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December 28, 2021 6:45 pm
It is important to understand who our Helper really is. The 16th chapter of John gives us insights into the Holy Spirit. Part 1.
When Jesus calls us to follow him. He does not fudge on what it's going to be like to follow him going to be times we feel like we want to fall away from the faith, but it's in those times that the promises of Jesus come to me and help pushing through our soccer moments of help with David's blank. Some of the most interesting concepts in the Bible in the 16th chapter of the Gospel of John, verses one, 315, it's in these verses that Jesus gives us deep insights into the nature and work of the Holy Spirit. David calls this message. Our helper on the 16th, one John patient faithfulness and taking us through the word of God previous verses.
They set up today's verses very nicely. Let me begin with 16 verse one Jesus said, I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. Now why is that important because when Jesus calls us to follow him.
He does not fudge on what it's going to be like to follow him there going to be tough times were going to have to push through problems.
They're going to be times we feel like we want to fall away from the faith. I been walking with Jesus. Now for decades. There are times honestly dear friends that I feel like I just want to give up and not keep moving forward. But it's in those times that the promises of Jesus come to me and help me keep pushing through and moving forward here with his disciples. Jesus tells them they're going to be times you're going to feel like you're falling away the times are going to be difficult and you're going to have to push through them. But in these verses were about to see Jesus going to give us promises that will allow us to keep pushing through. But before we get to those promises. Jesus gives us some indications of some of the things that are going to be difficult to overcome. He said in verse two they that's the religious leaders. Those in authority will put you out of the synagogues. Now in that day there could not have been anything more evil, for any person to fear than to be put out of the synagogue. It was basically isolation ostracism they were being removed from the community of faith they could not have friends or fellowship in our prison system today.
You know that isolation and solitary confinement. That's the worst punishment you can give to a person and Jesus said when you choose to follow me you're going to be extricated from the synagogue.
People are going to kick you out of the religious organization of that day. In fact, there are places even today when a Christian says to their parents. I have become a Christian and the parents are Jewish.
The parents will actually hold a funeral for their child. They will like them out of the will and they consider them dead from there on it. If they see the child on the street is become a Christian and they are Orthodox very committed Jews. They will literally not speak to them and in their minds they consider them as dead and that's what Jesus is talking about here. That's what happened in his day, when the disciples began to follow him.
They were ostracized and kicked out of the synagogues you need to know that when you choose to follow Jesus. You may have relational pain you may have people who reject you because of your firm belief in Jesus in Matthew the 10th chapter verse 34 Jesus said that when you accept him.
He's going to divide families of mothers from fathers and mothers from daughters and sons and fathers from daughters and sons and aunts and uncles want to like each other will be family divisions that occur regularly because people choose to follow Jesus is just going to be a natural part of following him, and personally I appreciate the warning because Jesus tells us upfront. If you choose to follow him. It's not all going to be Rosie's cream wonderful, delicious food, it's just not going to happen, there's going to be a cost in following him and Jesus lays out the cost to his disciples from the very beginning and then he goes on to say. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God and that happened to the disciples as well hang on, I'll go through how each one of these 11 and a couple others actually died and when they were killed. The people who were killing them thought they were offering service to God. It's much like what's happening today in predominantly Hindu and Muslim environments.
When somebody moves away from Hinduism into the Christian faith or away from Muslim into the Christian faith they will actually not only have a burial for that person.
They will kill that person. In some environments today, you will actually have people lose their lives were choosing to follow Jesus and leaving Hinduism or Islam, especially it happened in Jesus day as well and they think they're doing it in the name of God. Muslims think they're doing this kind of killing in the name of God, as do Hindus in the name of their multiple gods. It is interesting that religious spirit that resists the whole power of the Holy Spirit being manifested to us in Jesus through grace wants to remain under law and say our religion is correct and you can't believe anything else and to do so means not only are ostracism from the religious organization, but in some places, they will actually kill you in the service to God. Verse three and they will do these things because they have not known the father, nor me. You see, dear friends, when you know the father and how he has revealed himself to us through Jesus. You know the extraordinary boundless grace of Jesus. And when he consumes your heart, with his love and unconditional love this patient and kind and not jealous or selfish or rude. That bears all things, endures all things, believes all things, when you have that kind of love. Indwelling your heart.
