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Why the Believer Doubts, Part 2 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
February 3, 2022 3:00 am

Why the Believer Doubts, Part 2 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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February 3, 2022 3:00 am

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Doubt arises out of personal tragedy when we can't square our circumstances with our faithfulness out of popular influences when we start to believe the popular image of someone including Jesus. They also come because of incomplete revelation. This is really John's doubts came because he didn't have information that he died for sinners and that he is raining in heaven today.

It's comforting to know that sometimes even believers in the Bible. People close to Jesus asked that kind of question, and moments when they wondered if the gospel is true. John MacArthur shows you how Christ responded to those people as he continues his study titled when believers doubt today on grace to you turn to the gospel of Luke as John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University and seminary begins today's lesson we find ourselves in the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Luke and verses 18 to 23 were introduced to the fact that even the best of man, the greatest of men. The noblest of men, the greatest of men who ever lived can experience doubt and so were talking about doubt believing doubt I suggested you. There are four things that contribute to this kind of doubt for us. As for John, first personal tragedy. Remember that last time John circumstances didn't seem to fit with his faithfulness.

How is it that he being faithful to his calling, preaching what he was told to preach no indication that John was anything other than faithful to the to the very Max in his ministry. How why is he languishing in a stinking dungeon, months and months in prison, headed for a rendezvous with death. How can this, this is the doubt that comes because the circumstances don't seem to match our devotion or our faithfulness.

What we think we deserve, or what we think is been promised that takes us to the second reason for his doubt popular influences popular ideas popular concepts can create doubt they still do that.

There are those people who develop a popular image of Jesus.

And when the preacher who preaches the true word of God doesn't preach what fits with the popular idea of Jesus people doubt wonder because they've accepted un-biblical notions of the Savior, and we talked about that last. I must come to the third and the fourth one this is really the crux of these things are necessary, separate from each other.

There kind of inner twine a bit. The third reason this is the compelling matter doubt arises out of personal tragedy when we can't square our circumstances with our faithfulness out of popular influences when we start to believe the popular image of someone including Jesus. They also come because of incomplete revelation. This is really the crux of the matter.

John's doubts came because he didn't have full information and what John couldn't understand was why doesn't the kingdom come, because John didn't have the information that Jesus would come, he would be rejected the Lord within turn from Israel to the Gentiles established the church. The church age would go on at least 2000 years, which it has an Jesus would then come back return and then set up his kingdom. That's mystery in the Old Testament. John didn't have that information so is functioning with some incomplete information. Then lastly, there was one other component in the case of John that contributed to his doubt wrong expectation and was tied to the information issue wrong expectation that John was a fiery prophet, but none seem to be in much grace and John's message John preach repentance. John preach this furious message of God's judgment day of the Lord kind of stuff and you know John knew how the Old Testament ended the Old Testament ended in Malachi. The last warning of the Old Testament is that the day of the Lord is coming, the great and terrible day of the Lord is going to come burning like a furnace. All arrogant and evildoers will be chaff.

The day is coming to set them ablaze so that it will leave them neither root nor branch other words, they'll be burned to the very ashes.

This is the day when the wicked are going to be trodden down ashes under the soles of your feet that's that's the last statement of the Old Testament, the Messiah is going to come the day the Lord's gonna come. It's gonna be judgment. It's going to be a Holocaust.

This was John and John thundered out that message about fire and brimstone, and judgment in the third chapter of Luke. We meet John. The voice crying in the wilderness verse three preaching baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. That's a strong message when the religious leaders show up along with the multitudes, he says, you brood of snakes who warned you to flee from the wrath to come. Many call them snakes. They were like snakes scrambling in front of a prairie fire to get to a river before they got incinerated scrambling down here to the water to get baptized like snakes running the water from a fire and then he preach to them about an accident was going to chop them down about a fire that was going to burn them, incinerating them to ashes.

That was the kind appreciated so it was connected to the idea that will Messiah comes going to be a Holocaust of judgment, furious judgment is going to baptize you with fire. He's going to take out a winnowing fork in his hand.

He's gonna thresh you like wheat is threshed and separated from chaff and then is gonna take the Chaffin's gonna burn it with unquenchable fire. That was John.

He was the original hellfire damnation preacher and that's what he expected Messiah to do well here comes Jesus. What is was he doing heels. Everybody does not judgment makes everything better. It's all compassion and tenderness and love and mercy and he's doing all these wonderful things that express the compassion of God and he's doing of nonbelievers and where is the confrontation of the faithless and wicked people and where the confrontation of the wretched wicked not only Jewish people but if you means like Herod, Oedipus would live such a gross and evil life, where's the acts in the hand of Messiah.

