tells us what to do. No, you don't understand how it actually works. What's a bad rap is live in for yourself and being a slave to your own sin and letting you be the boss of your own life. That's the worst possible scenario.
[00:10:31] We've got it so twisted in our thinking today.
[00:10:35] Go to Luke Chapter twelve and look what Jesus himself says it's going to be like when he comes back, when he comes back and he's ready to reign as the master, as the Lord, the curiosity that is the Greek word is we're not used to someone having this much power and authority. We don't really relate to that concept where we live today.
[00:10:58] And he talks about coming back and and it's clear he's a master and he's got servants. And it's clear that he wants his people to be ready for him when he returns. Yeah. You have a personal relationship with Jesus. Well, let's not mistake what the roles are in the relationship. He is the boss and you're the servant.
[00:11:16] That's how the Bible puts it. And he puts it like this in Luke 12, verse 35 at the bottom of page 871. This is Jesus talking when he came the first time about what's gonna happen when he comes back the second time and he says, stay dressed for action. Keep your lamps burning.
[00:11:36] Be like man who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.
[00:11:47] Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes truly out. I say to you he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table and he will come and serve them.
[00:12:06] Now, this was not standard operating master procedure in the first century. All right.
[00:12:11] Masters didn't come home from a wedding. Masters didn't come home from anything and say, hey, servants, what a great job you guys have done. Why don't you guys sit down for a minute and all serve you? That's why Jesus has to say they're in the middle of verse 37. Truly, I say to you, the master will dress himself. Yes. To say truly. I say to you because when he tells you that the master is going to serve the servants, people at this time aren't believe and they haven't seen a master like that.
[00:12:38] No, but that's how Jesus is.
[00:12:41] Even the son of man, the one who's gonna come riding on the clouds. He did not come to be served, but to serve. And right now, if you've believed in Jesus, he is preparing a place for you to live with him in his father's glorious dwelling place of heaven.
[00:12:58] Like he's he's your personal interior decorator, he's your real estate agent.
[00:13:04] And he's got some prime property in the New Jerusalem with your name on it. And by the way, when you meet Jesus, he's gonna give you a stone that has a name on it. That's a new name. And Nick. A name. Between you and Jesus that nobody else knows because he knows you better than anyone else. And so he gives you a new name. And he says, here's the place I've prepared for you. Calm. Well done. Good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master. Yeah. There's nothing on this planet that compares to the experience of being welcomed into the presence of Jesus.
[00:13:41] You want to know him? You want him to be your boss?
[00:13:46] And the alternative is it's not like we're comparing two good things. No, it says here verse 38, if he comes in the second wotcher in the third and he finds them awake, the people who are ready for Jesus, who know him and he knows them, blessed are those servants, but know this, that if the master of the house had known and what our the thief was coming, he would not have left his house be broken into. You also must be ready for the son of man is coming at an hour where you do not expect.
[00:14:18] Oh, you don't have a lot of time.
[00:14:20] You don't know how much time you actually have. Even if you feel like you're in the prime of your life, your health is at peak physical fitness. You got plenty of money in the bank and everything is going well for you right now, Jesus, he says. Am I in return is imminent. It soon. It could happen at any moment.
[00:14:39] You don't know when I'm coming. So let me tell you one thing. You better be. Is ready.
[00:14:45] There is a warning to the return of Jesus Christ, there is a a deadline and many people are procrastinating when their souls are on the line, like you either know Jesus or you don't. And at some point he's going to either identify you as one of his people or he's going to deny that he never knew you.
[00:15:04] He's going to say you're not one of my people. You're calling my name, but I don't know you.
[00:15:11] And so we got to see that there's no better master than Jesus Christ. Now, maybe you're not sold on the yet. Turn on turn to John, Chapter eight with me. Look at what it says here in John, Chapter eight. This is Jesus and one of his many conversations with the Pharisees. These guys were so full of themselves. They were they were the religious leaders of their day. They thought they were good and because of their works.
[00:15:35] They had such spiritual pride.
[00:15:38] And Jesus here, he's preaching to Jews and some of them are believing in him, and it says Anjani, 31, is page 894. Listen to what our Lord Jesus says. Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him.