You can't cast somebody out of your religious organization because they don't believe like you do, you would still love them and care for them and be in relationship with them. No matter what would you especially kill them for going to another faith you see the unique part of the Christian faith's conversion is not like the Islam, Judaism, and Hindu faith prayer. You are a part of a cultural faith.
And if you leave it you are considered dead to follow Jesus as a choice. It's not a culture and when you choose to follow Jesus you are imbued and imbibed with his love and that love will never allow you to reject people will never allow you to hate and kill people. That's what Jesus is trying to say here in this verse, verse four, but I have said these things to you that when there hour comes. You may remember that I told them to you so so here's what he saying is, here's what I want you to do. Remember when these times come this morning that I've given to you.
It shouldn't be a surprise to you and Jesus again, and love is telling of these things are going to happen and when they happen, don't be surprised. Jesus gave us the warning. Our master the one we follow told us to expect these things to happen and then we move on to the next section. I did not say these things to you from the beginning because I was with you.
What's he saying there. I did not say these things to you from when I first called you I was with you then and I was able to protect you. I was able to speak with you and give you insights regarding your questions what it meant to follow me, but I didn't tell you all of these things about being kicked out of the synagogue and about people hating you to the point of wanting to kill you. I didn't tell you those things because honestly if I had told you those things from the beginning. You probably wouldn't of one of the following, you know. I remember in July 1976 when the Holy Spirit touched my heart and I heard Jesus's voice calling me to follow him. I fell to my knees, cried, yielded my heart to him and said, Lord, I'll go wherever you want me to go. He promised me that I would speak the gospel all over this world, which I've had the privilege of doing, but I can tell you folks there been some tough times. There been some difficult days when I have experienced rejection and hatred.
Some kinds of abuse, and honestly, if Jesus in July 1976. It said to me, I'm calling you to proclaim my gospel throughout the world. I'm going yeah and are going to face rejection and abuse and hurt and pain I would've said in the early stage of that call.
Maybe I should reconsider whether to follow.
You are not and this would Jesus sing in this verse. If I had told you all that you're going to face when I first called you, you would not have wanted to follow me, but I was gracious to you by simply being with you walking with you and prepare you for this moment when I'm about to leave you.
Let me give you what happened to all of the disciples ultimately where what happened to them was exactly what Jesus said was going to happen to them at Stephen, who was not among these 11. At this point, the laws, the first Christian martyr in the church in acts. The seventh chapter was stoned to death Matthew, the writer of the first gospel was asked to death, but James was Jesus half-brother and he was thrown from a tower and killed a Jew to Jesus other half-brother, was crucified himself. A Bartholomew was crucified as well. We have Thomas who went to India and proclaim the gospel there ultimately had a sword thrust through his side and he was thrown off a tall building where his body rested among the dogs after he had been killed. Luke was hanged as a follower of Jesus, Simon and Andrew were both martyred in following Jesus of Peter as John referred to last week was hung upside down crucified saying I cannot die as my Lord died. I'm not worthy to die in the same manner and interestingly, John.
The writer of this gospel of John. He lived almost 200 years of age, but he was isolated on the island of Patmos. There he was tortured and beaten regularly.
I Marilyn I've actually been on the island of Patmos and seen the small place where John was imprisoned for many many years. There's just a tiny window that looks over the Aegean Sea that gave him any kind of light whatsoever.
It was in that cave that he got the vision, the book of Revelation that he wrote down. Nevertheless, after that particular long-term imprisonment. I he was then boiled in oil and it was supposed to kill him, but it didn't.
His skin shriveled.
You can imagine for the rest of his life he had to look at nor old shriveled skin but yet he continued to preach the gospel, went back to Ephesus, where he finally died but had a long life of pain, torture and persecution. He outlived all the other disciples. In fact, in a way you can say he oversaw all of their funerals.
The point being, every one of these 11+ other major biblical disciples all went through exactly what Jesus said they go through and and here he saying you known this from the very beginning. You wouldn't follow me, but I was with you to help walk you up to this point so that you can be ready to receive whatever may come your way, then verse five, but now I'm going to him who sent me that that's a Christmas verse okay as were moving toward Christmas. Notice the recent verses in John that are decidedly Christian versus and here's one of them. Now I'm going to him who sent me.
Well in our sinfulness, heading toward hell at some point in human fist history.
The father said to the sun. Remember one God in three persons, the triune God the father said to the sun would you go and the son said yes.
