Out of Time
By Bobby Blakey on March 20, 2016
Out of Time
By Bobby Blakey on March 20, 2016
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:02] We had a great day at the Bunny Run yesterday, and so people were asking me, hey, what was your time?
[00:00:07] You know. As you say, it wasn't 70 minutes. You know what I mean? Ryan St. Peter one time when I was walking and talking to somebody, he actually blew past me. I think he was on his third lap and I might have still been on my first. And I decided I'm going to run with Ryan St. Peter. And so I kicked it into overdrive. Maximum warb. Speed. I mean, as fast as I go right now, I was just thinking for like 50 yards. Right. And I could not even run. I like he's been going for three laps. I'm fresh. I can't even keep up with the guy. I mean, this like his he's like jogging speed is faster than my maximum speed. And I'm like trying to crack jokes. And he's not even acknowledging my existence. You know what I mean? He's focused just so I know. For some people, the time they got was a really big deal. And I mean, we have all timing company that's there. People are looking at all the times on the board. Others of us, we want to live outside of time. When it comes to something like that. Right.
[00:01:07] And I think that the idea of running the race of life and there actually being a timer. And how long do you have? You know, we have this idea that if we run faster, we'll live longer. Well, how much time do we have? All we have ever known in our entire life is time. We were born into time and it's been tick, tick ticking away our entire life. That's all we've ever known.
[00:01:29] And what we need to learn today is how Jesus thinks, because Jesus is out of time. He exists outside of the time that we live in. So grab your Bible and go to John Chapter eleven, and we're going through the Gospel of John and we're coming to this chapter and we're gonna get a glimpse into the mind of Jesus here. That is the exact opposite of how you and I would think as people who have always existed in time. Well, now we're going to get a glimpse into Jesus member Jesus we believe is God, that he existed with the father and the son had a perfect relationship for all of eternity past. And then Jesus comes into time. The word became flesh and dwelt among us. And so what is it like from Jesus to have that perspective of being eternal and then to be a man living in time like we do? How does he think about it? Well, we get a glimpse here in John Chapter 11. I'm just going to read the the setup for the story, the context, the first 16 verses. So please follow along with me. As I read now, a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethanie, the village of Mary and her sister, Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, something she was famous for, something that happens in the next chapter. So John's expecting that people would heard of of Mary, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him saying, Lord, he whom you love is ill. So here comes a message from Mary and Martha to Jesus telling them that their brother Lazarus is ill. And when Jesus heard it, he said this illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God. So if the son of God may be glorified through it now, Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this, he said, the disciples let us go to Judea again. And the disciples said to him, Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you. And are you going there again? And Jesus answered, Are there not 12 hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles because the light is not in him. After saying these things, he said to them, Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. But I go to awaken him. And the disciples said to him, Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover. Now, Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, Lazarus has died. And for your sake, I am glad that I was not there. So that you may believe. But let us go to him. So Thomas called, the twin said to his fellow disciples. Let us also go that we may die with him.
[00:04:36] Well, thank you, Thomas, for that comment right there. That guy. We're gonna get more to that guy later on in the Gospel.
[00:04:43] But when you read that and you hear this message that Lazarus is ill and there's clearly an expectation, a sense of urgency, what is Jesus gonna do about it? And then you read this look back at verse six. So when he heard that Lazarus was ill, OK, he's ill. Let's let's do something. Let's go and heal and let's work one of these miracles. Let's show one of these signs so that when he heard Lazarus was ill, what does it say there? He stayed two days. I mean, does that just rubber you the wrong way when you read it? Does that detail just kind of jump off the page, if you like, if we know that somebody is running out of time? Our impression is quick, but ah, hurry up. Better do something about it. Better go while we have time. Like we only know the lessening of time. Better do something quick. Jesus he hears that he's ill and he stays right where he is for two more days. Why. I mean, that doesn't make sense to me. I don't think that makes sense to any of us. Why would you stay? Well, now is the time to go. Why would you allow the illness to get worse? And then clearly, Jesus even knows that Lazarus dies because of the illness. And he even goes so far to say, look back it at verse fifteen. It seems kind of harsh if you don't put it in context. It says, for your sake, I am glad that I was not there. Are you serious? Are you glad that Lazarus died?
[00:06:10] I mean, this is such a different perspective than than what we have. If I hear somebody sick, I'm immediately concerned, what can we do? We better get him help. We don't want their time to run out. Jesus is staying where he is so that the time for that person will run out. Like, the way we think it worked is it probably took him a day to get the message to Jesus and then instead of leaving right away and a day back, that would've been two days. He stays where he is for two days, then the day to get there. So that's four days. And in verse nine, it says that by the time that Jesus comes on the scene, Lazarus has been dead for four days. And Jesus allowed that to happen. He was not even in a hurry to try and stop it.
[00:06:57] And so what we have to realize here is Jesus has an internal perspective compared to our finite perspective. Jesus is living in an eternal realm. And so I'm going to try to expand our minds as much as we can here this morning to think outside of the time that we live in and to try to get the eternal perspective of Jesus.
