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Encountering Christ (Part 2)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
December 18, 2019 1:00 am

Encountering Christ (Part 2)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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Probably there is no subject that is more confusing and people are confused about, then the question of who goes to heaven. It really is. There are so many conflicting views and opinions on the subject and everyone who holds a view forcefully and strongly hold onto that view Hollywood has its view and is forcefully communicated in every movie that you see and is simply this, everyone when they die they go to heaven everyone when they die they become an angel. And of course I have a megaphone. The movie industry and they push that view on people in general, the atheists and agnostics that have their strong views. They believe that heaven and hell are basically a myth, heaven and hell are a figment of one's imagination when you die, you die and that's it. They too emphasize their view very strongly, but the vast majority of people the average American. The average person in the street whenever they asked the question when you die when you go to heaven. The answer things like this in a variety of ways. Well I sure hope so. Or shortly my good deeds will outweigh all my bad deeds and that should get me to have.

I'm not perfect but I live the good life or sure I am what you would not call a religious person but I did by the golden rule. The court Bill Clinton or have a good heart. Whatever you as you whatever opinion you have. I want you to listen very carefully because in the final analysis, it doesn't matter what I think.

It doesn't matter what others think. It doesn't matter what Hollywood says it doesn't matter what you think. What matters is what God said and God said in John chapter 3 verse three that you will not go to heaven unless you become born-again. Now I will read the verse to you in case you think I'm making this stuff up. John 33 is what Jesus said, I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God that is another word for heaven where God is going to rule supreme where he is the King of Kings. Unless he is born again. The term born-again was popularized by Jimmy Carter when he was running for president. Prior to that time. It was a term that was only used among Christians in Christian circles and in churches that term born-again that media in general did not know what that word means until Jimmy Carter popularized it in the anti-Christian medial of course, seized on that term that Jimmy Carter was using talking about born-again and they turned it into something that is a term of a scorn is a term of Immokalee or a term of insult.

So much so that from that time on many Christians because they felt intimidated by this redefinition of the term by the anti-Christian media.

They become intimidated unembarrassed or don't want to be using the term born-again. If Jesus said only those who are born again shall see heaven shall enter into heaven shall get to heaven, then every human being who ever lived. Need to find out what the term means when you want to know if Jesus was God of very God, who coexisted with the father before all worlds came from heaven to earth and said no one is going to enter into heaven unless it born-again when you were just so at least you want to know what that means after comprehending and understanding what he saying and understanding what the term means it's up to you to accept it or reject it is your decision. So in John chapter 3, we meet a man by the name of Nicodemus on this and this is not an orderly man. This is a significant man. This is a powerful man, this is a very prominent man in society. This is a member of the supreme court equivalent of our that he is a learned man. He is a leading man. He is a religious man. He kept the ceremonial law of the Old Testament meticulously.

Not only that but he even The interpretations of the ceremonial law through the years. The rabbis have added all kinds of interpretations and mission on the tollbooth and the added those books and this man was faithful to even the interpretations of the rabbis of the ceremonial law. He was not a religious man about religious matters. If there's ever was one and when you know all of that. You have to wonder why did he come to Jesus at all well is a religious man I'm in this group of Pharisees. They show themselves to be cut above, morally above everybody else. They suck. Everybody else and yet he comes to Jesus why because all of the outward religiosity failed to give him real satisfaction in life. All of this outward religious observance failed to get him the answer to the most desperate question that his heart was seeking that his mind was seeking and so he watched Jesus and he saw someone who healed the sick, without a charge who raise the dead by the power of his word is someone who fed the hungry, and touched the leper someone who forgave the sins of others. Someone who spoke with authority. He didn't say a Rabbi so-and-so said. He said I say to you, he was not somebody who was in control of the weather and the wind in the storm's and he saw what he knew is not your run-of-the-mill rabbi at that point Nicodemus become convinced that Jesus is not just another teacher, but he still was trying to protect his reputation as morally superior and religious man.

He comes to Jesus. Under the cover of dark. He comes in the night.