Submitting himself to the will of the father who sent him into a stable in Bethlehem enshrouded in human flesh, to live the perfect life.
We cannot live then go to the cross, and take the wrath of the father. That's deserving upon us upon Jesus his son because of love because he loved us that much and did not want us to spend eternity separated from him in hell. The father sent the son into the world that that's why he did so, but now Jesus is saying I'm getting ready to return to him that dear friends.
There are several key acts to the life of Jesus, you got to understand the first one is the incarnation, the father sending the son into the world. The second one is the cross. The payment for our sins.
The third one is the resurrection. The proof that a Jesus is God and also that the satisfaction for our sins being on the sun were accepted by the father the son being raised to that new life and then forth the ascension into heaven, and the fifth major active Jesus is yet to come. It's the second coming of Jesus.
This is what we call in the church right now.
The first Advent we celebrated Christmas time beginning the first sending of Jesus into the world will be a second sending in the second advent.
When Jesus is sent back into the world to come and rescue us out of this world. To restore this world to its original intent.
Its Edenic Eden's paradise and that will happen one day in the future and were getting closer every single day folks and the question is are you ready are you awake, O sleeper to use Paul's language are you trusting in Jesus and every minute ready to see him. Maybe even take you home right now. That's what the Lord wants us to believe the father who sent me, and none of you asked me where are you going none of them at this time were even contemplating that idea of where are you going had Artie told him that he was going to go there, probably still stunned the thinking about all of these things about persecution, rejection of relentless anger against them, but because I have said these things to you for six sorrow has filled your heart that word sorrow in the Greek means deep depression there. All's Don they're going through an emotional down there feeling as if they might fall away. Jesus is recognizing that, especially as he says to them I'm leaving you so not only is he just told him you're going to go through difficult problems and persecution, he says, and I'm now leaving you these three and half years I've been with you to help teach you through these problems you see my miracles you trust me I been with you, but now I'm getting ready to leave you and deep sorrow, deep depression now has filled your hearts look at verse seven Jesus begins now to give the promises he's noted the problem in verses one through six, the disappointments, difficulties, all of us will have in following Jesus.
He says nevertheless. Okay.
That's key. I'm going to give you something that will allow you to prosper and pursue me, even amidst these problems.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth.
Aren't you glad Jesus tells us the truth. There is absolute truth and Jesus tells us the truth. He will not lie to us. John 844, the evil one is the father of lies. He's been a liar from the beginning but Jesus only knows how to tell the truth. He says it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the helper will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you now.
Jesus said it's to your advantage that I leave because when I go to heaven and I appear before the father after having paid the sacrifice for your sins after I'd been raised from the dead after I've ascended to heaven when I present my life to the father and I give to him the full sacrifice and atonement for your sins. At that moment. I'm going to send the Holy Spirit to you. The helper that word helper means advocate parquet toast in the Greek the one who long walks alongside us. Not only that, but Jesus said he will live in us the very power that raised Jesus from the dead from the Holy Spirit will now live in us and he said it's to your advantage that I go before the father present this atonement to him and in the Holy Spirit is poured out to you know will quickly imagine the high priest in Israel when he had oil poured over his head as his ordination into the high priesthood. It would come from his head down to his body and to his feet and then flow down toward the people no oil in the Bible is always symbolic of lease.
It is a Holy Spirit anointing of the high priest will Jesus is the high priest of God, who intercedes on our behalf for the forgiveness of our sins.
The grand meat he a tour of our sinfulness and when Jesus approved sacrifice from the father, was given to him.
It flowed down from his head to his feet and the oil the Holy Spirit himself and came upon the church at Pentecost, and there was a new power that came upon all Jesus followers.
It was to their advantage that that happened, why because when Jesus was on the earth before his death, resurrection and ascension to heaven.
He was localized. He could only be in one place at one time but when the Holy Spirit came upon those 3000 and Pentecost. Now those 3000 could go into all of the world is Jesus said they needed to ask one egg will be my witnesses first in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria than the uttermost ends of the earth. Now disciples filled with the same Holy Spirit to infill Jesus at his baptism.
Remember he went under the water.
A dove came upon him.
The Holy Spirit empowered him to do ministry that same Holy Spirit empowers us to do ministry is now released all over the world listening to moments of hope with.