Where's the fire in his hand where's the winnowing fork, why doesn't he blast his enemies burn up the wicked bring the fury of the day of the Lord doesn't seem to be going the way that he assumed it had to go because John was getting people to repent so that when the Messiah comes to getting it burned up and out of the psych came in day there again healed and dead people were getting race demons were being cast out, and so these are the things that caused his doubt expectations, lack of information. Those are things that are reasonable. His doubt was a reasonable there was a rational doubt. It was a starting point and it was a good starting point because it drove him to the Lord to get the rest of the information that he needed out of the Lord respond to him go back to the text.

This becomes very clear to us. Verse 21% responded that very time immediately right on the spot in front of these two disciples of John who asked the question they said to him, are you the expected one or do we look for someone else and you can see the verse 19. John tells what say verse 20 to say exactly what he told him say so they're faithful to their commission. Verse 21 at that very time he cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits and he granted site to many who were blind on the spot at that instant wherever he was. We don't know exactly where he was somewhere in Galilee, maybe near to the town of Maine where he had raised the widow's son from the dead immediately.

Instantaneously, he just does this massive display of supernatural miracles curing people of physical diseases as well as casting demons out and in just an explosion of spiritual power sweeping miraculous power display. Suddenly he'd been doing regularly. This is a personal private explosion for the two disciples of John. By the way, when the Pharisees asked him to do those kinds of things for them. He didn't do theirs was unbelief. John's was faith looking to be completed and so this explosion of healings and deliverances occurs and many blind people receive their sight. Blindness was on very very big problem. Many people were blind and much of Jesus healing was of the blind hear many blind were healed in this instant.

Jesus was usually surrounded by people with these kinds of physical problems and spiritual problems because they knew he was a healer and a deliverer and so that tended to make up a large amount of the crowd and so many miracles would be easily done by him in that environment because there would be many with needs and then verse 22. After the display.

He answered and said to them, here's the key go report to John what you seen and heard telling this blind receive sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them.

You were telling now. Jesus didn't say anything about judgment didn't say anything didn't say go tell John that the wrath comes later will tell John to go find a book on dispensationalism even say anything about that. He said just go tell them this telling what you've seen and heard firsthand, and what you seen and heard as a display of supernatural power, but more than that. I want you to understand something's going on here. This was evidence that the kingdom had been inaugurated you to mark that down in your mental file. This was evidence that the kingdom had come, and therefore the king was present really.

How is that so turn back in your Bible for a moment to Isaiah 26.

I'll believe me. John knew the Old Testament.

His father knew it and it taught it to them and particularly did he know those messianic passages and connected with Messiah's return and the establishment of the messianic kingdom were some very specific things. Isaiah 26 is looking at these glorious times.

Verse 18 we were pregnant we ride in labor.

We gave birth, as it were, only to win we could not accomplish deliverance for the earth, nor were inhabitants in the world. Born looking at the trials and the difficulties of Israel. But then in verse 19 here comes the hope of the future. The promise, your dad will live their corpses will rise you who lie in the dust awaken shout for joy for your due is as the dew of the Dawn and the earth will give birth to this part of spirits. One of the elements of the coming messianic kingdom will be the resurrection of the just. Daniel writes about this dozen is well that when the Messiah comes, there will be a resurrection that's part of messianic promise. The promise of resurrection and that is in Isaiah 2619 and you can be certain that John the Baptist knew that very well.

Daniel 12 to many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, others to everlasting contempt in disgrace in one of the promises in the future was resurrection. Now turn to the 35th chapter of Isaiah and here we look at the kingdom again when Messiah comes some wonderful things are going to happen when Messiah comes the wilderness in the desert. Isaiah 35 one will be glad the Arab on other work for desert will rejoice and blossom at the crocus it will blossom profusely and rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to the majesty of Carmel insurance. First of all, during the time of the Messiah's kingdom when he comes and establishes his kingdom there will be changes in the environment. There will be changes in the land. The desert will blossom. There will be changes in the plant life. This is the kind of return to Paradise lost in all that we are now in the Paradise lost his paradise regained.

This is back to an ED Nick kind of environment and one thing that happens is that a river is created in the kingdom. The prophet says that will flow from Jerusalem out into the desert and it will water the desert in the desert will be glad little blossom and that's part of it. There will be those physical changes the end of verse two. There will be a display of the glory of the Lord, the majesty of God, there will be displays of glory when the kingdom comes literally glory will fill the earth, as the prophets indicate another starting in verse three. What also is going to be happening in the kingdom.