[00:07:16] And I know this is the time where some of you guys are ready to check out on this sermon right now, because you're like my wife when we're watching a movie and all of a sudden you realize there's going to be time travel in this movie. You guys ever watch one of those movies? And my wife is done right there. This isn't going to make sense. We're gonna go back and forth, back and forth, and we're all gonna get lost in the process and a headache. Right. And no, I want to suggest to you that if you had a time machine and you could go anywhere in time that you wanted, more exciting than going back into history or forward into the future would be to escape.
[00:07:49] Time itself and figure out what life is like outside of time in the age to come.
[00:07:56] In the eternal age where Jesus came from, where he allows things to happen, where people die.
[00:08:05] Why would you allow a person and notice in verse why that makes it very clear. Just in case you're doubting.
[00:08:11] Now, Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lasser's. Why would you let him die? Why would you bring that grief to his sisters?
[00:08:21] What is the eternal purpose of Jesus Christ?
[00:08:24] And really what we're starting here in Chapter Eleven is going to go this death of Lazarus and then the resurrection of Lazarus. And that was the purpose. If you don't know the end of the story, Jesus is going to go and he's going to call this man to come out of his tomb and he's going to rise from the dead after being dead for four days. That's where we're headed. And so as we get into the context of this story, I want to just take us through the context of a few of the stories and that we've gone through in the gospel of John. So we're in, John, Chapter 11. Let's just break down some of what we've been studying in the book in John Chapter 11. We're going to get into the death of Lazarus and you could write on there, too. And the resurrection, which I hope you'll come back next Sunday for as we get into what Jesus says. Now, usually when we're going through these stories, that's what we want to get to. What's the miracle that Jesus did? A lot of people break the gospel of John down based on like the seven miracles that Jesus does in the book. Or sometimes we jump straight to like, what is the I am statement that Jesus makes, like I am the light of the world or or something and the bread of life. And we jump straight to the statements. That's a way that people break down the gospel of John. But really, here in Chapter 11, we're starting a story that's going to go on for two chapters, 11 and twelve. Now, if you've been with us in Chapter nine, John, Chapter nine, we met the man born blind. And the story of this man born blind and how Jesus healed him. And then the man came to believe in Jesus. And then the man was kicked out of the synagogue. There was great opposition. But Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He holds us in his hand and many more people believed in Jesus. That's all one story. It's two chapters in our Bible, but it's one story. Go back to Chapter nine. Go back to the beginning. And maybe there's a part in our haste to get to the kind of the meat of the story.
[00:10:06] Maybe we missed something in the context because the disciples ask an interesting question about the man who was blind from birth. And they say in verse two of Chapter nine and his disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned this man or his parents, that he was born blind. So they think it's because of sin that he was born that way. Here's the answer Jesus gives. It was not that this man sinned or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. And he says something that sounds very similar to what we just read in Chapter eleven. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day.
[00:10:42] Night is coming when no one can work as long as I am in the world. I am the light of the world. So ultimately, this guy is born and he is blind. What heartbreak for his parents? What a difficulty. His whole life.
[00:10:58] I think we can all feel a natural empathy for someone who cannot see. And we can feel a sense of loss for that person. What why? Why would God allow something evil and bad like that to happen to a man, to those parents having a child like that? Why? Here's the point. So that someday the work of God could be displayed at him. The whole point of that guy's life was that someday he was going to meet Jesus and Jesus was going to cause the blind man to see. That was the point.
[00:11:28] Why is Jesus allowing Lazarus to die because he has a better plan to raise him from the dead? That's the plan.
[00:11:36] So we see here that in time, God will allow bad things to happen because ultimately his end game purpose is greater than those bad things. Now, even before we got into the man born blind in John seven, we got into the Feast of the Tabernacles. All right. I don't know if you remember us studying that. This goes all the way back to like December now, where Jesus said if anyone believes in me, out of his heart will flow. Rivers of living water. Anybody remember that? Or remember where Jesus said, I'm the light of the world that we looked out on Christmas Eve? Well, go back to Chapter seven. Look at the context of what sets that whole feast where Jesus goes down to Jerusalem and he steals the show and he he makes the most of the scene well before that. There's a very interesting conversation. And what we're trying to do today is get the big picture, get the context. Why did Jesus decide to do what he did when he was on Earth? Look at chapter seven, verse one after this. Jesus went about in Galilee and he would not go about in Judea. Now, Galilee's up in the north, Judea is in the south. The Jerusalem and the Jews there were seeking to kill him. But the Jews feast the booze. The Feast of Tabernacles, where everybody goes to Jerusalem to celebrate, was at hand. So there's a dilemma. People in Jerusalem want to kill you, but it's the time of year where everybody goes to Jerusalem. What are you going to do? And his brothers said to him, leave here and go to Judea that your disciples also may see the works you're doing. Hey, don't you want everybody to see your miracles? Don't you want everybody to know who you are for? No one works in secret. If he seeks to be known openly, if you do these things, show yourself to the world Jesus if you're really who you say you are.
[00:13:14] And look at the next verse, verse five four. Not even his brothers believed in him. So they're saying this in a skeptical, kind of sarcastic, kind of like, hey, why don't you just prove it to us if you're really who you say you are? Why don't you just show it to everybody?
