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John’s Murderers (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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May 11, 2021 6:00 am

John’s Murderers (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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May 11, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 6:14-29)

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This proves that remorse and repentance are not the same thing.

We can be humanly sorry and then go commit atrocities within their very next breath. Judas Iscariot, I blew it, I didn't make the right call. But he did not say that is the Son of God, righteous and holy and I bow down to him, God forgive me. That is not what he did.

Peter went out and wept bitterly just for denying him. Judas betrayed him and hung himself, wanted to take control over matters. John was moving the man's heart with the truth from the scripture. He heard, he did, and gladly, that's what it says. And when he heard him, he did many things and heard him gladly.

John the baptizer's preaching was making progress in this man. This is kind of spooky because Herod was that close to heaven and he chose hell instead. Internally, he was conflicted. That's where the war was. The Holy Spirit said, what are you going to do? It gets worse. We're going to heat this up in a moment.

He knew he was guilty for marrying Herodias, taking Philip's wife from him. And for a while, his conscience was alive. It was not yet seared with a hot iron beyond retrieval, but he becomes irretrievable. How about anybody here starting to wade out into the waters of rejection of Christ, into making up things about Christ and his word? You're going out deeper and deeper until you are irretrievable.

You can be irretrievable in this life where God can't get you back. Here's my point. He said, what if you just don't agree with me? Fine. Good. Don't agree with me. What if I'm right? What if I'm right and you're messing around with these things?

Well, the story here tells us otherwise. It tells us that you can reach a point of no return. Verse 21, then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles and the high officers and the chief men of Galilee. Yeah, yeah.

Where are they to? John the Baptizer was Herod's last chance at eternal life. He really wouldn't get another one. I mean, technically you could say when Jesus stood before him he had another chance, but realistically speaking, he was too far gone. He was at the point of no return. It was a defining moment in his life.

We have those. We have many of them, but this had to do with his soul. This was his last chance as it was with Pharaoh when Moses stood before him. Eventually it became the last chance until Pharaoh chased them to the sea and was swallowed up there. Then there was Saul with Samuel. Samuel came up at Endor and preached, tomorrow you'll be dead too, Saul. Saul had a chance.

He threw it away. King David. David had a chance to repent over his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. And Nathan confronted him and David took that chance. David did not resist it. I'm the man.

I'm it. He repented. He wrote psalms about it.

David shows us how to respond as did the Ninevites. Jonah comes through, 40 days you guys have done. God will judge you. 40 days God will judge you. That was his sermon.

Some of you might be saying, why can't you preach short sermons like that? Well, Jonah didn't have the gospel to mark. But Nineveh repented. If they had not repented, that generation would have perished.

What about Absalom? Even Joab was used to give Absalom a chance and he threw it away. Judas Iscariot, go do what you must do.

That wasn't his last chance. He was approaching it there in the garden when he betrayed him and Jesus said, friend. And Judas dismissed it and went out and hung himself in remorse but not repentance.

We'll come to that in a moment too. Then there was Caesar Nero. Nero wasn't too bad as Caesar's go as a ruler until after Paul the apostle spoke with him. History kind of skips over that but then Nero goes really wacky, even kills his mentor Seneca. But we know Paul went before him because Acts 27 tells us God speaking through an angel to Paul, do not be afraid Paul for you must be brought before Caesar and indeed God has granted you and all those who sail with you.

This is when they were on the facing shipwreck and they did shipwreck but they survived. And so the point is Nero was given a chance, one more chance and after he told Paul no, he went into his Christian hatred mode and we know him as the man who really introduced the first Gentile severe persecution of believers. There was the Jezebel of Thyatira. Christ gave her a chance. Revelation 2 verse 21 where he says you have that woman Jezebel who teaches my servants and so here he says and I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality and she did not repent.

She reached that tipping point. Going part way but not all the way into repentance can harden the heart to the point where it's too late. These were given a chance, one last chance Herod has. Again Galatians chapter 3, Paul lamenting to the church there says oh foolish Galatians and he's talking to those who said they were believers who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth.

I am afraid for you lest I have worked for nothing. How many times does a pastor preach to the youth and the youth love it and then they go out into the world and all of a sudden they don't love that pastor anymore. Even though he's done nothing but give them the word of God.

I guess they found others that give it to him better. I don't dispute that. I know there are better men than I am in the pulpit. You don't really believe that do you?

No I don't. Of course I believe it but it is kind of funny right? Because you want, look I don't care what you are I think if you have any sense of decency you want to be the best at what you do knowing you can't be. That there's always going to be somebody better. And there's no difference in my case or any other pastors case and some other pastor knows that I'm better than him. Just like I know he's better than me.

Well anyway these facts are things we need to be reminded of from time to time. Some people come to the church because I'm the only girl on the dance floor. Well I'd go to another church but I can't find one so I'll dance with you.

I'm very flattered by that. Others have been given a chance. One last chance. You say name one.

Me. You can say the same thing. At some point you were given a chance and you took it for Christ but maybe, maybe it was your last chance. Maybe you're sitting here and you're still undecided. Satan loves the bubble headed undecided individual. You have no right to be undecided in the face of these truths. They're that powerful. That's why God will eventually say no more mercy.

