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April 19, 2022 1:00 am
We are frequently presented with competing perspectives about Jesus. Some think of Him as a teacher or a revolutionary, avoiding Him as they go on with their lives. In this message, we glimpse the true characteristics of this Jesus from the apostle John’s vision in Revelation. Are you prepared to meet the real Jesus, the Keeper of the keys?Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
I moved and was dead, behold I am alive forevermore, I have the keys of death and Hades. Jesus spoke these words to the apostle John about what was yet to come. Man's greatest need is the future after death and only Jesus can provide future from the Moody Church in Chicago this is running to win with Dr. when Sir was clear thinking helps us make it across the finish line. Master help us celebrate the empty tomb briefly occupied by the keeper of the king in a day.
Whenever I think of that imagery, the keeper of the keys. I think of the castle and the castle has two doors, but it is guarded by Jesus Christ. He has the keys of death and of Hades. He of course also has the keys to heaven, and if I might say it. The key to hell every single individual. In the end is going to be confronted by Jesus Christ and you know even as we been contemplating Easter were reminded of the fact that Jesus Christ proved that he had the credentials to be the keeper of the keys through his own death and resurrection, and we never stop celebrating the fact that because he lives, we shall live also.
I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of running to win. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Now you know that we are gospel driven here at running to win so your contribution is an investment in getting the gospel to as many people as possible for information. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW offer.com when you're there, click on the endurance partner button or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 and pray for us as were deeply committed to Jesus, the keeper of the keys last you know Jesus is in the news these days and there are many different conceptions of, for example, there is the Jesus of the da Vinci code that the mortal prospect who was declared to be a God by Constantine for political purposes.
There is Jesus of the Jesus dynasty a competing Jesus. The book says that there were several messiahs there is John the Baptist there is Jesus a minimum half brother of Jesus.
So you have the Jesus who competes to be king then also you have the Jesus of the humanists and the naturalists. The Jesus who is the teacher but he is not a Jesus who is a Savior. He's a Jesus who speaks but not a Jesus who can do miracles. That's also a different Jesus all these different Jesus is have some of the same characteristics. For example, one of the characteristics that they have is they always say in this context are a Jesus of manageable proportion.
These secular visions of Jesus presented Jesus, whom you can manage. I Jesus was something like a book on a shelf you can take it off. You can read it. It may be interesting, but when you're done you can put it back on the shelf until you have an interest in picking it up again at Jesus whose dispensable during the week I Jesus will never challenge the sin that is in your life he'll simply be a very safe Jesus second characteristic is these Jesus is are the kind of Jesus whom you need not trust you cannot trust trust for what competing Jesus, who was one among many immortal prophets. A good teacher. Trust him for what and then finally this kind of Jesus as one who may solicit our interest, but he will never solicit or demand our worship. These Jesus says are bogus. Jesus, John the apostle, and by the way, it was he who was painted by Leonardo da Vinci next to Jesus and his famous painting on the Last Supper wasn't Mary Magdalene was John the apostle, he knew Jesus well. In fact they were intimate friends is spoken of in the Bible is the disciple whom Jesus loved, and so he knew Jesus but after Jesus died and rose again and ascended to heaven. John had a vision of his friend a vision that he would never forget.
It's given to us in the book of Revelation chapter 1, and you can see that this Jesus is a very different Jesus.
I'm going to plunge into the text in the middle of the description of this Jesus. Revelation chapter 1 verse 14 the hairs of his head were white like wool, as white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace at his voice was like the voice of the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword in his face was like the sun shining in full strength. Is it any surprise that says when I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dad that's the Jesus of the New Testament, but he laid his right hand on me, saying, fear not, I am the first and the last in the living one. I died in, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. What are the characteristics of this Jesus first of all, you'll notice that he has eternal existence. The text says I am the first and the last in verse eight of this chapter, we read that he is Alpha and the Omega, the first letter of the Greek alphabet and the last letter he was here before anything was created because the Bible presents them as the create tour.
We can't get our minds around it, but he existed from all of eternity. He himself was not created. He always was. He's eternal from the standpoint of the past and he's eternal to the standpoint of the future. The elf and the mega VA to the Z.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica used to come in 26 volumes. Articles of history and science and geology. But all those articles.
All of those words of the knoll composed of 26 letters.