[00:13:27] What what's what's with the mystery? Just reveal yourself. But look what Jesus said to them. I want to underline this. Really think about this. My time has not yet come. But your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. So you go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast for my time has not yet fully come. And after saying this, he remained in the galley. Okay. So he didn't go to the feast, right. No. Look at the next verse, verse ten. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up not publicly but in private. And I had a very perceptive person here at our church come up and ask me about the hay. That almost seems like a contradiction. How can he say he's not going to go up to the feast? And then in private, he actually does go up to the feast. How can he say in our passage, hey, this illness won't lead to death and then Lazarus dies? How can he say these things? And we've got to see that he is looking at a perspective beyond time.
[00:14:33] What he means by I'm not going to go up to the feast is I'm not going to go with you guys on, like the parade with everybody else so that everyone will know I'm coming into Jerusalem and people will be ready for me. Because if everybody knew that Jesus was coming into Jerusalem and they got ready for him, they might be waving what anybody know what they might be waving?
[00:14:54] Oh, yeah. Because it's Palm Sunday, isn't it? Palm Sunday.
[00:14:58] This happens later on, in fact, go to Chapter twelve. Let's jump now into the future and look at this. Look at Chapter twelve here where Jesus does come into Jerusalem. And because he just raised Lazarus from the dead. Everybody knows he's coming into Jerusalem and they all go out to meet him and they put down their palm branches, jaunt 12, verse 12. The next day, the large crowd that had come to the feast, they heard that Jesus was comin. This is what Jesus was avoiding. And John seven. Now the time has come for it to happen. And John Twelve. So they took branches of palm trees and they went out to meet him, crying out Hosanna! Which means save us now. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.
[00:15:42] And that's what the people were looking for on that day. They were looking for a military leader, a political leader who would overthrow the Romans and deliver them now.
[00:15:51] But Jesus's time had come to do something different. And I love what Jesus says to his brothers. My time had not yet come because it wasn't time for him to ride into Jerusalem like this yet. But your time is always here.
[00:16:08] And what do his brothers what does it say about his brothers? His brothers did not what they didn't believe.
[00:16:13] Hey, I haven't. I got to do what I'm going to do. At my specific time. But your time. The time to believe Jesus is saying is now.
[00:16:23] And eventually, the time that Jesus came for when he was a man on earth two thousand years ago came. Go to chapter 13, verse one, and look what it says right here. And this is the last night of Jesus's life where he's in the last supper with the disciples and then he's arrested and then he's crucified. And then eventually on the third day, he rises. It all starts right here at this feast in Chapter 13, the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come.
[00:16:53] Now's the time. Right here is our I come to depart out of this world to the father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. Jesus pouring out his life for his people. His time had come. He'd done the father's will.
[00:17:10] He loved his people to the end. Do you start to see that Jesus is controlling at what time he's going to do what? Stay in two days longer because there's a certain time I'm gonna raise Lazarus. I'm not going in Jerusalem in public because there's a certain time I'm going to go into Jerusalem and my time to die and my time to rise again. It all has to happen at a certain time. And what we need to learn from the gospel of John is Jesus is in control of time. Even as a man, he is still controlling exactly when things are going to happen. Do you believe that year, today that God is in control of time, the time even of your life? Let's get that down. For point number one, we need to acknowledge that God controls the time of your life. And that is what we've got to learn from scripture, that we live inside of time, but God is outside of it, controlling it over us.
[00:18:07] And he has decreed when you will be born and when you will die. He has ordained your days. They were written as if in a book, and he will be the one when you enter into eternity. Jesus will be the one who decides whether you dwell with him in heaven or whether you or dwell apart from him and how Jesus is can in control of time and Jesus the way he controls time from his wise, eternal perspective. That's beyond what you and I can comprehend here this morning in our Find My Time-Based mind Jesus in time allows bad things to happen and then he brings them about in some kind of masterful way.
[00:18:48] Do you believe, first of all, let's just start with that Jesus is in control of the time of your life, that nothing is happening in your life that is outside of his timeline or as a surprise to Jesus. Now go to Ecclesiastes, chapter three. Turn with me back to some ancient wisdom from Solomon when he writes this beautiful poem about time that's even been put into song here and there. Everybody grab a Bible and turn to Ecclesiastes, these chapter three where Solomon, the wisest man in the world, he is inspired by the Holy Spirit to write this sermon, Ecclesiastes says, and there's a portion of it on time and it'll probably be familiar to you when you get there. Page five hundred and fifty four. If you got one of our Bibles here this morning and it says here in Ecclesiastes is chapter three, the heading is There's a time for everything. Read it with me says for everything. There is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.
[00:19:49] There is a time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to break down. And a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to cast away stones. And a time to gather stones together. A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to seek and a time to lose. A time to keep. And a time to cast away. A time to tear. And a time to sow. A time to keep silence. And a time to speak. A time to love. And a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. And what's the point of all of these times that make up our lifetime? Verse nine. What gain has the worker from his toil? What's the point of going through all this time? Well, I've seen the busyness that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. And here's what I want to say about it. Verse eleven. God, he has made everything beautiful in its time.
[00:20:56] He's in control of it and he makes everything appropriate, fitting just right in its time. That's what God does.
[00:21:05] Whether it's a bad time or a good time, God's always making it the right time. He's controlling the time of our life and then it says something even beyond that that many people overlook. It says also he has put you should underline this, circle it, write it down if you're taking notes here this morning. He has put eternity in demands hard.