He doesn't come in the daytime so everybody can see them is always a Jesus freak all my gun is going to be called one of those Jesus people to come to him at night still wanted to know longing to know his heart is asking the question, if I die when I go to heaven was going to happen to me all of my religion is not helping me all of the rituals is not helping all of the traditions of not helping me. I want to know also comes to him at night and he says to him, we know we know is that we are beloved, listen to me. Nicodemus was not alone among the members of the Sanhedrin that is the Supreme Court of Israel at the time he was not the only one who can see the power of Jesus the Messiah ship of Jesus.

He was afraid of the peer pressure they were afraid of the peer pressure. Let me tell you something. One of the great things that keep people from coming to Christ as the peer pressure you return alive is far more important than all of the peers in the world. Don't be intimidated by the don't be afraid of, and so comes to Jesus and Jesus said to him, I tell you the truth until you are born again, you cannot see heaven. You will not see heaven. You know what that felt like.

To a man like this. Put yourself in his place. When Jesus said that the him this was like a torpedo that was absolutely cutting through all of his efforts in all of his trying and all of his hard work and all of trying to please God, trying to get the God's way. Born-again I meant this was like a sharp knife slicing all of his preconceived notion of who God is and how to come to God born-again. This is like a sword that is piercing through the heart of his false belief. I tell you the truth that Jesus, another translation probably some of the Bible says truly, truly, I say to you, the old English translation says, verily, verily, I say to you all. That means one thing that Jesus is using an emphatic language to emphasize the importance of what he's saying. This is the whole truth and nothing but the truth please don't let them go in one ear, and come out the other. The word again to mean a second time or radical new thing that has to happen to you or from above or something has to happen from God. What is he saying he is saying that to go to heaven, God has to do something you means it is not what you do for God is what God does. You see is not what you do. It's what he does and you as he does and made what he did in the lives of so many people. When you understand it was not religious activities that are going to save that person not his efforts are going to make him acceptable to God. I tried my best to live the good life. There was another Pharisee like that man who hated Christians who persecuted Christians who dragged him into the streets.

He put them in prison and he was on a commission to even go to a foreign country and do the same thing for Christians by the name of Saul of Tarsus were no him as the apostle Paul and Renu started to explain what that being born again is all about is how he put because he's a man who understood that all of his religious activities only brought him dryness of life emptiness. It never could satisfy him. He could never give them assurance that when he dies is going to heaven and saw this other forester by the name of Paul. He said to be born again means is to be rescued from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of his son is what it means and only God can do that only God can do that and he would love to do that for you today. If you have never been transformed from the kingdom of darkness. The Lord Jesus Christ would love to do that today. And so the question is who's going to heaven. Those who have been radically transformed by Jesus, who are going to heaven. Those who lives have been invaded by the power of the Holy Spirit who comes in dwell in us. Those who do not live the same way they've always lived in the way they were born. Who's going to heaven.

All of those who have start moving in opposite direction from the way they have been going since you were born you might be sitting here today and you're wearing that masking are trying to let everything I'm saying go off on a deaf ear about you know deep down you have a void but only Jesus can fill that void only when you come to him confessing with the fill the void you feel restless in your life. If you're not sure you have deep hunger that religious activities and things you've tried to do the good things the charitable work is not feeling it, and that's why Jesus told Nicodemus that the answer to all of that is that you must be born again. In fact, this was one of John Wesley, John Wesley, the father of the Methodist Church. This was one of his favorite text that he preached, you must be born again everyone, he will. And one day a guy came up to me said Mr. Wesley. You always talk about. You must be born again is that the only thing you gotta say said yes because you must be born again. Nicodemus became puzzled of all, how can an old man really mean how can anybody even referred great armies doesn't matter to be older or younger than anyone got his mother's womb would be born again which gave Jesus an opening to explain to him the reality that he should've understood from his Old Testament book explained that to engage in the opening to explain why this is do or die being born again thing is the absolute necessity thing is the most important decision alive thing.

There is nothing you can do in life that can be more important than this.

And Jesus was saying in the sense trying harder is not the answer.