[00:15:51] If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples. If you remain if you stay in my word, those are the ones who are really my followers, my learners, the ones who stay in my word.
[00:16:04] And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
[00:16:10] Now, a lot of people today might say, what these.
[00:16:14] Jews say here, verse 33, they answered him, we are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say you will become free? Now, I don't know if everybody today is going to say we're offspring of Abraham, but that was a big deal to the Jews.
[00:16:31] We're here.
[00:16:32] What do we need freedom for? You know who our father is? We're descendants from Father Abraham. Remember the Abrahamic covenant that all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him? Yeah. We're the blessing of planet Earth. That's who we are. Who? And then I love this line right here. We've never been enslaved to anyone. Hey. Hey, guys. Hello, McFly. Did you forget the whole Egypt experience? Like, what are we talking about here? Well, what do you mean? We've never been enslaved. Anyone? The ten plagues, the. The Red Sea. Moses Pharaoh. We're just gonna act like that whole thing didn't happen. What do you mean we've never been enslaved?
[00:17:06] This is just a puffed up view of yourself. This is just thinking, hey, I'm fine, I'm free.
[00:17:13] May maybe in me. That's how we say it today, I. You do. You are maybe in me. I'm doing great. I'm free to live my own life. Everything. What do I need? What do I need salvation for. What do I need to be freed from by your truth. I'm doing OK.
[00:17:28] No Jesus. He clarifies verse 34 Jesus answer them. Truly, truly. I say to you, which he says in front of everything that's going to be hard for us to believe. But we need to know that it's true. Everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. And the slave does not remain in the house forever. No, the sun remains forever. So if the sun sets you free, you will be free.
[00:17:53] Indeed, all that freedom that you think you have. That freedom to do whatever you want. That's not real freedom. Jesus says. Real freedom is when you can stop doing whatever you want. That's real freedom.
[00:18:10] Real freedom is when you have the power of Jesus in your soul to tell yourself no and you're no longer living for yourself, but you're living for Jesus Christ to know him.
[00:18:22] That's real freedom.
[00:18:23] No, if you're a slave to sin, if you're still following your own fleshly desires, if you're still doing whatever it is that you want, do not be deceived. You are not for you are a slave. And that master, it will require everything of you. It will take you to rock bottom and then it will kill you. That's what sin does.
[00:18:42] And how many people have we watched rise and then fall because of their own sin, leading them to a terrible demise while thinking they were free, they were slaves to themselves? No, Jesus says, I've got a freedom. Come on, let me be your Lord. Confess me. Believe in me. I've got a freedom where you will be free. Indeed. That's what Jesus says. Free from yourself for released from the sale of yourself.
[00:19:12] Released from all of those evil desires that you can't say no to, that you keep going back to time and time again. And you've learned the hard way. It already. You already know there's no gold at the end of that rainbow. You already know how it's going to work out. And yet there you are going back to the sin again. That's not freedom, Jesus says.
[00:19:33] Now, come to me and I'll set you free and you will really be free.
[00:19:39] What we're gonna do here tonight is we're gonna give you three reasons that Jesus is better. Three reasons that you should want to know Jesus and make that your consuming desire in this life. And the first reason, our Lord says, is that following him being his servant.
[00:19:56] That's real freedom. Point number one, freedom is better than slavery. That's a reason Jesus is better because it is better to be free to live for Jesus than to be a slave to your own sin. And only under the lordship of Jesus will you be free, indeed, all the slaves. They're not going into the house of God. Only the sun remains forever. So the sun is the only one who can set you free.
[00:20:27] And so there is a real freedom that Jesus is offering that some people who call themselves Christians, they don't even believe they'll really know a rescue from their sin and escape from all of their temptations. They think it's just their lot in life to keep on doing the same old sins and to keep on being the same old person. And what Jesus is saying is that when he is the lord of your life, he sets you free from yourself. You can live for him. You can really obey his commands. And you can walk down a path of blessing and righteousness and joy and peace and love.
[00:21:03] You don't have to stay depressed. You don't have to stay anxious. You don't have to stay angry. There is freedom from all of that.
[00:21:11] That's what he's saying. What he's offering. All the deeds of the flesh can be removed. And the fruit of the spirit can reign in your heart.