[00:21:27] Yes, so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
[00:21:32] What an interesting phrase there that you and I have a sense of being outside of time that we know time is not supposed to end. We know that death is wrong. We know that being separated from a loved one, the end of that relationship is not a good thing. We have a sense that we should be living forever, that things should be going on in an eternal kind of way. We have eternity in our heart.
[00:21:55] Now we can't fully understand eternity. It goes on to say we can't see what God's done all the way from the beginning to the end. It's kind of outside of our thinking.
[00:22:04] But people even who might believe all that's it after death. Well, why are we so sad? Then when someone we love dies, why doesn't it feel natural at all?
[00:22:14] So we all have a sense of eternity in our heart. We all know that there must be something that continues even when we are out of time. There must be something that exists out of time. That's what it's saying here.
[00:22:26] And the first question for you. Do you believe this here this morning?
[00:22:29] Do you believe that God has specifically decided the day you would be born and the day you would die? And he has planned out the course of your life throughout that entire time, and he makes things right at the right time.
[00:22:40] That thing that was such a such a plot twist for you. You wish someone had given you a spoiler alert about this one and it took you by surprise and you really didn't like it. And it was this trial and this bad thing. Do we believe that God is in control of the times of our life?
[00:22:56] Do we believe that?
[00:22:59] And here's what's really ironic here. Go to Psalm 31 and let's just look at an example here of a man who's who's doing this. A man who has this perspective where he wants to acknowledge that God controls the time of his life. Psalm 31, page 461. You'll see a man named David here. And he writes an expression of his heart to God. And David is in a very difficult time. There are enemies, physical men who literally want to kill him. And so here's his prayer out to God. And he says in you, oh, Lord, do I take refuge. Let me never be put to shame in your righteousness. Deliver me and clean your ear to me. God. I need you to come and rescue me speedily. Come and save me. Now the Iraq of refuge for me and a strong fortress to save me. Because you are my rock and my fortress.
[00:23:46] And your name for your name sake. You lead me and guide me. And you take me out of the net or the trap that my enemies had for me. Will you take me out of the net. They have hidden for me because you are my refuge. So you got into your hands. I commit my spirit. You're the one that holds on to me. I won't ever let go. So into your hand I commit my spirit. You have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. Now that's something every Christian right there we could say. Amen to that. We have given the trust for our soul. We believe that when we die we will be absent from the body, but we will be present with the Lord and that when we die we will yet live in eternity with Jesus Christ.
[00:24:26] Anyone on anybody want to say amen to that this morning? Is that what we believe? But then all of a sudden this bad thing happens in our life and we act like I don't know if I can trust God about this.
[00:24:36] DesignWorks. Oh, my eternal soul. Where I will spend all eternity after I die. Rock solid, of course I'm going to have. Right. Oh. But the financial problem we're having in with my family this month. The physical challenge that just came in. The loved one that all of a sudden I'm. I'm worried about being ill. And I'm wondering what's going to happen at the end of their life. The relationship tension that's growing, maybe even in our home or work or with extended family members. I don't know if God's got those things. Oh, he's got my soul. Sure. But I don't know if you can help me through this right now, how hypocritical of us to think that way.
[00:25:15] And the quote David takes it to, even though he's got adversaries that want to kill him, verse 14 jumped down to verse 14. Look what he says, but I trust in you. Oh, Lord. Oh, ya way I say you are. My God. And if you're gonna say that he's your God. Here's what you also got to say. Verse 15. My times are in your hand.
[00:25:33] Rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors.
[00:25:38] In fact, God, make your face shine on your servant. Please save me in your steadfast love. Here's David in a dark time. The enemies are surrounding, right? I mean, we know there's times where David and his guys are hiding in a cave as the enemies in circle around him trying to kill his life. And he's asking for God to save him, not just his soul.
[00:25:59] But right now, in this time and as he asks God, look at the confidence that develops. Even though his situation has not changed like a verse 19. Oh, how abundant is your goodness? Verse 21. Blessed be the Lord, for he is wonderfully shown his steadfast love to me. And now he's encouraging us even here, thousands of years later. Love the Lord. All you his saints. Because the Lord. He preserves the faithful. He saves his people. But he abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Oh, he's gonna make it right. So be strong. Let your heart take courage. If you're waiting on the Lord, if you're trusting God with. With your life. If your times are in his hand. All you who wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage here this morning. That's what David has to say to you while he's in a cave somewhere with enemies coming around to kill him. He's shouting at you. God's got your times.
[00:26:52] That's what he's saying. He believes it.
[00:26:55] He believes that God is in control of every dark thing. He believes that if hey, if a man's born blind, there must be a miracle coming after that if somebody dies. Well, maybe God's doing something over here to resurrect souls from the dead. He has a hope that the Lord is working and God is going to make everything beautiful in its time. Two questions you got to ask yourself this morning. One, do I trust the time of my life to God? Do I believe that God really is watching over me? Am I really waiting on the Lord if I'm going through a hard time right now? Do I trust him? And then to what am I what am I prepared to do when my time runs out? What is my plan for it, for when I have to exist in the internal age? That is surely coming outside of time. I want to suggest you today. No better way to prepare for living outside of time than to know the one who exists right now outside of time.