Jesus is the way he's disease everything in between. And the Bible says that in him reside all the treasure of wisdom and knowledge. He is the eternal Jesus so he has eternal existence. But notice that the text also tells us that he has earthly existence. He says to John, I am the living one and I die. And behold him alive forevermore, I died. How can the eternal one die let's the good news of Christmas, Jesus, the eternal one takes on a human body actually becomes.
The word becomes flesh. Because you see he comes on a rescue mission. God had to become a man in order to die for us. You can't nail a spirit to across so in order for there to be a sacrifice for sins because the Bible says the soul that sins, it will die and you and I will die.
But in order that we might not have to die eternally. Jesus took our place and he died on the cross, but because he is the eternal one when he was taken down from the cross and he was put into that tomb. He did not stay there. I am he that was dad and am alive forevermore.
That's resurrection that's the power of death broken. That's the power of Satan quenched. That's the death in which he died for sinners, so that if you and I trust him. We can receive his forgiveness and his grace and we can come to that water that we've heard so beautifully sung to us.
That's the good news today. You have a lot of emphasis on death you have near-death experiences. Some people have good experiences they supposedly say that it doesn't matter what you believe. There are other people who have her Brenda's experiences. I am here today to tell you that I don't trust people who had been near death to tell me what lies on the other side. I want to trust someone who actually was dad. Somebody was so dead that his body was put into the tomb and it began to disintegrate.
That's the one whom I want to trust because he can tell me what lies on the other side. He can tell me how to prepare for that final moment, and by the way, when the people came to the tomb.
The reason that the stone was rolled away is not to let Jesus out because the molecular structure of his body was such that he could go through doors that he could go through stones and tombs.
He was raised with an entirely different body. The reason that the stone was rolled away to was not the lead Jesus out. It was only to let the disciples in and to show them that Jesus had risen from the grave. What we know about this Jesus.
He is the eternal one. He has eternal existence.
He also has earthly existence or had earthly existence, but he also has authoritative existence.
Notice what he says to John, I have the keys of death and of Hades. I have the keys I have in my pocket here somewhere. Keys we all have keychains. I have the key to Moody Church. Now you know there different kinds of keys here at the church. You can have one key that will just let you in. That's about as far as you can go there other keys that will let you in and let you into the office area while 26 years ago, the trustees entrusted to me a key that will not only let you in.
Not only into the office area but get into my study and supposedly in every closet in this church. It's called the master it's called a G key want you to know today that Jesus has a G key, it's the God key to the God King and there is no place in the universe from which he is barred. There is no closed country, strictly speaking, there is even no closed heart.
Jesus is able to walk in and he has the keys of death he died, he looked around, then he went to his father and he says I've conquered. Dad and I know what it's all about.
I wanted when I died. Trust somebody who knows what it's all about.
Then there on that Jesus as I have the keys of death.
He also says I have the keys of Hades what's Hades. Hades is a translation of the Hebrew word she'll of the Old Testament. Sheol had two compartments is Jesus showed it when he told a story. Jesus said that there was a rich man and Jesus told it to show how the fortunes of people can be reversed in the afterlife. He said there was a rich man who died and was buried, and in the Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment and then there was another man who died a beggar whose name was Lazarus and he goes to the other side of this compartment and they actually can speak together of all things and Lazarus is in bliss later on this part of Paradise, I should say this part of Hades becomes known as paradise. Jesus as I have the key to this size with unending regret, self-loathing and sorrow, and decide with unending peace and joy. I have the keys of death and I have the keys of Hades.
While no wonder Jesus said no modern medicine says to us today that if we do the right things will live longer.
Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life. He who comes to me, though he is dead, yet shall he live.
And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die.
You know anybody else making promises like that and having the ability to back it up there anybody else out there there's nobody else out like Jesus.
He has the keys of death and of Hades very important to realize today that every human being every human being at death will meet the keeper of the key's remember that what you to visualize a large castle.
People who die go into the castle in the castle. There's a man standing in their two doors there's the door to paradise.
