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September 22, 2021 9:00 am
Senate might an urgent reminder 13, Jesus said for us to live ready that there's always an apocalyptic edge to the gospel because there are two things that can happen at any moment that none of us know what is it Jesus could return, the night thing about these come in the night's appointments, but also a meddlesome courtesy call this call when you're not expecting it. The other thing that can happen with you after religion Judy Greer. I'm your host Molly we can work let's face it, a college student did you ever get really big, homework assignment, but instead of chipping away at it over the semester you kept putting it off and then frantically trying to finish it the night before was due. Can you say all-nighter. I think most of us did something along those lines at least once. Thankfully with a homework assignment worst that can happen is that you get a bad grade, but today Pastor JD talks about something that you might be putting as much higher stakes wondering what that assignment might be about [teaching today and the message he titled writing. So are you ready to get out and open it to Matthew chapter 3.
Matthew is the first book in the New Testament today in Matthew three will jump in the story of a rather strange figure who was sent by God ahead of Jesus in order to prepare everybody for the coming of Jesus. This guy was sent to prepare the way he captured the attention of the entire nation of Israel, in part because he was so odd I just got back most of you know from being overseas with my family where everyone regarded me and my family to be a little odd little things that we are country take for granted they find weird like wanting ice in our drinks is weird to me but it seemed weird to them when I ate at McDonald's and I'm typically not a McDonald's regular, but you'd be surprised how good those golden arches of capitalism look after you been overseas for a while even there at McDonald's.
I ordered a Diet Coke. They gave it to me with one cube of ice in it and so I asked the guy the counter very politely. Could I have some more ice was a very strange look on his face and so I said it more slowly and loudly, because that's always the way that people understand things and many disappear the back I just go talk to the manager. A few minutes later he emerges with tongs and one more cube of ice is holding a national treasure when you're from a different culture. You seem strange John the Baptist Matthew John chapter 3 is is going to seem strange, but for different reasons on screen for cultural reasons, as if from a different country.
He's a Jew that sent the Jews, but his ministry and his lifestyle are so odd that gets everybody's attention and that is by design.
God designed that because you wanted to show Israel what they needed to do in order to receive Jesus, you see. Maybe you've asked that very question. How exactly do you receive Jesus, you're like you not, however, Christians talk about that. One is that me on the day does it mean that you come to church a lot. Is there a certain level of morality that you obtain. So how much is enough how much of those things you have to do in order to qualify as a Christian. Or maybe you thought bisphenol Rob would like to know God I'm interested in that but I'm just not interested in getting involved in organized religion.
Maybe you're thinking that you like you looking at me and you like him and no offense to you, but I just don't trust organized religion but I am interested in knowing God or maybe Sam interested in God but I just don't see what the big deal is about Jesus. John is going to point you. John is Jesus's cousin by the way, John the Baptist is to point you toward the answer to all of those questions. Matthew chapter 3 verse one in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and his message was pretty simple. Repent, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord make his paths straight. Now John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist and his food was locusts and wild honey those details are included because that's what John may John seem so odd now the wild honey.
Didn't sound too bad, but the locus just out of curiosity, how many of you and all of our campuses. If you have had locusts before even raising a good number, and in this audience. Am I actually have had them once on a mission trip to a rural part of China you dip them in caramel sauce for my John wild honey was about as you dip them in there to cover the days. The worst part on by far is when their legs get stuck in your teeth to explore semen to a new level. I was to say that these things are not strange to Jews because they were gross gross gross to Jews.
They were strange because they revealed that John was not part of the aristocracy.
Most religious leaders back then were part of the aristocracy. They all live in Jerusalem. They had degrees that were nice close they drive nice chariots and they were fairly wealthy, but obviously John was but there was something about John that was really odd to them. That is, that he reminded them of someone that they heard about but never met. That was somebody in their history, who had a reputation of having the same kind of persona as this is Grizzly Adams, persona, and I was a prophet named Elijah, and so as they listen to John. They thought he sounds like Elijah. We always heard sounded. If either was these prophecies in the Old Testament. Several of them that said that before the Messiah came, that Elijah would precede him. You see one there in Matthew Isaiah says the voice of one crying in the wilderness. That's about Elijah in Malachi 4. Five.
The prophet says Elijah is going to come before the Messiah comes, and so they thought. Maybe this is. Maybe this is Elijah reincarnate dresses like Elijah talk like Elijah a bridge like Elijah. He smells like Elijah. This has to be him and so we got their attention. Verse five in Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan going out to him, they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. I will spend a few minutes talking about John's message. First, I want you to note the simplicity of John's message you can summarize it.