[00:27:48] He's the one that will watch over your soul, not only in this life, but when your time runs out, you will still be held in his hand.
[00:27:58] I go back to John Chapter 11. With that kind of overview of God being in control of time, Jesus is going to give us two specific reasons that he waits two more days before going to see Mary and Martha and Lazarus.
[00:28:11] And I would suggest to you that the two reasons Jesus waits here and John 11, are the two reasons why he has allowed evil to happen in our world in the time of our life in general, whether it's why he allowed the fall of man into sin and and things to go evil, that's a big problem for many people in their thinking.
[00:28:30] If he's a good God, why would he allow evil in the world? Why would he bring that into time or more personally? Perhaps if he's good, why would he let this thing happen to me?
[00:28:41] Why did this thing go wrong? Why did this happen if God so good? Many people want to know. Why are these bad things happen and why? I think we'll see that there are two primary purposes of why Jesus would seemingly contradict himself. Look back at verse four. Look at what it says. This illness does not lead to death. Well, yeah, but you versus later, you're saying he's dead.
[00:29:02] But see, Jesus is thinking beyond that. And what is he thinking? Well, here it says it is for the. What does it say there?
[00:29:08] It is for the glory of God. So the son of God may be glorified through it.
[00:29:15] So one reason that God works in time, even evil things happening in time, is so that God will show us his glory. Let's get that down for the first dash there. The first way that we know God's working through time is he wants to show us his glory. God is going to use what is happening in our lives in the world around us. The purpose of people dying. Lazor is specifically here, a man being born blind, the guy and John nine. The purpose of all of this is that God will be glorified. That's what's gonna happen here with Lazarus. In fact, it's going to glorify Jesus Christ himself, that the son of God may be glorified. And at the end, I think that's something that we need to see is that God works for his own glory. Go back to Chapter nine and let's just read it one more time. Because it's it's the idea of making it known, manifesting it to us. It was not that this man sinned or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. So why why is this happening? Why is there this blindness that we might show the glory of God? That's why it's there. OK. Now turn with me to a passage in Romans Chapter nine. Few pages over to the right here. Romans Chapter nine, page nine hundred and forty five. A passage that a lot of people debate about a lot of times. But I think when they debate about it, sometimes they completely miss the point of what the passage is saying. And this is this is addressing the big picture issues here of why do some people go to heaven and some people go to hell?
[00:30:49] Why does God allow evil to happen? Why even let the variable of sin? If you are a good, perfect and holy guy, why would you even allow sin to take place among your creation? Good questions. Deep questions. Romans nine. It gets us thinking about the answer. And first of all, it says that those kind of questions are above our pay grade.
[00:31:14] Look at verse 20 right here. Romans Chapter nine. Verse 20. Those are Ryan St. Peter questions, and we're just in a walk in world. You know what I'm saying? A little tough for us.
[00:31:25] But who are you, a man to answer back to God? OK, that's humbling. That puts me in my place. Well, what is molded say to its molder? Why have you made me like this? I didn't. I don't like the trial you gave to me in my life. God, this isn't the way I wanted my time to go. Who are we to start telling God that we don't like what he's making out of our life as a potter? No. Right over the clay to make out of the same lump.
[00:31:49] One vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use. What if God. Let's just think about this. Let's consider it a fresh year this morning. What if God desiring to show his wrath and two key phrase underline circlet here to make known his power had endured with much patience, vessels of wrath prepared for destruction in order to circle it. There it is again, to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.
[00:32:22] So what if all of this, Paul, saying and people start debating this or that, but clearly the main point here is why is God allowing this to happen? Things that we have a hard time comprehending to make himself known to us. That is why God wants you in the brief time that you have in this life.
[00:32:39] He wants you to see his glory and to worship him. That is what God created you for. That's why your time exists. He wants to make himself known.
[00:32:50] You know, sometimes we think of ourselves giving glory to God. But really what we're talking about here today is God wants to make known his glory to us.
[00:33:00] He wants us to see it.
[00:33:02] He wants us to see things that even angels long to look into, because when you start to think about it like this, you realize if there was no sin, God could not love me. Track with me for a minute here. OK. Love is when I give you something, expecting nothing in return. Love is when you're my enemy. And there's no reason that I should initiate your salvation for you. That's what love is. OK, so if we weren't sinners, then how would we know this love that we do not deserve this mercy where we're not getting judgment, this grace where we're getting good things instead. How would we know any of that about God without the variable of evil and sin in the world?
[00:33:43] Something the angels don't even understand. In the perfect environment of heaven that we now know because God has made it known to us. See?
[00:33:53] God wants to be known. He wants his glory to be shown. He wants you personally to know it. And I guarantee you that's what has happening in the time of this world. And what is happening in the time of your life is to put the glory of God on display. Can you see the glory of the Lord?
[00:34:10] Have you seen it?
[00:34:12] And do you want to worship him? Do you want to know him more? Could you say here this morning that the biggest purpose of my time in this life. The main thing that's gonna drive me my primary passion is I want to know God.
[00:34:27] That's what it's all about, an eternal quality of life.
[00:34:33] Not bound by time.