What a scary thought. Would you rather me just say oh no just keep on you know you never know just you never know you want me to preach that kind of just non-committal stuff. Or do you want to understand that this is serious business. Every cemetery says to all of us this life is not a joke. For every tombstone there's a broken heart.

Many of them. But here, here we have this worldly party and these can be nasty gatherings these parties. A party led to Moses breaking the tablets of the law before the guilty revelers. It was a party that King Ahasuerus tried to parade his wife Vashti and she had the courage to say no and he lost her as a wife. King Belshazzar, the last one of the Babylonians, he saw the handwriting on the wall at a party and it was not in his favor. And his knees knocked against another and other things and of course he perished that night and at this party the decision to chop off the head of John the baptizer was made.

And to show it on a platter. They weren't satisfied with just killing him. They wanted to parade the deed. A nest of the determined to be damned.

They were determined. They felt the fun in this life was more important than the God after this life. And what's God supposed to do?

Pat him on the head and give him a cookie? What we're getting here in this scripture is God is saying understand this. Your choice is a serious business. You want to tamper with what I'm saying? You want to mess around with who I am? You want to just blatantly and flagrantly be disobedient?

There are consequences. Verse 22, And when Herodias daughter herself came in and danced and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, ask me whatever you want and I will give it to you. Well I've already commented on Salome being his stepdaughter is what she was. The daughter of Herodias and Philip. Verse 23, He also swore to her whatever you ask me I will give you up to half my kingdom.

Now that of course is an exaggeration. They weren't going to give her. She said okay give me the half the kingdom and the half that John is in so that I can go behead him. I mean that would have been just that's not what's meant by this. He said just ask anything you know any big gift and I'm going to give it to you. It's just such a silly thing.

Why? Blinded he was by the obscene and his moral blindness only darkened further. We all are familiar with 1 John, For all that is of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the father but is of the world and the world by definition is in opposition to Jesus Christ to the point that they have rejected him.

And we go now to verse 24. And so she went out and said to her mother what shall I ask and she said the head of John the Baptist. You see Herodias, her mother, she had a violent reaction to the Bible. And there are those that have this violent reaction to truth.

They think that you know they fold their arms and smugly just begin to pick it off and think they're going to get away with it and you can get away with it as these did for one lifetime but no more. Not a step further. But she, Herodias, satanically inspired with an unclean spirit, hated not only the truth but the God of the truth and his messenger. She hated the whole package, wanted nothing to do with it.

Well you can silence the messenger but you can't silence the truth. Verse 25, immediately she came in with haste, this is Salome the daughter, to the king and asked saying I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter. The apple fell close to the tree with this one. She's just as wicked as her mother. She rushed to give her gruesome reply to Herod's brainless infatuation. She couldn't wait. Immediately she came in with haste. You could just see her eyes.

She was happy like a kid heading toward the Christmas tree. You know, just eyes all glowing, all excited over this grotesque event. The fruit of Satan grows off of evil people and this is what it looks like in print. We get to see it from time to time in our own life and others hopefully and not ourselves, not this evil fruit. Verse 26, and the king was exceedingly sorry yet because of the oath and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her.

You catch that? He's not sorry. He is exceedingly sorry. He was emotional about it. This is his moment.

This is his chance. This proves that remorse and repentance are not the same thing. We can be humanly sorry and then go commit atrocities with the very next breath. Judas is scary.

I blew it. I didn't make the right call, but he did not say that is the son of God, righteous and holy, and I bow down to him. God forgive me. That is not what he did. Peter went out and wept bitterly just for denying him. Judas betrayed him and hung himself.

He wanted to take control over matters. Probably trying to punish somebody. Here, Herod, he's sorry that he tripped over his own drunken tongue. Sorry that he didn't see this answer coming. Not sorry enough to do what was right. Not sorry enough about his personal sin. Not sorry enough to halt a murder of a righteous man. Who cares about this kind of junk sorry? This is useless. So what you're sorry if you're going to behave and commit atrocities such as this?

Who's interested in them? What do you want, a pity party for this? Oh, poor Herod. You got tricked.

Come sit down over here. Verse 27. Immediately the king sent the execution and commanded his head to be brought and he went and beheaded him in prison. He could have said, no, I'm not giving you that.

I don't care what anybody thinks. I'm the king and I'm not doing that. If he really was serious, even Zechariah. They came to Zechariah. Shall we keep the fasting that we had in Babylon, Zechariah? He said, God never gave you that.

You're not bound by that. I'm sure some didn't like that. They really came to him for a blessing. Oh, pastor, what do you think about this book? This person doesn't believe in scripture.

It's junk. Oh, I'm leaving the church. It's happened.

It's happened more than once. I'm looking for the blessing. You don't give it to him.

You got trouble. And that Zechariah, they came to him again and he told him, no, you're not bound by silly oaths. And here Herod sealed his own fate.

Do you know, here's the punch to it all. God never spoke to him again. The evidence we have is that God never spoke to him again until it was judgment day.