[00:21:23] In the freedom that is in Jesus Christ. Now go back to Philippians three and let's just think this through, because what we have here in versus 10 and 11 of Philippians three is we have the three essential elements of the gospel.
[00:21:37] There are three things that you need to know that make up the good news of Jesus. And if you believe these things, if you transfer your trust to Jesus and you turn from your sin in repentance and you believe in Jesus, then you will be saved and he will be your lord and you'll be one of his people. And all three of these things that you need to know, they're all right here in verse 10. You have to know him. Who is he? Well, he's the Christ Jesus, the Lord. That's who he is. And there's no better master. And then you have to know the power of his resurrection. You have to know that Jesus Christ won a victory over death. And when he he rose to life on the third day, he ascended into have any is alive right now. And then it says that you may share or have fellowship.
[00:22:23] It's really the word koinonia there, that you may have fellowship in his sufferings. And ultimately, all the sufferings of Jesus led him to death on the cross.
[00:22:33] See that Jesus is God. That he became a man. That he lived the perfect life of righteousness. And then he died on the cross, suffering in a terrible way to save your soul. And he rose again so that you can have new life. This is the gospel. This is what you've got to believe. And it says, when you do believe in Jesus, you know him.
[00:22:56] He is your lord. He sets you free. You live for him. And one of the things that you experience as a Christian person is the power of his resurrection. When you believe in Jesus, you are born again through his resurrection to a living. Hope you have a new life. It is not just like you believe something in your head. No, it is like something happens to you. God does a work to you.
[00:23:27] And your heart is made a lie. God puts his holy spirit in you. You now can walk in a new life just as Jesus rose. That's that's literally what it says. Go to Romans, Chapter six. And look look here with me. You gotta you gotta see this. And we'll never get tired of preaching this here at our church because we want to live with the mentality where it is Easter every single day. And there are few Christians, far too few Christians who really identify with the power of Jesus resurrection, like they have that power in their own soul.
[00:24:07] And they don't have to keep living the way they were before because that's now their old life. They're now dead to that life of sin. And they've now got a new life and they've risen with Christ. Look at how it says here in Romans, chapter six, verse one, it says, What shall we say then? This is page nine hundred forty two. Ve got one of our books. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin? That grace may abound. OK. So Grace is calm in the face of Jesus. Should we just keep on sinning? No, by no means.
[00:24:42] May it never be. Why would you think that. How can he who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know? And this is what we know if we know Jesus, that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, who've been placed into Christ Jesus, we were placed or baptized into his death.
[00:25:04] We were buried therefore with him by baptism, into death in order that. Now, here's a good phrase you might want to underline. Circle right down, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father. We, too, might walk in newness of life.
[00:25:20] Can I get a man from anybody on that? Do you believe that the tomb was empty? Do you believe that the stone was rolled away and there was no body inside?
[00:25:28] That he was not here because he had risen, just as he said? It says if you believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, just as he rose, you now have a new life.
[00:25:42] That's what it says. There is no difference. OK.
[00:25:45] Jesus rising. And you having a new life. Same power. Just as you're having the same experience in your soul that Jesus had when he rose from the dead. The power of Almighty God is working now in you in the same way it rose Jesus.
[00:26:05] Do you really believe the.
[00:26:07] I mean, I'm talking about do you really believe that, like on Tuesday morning, right before the coffee? You know what I mean?
[00:26:14] I got Tuesday morning.
[00:26:17] And we got one kid who's sick and we got two others who need to get to school on time, and we just slipped past our alarm. Are we rising out of bed like we have the power of God working in us?
[00:26:31] I don't know if we see enough of that from Christian people these days. Seems like it's a lot easier for people to relate. To continuing sin than it is to relate to resurrection power in their soul. And he's saying, if you know Jesus one thing that comes with Jesus.
[00:26:51] Just as he rose from the dead. You have a new life.
[00:26:55] You've got the power of the resurrection and go to Ephesians chapter one verse. Verse 19. But we'll back it up a few verses here because he's praying that the eyes of their heart would be open, that you can be a nearsighted Christian, that you can see that Jesus rose, but then not see that you have also risen in Christ.
[00:27:18] And so he's praying here. And this is a Friesians one verse 18, just one verse back.