[00:34:35] But existing in relationship with him.
[00:34:38] Do you have that kind of passion to know God? Have you seen his glory? Is this just an idea we're talking about? Or is it a personal manifestation of God to you? Which one is it your church this morning?
[00:34:51] You've got to be hold his glory. That's the point. Oh, I'm going to do something with Lazarus. Yeah. He's gonna die, but I'm going to raise him from the dead. Why? Because I want my glory to be known. People will worship me as God. People will see my miracle.
[00:35:05] And they will believe in me. That's what Jesus wants. That's what he wants to glorify the father.
[00:35:10] Now, go back to John Loving because there's another reason that it gives us and this is so timely here for us this morning, because it says something that if you just read it by itself, would feel very insensitive and cold and abrupt that Jesus says here, and it says in verse 14 that Jesus told them plainly, Lazarus has died. And for your sake, I am glad that doesn't sound right.
[00:35:35] That sounds messed up.
[00:35:38] Can you imagine you're one of the disciples and you OK, Jesus, I guess.
[00:35:41] I mean, here's Thomas, OK, I guess we're all gonna go die because last time they tried to stone you. So let's all go. Guys, you know. Here we go. All right, Diane, for Jesus right out of Miami, knowing what we know about Thomas, that might be the way he said it. I don't know.
[00:35:56] But yeah. Let's go die with him and then you get to the funeral and there's Mary and Martha and they're weeping, there's the mourners and there's weeping and there's no Lazarus. And you're thinking in your mind. Wait a minute.
[00:36:06] Didn't Jesus say he was glad that this happened? I mean, that could rub you the wrong way right there. But look what he says, here's why, here's why.
[00:36:17] Things like death happen for your sake. I am glad that I was not there so that you may.
[00:36:22] What? Well, there it is. Because people are going to believe their souls are going to be safe. They're going to be given eternal life. So the second dash here on our surman is the reason God is in control of time is so many will believe that's what he's doing. He's showing us his glory.
[00:36:42] And as we see who Jesus is, that he is God, that he did die for our sins, that he did rise again. We believe in Jesus. We worship Jesus. And we're given eternal life. This is what God is working out. He is allowing an illness to go to death so that the glory of God can be shown and that people will believe in him and be saved.
[00:37:03] That is the purpose of this.
[00:37:09] You know, I think a lot of times in our wisdom, when we talk about time, we talk about making the most of the time. And you don't even have to be a Christian. That can sound like a real Christian thing to say because it's in the Bible. Well, that just sounds like, like worldly wisdom, right? Wherever you are, you should be all there. Anybody heard that one before? Like a pep talk or some kind of training or some kind of self-help seminar? I had a guy at our church this week who said he went to some training and they were getting them all pumped up. And the guy just kept saying, all right, everybody, it's 2016.
[00:37:37] What are we gonna do in 2016? Crush it. That's what we're going to do in 2016. Say it out loud. Say right now. Say right now. Crash at the turn to the person next to you right now.
[00:37:51] Look at that. Stare at them. Say to them right now. Go at. I'm glad I've got the 9:00 service actually did it. You guys are a little more awake. I get tell. I like that. Can you imagine the crush?
[00:38:07] Twenty sixteen. She to be in the present wherever you are. Be all there. See, that sounds like wisdom to people like us. Even we could even put that in the category of Christian wisdom, like wherever you're at right now, seize the day, redeem the time. Make the most of the moments. Be in the present great life philosophy until your time runs out.
[00:38:31] How are you going to be in the president when there is no present to be in?
[00:38:35] So much better than being in the president would to be being right now in the eternal mindset to set our mind on the things above.
[00:38:45] Not on the things that are on this Earth. And I know a lot of people who put some huge value and time management and they're organized and they're on time and they're just trying to get through the day and get the kids here and make sure we all eat this. And then we're gonna go over here and we're just getting through to tonight and we're getting through to the weekend. And we're getting through to what in the end? Where are we going in such a hurry? While souls who don't believe in Jesus are passing us by but were too busy redeeming the time to talk to them.
[00:39:22] I don't think it's that worth being in the present. If you're gonna miss the eternal because the present is temporary, say. And we have such a limited amount of time.
[00:39:33] We should say that everything is for a limited time only. That's every offer we've ever gotten.
[00:39:42] Just a few more moments, do we have this idea that we're going to live to be like 70 or 80 years? That's the idea that we have. And a lot of people do. Here in America live to be that long. So people even live longer. And then some people, they only live like 30, 40, 50 years. And what do we say when somebody dies when they're 30, 40, 50? Oh, that's too bad. Their time was cut. No, it wasn't.
[00:40:06] That was exactly how it was supposed to happen. It's exactly how I was ordained. There is no one who has ever died early. Think about it like that. What is the point? What is the point of people dying?
[00:40:21] What is the point of the pain? What is the point of the relational loss? What is the point of all the suffering that's going on in the world right now so that many would believe in him?
[00:40:30] That is the point. But his glory would shine through. And then we would see it. And that we would believe in Jesus Christ. That is the point of the time we have given to us. And the truth is, we're so busy making the most of the time that a lot of us maybe are wasting time for its real purpose to see the glory of God and to spread the good news to other people that day.