There's the door to sorrow and self-loathing and regret. And Jesus stands there and says you go here. In fact, the Bible is very clear. He's going to say to some people. He says, depart from me, you workers of iniquity. So they go through that door and then to the thief on the cross. He said those blessed words today you shall be with me in paradise. And Jesus was able to say that to the thief and he'll say to the thief because you believed on the unrecognized your sinfulness and your need, you can go with me into this store. But Jesus is the keeper of the key no atheist will ever be able to buy him undetected know most of them will ever get by him undetected. No Buddhists, no Hindu will ever get by him undetected. No Protestants, no Catholic, not a one of us will ever get by him undetected because he is the keeper of the keys of death and of Hades that you can ignore him here, but you can't ignore him when you die, you can't ignore him. He is Savior today. He is judged tomorrow and the day will come when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the father, you can ignore him here. You will not be able to, nor him there. You'll meet the keeper of the keys I need to tell you that this is the life in which we prepared for that final moment. This is the life, not after death there is no hope for people after death to change their destination. When you die, your destiny. Eternal destiny is fixed, you say well how do we had we prepare for what we do is we recognize that it is not enough to believe that he live to believe that he died or even to believe that he rose again to believe that he is the Messiah is not enough good step, but it's not that the Bible talks about belief in belief in a personal trust in Jesus, a transfer of trust.
Whenever I explain this to people they always say they they react variously. Some people say oh it's so simple what you're saying. The answer is yes. It's simple and it's easy but it is terribly difficult because what that means is that we acknowledge our sinfulness, we acknowledge that we cannot save ourselves. We acknowledge that our self perception is totally wrong. If we think we're okay with God. Apart from Jesus and that's tough that runs against all of our pride and runs against everything that you and I want to build up in terms of our self image. Because we come, just as we heard moments ago that Jesus paid it all and we come with nothing to nothing to add to what he's done in humility we come to receive what he has done and when we receive him will be welcomed into paradise as if we were Jesus because will be saved on the basis of his merit. Bishop Muncy tells a parable just an allegory about a man was walking along and suddenly he comes to a cliff and happens at an as he's going down he's able to hold onto the tree stump that is jutting out of the rock, and there he hang well in the story an angel comes and says to him assert you believe that I'm able to save you the man sees the strong arm of the angel and he says yes I believe that you're able to save me. The angel says do you believe that I will say a man says yeah. I believe that you will save me as he sees the smile on the angel's face. Then the angel says will if you believe that I can and if I will then just let go. Some of you today have to let go of the notion that your baptism has saved you. You have to let go of the notion that your good works are going to save you.
You have to let go of the notion that you're a pretty good person and you can stand on your own record. You have to let go of all of those things and trust the one who says as many as received him.
The Bible says to those he gives the authority to be called the sons of God, even to those who believe and when you die he'll be there to open the gates of paradise is the keeper of the keys bow together in prayer. Father, we thank you that the Jesus of the New Testament is actually a Savior, not just a prophet, not just a king competing with others, not just a teacher. He actually saves. He's the one whom we worship. He's the one whom we love. He's the one who came to rescue us from ourselves and our sins and I'm talking to all those who are listening if you're here and you've never made that transfer of trust you've never let go. You've never received Christ said I need the water of life. You could even do that where you are sitting may be in the farthest part of the balcony may be right up close on the lower floor. God sees your heart when you pray to him right now and say Jesus. I receive you as my Savior as my sin bearer father.
We just want to say that we not only worship Jesus, but we love him. He means everything to us. Thank you that he's redeemed us.
Thank you for those who right now in their hearts may be believing in him.
What a Savior.
What a sink, a man, my friend even as you listen today if you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior come to saving faith you transferred your trust to him alone for your salvation for your righteousness that you and I in ourselves have none of he's the only one, and I trust that when you die, the keeper of the keys will indeed open the gates of paradise and you'll be with him forever. That's our hope. That's our faith I'm holding in my hands a letter from someone who listens to the ministry of running to win and they say that the sermons of running to win brought them back into a relationship with Jesus Christ but then listen to these words.
I listened to and studied every sermon and the Holy Spirit worked in my life to bring me to salvation less why we exist is to encourage believers to give instruction but at the end of the day running to win exist to lead people to Jesus Christ. When you consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button. Now, of course, the amount that you give is entirely your decision. I hope you take time to find this info go to RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button or pick up the phone and call right now 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to ask, running to win 1635 LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Roy 60614 running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. Next time I'm running to win. We resume a series on what happens when Jesus has your heart. Journey through the upper room discourse. In John chapter 15 will hear a loving heart.
So plan to join us. Thanks for listening for Pastor Erwin look certain this is Dave McAllister running to win this monster teacher