Really, in one word repent. All repent really means is turn away from your sin that was basically his whole sermon, and after a while you like okay John.when one want to move on to point number two Jonathan I don't really have a point number two all I really have is .1 and he was able John. I came up one of the learnable something I'm here to learn.
John would say that you better get serious about repellency because the problem is not that you need to know something new. The problem is you're not doing what you already know the problem for most of us is not that we don't know enough. The problem for most of us is that we are not obedient to the things that we do now.
You see, evidently, most of the people listening to John did not need to be told what to repent of. That's why there's no less than here they already knew what they needed to repent. The vast majority of people today do not need to be told they already know what area of your life right now is not under the full authority of God.
Are you baby Missy first in your finances.
A first in your heart, the first in your relationships is a first for your time. Are you obeying him. In the area of sexuality there is anything that he has forsaken that you have not forbidden. Is there any area of your life, you doesn't have Lordship over any habit that you have, you know, is not pleasing them. If so, you don't need to come here and take notes.
You need to repair. Here's what you learn from John.got nothing else to say to you until you do not already move on to point everything you going to point to you .1. Do you understand how wicked it is to know that God wants you to do something and then to choose the opposite. Need I remind you that the entire human race was plunged into darkness and death not because of some morally depraved acts but because they knew that God wanted them not to eat of the forbidden tree and they did it anyway. So glad about that one act like stomp on puppies on the way to the tree or skewer Angels with Java.
Note all they did was eat of the fruit God told him not to. Why was it so bad. Numbers 25 story is really disturbing to be quite honest. God just give the Lord Israel will also not work on the Sabbath was God. Israel knows that's the law, but you need some things for the house so he goes out.
He gathered up a bunch of sticks in defiance of the law, not some morally innocuous act right. He's not hurt anybody scattered six Israel reasonable for God's of God which we do a got to stoning, stoning for gathering sticks on the Sabbath. What was so evil, sin does not get its wickedness. Listen to this sin does not get its wickedness by the depravity of the act. Sin derives its wickedness from the one whose authority you throw off when you committed. Do you understand how wicked it is to know that God wants something and to deliberately go the other direction. You realize what that is. I've seen it first in the 15th to rebel to know what God want to do the opposite of what sin of witchcraft, which means if there is an area of your life that you know is not pleasing to God in your like I just don't feel like dealing with that. God says you might as well be worshiping Satan because that's how I see those things. The problem is not that we need to learn about the new things a problem in every age is that we just need to repent and come to Jesus in the areas we know are not not under his control. Second, note the tone of John's message. The simplicity was repent. The tone was a little apocalyptic repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Apocalyptic just means it concerns the end of the world. Usually when you talk that way that makes people think you're crazy. You see God you know that with a bumper sticker. Pretty sure this is the end is near you think now that's a guy would like to know I wanted to influence my family babysit my children.
That's not what you think. But it may people listen to John because they believe him and there's nothing that will get somebody's attention like actually believing the end is near, right right and they always say there's two ways you can get people back in church. One is to do a series on the end times. The other is to do a series on sex is always made me wonder if I could come up with a series on what kinds of sex we will have in the end times. If we can make attendance go through the roof but the thing is I don't really know when he is going to be here. I can't tell you it's if it's going to be next week. But what I do know what I do know is that Jesus said for us to live ready that there's always an apocalyptic edge to the gospel because there are two things that can happen at any moment that none of us know. I am very aware that this very day one of two things might happen to you. That would essentially mean the end was near.
One is a Jesus could return to come like a thief in the night thing about these come in the night is little title make appointments but also all they don't send a courtesy call this call when you're not expecting it. Jesus and ultimately when I come. That's what it's gonna be like to find a generation of sleeping, show up and are not to be ready. That can happen before I in the sermon. The other thing that can happen with with you not known his death a few years ago I was speaking at a student event on the weekend. Not our student event. That's another one, and there was a kid there that sat on the first rice that literally right there took copious notes told him I thought I will talk about the assurance of salvation he could no that you were to go to heaven great-aunt athletic. That afternoon, got into an accident and died what it's always made me realize as I stand in front of 10,000 people a weekend.