[00:40:57] If there's anything that they do when the time is out, when the clock has has gone off and the time is out on your life, the only thing that will matter about your life is did you see the glory of God and Jesus Christ? And did you believe in it?
[00:41:11] That's all that's gonna matter when the time's up. For every single individual soul.
[00:41:17] And so when I see people when I interact with people, is that what I'm thinking about? Is that what I've made sure for myself? Have I made sure that right now I could say I'm not worried about running out of time because I know who I have believed in and he is able to raise me up on the last day. I know my redeemer lives.
[00:41:35] And he's able to raise me up and I put my faith in him. Can you say that with confidence that you have seen the glory of Jesus and even you have believed in him and so time has no power over you anymore because you're already starting to live an eternity now and it's changing the way you think. And you're starting to see people as eternal souls.
[00:41:56] And you're starting to wonder, does that person believe in Jesus Christ because they need to before their time is up? I wish we would think about every single person this way that Jesus thought about it.
[00:42:10] Go back to John, Chapter nine, look at verse 35, when we haven't got to the rest of the story of to come back for the rest of the story of what happens with lasers. But we have studied the rest of the story of the man who was born blind, who the Jesus then healed, who got cast out of the synagogue. And in verse 35, Jesus heard that they cast him out and he went out and found him.
[00:42:29] He sought him out. He found him. And he said, Do you believe this is the ultimate end game of the miracle here? Do you believe in the son of man? And he answered, Well, who is he, sir? That I may believe in him. And Jesus said, You have seen him. And it is he who is speaking to you. You've seen the glory. I'm talking to you right now. Jesus says. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshiped him. And that was the point right there. That was the point of the man being born blind, not even ultimately that he would see, but that he would ultimately believe in Jesus Christ.
[00:43:01] Do you think when we see the man who was born blind and John nine, who I'm sure is going to have some kind of reputation in heaven, do you think that when we see him there, we're gonna be like, man, were you bummed you were born blind? You think he's going to say that thing is ever gonna look back on all of those years that he couldn't see with regret for all of eternity, seeing the glory of Jesus Christ?
[00:43:25] Think he would take that trade every single time? You see what's amazing when you get to see it, when you interact with the souls of people, when you have the privilege like me of being pastor, and so you get to interact with a lot of different people. You see that the worst things that happen to people become the best thing that ever happened to them, because in the end of it, they believe in Jesus Christ.
[00:43:44] You see a man who whose spouse dies and you see the heartache of that moment when his spouse dies. And through that, God saves that man.
[00:43:55] And the best thing came from the worst thing.
[00:43:59] You see a man who's separated from his wife and you see the pain of this man being separated from his wife and how it just drives him crazy every day and then through the process of being separated. The man believes in Jesus Christ.
[00:44:13] And the worst thing that happened to him becomes the best thing that ever happened to him.
[00:44:17] There's a man here at our church. He was here at the nine o'clock service. And it seems like a great injustice has happened in his life because his kids have been taken away from him and he no longer has visitation with his kids, even though it seems like he didn't do anything wrong.
[00:44:31] Here's a father who can now no longer see his two boys. And it drove this guy past the breaking point. It drove him to despair. And guess who he turned to in the darkest moment of his life?
[00:44:43] Guess who saved him in that moment, who sought him out? And he saw the glory of God and I asked him after the nine o'clock service. Let me ask you this. Is it worth losing your two sons to gain Jesus Christ? And he says every time. That's what he said. Says, yes, it is, it's a good thing. And we hope that he'll have a restored relationship with his sons. But does he do regret what has happened? No. He thinks God, that he believes in Jesus. And he says, I've seen the glory. And sometimes when I realize he's with me, I tremble.
[00:45:13] He says. Because he's real and he's with me. And I wouldn't trade it. I wouldn't have it any other way. How do you explain people whose life has fallen apart? And they're doing better than they've ever been. There's only one way to explain it. Jesus has saved their soul and they have eternal life. So that's what the point is that they would believe and look.
[00:45:35] Go to Chapter 10, where the story of the blindman continues. It spills over and a Chapter 10 go all the way down to the end of Chapter 10. And what's the end goal of this whole story with the blindman verse 42 and many believed in him there. Wasn't even just one guy Jesus to seek it out from that one man's pain? Many end up believing in Christ. So why did bad things happen in time so that many will be saved?
[00:46:02] That's the clear message.
[00:46:05] And let me just tell you this, Jesus, his time is coming again, the first time it was about when was he going to die? When was he going to rise again? What do we all realize here this morning? The Jesus is going to return to we all believe they're.
[00:46:17] I mean, the time is coming again. And right now, maybe if we talk to him, he would say, my time has not yet come. But I wonder how soon it will be until Jesus his time comes.
[00:46:28] And I guarantee you that when Jesus his time comes and we behold Jesus not even through the pages of scripture, not even with the eyes of faith, but we behold Jesus and actually see him. We are going to see his glory. And we are going to worship him like we never had before.
[00:46:45] And we are going to respond to him in great praise and adoration, giving him the glory that he deserves, and why doesn't that just happen?
[00:46:52] Why don't we just get to all of the eternal life where there's no more bad things and everything's worked out? Why don't we just get there right now? Well, the time has not yet come. His time has not yet come. But your time is what?
