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April 6, 2022 12:30 am
Today guest speaker and Associate Director of Finding Purpose Jim Briggs finishes his sermon in Luke.
Hey this is Jim Graham from the masculine dirty podcast where we explore relationship instead a religion every week your chosen Truth Network podcast is starting in just a few seconds to enjoy it. Sure, but most of all, thank you for listening you for choosing The Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network. The following is part two of a two-part program. Today's episode features guest speaker Prof. Jim Briggs, associate Dir. of finding purpose. Do you feel like you're on a religious treadmill to file Christianity is just a system of rules and regulations, I can do this but I can't do that. Do you feel like your efforts to reach God. Find God, and please God do you feel like your faith is dead or alone. Today Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions join us on finding purpose, glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living.
For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and finding purpose could visit us email@example.com connect with us on Facebook. Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious. Now think of three and why John now the picture.
John is on the banks of the river Jordan and you remember people were coming from all over the countryside heard about John out in the wilderness and he was baptizing people with water and and here's something interesting that he says here to give maybe a clue as to why he's a bit perplexed.
He said he will baptize you talking about the one to come with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear the threshing floor and to gather the wheat into the barn but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire that the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.
Throughout his ministry. John is been calling people to repentance.
In view of this coming wrath of God that we've been preaching all the time. Repent for the kingdom is at hand repent, because God's judgment is coming now. Jesus from all reports that he's getting is going from town to town. He's preaching love and mercy and forgiveness and he's healing people well you see why John was a bit perplexed.
What Jesus was doing didn't look at all like what John thought the Messiah would do anything.
But here's the issue. He believed Jesus was the Christ. That was clear from his earlier testimony, but in John's understanding God would send his Messiah to purify evil start purify Israel and to wipe out her enemies and to establish the new kingdom.
John, a priest judgment but Jesus now with preaching love and mercy and and he even had help a Roman soldier, the enemy of Israel. John was very very Jesus was anything like what John was expecting. I think it's kind of interesting. Here I think of doubt may be the wrong word about doubt. I don't think John doubted Jesus at all think that he didn't understand what Jesus was doing and so as I said he went to Jesus. It wasn't a question of who but of how John just didn't understand how they play well so he goes to Jesus and he says are you the one that leads to the next part in our story where John's disciples arrived and they arrived at the time when Jesus is healing. Many people of diseases and flags and evil spirits restore the site of the blind and the answer to John's question comes really into Park Burkhart is the exciting answer exciting answer, he says, go and tell John what you have seen and heard the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the death here in the dead are raised up. The poor have good news predicted in verse 22. Well, we might expect Jesus would try to reassure John by telling him that hey don't worry judgment is coming, but instead he thinned the disciples back with with report on the miracles that he performing a quite frankly, the list of miracles that he's been performing are very much like the miracle regarding been performing so this report for John is really nothing to why is it such an exciting answer. Well, because it's it's interesting one that Jesus is not rebuking John for his expressing his doubt. Rather, he gives John the prophet, a gentle little reminder of God's word about what the coming Messiah what he would do essentially quoting from Isaiah and I want if you will take a little journey I want to first turn to Isaiah 35 now.
Isaiah is that towards the middle of your book middle of the Bible go from Psalms right in the middle of the book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, song of Solomon. You get to Isaiah got Isaiah 35 Isaiah wrote this 700 years before the birth and listen. Some of the work. Could you pick out some of the things that you can't be used to explain why he's doing what he is doing sake of those who have an anxious heart. Be strong dear not behold, your God will come with vengeance and with recompense of God, he will come and save you, then the odds. Listen, the eyes of the blind shall be open in the ears of the death Star and then the lame man will leap like a deer in the tongue of the mute sing for joy Isaiah here if is saying that the Messiah would do everything that Jesus was was doing everything that Jesus had just reported.
I also want you to notice this bombshell in verse four behold, your God will come with vengeance and director who will open blind eye who will heal the lame God, confident beauty thing what Jesus is showing him through this reminder. If it is back.what about the vengeance right, we read that part about the vengeance, behold, your God will come with vengeance and with the recompense of God. What about the vengeance. This passage says that God will bring to come but he was nothing like what John thought nothing seemed to have changed the enemies of Israel were still completely in power by Romans were there any John is actually in prison inherits prison and it seems like nothing is changed.
All all those who oppose God are still in power. They have been punished in this kingdom. It John had been talking about the kingdom that is at hand to arrive via. Well, let's take another look in Isaiah got Isaiah 61 to look at Isaiah 50 1132 and you may recall is you flip in there. You may recall that this was the passage that Jesus read in the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth. Remember that I was a few I was back in chapter 4 a few weeks ago. But Jesus had read this really to show that this prophecy in Scripture was being fulfilled through his ministry. And again if we as we take a look at this. I want you to read, or at least pick out the things in this prophecy that are reflecting the very things that Jesus is doing so says the spirit of the Lord God of the economy because the Lord has anointed me to bring here is good news to the poor.