[00:27:23] He's saying, Having the eyes of your hearts in Lighton. I'm praying that God will show you something, that his spirit will teach you something you got to see now with your physical eyes, the eyes of your soul, the eyes of your heart spiritually. You got to see this that you may know. What is the hope to which he has called you? What are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the Saints? And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great mind, that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule in authority and power and dominion and above every name that is named.
[00:28:12] If you believe that that happened.
[00:28:15] The Jesus couldn't stay dead, that the holy one could not undergo corruption, and he rose and he appeared to 500 witnesses and he went up into heaven and God when he got to have in their God exalted him and he gave them authority over all the spiritual forces. If you believe that, you have that same immeasurable power.
[00:28:35] Working in you, do you believe that part of it? Do you know that? Is that something you can relate to?
[00:28:42] See, it's we can all relate to other human beings who have seen the real question is, can you relate to Jesus who has a resurrection?
[00:28:51] That's a real question of life right there.
[00:28:54] Do you have a life in you? That is more than being a human being. The life of God through his son Jesus in the power of his spirit.
[00:29:05] There's a new you. Inside of that body of yours, that's something we're all supposed to be able to see about ourselves.
[00:29:12] Go to chapter three, verse 20. Look at what he says here. Now to him, who is able to do far more abundantly. Yeah, we know this. God's able he can do way more than all we ask or think.
[00:29:25] But then this is the line that people kind of overlook or they don't really believe right here. Oh, sure, God could do it. God can do way more than what we're thinking he could do. Yeah, but look how God does it according to the power at work within. Who does it say they're.
[00:29:39] You, me, the people who know Jesus. The people who have experienced his resurrection.
[00:29:50] It says that the wages of sin is death. But the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ, our Lord. And this resurrection isn't just that. When we die, we will go to heaven. It is a higher quality of life and abundant life, a life where we can say no to sin and yes to Jesus. Right now, that's what it is. And the people who know Jesus, you'll be able to see him because they'll have the power of his resurrection working in their soul just as he rose from the dead. You're gonna be able to see that the real people of Jesus.
[00:30:27] They live a new way. Not the old way of their sin. Now they've got a new life in Jesus Christ. These people, they can when they're tempted, they can find that way of escape. The God is so faithful to give.
[00:30:42] When they're commanded to do something, they have the ability through God's resurrection, power working in them, they can obey the commands of Jesus, they can care about other people as more important than themselves. They can overcome their fear to evangelize people who are lost.
[00:30:58] They can come in alongside other Christians who are hurting, and they can take their burden and put it on their back and carry them forward because they've got the resurrection.
[00:31:12] And so we've got to stop making as many excuses as we do, and we need to start claim in the resurrection power that we have in Christ. This is a way that we need to know him. And the power of his resurrection.
[00:31:26] And it's interesting because it says you're going to know him and you're going to know him in this new life, this obedient life. And then it says you're going to share in his sufferings or you're going to have fellowship, the life of Jesus. You're also going to know how he suffered. Now, usually we talk about how he suffered and then he rose. But when you know him, it gives it in a different order, an order versus you know him in the power of his resurrection. And then you also know him.
[00:31:54] In his suffering's. That's what the scripture says, if you're going to know Jesus.
[00:32:01] It's not just all prosperity, it's not just all health. That's not what the Bible says. If you think that when we say Jesus is better, we mean that things in this life are going to go better for you because of Jesus. Maybe you've heard that somewhere else. That's not what this book is saying right here.
[00:32:20] This book is saying, you know, if you follow Jesus, he came on a rescue mission from heaven and he came down here to planet Earth and he came down here and he knew what he was doing the entire time that he came down. It was a trip of suffering that he was on.
[00:32:39] And he knew where he was headed. From eternity past, he knew that he was headed. To the cross.
[00:32:47] They're right then at that moment in human history, when they had the worst possible way to die. The way to torture you and the way to kill you. The way to figure out how to make the human body suffer to the utmost.
[00:33:00] That's when he was coming.
[00:33:03] So if you're going to follow Jesus, if you're going to know Jesus, you're not just going to get the resurrection glory without experiencing the pain of the cross. That's where everybody follows Jesus. He says, deny yourself. Take up your.