Trying to do your level best is not the answer. Trying to do better the next time is not the answer. The reason you fail and you fail again and again and again is because there is something wrong, not with what you do, but there's something wrong with who you are. There's something wrong with what you are and with all of us with all of us. Only Jesus can change your life. Only Jesus can fill your life. Only Jesus can assure you of eternal life. Only until you come to the realization until you come to that relies on till you come face-to-face with this truth until you realize that we are all born with a DNA of silliness. Everyone one of us. Every human being has ever lived. Until then, you going to keep on trying and failing and trying and failing and frustrated with life. In fact, all addiction treatment. They tell you that your admittance you admitting that you have a problem is the beginning of a solution that works the same way.

Spiritually it's a beginning the very beginning of recognizing that I am a center and I'm heading for help. That's the beginning that's the beginning of recognition at the beginning when everyone who wants to go to heaven to understand, but if you keep on trying to convince yourself that you got enough for God.

If you keep trying to convince yourself that you're good enough. If you try to convince yourself that you good enough to make it to heaven on your own steam. If you keep trying to convince yourself that the good you doing is going to outweigh the bad, and therefore God will not have a choice but to let you in trying to convince yourself that you're good enough for God. Trying to convince yourself that there is nothing wrong with you that a little bit of hard work and trying harder and doing more will not take care of it and get you to heaven until you come to the point of realizing this work only when you come face-to-face with this truth. What truth.

The truth of this radical DNA called sin is something we born with everyone of us. This radical DNA called sin is precisely what brought Jesus from heaven Doris this radical DNA called sin is what held Jesus on that clause until he died and satisfied the father's justice, and then he was married and on the third day he rose again victoriously until you come to that moment of realization until you stop fooling yourself. You will never begin the process of being born again. Verse five. Jesus repeats it again. I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God, though it can go to heaven unless he is born of the spinach and water. I can tell you I have been nearly 40 years in the ministry now, and I've seen it all and I can testify to you.

The one thing that keeps people from becoming born again. The one thing that keeps is their unwillingness to admit that they are sinners who Commissioner is their unwillingness to admit that they can never save themselves in a million years and only Jesus can forgive their sin leprae, what you mean somebody else's I got myself their unwillingness to admit that they are helpless to transform their own lives that the ancient Egyptians believed that basically life is like the scales the good things you do is going to be on one side and the bad things as long as a good things will tip the scales in your favor off to heaven. You go but Jesus said you must be born again. Only God can produce that spiritually rebirth when you he had produced it, and lives of thousands of people who produced it in my life.

I know he longs to produce it in you today. Only God can re-create you. He created Adam from dust in the new creation he can take you and re-create you as a new creature only he can do that as a matter of fact, Jesus used the play on words here to make a point. You see in the Hebrew language. The word droit means breath. It also means spirit. It also means wind one word and you have to understand it from the context of what it means. And so Jesus takes this use of the language that this great scholar understood and says that when all is what it wishes to the wind, sovereign, you see it on television every dollar got hit by hurricane the weather forecasters that helpless. They look at this hurricane showing the map and they said well you know if it blows out the sea will be all right if it blows in line with troubled nobody can tell when where to go.

Nobody can tell that hurricane were to go and Jesus is making the point here just as you cannot predict that wind the Holy Spirit can blown you he is sovereign. He is sovereign spirit of God, Nicodemus being a religious scholar.

Jesus said you should've understood this. You really should've understood this is a how come there are so many references to the coming of the Messiah in the Old Testament that this might have started a member in the book of Isaiah in the book of Ezekiel in the book of Jeremiah. It's repeated over and over again that when the Messiah come he is the one who is going to bring her a new heart when the Messiah come he is the one who's going to take the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. Here is the one who bring rebirth is the one is going to bring spiritual birth. He is the one who can bring a new heart. He is the one and it's right there, but Nicodemus missed because the spirit had not open his eyes, yet.

But then Jesus who was in on one specific reference in the Old Testament that Nicodemus should have understood instinctively and that's found in the book of numbers 21 now there should've understood it. I have to explain it to the 21st century.