Encourage the exhausted strengthened the feeble literally to the shaky legs save those with anxious heart take courage, fear not, behold, your God will come with vengeance. There will be vengeance, but the recompense of God will come, but he will save you and what will happen in the king of the eyes of the blind will be open the years of the devil be unstopped, the lame will leap like a deer in the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy. What about that that's what's can happen when Messiah comes the debtor going to rise the desert, blossom like a rose. Flowers are going to grow everywhere. Glory will be manifest all over the earth, the glory of God and healing will take place.

Those that are weary. Those that are shaking those that have deep anxieties. No longer will have to fear the blind will see the deaf will hear the lame will walk the mute will speak that's kingdom conditions and what Jesus did in his life was give them previews of the coming kingdom when he does that in his kingdom.

That kind of healing will sweep the world and so what Jesus is saying is tell John that what you're seeing is what the prophet said would happen when the king came and then remember 61 of Isaiah the spirit of the Lord God is upon me. This is the Messiah speaking, the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor or the afflicted humble bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to captives, freedom to prisoners when the Messiah comes the dead will be raised. Those with physical illnesses will be healed and the gospel, the good news will be preached to the humble the poor and the afflicted. That's all.

In Isaiah now go back to Luke seven and so Jesus knows that John knows Isaiah and says you just go tell John that the blind are receiving their site. The lame are walking. The lepers are cleansed, the deaf or hearing the dead are raised up and the poor having the gospel preached to them just go tell them the kingdom has been inaugurated.

The king is here even though the earthly fulfillment of that kingdom is yet future. The inauguration of the kingdom had already occurred. Kingdom was inaugurated when the king came. That's why Jesus could say, though, the kingdom didn't come to earth and in the millennial sense that it will in the future. Jesus could say the kingdom of God is among you, he inaugurated the kingdom with a display of power that was a preview of the power that he will display all across the face of the earth in his glorious kingdom. Yes, God will come with vengeance but also with healing and with resurrection power.

So the whole Jesus whole statement there is really drawn off of Isaiah's prophecies and you tell John verse 23 says blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over me. John you be blessed if you believe this, don't be offended by me.

Don't let your personal tragedy. Don't let popular views and influences. Don't let the lack of revelation. Don't let your wrong expectations cause you to stumble over me cause you to be offended by me cause you that is to think that I'm not the one know this, the kingdom has been inaugurated and I am the king because what was promised is now being displayed well the population for the most part of Israel were offended by Jesus, and they rejected him and executed him, but what about John what happened to John bull story really for us can be brought to a conclusion.

If you turn to Matthew 14. Matthew 14 John never asked Jesus. Another question never sought more information. Once Jesus gave him through his disciples firsthand eyewitnesses to what he did and tied it all ended. Isaiah's prophecies. John didn't have any more questions. Here's here's really the postscript paradigm in verse 10 of Matthew 14 Herod had John beheaded in the prison and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl girl who had danced for Herod on his Brett's birthday and she brought to her mother who had initiated the decapitation of John because she so hated John because he confronted her iniquity.

They brought John's head in gave it to the woman, verse 12, his disciples came took away the body buried it and they went and reported to Jesus. That's a very important final note, John was beheaded before Jesus died. It was beheaded before Jesus therefore rose from the dead, you never heard much of what the Lord taught because he was a prisoner he never saw the power displays and when he died this disciples came to tell Jesus why Jesus that says it all for me because Jesus was Jones Messiah mouse. They wouldn't have come to telling.

Not all his questions were answered before he was murdered, the kingdom, however, had been previewed and John had gotten the message that all of this indicated that the kingdom was inaugurated even though it's not yet in its final form. The kingdom was inaugurated up 11 to Tyson about it.

The kingdom is still in place and you and I read it and we are here kingdom children and Jesus is our King. Is that not true and he has given us mercy and grace and the forgiveness of sin, and if eternal life. Yes, there is an earthly thousand year millennial reign of Christ that will take place in the future, but in the meantime, this is the kingdom and we are in it, and he inaugurated it when he came in he continues to give mercy and forgiveness and new covenant of salvation day after day, and the full fulfillment of the Abraham a promise in the Davidic promise is yet future waiting for Israel to believe when Israel finally does believe then they will receive their king and his promised kingdom, but in the meantime, the kingdom is within, among us John said I need to know if you're the one he was satisfied and when he died, his disciples reported to his Messiah that he was gone. Verse 13 when Jesus heard it, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place by himself greatest man that ever lived was gone but it was really his time is task was done and he died believing that Jesus indeed had inaugurated the kingdom he left what he didn't know couldn't know to his Lord, but he didn't have to wonder very long, because his theology was made perfect just the split-second his head was chopped off the didn't have to ask any questions of Jesus anymore after this one in Luke seven because that was all the evidence she needed.