[00:33:17] That's what we all got to carry.
[00:33:20] Every single one of us on that road of following Jesus, the blessed road, the road that leads to eternal glory. It is a narrow road. And there will be pain.
[00:33:31] Let's just make it very clear. You will experience. Some of the suffering that Jesus himself experienced. And here's the thing, Jesus is so worth it. He's such a better master. His resurrection power is so amazing that people who really know Jesus will gladly suffer to follow Jesus Christ.
[00:33:53] They would gladly suffer and even lose their entire life, even die as a martyr, even lose all of their possessions, all of their relationships, everything they've got. If we lose it all, but we still have Jesus. We win.
[00:34:09] That's what Christian people throughout history have believed.
[00:34:13] We have seen Jesus in a willingness to suffer for us, and we have decided that if I'm going to follow Jesus, I surrender all. And I'm willing to suffer for him because he already suffered for me.
[00:34:30] And so many of our brothers and sisters have been killed. Many have been mistreated and mocked. Some have been arrested. Some have been beheaded.
[00:34:42] All the world right now, people are suffering in the name of Jesus and they're glad to do so and they won't have it any other way.
[00:34:49] Do you know Jesus like that? Do you know him like that? See, when we act like Jesus didn't know the story. Right.
[00:34:58] When God said to Abraham, your son, your one and only son, you're one and only son whom you love. Go sacrifice him on a cross. We act like Jesus wasn't there, understanding. That's what he was going to do.
[00:35:12] See, when they're setting up this whole Passover lamb and they're spreading the blood over the doorpost because this lamb was killed, because it was sacrificed in the blood of the lamb was shed, all of these firstborn sons of Israel would get to live and God would save his people and they would go free. We act like Jesus didn't know he was the lamb who was coming and it was his blood that that was symbolizing.
[00:35:36] When we read Isaiah 53 and he talks about a man of sorrows who's gonna be so beaten, who's gonna be so just punched in the face.
[00:35:45] Have a crown of thorns smacked into his skull. He's gonna be marred. So they even men will hide their faces from him and won't even want to look at their grotesque image. That is him on the cross. Like Jesus didn't know that was coming.
[00:36:01] Sometimes we forget when he's in the garden of. Emily. And he's ready to drink the cup of wrath for your side. So you will never experience wrath and he's going to take it for you. He's feeling such a heavy weight. To bare your skin, that he's on his face, praying to God, he's sweating like great drops of blood falling from his head, and he's saying even though he's known the whole time, he's saying, father, if there's another way, take this cup from me. But then he says, not as I will. But as you will. See, if you don't see the Jesus was choosing to suffer, you're missing the story. And if you weren't willing and choosing to suffer, then you can't really follow him because that's where he went.
[00:36:53] That's something we're going to know.
[00:36:56] And today, we act like, wow, I don't know if that will really happen to me, I'm not expecting persecution. I'm not expecting to have to miss out on things in this world. That is a wrong expectation that you have about what it means to be a Christian.
[00:37:10] You're going to know him. Yeah. And you get all the power of his resurrection and you also get to share in all of his sufferings. Becoming like him in his death. If you haven't seriously thought about giving your life as a martyr for Jesus Christ, you should you should really think about that.
[00:37:29] Because that's where it has ended up for so many Christian people. There is a suffering that's included in this tribute first, Peter.
[00:37:38] Chapter four. And look what it says here. There's so much suffering. When Peter writes this letter, the church is scattered all over the place. They started killing them. They started throwing them in prison. And so many of them had to leave Jerusalem. And they're all scattered now. They're all spread out.
[00:37:54] So Peter writes this letter to encourage these believers who are exiles here in this world who really belong in heaven. And he doesn't say, hey, I know we're going through a hard time right now, but don't worry, Wall, it'll be OK. No, he says you should expect to continue to suffer, is what he said. In fact, look at first, Peter, for 12, there's so much we can say about suffering here in this letter.
[00:38:21] But look at what he says here and first, Peter. Chapter four. First, well. First, Peter chapter for. Verse twelve, he says, beloved.