Luke chapter 23. Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad. Last time he was exceedingly sorry over the botched party event. Here he's exceedingly glad. Oh, Jesus is here.

Maybe he'll do some miracle. For he had desired for a long time to see him because he had heard many things about him and he hoped to see some miracle done by him. Then he questioned him with many words, but he answered him nothing. Luke's Gospel chapter 23 verses 8 and 9.

That is what happened. He's asking Jesus all these questions and the Bible tells us he answered him nothing. He's the only person in scripture that Jesus Christ ignored that we know of. See, he fooled around. He played around with that last chance and there it is.

It's ironic. Herod's birthday became his eternal death day. If I'm wrong about that, it would be good, but the Bible gives these strong warnings to us. John was the last prophet of the Old Testament age to die and the first prophet of the New Testament age to die because it was worth it to him. God said about John the Baptist that there were none better.

What kind of group does that put him in? Abraham and Isaiah and Abel and all of these powerful figures of scripture. Matthew's Gospel chapter 11. Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women, there is not risen one greater than John the Baptist, but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. This is who Herod, Herodias, Salome, and the axemen killed, the one whom Jesus said none is better.

But what about this part here because everybody always wants to hear something about it and rightfully so. He who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. What does that mean? Our ministry is greater and our message is superior because our Savior is the crucified risen Lord and we have that information and we've submitted to it. Among men, none better than John, but among the messages that are out there, none is as glorious as ours. It's not John personally, it's the message he had that only went so far, ours goes beyond and in that sense it is greater. What is so great about a prophet? His message.

What is so great about us? Our message. Is our message greater than Isaiah's?

In that sense, yes. Even though Isaiah included it, it wasn't as developed as what we have. It's greater than Solomon, greater than Jonah. Our message is one of recurrent cleansing as opposed to the law of recurrent covering. So what I mean by that is in the Old Testament you took your blood sacrifice to the temple and your sins were covered, but they were still there. You are not going to go to heaven.

You could go to righteous Sheol, but you are not going to make it into heaven because your sins were not dealt with sufficiently. That is the Old Testament law, recurrent covering. But New Testament grace is recurrent cleansing so that we can say the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin, past, present, and those to come. That is grace. Now that's not flagrant sin, the sin that you just tell God, I'm talking about for those who believe in Jesus Christ. We stumble, we mess up, and God forgives.

And we should be very grateful. That's why Paul said, who has made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant? 2 Corinthians 3.6. Well, I'm almost out of time. I'm just going to finish this up. Verse 28, it brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.

These are goals, remember that. Here's what Richard Wambrandt had to say in Tortured for Christ. I recommend you read Tortured for Christ. Pastor Wambrandt said he was beheaded because he did not confine himself to abstract teaching. He got out and said, no, this is black and white. You want, oh, maybe this, maybe that, could be. He eliminated these, and he got to the point, you can't have your brother's wife.

There's no gray zone here. And today we have abstract teachers, we've always had them, where they just won't get to the point. Everybody loves their sermons because they don't convict anybody. As Tozier said, if it was poison, it wouldn't kill you.

If it was medicine, it couldn't cure you. Who wants that kind of preaching? So they continued with their party while the grisly deed was paraded. And then they woke up the next day, and then the next day, and then the next year they kept going. Then death came. And then they trembled before the throne of Jesus Christ. And they're separated from him to this very moment. They did not die that day. They forfeited their last hope of salvation as far as we can tell.

And that's what we need to be, look, you know what, that's what we're concerned with. Verse 29, when his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb. Not the ending John had expected. Are you the Christ or do we look for another?

He was saying, how come I'm still in jail? If you're the Messiah, where's the army to deliver me and establish your kingdom? His disciples, perhaps they thought Satan has another victory. There were other martyrs from the days of Abel forward, so this wasn't entirely new. Matthew chapter 14 verse 12, Matthew says after John was beheaded that they went and told Jesus. Jesus made some profound comments about John, but then, acting as though he wasn't surprised, he continued forward with ministry. Ministry marched on to other needy souls, and it does to this day.

To this day, you know, the messenger can die, but the message keeps going forward. And so, closing with this, the grotesque that is before us, who sees the godly murdered, yet still supposes that all roads lead to heaven? Such backwards, twisted thinking. It defies reason and justice and holiness, our sense of these things. Animals don't have a sense of justice. They have instincts, just in a different world. We have these senses that they don't have. Is it noble to hold such idiotic thoughts as Herod and Herodias? If it comes from an entertainer, if it comes from a professor or an author or a friend or a parent, if it is contrary to God, are we supposed to hold such notions as honorable? Well, all roads lead to heaven.

They do not. There's a straight and there's a narrow one, and there's a broad and there's a wide one. And the choice is up to you. And you may get a day in your life, if you've not opened your heart to Christ, where you've got to make that choice, or just remember Pharaoh, just remember Herod, just remember the Jezebel of Thyatira, where Christ says, I gave her space to repent, and she did not.

John remained loyal to the death. Then Jesus said to his disciples, if anyone desires to come to me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. Let us remain loyal to Christ no matter what. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Mark. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel, Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of Mark, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-19 13:20:01 / 2023-11-19 13:29:16 / 9

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