There's a real good chance that for somebody. This is the last chance you can have to hear and understand who Jesus is and actually respond when you begin to grasp that it suddenly makes the message like John's take on greater urgency. I wish that I could carry the authority to John Kerry in making realize that you are playing with things that really can play with because you just don't know that it really could be over this weekend for you and what it means to start to live with wisdom is to think about that day.
That last day to live today. The way that you know you want to live when you get there before Moses prayed. Psalm 90 verse 12. Lord, teach us to think about death so that we might know how to live death doesn't take you by surprise, even if it didn't come in the form of accident review notice as you get older. How much faster life seems to go. I mean I'm like I was in college to the house of the night one of said members last year just flew by like you and got no idea. I mean it's like every year and we are the years, literally getting shorter. Sometime the rotation of the earth houses have limits vast right me feel merely of the day, 43 years old and he just seems like you suddenly arrive at a place really back in life is in the rearview mirror mirror that phrase only one life to live will soon be Passover was done for Christ will last you begin to live today in light of what you know is coming and that is the end and it got people's attention and they thought about their lives in the present from a glimpse in the future. The tone was apocalyptic.
Notice the response. Baptism. Baptism was not completely unknown in those days thought people think John invented the bad schism like John I got all I got an idea, but is not your baptism section pretty common Jewish life.
But it was always used and want to waste the first way.
It was a part of the conversion process. Listen when Gentile became a Jew and Gentile non-G1, G2, dated three thanks personal circumcision, which had to reduce the mail convert pretty dramatically. He asked me, I don't think you know we do spontaneous baptisms are also spontaneous circumcision. What we got all you need. Manages Vicodin. That means I drive you how to do that but they did circumcision number two you memorized some sections of the Torah and then number three is you are baptized showing that you believe your Gentile life and entering into this new life as a Jew, while the second kind of baptism was baptisms that Jews put themselves through is a ritual purification when one offer a sacrifice. John's baptism is clearly not either of those it's directed Jews and Gentiles. So it's not about Gentiles becoming Jews, but is also more than just a ritual cleansing because of the baptism of repentance. He is talking as if Jews need to be converted and need to repent. We Gentiles and I was completely unheard of to them. Verse seven when he saw many of the Pharisees and the Sadducees coming to his baptism, all the religious people started to come because that's what religious people to they find out what Coolidge things are happening in the religious world so they go do that religious things have been to the religious resume looks out there.
There's all these bad Sadducees and Pharisees and John says of them.
You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come not up on his secret church nomenclature verse eight bear fruit. Therefore, in keeping with repentance. Do not presume to say to yourself, we got Abraham as our father for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. In other words, stop hiding behind religion and quit telling yourself I'm a Jew I'm a church elder I did with the church I'm to be okay. I've gone to this ritual because I'm not talking. He says about some the means to changing your behavior on them at some of them need to change at your very roots listen to this. I know exactly where I'm at. I'm in the South. Religion is the cover-up for true repentance always religion is always a great substitute for true repentance. It is religion that keeps most people like the Pharisees and Sadducees from dealing with repentance.
One of those revolutionary stories of Jesus told involves two sons. Very few people understand the story as illustrated by what we call we call the story of the prodigal son not singular but is actually two sons and their the first sign is the prodigal runs away and that's what we know about, but there's a second side in Jesus's story and Jesus make sure to point out that this sign while he stayed home didn't run away in rebellion. This son stayed outside the house. That's Jesus's way of showing that even though he's around the home. He's not in fellowship with God. And this son is furious at the grace that the father shows the returning prodigal which Jesus says shows that he doesn't understand that he also is a recipient of great this second son think that he deserves the father's possessions and his blindness to his own desperate need for grace makes him proud and bitter and judge mental and shows that he's every bit is separated from the father the son who went out and slammed live with prostitutes. There are two ways to be separated from God here this one is by defying the laws of God like a rebel. That's the first prodigal, but the second is in thinking your good enough to earn the father's approval and never dealing with the core issues of your heart and failing to recognize the grace that you need to be accepted by God. Religion keeps a lot of people from ever dealing with the root problem and there are which is that they love themselves more than they love God, you have described it before like this on you got a guy who gives a mistress. One day a week only on Saturday.
Now you mean your wife is upset with you. You not a very good husband and he says you know what your right so I'm to really be a better husband on Sunday through Friday is not deal with his mistress. He just cannot bring her flowers and take her to dinner on Sunday. The Friday July broke.
The problem is not that you're not a good enough husband not busy enough Sunday to Friday. The problem is you have a heart that is divided in your faithful to things. Basically, Jesus says the religious people.