[00:38:34] Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you as though something strange were happening to you. OK. So we we should expect that included in our relationship with Jesus comes suffering. But now this might surprise you, what he says we should do when we suffer, he says, but what what does he say there in verse 13? What? Rejoice. Well, why would you rejoice when you're suffering? Why would you rejoice when you just lost a relationship with a person you really cared about? Why would you rejoice when you can tell that at work there is a scheme against you and you're being passed over or demoted or people are mocking you because you stand up for Jesus Christ, why would you rejoice when bad things that don't feel good are happening? It says, rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings. You know where you are now. You're right next to Jesus. That's where you are.
[00:39:35] And you rejoice because, you know, Jesus because you're with him.
[00:39:39] That you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you suffer with him and you share in that, you will share in the glory as well.
[00:39:49] But see, this is something that's happened to me now for five years, we've been doing this church. And for five years, I've been meeting with people and and people are very honest, which I really appreciate. People are honest about what's going on in their life.
[00:40:03] And you can ask any of the pastors here, there are some rough things going on in people's lives. And we end up talking to them about the real things, the things behind the smile, the things of the soul, the real things that are destroying them, that are challenging for them in their life. And it is amazing how many times people say to me, and I'm I you would think I'm the pastor, I'm the one who should be reading the Bible verse to them. I'm the one who should be trying to encourage them with the truth of God's word and some with loving compassion. And they're the people looking at me and they're talking about this horrible thing that happened in their family or with their health or how they got persecuted at their job. And they're saying, you know what?
[00:40:45] I'm so glad this happened because I've never been closer to Jesus. You know, if that hadn't happened to me, this terrible tragedy, if that hadn't happened to me, I wouldn't know God like I know him right now.
[00:40:59] You know, I don't even know where I would be if this terrible evil thing hadn't happened to me, because, look, when I was there, when I was at the lowest of low, when I was in pain to 11 to the max beyond what I could bear, you know who I found right there with the.
[00:41:15] Jesus Christ. And I knew him there in the suffering. Maybe more than I'd ever known him before. And so people are telling me, don't don't cry for me, don't pray for me. This is good. This happened in my life because I know Jesus. That's what they're telling me.
[00:41:36] Because they're sharing. In his suffering's.
[00:41:41] They're seeing what he went through for them. And they're realizing that they are willing to go through it for him. And that's what it means to know Jesus Christ. You fellowship right there in his suffering's look at verse 14, if you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed. Somebody comes up and they're like, are you a Christian?
[00:42:05] Are you a goody two shoes? Why don't you swear what's wrong with you? Somebody says that you should just smile and say thank you for blessing me today. I really appreciate your insults. That's what it's saying. The highest compliment that somebody can pay you is that they recognize you to be with Jesus. Can I get any amendment from anybody on it? That's the highest compliment they can give you. Well, you really changed when you became a Christian. A praise the Lord. When they say that, OK. Praise the Lord. When they say that means they're seeing the truth and the truth is in you and you've been set free.
[00:42:40] You've been set free, indeed.
[00:42:43] And sometimes it's those who are denying Jesus and still in their sin against Jesus, they are the ones that can see clearly from the darkness. They you have stepped into the light. And when they come out, you trying to insult you and act like something is wrong with you. It says here you are blessed.
[00:43:00] Because the spirit of glory and God rests upon you.
[00:43:09] You've got the glory of God in your life.
[00:43:14] Yeah, that might mean suffering down here, but that's good news, you are blessed. But then we've got to be careful. Let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evil doer as a mother. No, if you're reaping the consequences of your own sin, that's not Christian suffering.
[00:43:29] All right. That's just you getting what you deserve. Right.
[00:43:34] No. Yeah. Don't be a jerk and act like you're getting suffering for Jesus guy. Don't hit people with the Bible every day when they don't want to. And then act like woe is me. But, you know, I'm blessed. That's not what it's saying here, saying, hey, make sure you're actually suffering for being a Christian. Verse 16. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian.
[00:43:57] Let him not be ashamed.
[00:44:00] But let him glorify God in that name, for it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God. And if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? Therefore, let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful creator while doing good?
[00:44:28] If you're experiencing the power of the resurrection of Jesus as you're able to obeys commands and say no to sin and you're experiencing the sufferings of Jesus as the world comes against you and it hates you as it hated Jesus, guess what? That's good news. You're going to pass the test.