Beloved, we have so much more than he only we have the whole unfolding of all of Jesus life, death, resurrection, ascension, intercession, the whole explanation of all the epistles, the wonderful book of Revelation to explain the future if you're a doubting believer, you don't need to be. You can erase that doubt and be a believing believer if you'll go to the word get the full information so Jesus said, blessed is the one who doesn't stumble over me. Most of the Jews that they still do because of their own lack of Revelation and wrong expectations. Blessed is the one who doesn't stumble but who embraces Christ in faith, and that blessing is for time and eternity, Lord, may we be used by you to erase the doubt that may be in the minds of people around us as we said doubt is a place to start another place to end May all of us be faithful to learn your word to dig deeply into its search it so that we may find that doubt turned in faith and that faith, taking us from fear and not knowing to exhilaration and joy in knowing give us the confident joy that comes to those who know the truth concerning Jesus Christ and may you by your grace, awaken dead hearts, to embrace the Savior and strengthen faith and eliminate doubt, that we may give to you the faith that you deserve a true and complete faith your worthy of that. We thank you for the testimony of John faithful to the very end, even though he knew far less than we may we take the word of God, which is such a treasure given to us which men like him and many others. All those heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 didn't know they died before he came, may we who have it understand the richness that it brings to our lives so that we have no real excuse for doubt make us faithful people of the word with a complete revelation and therefore correct expectations. Being able to grasp the great reality that truly the kingdom has been inaugurated. The King has come and is none other than Jesus Christ Lord we love and serve pray in his disease, grace to you with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us today. John looked at how an in-depth knowledge of the Bible can bring your doubts to an end that faith strengthening truth is part of the study titled when believers doubt you know it really is encouraging to realize that even the strongest believers, even a spiritual giant like John the Baptist, who Jesus had nothing but positive things to say about and yet even someone like him can experience doubts about his faith in Christ, but still that's not where we want to live. And what's more, we don't have to live in doubt and confidence. John is exactly what you want our listeners to grab on to it is an eye.

I was just thinking about the fact that I lived long enough to have no doubts about my salvation is not just because I believe with the Bible says it's because sin this is an important thing to say it's because I have been through dire situations and my faith never wavered that that's what Peter is talking about when he says the testing of your faith produces assurance I've been I've been through the most dramatic and disastrous situations they're both in my own family and around me as a pastor and the faith that the Lord granted me saving faith not is not my faith.

He gives me the faith. For by grace are saved through faith that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God. The faith that God gave me has stood the most difficult challenging tests possible and I and I think rather than wanting to avoid those things.

One of the reasons you embrace trials is because in those trials when you come through your faith shines and you know you have a supernatural faith, and when you know your faith can stand any test, you know it's not human it's a faith that God has given you so I'm thankful that the longer your walking with the Lord.

The longer your living as a believer, the more of those kinds of experiences you have, the stronger your faith becomes well in a drawer or little study to a conclusion today. Believers do doubt but they don't have to let that doubt be anything more than a fleeting attack by the enemy aura passing thought. If you've ever been besieged by doubt.

I think the series would be meaningful to you.

What is you order a copy of when believers doubt right now from Grace to you or if you want just downloaded from the website. When believers doubt is a great resource for those times when you're wrestling with unbelief you're wondering if what Christ taught is really true. So to download the series for free or to order the two CD album. Contact us today. You can call our toll-free number at 855 grace or go to our website and there you can order the two CD album title again when believers doubt that our website you'll also be able to download any lesson from John's nearly 53 year pulpit ministry, including our current series when believers doubt again now this series when believers doubt is just one of a number of series from the Gospel of Luke, a book that John preached through four to dig into the book of Luke in greater detail. I encourage you to pick up John's four volume commentary on you will find rich teaching on Jesus birth, the sermon on the Mount parables, including the prodigal son and much much more. These commentaries are great for preparing Sunday school lessons are simply for your personal devotions door.

The commentaries on Luke another New Testament book or the whole 34 volume set. Call 855 grace or go to now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to join us tomorrow when John will look at how the Holy Spirit shows you that you are truly God's child. Don't miss the next half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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