Thanks for listening joins me in the studio with a conversation about ways we can move on from our troubled daily. I am Tony Marciano residence in Europe. Charlotte rescue mission would ask you a question will you do when you stand at the intersection of homelessness and addiction in the person's shoes for just the second what is it that you really need.
You probably been one of the individuals who stood at the end of the interstate ramp Holderness sign just said hungry will work for food, whichever use the money for food and booze and drugs with it most likely you hate your life you addiction has stolen every aspect of hope going to be part of the fabric of society, but every morning, your addiction screams and you surrender to it. There is one thing you do need and that is transformation the place to go to Charlotte rescue mission Charlotte rescue mission works from the inside out to address the root cause of someone at the crossroads of addiction and homelessness. The rescue Mission provides free Christian residential high-quality substance abuse recovery programs to members of our community who otherwise would not be able to afford such services with a passion for holistic transformation and a love for Christ missions 120 program has transformed the lives of thousands of men and women in our community. Charlotte rescue mission is grateful for the financial partnership or moments. Thanks for listening to moments of hope and James Easton and with me as our pastor deeded to Tina thank you so much for being with us today. Hello Jen, it's nice to be with you as well where using this time together this week to talk about how to reflect well. Let's also look ahead with hope that when encouragement behalf rest today. Well, one thing that came to my mind as we were thinking about this week being the time between Christmas and the new year, beginning people looking back over 20, 21 may be reflecting on some good things that happened they be some mistakes that they made, but also wanting people to focus on what's ahead of them because that is their future and we will people have a future and a hope. So here's one thing that just keeps coming to my mind. Your past is past your past is past that there is nothing you can do to reclaim yesterday or a week ago or six months ago or a year ago your past has passed, so you tried to learn from it, but you also look forward to your future. My college basketball coach Dean Smith, who's in the basketball Hall of Fame and could generally considered one of the greatest coaches ever in any sport had a phrase that I'll never forget every day before practice began.
He would post a thought of the day and you had to memorize that thought of the day before practice began. And if he called upon you to give the thought of the day and you didn't get it right.
The whole team had to run sprints allow what he was trying to do is to realize that sports especially basketball is a vehicle it is a means to an end and he was trying to use basketball as a way of teaching this life, so I've never forgotten this one that he posted because he asked me to quote it and I had remembered it that day.
He said when you fail not. If you fail, but when you fail admitted quit.
It and forget it. So when you fail as you look back at your past and you realized makes mistakes doggone it.
I wish that had happened while admitted I own it because it happened to me those in Alcoholics Anonymous have this phrase admitting the feelings the beginning of healing it's just a great way to look at life admitted own up to it. It happened it's real. Don't stuff it. Don't hide it. It's real. But secondly, after you admitted quit. That's that word repent that you and I talked about even yesterday. The word repent means, stop it, and it is a word that's gone missing in action in the Christian vocabulary. John the Baptist came on the scene, crying out, repent of your sins. Interestingly, a lot of people don't realize that Jesus himself use that same word to begin his public proclamation of the gospel repent, you got to repent of your sins so you admit it but you quit it you don't do it anymore.
You realize it's destructive behavior. You just choose to live life differently because you know where you fail, but thirdly, forget it, forget it. Your past is past.
Move on from it.
Look to your future and then have a future filled with hope. This is so good and it really reminds me of perfect love casts out fear fencing if you get stuck in that I can't quit saying because if same and you want to hide it. Just remember the perfect love of God and love covers a multitude of sins that there's a word of hope for people to get out of that cycle. Well, love is the most powerful word in our vocabulary as believers in Jesus and just think that all of your sins.
All of your past all of that pain was absorbed on the cross of Calvary, I mean literally take that and nail it to the cross because you know that when you do it it's been forgiven.
You can own it and then move on in life because God's forgotten it and he distinctly remembers not remembering it. I like that now treats.
Thank you, Jen and everyone have a happy new year and look forward to 20, 22, with hope moments of hope with the senior pastor has moments of hope charts. We'd love to have you join us for worship this Sunday morning cleaning problem stay school located at 5800 Sardis Rd. in South Charlotte at 10 AM.
You can find more information on our website. Hope Church.org again. Come join us Sunday morning at 10 AM Providence day school located at 5800 Sardis Rd. in South Charlotte just as moments of hope Church.org dated the entire moments of her church, James Easton Payne for not working this coming year