The extent need to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive and and the opening of the prison to those who are bound to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor right that the familiar path as we study that in chapter 4, and indeed Jesus is preaching to the poor preaching. Good news to see why John has about your day right because it also says that he was there to proclaim liberty to the captain. He was there to open the prison of those who are bound.
Where was John in prison so this is exciting. Answer also incomplete. Jesus seems to be fulfilling only part of the Jesus was telling John that he was doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing the very miracles.
In fact, they were causing John such a problem were confirming that Jesus was in fact the Messiah and you know even today when so many biblical prophecies have been built, we have to acknowledge that property can be pretty computed property C.
Look at the future like we look at a mountain range when I was a young boy I lived in East Tennessee and from our back porch. We could look out and we defeated great book about your standing on my back porch. You can see what looked like a long giant mountain spread out across the horizon like one, but if I were to go to the first mountain and climate got to the top. I would quickly find out that it wasn't one long mountain but stretching out to the horizon behind that first mountain. There were more mountain there were more ridges and valleys in between, and they went as far as the eye could this is this is what is happening with his biblical property. The property of the Old Testament really were seeing all of the future. They were looking at it like a mountain range and and really what God had done for John the Baptist, from where God where John the Baptist stood God granted him a very clear perspective of the closest mountains of Jesus miracles and preaching he had no clear idea of how the distant future events would would spread out when they would happen. This is what's called prophetic perspective that it perspective.
When we look at prophecy. Very often we see a lot of things that will happen.
Some of those things that fit of Artie happen. Some of those things happen when Jesus came and some of those things won't happen until return is important to remember to about prophecy that prophecy is not a haphazard prophecy is not based on uncertain data like fair weather forecast. You know you can predict the weather and they do often and and you get prepared for the snowstorm and any wake up that morning and guess what, it didn't happen at imperfect data and they're predicting what's going to happen.
Prophecy is not a prediction like that prophecy is is God's word. God's word is is a sure thing and end of Dr. Hugh Ross is an astrophysicist at a Christian apologist actually writes that there are approximately 2500 prophecies in the Bible about 80% of which have been fulfilled perfectly libraries.
As you know are filled with books that contain information surrounding historic events that we we read and I am a I'm a history buff, I like to read. In particular, biographies of of past presidents and as I read those. I feel the facts about their lives and all they accomplish. And all they did and and I take those as true but also we know that for some time for three can be written and it's incorrect and we can find out later it discovery of the new documents or the research that's been done that that history that we thought was true with maybe not quite true about God's Word isn't like that at all biblical prophecy.
Unlike our history book. Biblical prophecy is history written in advance. History written in an and this is because of God's word. I God we trust God for God's word is inerrant.
God knows all things. He knows the future, he knows the passing of the present.
He knows everything is going to happen and so he's writing about the future. It's almost as if it's Artie happen. In fact it is, are you this is really the bedrock to of Christian hope you know as Christians we have. Hope we talk about hope all the time but it's not hope. So kind of hope in the way the world about hope is that no so kind of hope because it's based on God's word that defendant allowed to go bedrock of our faith right everything to be built on God's word because it's a sure thing and we can have absolute confidence. Therefore, in what God's inerrant word says about future work because it's his well John the Baptist did get all the facts correct your error did not get all the facts about Jesus correct, but there will be a judgment.
It was just the fact that he was unclear about the timing. So what he saw Jesus doing was in prophecy was was actually part of Isaiah's prophecy.
John would've known that, but he also saw something else that would happen later and so he was just unclear about the timing, Jesus will fulfill all Scripture according to his timeline not ours, not John and we look at current world events and we we see the swift decline of our culture all around us. Like John the Baptist, we we may actually grow impatient and even frustrated with what the Lord is not doing. We must not give in that frustration must not grow discouraged, you know, we should be thankful that the Lord is gracious and merciful and slow to anger, and great in loving kindness. According to Psalm 145. We must rejoice that the Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise, as some count slowness, but is patient listen, wishing that any should perish all reach first and second Peter 315 is good news for you and me. That's good news for our neighbors who don't believe you. That's good news for our coworkers.
Maybe a family member that you been working on that you been praying for all these years God is patient is not just taking his time because he he's kicking back any lazier patient not wanting any giving you and me time preach the gospel tell people about the doubts of John, the genre's experience are not unlike those that you and I struggle with from time to time. Right. Each of us knows the disappointment when it when we see our hopes and dreams – many of us have prayed fervently for that God would bring about certain results in our life, only to be disappointed. Maybe you plan to get married and you haven't yet made you plan to have children and you found you can. Maybe you planned on that sweet job and you haven't heard anything going on. Maybe you planned on a retirement and you just got news that shows that your retirement is going along well.
What we do when that happens by John. We wonder what God is doing. We might even be filled with doubt act the way we want them to act. Jesus, you wonder, yes. Look at the evidence that proves that I am the Messiah.
Don't be discouraged that I'm not following your plan. Keep in mind the many promises in the Old Testament will be fulfilled only when I return in glory of God's messengers (some of the crowd were wondering about John whispering about the fact that he was still imprisoned in Jesus now turns to the crowd and he he he he go through a series of questions that I think are important right now.