Many of you know or remember that when the people of Israel. When the people of God come out of the slavery of Egypt and before they got into the promised land. They stuck in the wilderness for 40 years and you know why because you harden your heart toward God and my goodness even in the wilderness. They moaned they complained, they murmured against God that foster nephew. The new angry at God or angry at Moses) everybody finally got had enough. How many believe that one day God is going as I have had enough and the judgment is going to come in the book, and so he sent them a fiery serpents though biting them, and from that bite of that fiery serpent dying now for those bites.

There were no vaccine, no antidotes, no medication, only God could deliver them from the deadly bike just like only God can deliver us from sin is like. Only God can take us to heaven. Only God can deliver us from the DNA of sin would which we are born remember the day and I told you about. Only God can do that. So God said to Moses that Moses is what you need to do. His head gets a bronze serpent explained that there is a very important is to get a bronze serpent and hold it real high so that everyone in obedience looks at the bronze serpent be healed and live and not die. Well Moses did exactly what God told him was a power in the bronze serpent now know where the power was the power was taking place in the life of the person who in obedience looked up to that bronze serpent is the power of the authority of the very God, whom they insulted, whom they denigrated, whom they complained against whom they denounced him denied. It is a very authority and power of that same God. It is the power that very God could heal them from what caused him deaf. I know I know I know I know an absolute probably heard the story for the first, saying to yourself, but isn't that sound foolish. What is this thing a bronze serpent.

The person looks at it, can live instead of the dislike today. A lot of people think it's foolishness to say that somebody goggled across 2000 years ago can be the only one who can assure you of heaven is the only one who can take you to heaven.

A lot of people call that foolishness. I understand. Back then they thought it was foolishness to today. The think the cross is foolishness. If you have not read my book on the cross is gone.

You see, the people who are removing the process from public life.

They know the part of the cross. More than some Christians did as they were taken at a public race up out of the cross that saves support of the crossing take you to heaven if the power of the cross or can bring your eternal healing.

Why is this serpent lifted up.

Why is a separate not something else. Listen carefully you see in the Bible. Serpent has always been associated with sin.

Remember when Satan came in tempted Adam and even as it did God really say that brought death of the mind and the famine disobedience. The devil used the serpent spoke to a serpent and when Jesus was lifted up on the cross. He carried all of the sin of everyone who would come and believe in him, he became sin for us, on the one who can be sin for us is a sinless person and because he is sinless and perfect and holy in every way.

When you look would look at the cross would receive eternal healing him a ride please. No doubt, by then, though some people did not look at the bronze serpent. What is this foolish thing you look up there to get here, going to do that and they died. Some ridiculed the probably and they died, but everyone who looked in obedience was healed in the same way Jesus said to this man Nicodemus.

He said when you're not the son of God, who lifted up on the cross. When you look up to him as your substitute when you look to him in repentance to him. When you look to him in belief in him. When you look at him for forgiveness of all your sins when you're looking for salvation. When you look up to him in obedience. You will be assured of heaven, who's going to heaven.

According to Jesus. Everyone who comes to him and sees that on the cross that his blood was shed was shed for you. Those are the only ones are going to make it to heaven has nothing to do with how good your you know some years ago I was talking to a lady who was having a hard time shall believe in God. I believe in Jesus deep down I just not sure about heaven. I was young and and as always whenever I'm challenged with a question like this. I call upon the Lord very quickly. Help me in the Lord gave me an insight so I asked her. I said, you name is Mrs. Franklin is out right. She said yes I said when did you name change to Mrs. Franklin. She said the day I said I do my wedding valves. Then I ask you when you took your wedding valves did you say I hope to take you Mr. Franklin to be my husband or I would like to take you Mr. Franklin to be my husband.

She said of course not. I said that's how it works in eternity and eternal life.

When you look at that cross and say to Jesus I take you Jesus to be my only save my soul and the Lord of my life. From that moment everything absolutely changes not just in this life, but you can be assured of heaven.

If you've never done that when you pray with me, please, Lord Jesus, you can from heaven to die for me. You made it possible for me to be assured of heaven right here and now I come to you.

I thank you that you said that no one comes to me and I'll turn them I come to underpin not receive you as my sent for it is in your name I pray. Jesus. Amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that's LTW.org


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