Your problem is not that you're not religiously busy of you will need another ritual you need some is going to go down to the core of who you are because you think you're good enough to earn God's favor. You think he owes you and you think that just another ritual and somehow you're going to to prove your place before God stop doing your damnable good works and actually repent and cling to God's grace because it's the only hope that you have. It's why John is so harsh with them. Listen in the South you got to hear this religion is going to delude more people out of repentance and send them to help them. Rebellion ever will because it keeps you from understanding your need for grace and keeps you from dealing with the core of your heart to now verse 11.
John begins to show you the significance of his baptism. Now that he's prepared the way now finishing the significance of his baptism, verse 11, I baptize you with water for repentance. But there's more money coming after me, that's mightier than I sandals are not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. John says that his baptism in other words, is symbolic of something greater baptism. The real baptism happens not in water like John was baptizing with the real baptism. He says can happen in the Holy Spirit and that makes us in this that makes the place of John's baptism really significant. You see the Jordan River 222 ways you described the Jordan River on the edge of the wilderness. The Jordan River was the boundary between the wilderness and Israel. The Jordan River was the place where Joshua after the children of Israel had wandered in sin for 40 years in the wilderness, the Jordan River was the place they crossed over to go into the promised land. It was the place where they figured it was speaking left the wilderness of sin live in the faith and obedience of the promised land of Israel is what John says is the real baptism is when you leave the wilderness of Sam for the promised land of faith and obedience in the only way that you can do that is not baptism like this you can do that is through the fire of the Holy Spirit, which is why you need a Messiah who can give you the Holy Spirit, not somebody that could just take you through a religious ritual so verse 13 enter Jesus and Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John no in order to be baptized by John recognizes them and their cousins. After all, and John that Wohl you can do that just Jesus. This is a baptism watch of repentance in order to have a baptism of repentance. You gotta have something to repent of Jesus is perfect. How would Jesus undergo with integrity. A baptism of repentance if he had nothing to repent of. So what is Jesus answer got a verse, verse 15 Jesus answered and let it be so. Now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness will Jesus has righteousness it needs to be fulfilled. I thought Jesus was righteous Bee Gees we left heaven to be like was his righteousness deleted. Top it off, and he lost a little bit at a backup that he was always fully righteous. He was never anything less than 100% righteous was he may not even fulfill righteousness.
So John consented. Jesus was baptized merely went up from the water below the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God ascending like a dove coming to rest on him to hold a voice from heaven said this is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased to see it as a whole gospel writer what's happening. Jesus let me know if that Jesus does need to fulfill his righteousness. He's been baptized in repentance and he's been baptized fulfill righteousness, even though you need to repent. He doesn't need to become a more righteous, why is he doing those things because he is beginning listen to this is Ministry of substance is he Jesus is going to live the life that we are supposed to live and die the death that we are condemned to die is true that Jesus did not need to repent. But we did so Jesus does them perfectly in our place so that he can continue to live in our place.
When he died. He's actually going to bear the condemnation, that way more liberal live close to live enter our message today was titled get ready to learn more about how Jesus suffered in your place, and how you can be made right with God. Be sure to visit JD Greer.com.
Well, if you're a regular listener, you know that in addition to the daily messages also pick out different resources each month to go along with our study. These are workbooks or Bible studies, but this time we came up with something pretty mean it's a set of books of the Bible cards. We hope you'll call today to get your set, but interestingly there's a lot more resources available to you as a listener that are available on our website right 80 yeah and even some new resources. You can now sign up for a brand-new daily devotional get delivered right to your inbox every day.
Something sure that I've written that goes along with whatever teaching your hearing on some a life you know I'm a big fan Molly of layering teaching like stereo so that you hear the message of reading a little bit of in your quiet time this daily devotional will go a long way and in helping saturate your mind and the screws of a transforming summit life blog will be deal with different topics that are related usually to messages that I that I preached every month we get a free download available on the website. Sometimes it's a study guide or a set of devotionals in an e-book format. We've also got transcripts for every single message that many people's favorite thing is word for word what I'm I'm I'm saying here on our show summit.
Like you, but it worked for more than a transcript and I'm just a footnote to tell you where the original sources are video messages you ask anything podcast resources probably go 100% free to check them out in shady gridlock, and I think some of you help to get $25 or more, you are helping more people think they think the Bible cards today by calling 3354. You can also replace the card gospel partner online here.com I'm only benefit you doing today. Be sure to listen again Thursday series