[00:44:49] Because the test is coming and it's going to begin with those at the household of God. But the test is going to spread to all people everywhere. Every single one of us is going to have to answer the test. Do you know Jesus or better said? Does Jesus know you? So let's think it through.
[00:45:08] Are you a servant of our lord, do you know him and his powers as he's at the right hand of God?
[00:45:16] I mean, would you identify as someone who's been set free by Jesus and you now serve him instead of serving yourself and your sent, you really know Jesus he's the Lord. You're his servant. How about the power of his resurrection? Is that something that you can relate to, that you are walking in a new life, that there's an ability now? There is an empowerment now through through Jesus resurrection in your life, through the Holy Spirit, that you are able now to do things you were not before. And you say no to things now that you used to give in to before.
[00:45:50] And then the sufferings, do you know any sufferings? I would strongly encourage you not to say, well, I don't know any suffering's because I'm a Christian who lives in America. That's not what this book teaches. I'll make sure that, you know, the sufferings that you share in his sufferings, that you have fellowship in his sufferings. In all the ways that he did, where people thought he was out of his mind, who were in his own family. People betrayed him, who were his own followers. So you will know those things if you're really following Jesus Christ.
[00:46:26] Because this test is is very real, see, sometimes we act like we're just talking about something we can't see or we can't experience. No. Help me out here, my brothers and sisters and Jesus. Can you experience a relationship with Jesus Christ? Are you aware that he is there?
[00:46:44] So let's get this down for point number two, life, the life of Jesus is better than death. Okay. Life is better than death. That's one reason the Jesus is better right there.
[00:46:57] This is this is real living, this is an abundant life and eternal life. The other way, we're still in our scenes.
[00:47:06] What Jesus is offering us is is better than death. And then let's go right to number three as well. Relationship is better than being alone. That's what you have.
[00:47:16] Relationship is better than being alone. In fact, if you are a Christian here tonight, it is impossible for you to be alone because no matter where you are, Jesus is there with you.
[00:47:27] And he is always there. When you pray, when you open up the Bible, when you talk to somebody about him, when you're feeling low and alone, Jesus Christ is there.
[00:47:40] And it's really good to know that life is better than death. And it's really good to know that we can't be alone when we have a relationship with Jesus because death is coming for all of us. If Jesus doesn't come back, we will all die. It's only a matter of time.
[00:47:58] And there are people dying, people in this congregation. They are dying. A, it seems like all of the time.
[00:48:08] We had we had a we had a man who would sit right here on Saturday night in the second row, his name was Jim Gobal. He was a World War Two hero, a prisoner of war.
[00:48:17] He was shot seven times and he lived to the age of 98 years old. Still had a fragment of a bullet in his face.
[00:48:29] On the day he passed away, right now, today, there has been a service in Texas for a dear brother of this church, a man named Don Croll, who had this brutal stomach cancer. And we all thought he was going to pass away. And miraculously, he lived and he moved to where he was hoping to retire. And he passed away recently. And I know some of our church is there in Texas at his service praising God that both of these men trusted in Jesus and they're at home with Jesus right now. But I'm just telling you, I end up at a lot of hospitals.
[00:49:03] A lot of monitors, lot of nurses.
[00:49:07] A lot of places where the breath is getting shorter and the days are getting longer and the end is coming near and near and death is on everybody's mind. And people who are feeling very lonely, stuck there in their own skin and bones. And this moment, hopefully, you get a moment to even be prepared for the moment that is coming because at some point.
[00:49:33] All of our hearts are going to stop beating. And our souls are going to leave our bodies. And when your soul leaves your body. There's only one who's on the other side ready to welcome you. There's someone that you need to know.
[00:49:54] And will you be able to say when it comes to your day, in your time? Where is Jesus, my never failing friend? Do you know that when you get to the other side, Jesus is gonna be right there waiting for you, ready to claim you as his own? Or do you fear even here tonight that he would say about you?
[00:50:16] I don't know you. Depart from me.