[00:47:05] Oh, it's always here, isn't it? Your time is right now, isn't it? Because we live out of all people on planet Earth. We hear us this morning. We live in the time of believing in Jesus Christ. That's the whole point of this time.
[00:47:17] If you wake up tomorrow and God gives us another day and he's patient enough to delay his judgment one more day, the reason God delays is so more souls will be saved.
[00:47:27] That's the reason he does. Second Corinthians, Chapter six, turn there with me. And look what it says about time here. This is the mindset that we need to have, the mindset of Jesus Christ. What was he doing with his time on Earth? He was saving souls. He was causing people to believe. That's what we want to be doing with our time on Earth.
[00:47:47] And in Second Corinthians, Chapter six, actually, to get the context, go back up into chapter five, verse 20. This is what it calls us as Christian people. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ. We are representatives of Jesus honor, emissaries from heaven now showing people who Jesus is.
[00:48:06] God is making his appeal through us. We implore you are begging with you. We're pleading with you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God, to come to know God to have this relationship. We're talking about where you see his glory. In fact, for our sake, for us. God made him Jesus. God made Jesus to be sin. Who knew no sin. He judged Jesus for asking that in him we might become the righteousness of God. So here, let's just pretend there's no chapter break. And we just keep reading right here because it's saying because we're supposed to be out there telling people that we can be saved and Jesus. And we're pleading with people to believe in Jesus, like God's making his appeal through us to people, to come to him, to see his glory, to believe in him. So look what it says. Chapter six, verse one, working together with him. God is reaching out to save people and we're working together with him.
[00:49:00] So we appeal to you right now not to receive the grace of God in vain. For, he says, quoting Isaiah, chapter 49, verse eight in a favorable time. I listen to you in a day of salvation. I have helped you be old.
[00:49:12] Now is the favorable time. Behold. Now is the day of salvation.
[00:49:19] Right here, Easter 2016 crush. That's what it that's what it say, and it's exactly what it's saying, man.
[00:49:27] If there was ever a time. I mean, who knows when his time is gonna come again. It came the first time came the first time we read it in John Thirteen won. His time had come, the hour was here and that was when he died for your sin. And that was when he rose again to give you new life. And his time has come and again when he's gonna come and take all his people up in the glory.
[00:49:46] Could come at any moment. But now, until that happens, now is the day of salvation.
[00:49:54] You are living in the era that will ever be known as the era of salvation on planet or.
[00:50:01] The whole point is for God to reap a great harvest of souls. And what better time could it be than when we got Good Friday and Easter on the counter?
[00:50:14] Like, maybe the culmination of all of history is coming this week when someone believes in Jesus Christ and his time comes to return. Do you believe something like that is imminent? Some like that could happen any moment.
[00:50:27] Do you want to be working together with God, pleading with people on behalf of God, using your time that God has given you, not only for you to believe, but now so that many others would believe in him?
[00:50:41] Many others would see his glory.
[00:50:44] So that when we are out of time. We are actually out of time. We have eternal life. And we live with him.
[00:50:55] And I hope you know what it means to believe in Jesus here this morning, I hope you have this understanding that he is in control of your life. And I hope you're with me that now is the time to spread the word this Easter season, man, we want many people to believe in Jesus Christ. Let's ask God to use us once again. Pray with me. God, we thank you so much for this. For this. Just the context here.
[00:51:18] And how it puzzles us so much as we get ready to celebrate. How you did raise Lazarus from the dead and even more than that next Sunday, as we look at Jesus saying I am the resurrection.
[00:51:31] As we get ready for all of that, God, I pray that we would just pause for a minute this morning and we would think, why would Jesus stay two days longer when his friend was sick and going to die? God, give us a glimpse of how you think outside of time. Give us a glimpse. To stop being present and to be in the eternal mindset.
[00:51:50] And help us see that the whole reason you created time is to make yourself known so that many would believe in your son, Jesus Christ and God help us to see that when time is done, there will come a day when every need is going to bow and evers'. Every tongue is going to confess whether the people are in heaven or whether they're on earth or whether they're under the earth, that every single one is going to say that Jesus Christ is Lord and that the purpose of time will be fulfilled when Jesus his time finally comes, when he is exalted, when he's at the highest place, the name that is above every name to your glory.
[00:52:29] God. And God, I pray in the belief that Jesus did come and he did die and he did rise again in the belief that he's coming back, that because of that belief. That you would save souls right now. God. And you would put it on the hearts of those who do believe in you here this morning on all of us, Scott. A great passion for the souls around us whose time is ticking away even as we speak. And they don't know you. God let us be the ones who plead with them on behalf of Jesus Christ. Let us be the ones who work together with you. God, you make us be your hands. Make us be your feet. Get us out there to talk to people this Easter season to tell people about what Jesus did for them. That he entered time from eternity to once and for all pay for sin and offer a new kind of life. And eternal life, a life or time doesn't matter because we know the one who exists out of time. God, I pray that you will. Even this morning, put it on the hearts of those who don't know you caused them to believe in you.
[00:53:36] Show them your glory and use us here at this church to spread the name of Jesus Christ so that many this Easter will behold our God. We pray this in Jesus name a meant.
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