You know, when you look at these questions.
Sometimes it looks like these questions are trying to help us understand that Jesus or that John was a very important mandate. We need to listen to them, but as you read these questions, you realize that Jesus is really talking about himself.
What you go out into the wilderness to see a read shaken by the wind. What did you go out to see a man dressed in soft clothing.
Behold, those who are dressed in splendid clothing and live in luxury are in the King's courts.
Verse 25. Would you go out to say, did you go out for a pastor who would sway to the every prevailing idea of the culture, easily bendable, easily pliable. Did you have to see somebody who was dressed in fancy clothes. I had a great social following was influential. Of course not LOL I went out to the wilderness important understand the reason behind these questions. As I said even trying to convince his audience that John was a great man after all.
He still answering the question, are you the one Jesus gets right to the heart of the issue with the penetrating question why or what did you go out into the wilderness to see yeah you did go out a few profit not tell you more than a prophet. What is it mean that John was more than a prophet. Well, the people had heard from a prophet or hundred years Jesus explains what he means by think this is the one about whom it is written, I will send my messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way before you see, John wasn't just a prophet. He was the long-awaited profit that would be a forerunner to the Messiah why this is such a powerful answer. Look at the last book of the Old Testament in Malachi 3, verse one.
See if you can see what Jesus is trying to say here. I will send my message, who will prepare the way before. This is the Lord speaking before the Jesus that they went down to the wilderness to hear the final prophet he was pointing to the Lord, move the point Jesus John the Baptist is the last of the prophets who would go before the Lord was that tell you about Jesus loving Jesus says something very astonishing, he says. I tell you among those born of women there is none greater than John.
Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than point belong to the kingdom of heaven. You have more spiritual privileges that even John had again this is not about John, this is what is it say about Jesus. Well, the least of the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist, how great and more than that help break. He cc versus really not so much about John the Baptist, but there really bit to reveal Jesus Christ. Here's the question Jesus you want. Well have you been given enough evidence to determine who Jesus is. Jesus who he claims to be. Have you responded to these facts that would know that this passage goes on to say that the religious leaders redact rejected John the Baptist in his method of repentance and they also rejected Jesus and God's purpose for themselves.
Jesus compares these leaders to ill tempered children turning their nose up at every suggestion that their friends make about games that they might play.
They rejected John for his austere lifestyle and preaching of repentance and judgment day. They also rejected Jesus for preaching forgiveness and mercy for sinners and joyfully attending therapy but verse 29.
All the people, even the tax collector that when they heard Jesus work acknowledge that God's way was right they got shot because they had been baptized by John wanted some reject John's baptism of Jesus message choosing foolishly to go their own way. But many people today, while others, including tax collectors embrace God's way. By accepting Jesus words both both of them had the same amount of evidence, both of them had the knowledge, what was the problem. Well, the Pharisees and the scribes thinking of been thinking live refused to submit to God. Verse 35 for the true wisdom true wisdom, which is God's way of proved right by those who receive John's baptism and accepted the words of Jesus are where you stand tonight you had all the evidence and Bible study.
All these many weeks you been reading the same Bible I have where you stand tonight on this crucial question is are you still investigating the evidence you still have some doubts you still wonder if it could be true.
All have your night. Secondly, Curtis John Artie demonstrated those thought questions that you have taken the G taking the God word we can find the answers. If you're a believer tonight and going through a difficult time. Maybe you're disappointed maybe you have your life hasn't turned out like if you thought it would. Maybe you're asking Jesus Jesus why why does it have to be so hard to make it easier for me. Are you tempted to fall away. Remember that many of the promises in the Old Testament are not for now. But the really for the new creation so Hope talk about that help go to Jesus with you – go to Jesus with your concerns and he will be faithful. Open your eyes and open your heart knowing Artie done it very open your heart to him in the first place.
Remember what he did.
He convinced that he is the one and no verse 28 being the least in the kingdom are greater than anything else will know or have about a God.
What a privilege to be able to come to you on this night look at your word father to be together as brothers to spend time in fellowship as we go now to our discussion groups.
Father, we thank you that we could hear this word tonight. We ask that as we consider the evidence as we take into consideration all that we have learned so far as we study Luke's gospel father we pray that you would do work in our hearts, but we pray that it wouldn't just be a collection of facts, father, that it would be rock solid evidence that Jesus is and in father. With that in mind that we have the confidence we have the assurance and father that we have the grace to be able to follow take up our cross daily and follow all safety realizing that one day even if the lease is greater than anything being a Christian is not about being religious but about having a dynamic and alive relationship with Jesus Christ you been listening to finding purpose with pastor Russ Sanders glorifying God by helping men and their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the firstname.lastname@example.org will connect to finding purpose on Facebook pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him in over 300 other local men to study God's word together every Tuesday night at 7 PM in downtown Raleigh. Find out more finding purpose.net. This is the Truth Network