[00:50:20] There's only one who can see you through to the other side. All of our family, all of our friends. They will not be able to help us. And you've got to see this turn back to Philippians, chapter three, verse 11, because there's a little bit of controversy over this verse that we want to conclude with here. Philippians three verse eleven. Look at the language that Paul uses. I mean, this is Paul who's writing a letter about joy from prison. This is Paul who appeals to Caesar and goes before the emperor and preaches the gospel. This is Paul who is killed for his faith. And yet he says something like this. Look at verse 11, Philippians three, verse eleven, that by any means possible, I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
[00:51:08] And so when you read that in the Greek.
[00:51:11] It doesn't sound super comforting. It doesn't sound like so I'm ready to die. Who's coming with me? It sounds like by any means possible, I may attain the resurrection of the dead. There's a lot of hesitancy in the language. There's a lot of. I hope so in the language. And when you read the commentaries, they say, yeah, in the Greek, it sounds like Paul's not sure, but we know from all these other places that Paul is so sure. So that can't be what it means. And I don't. I think the Bible means what it means.
[00:51:47] And if it says by any means possible, I may attain what he's saying is I'm actually thinking about my soul leaving my body into a room of spiritual that I can't see, feel, taste or touch.
[00:52:04] And I don't know what's on the other side. And I know there's glorious light and I know there's burning darkness, a fire. And I know there's like the glory of being in the presence of Jesus and there's weeping alone in the dark and I don't know what that's gonna be like. I've never experienced death. And what I'm hoping for is life after death. That's what he's saying. And he's seeing it like a human being. Who's never been there. And he said that by any means, I may attain. To the resurrection of the dead. Let me tell you why it's so important to know Jesus. Because in that moment, that will be the only thing that matters. Is if your soul knows Jesus Christ and he welcomes you in, otherwise you will be utterly alone.
[00:52:58] And dead for all of eternity. So I want to ask you if you could say. Here today. As if it were your last day, where is Jesus? My never failing friend. Because I'm so glad I know him. In the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering. So let's pray. Father in heaven. We come before you and God, you're the only one who can really open our eyes to see Jesus Christ.
[00:53:34] It's your Holy Spirit that has to convict us of sin. It's your Holy Spirit that has to bear witness about who Jesus is. We can't know him by our own power, by our own intellect, by our own will. God, you have to open our eyes to see your son so that we can know him, so that we can experience his resurrection, so that we could share in his sufferings. And so, God. I pray that tonight, this very night, that people who know they don't know Jesus that tonight would be the night. That they would cry out and call on his name to be saved, that they would pray to you right now in their hearts. That they would be saved by Jesus Christ, that they would turn from their sins and experience his resurrection. That would they would be willing to lose their life and trust in his death to pay for their sin. God, I pray that as you're working on people's hearts, as they're thinking this through whether or not they really know Jesus, whether or not they would hear depart from me or welcome home.
[00:54:43] And I pray that right now those who know they don't know Jesus that they will not leave this place tonight. That they will go in the back corner and pray with somebody. That they'll come up to the front and talk to me. That they'll go in the back and they'll grab somebody and say, I need to know Jesus. God help us to see. It's not enough to want to know him. It's not enough to think we know him.
[00:55:05] Gathers come in a moment for all of us that we need the resurrection from the dead, that we are going to die and we still need to live. God help us all to see, we need to know Jesus. And for those of us who do know him, God, we please forgive us, Father, for making this life about something besides your son, Jesus, or you remind all of your people in this place tonight that there is nothing that compares to the surpassing value of knowing Jesus.
[00:55:37] And I want to serve him as my Lord. I want to experience his resurrection when it comes to turning from sin. And yes, I am willing to suffer for Jesus because I will gladly bear the name of a Christian, even if it's an insult to your honor. Got these stories up in our souls and less identify as the people of Jesus, and we're so thankful we get to know him. We're so thankful he came down here to know us. We're so thankful that we can say with confidence that Jesus Christ is our never failing friend. And he will see us on the other side and he will bring this city to that place that he is prepared for each and every one of us who have believed in him.
[00:56:23] Can help us to see that Jesus Christ is stronger, stronger than all of our saints, stronger than death.
[00:56:30] Stronger than the evil forces in this world. Stronger than even our own selves and our own desires.
[00:56:37] God, please let us know Jesus in his power, in his suffering. We pray in Jesus name. A man.
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