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Jesus the Alpha and Omega

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
November 23, 2021 7:00 am

Jesus the Alpha and Omega

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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November 23, 2021 7:00 am

The Bible says that, being eternal, Jesus Christ has no beginning and no end. But it also says that Jesus is the beginning and the end. In this lesson, we'll find out what that means as Dr. Tony Evans explains why everything we need to know about God is found in Jesus Christ.

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Jesus is not just the final word on church stuff. He's the final word on A to Z stuff. Dr. Tony Evans says everything we need to know about God can be found in Jesus. He is the final word on all subject matter.

Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. The Bible says Jesus Christ, being eternal, has no beginning and no end. But it also says Jesus is the beginning and the end. We'll find out what that means as we join Dr. Evans for today's lesson. When you went to preschool or elementary school, the first thing that the teachers wanted to instruct you on was the alphabet. They wanted you to learn A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z.

They wanted you to know A to Z because they knew that the rest of your life would be banking on it. What the ABCs are to us in the English language, Alpha and Omega is in the Greek language. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet.

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. Well, Jesus Christ lived in a Greek-speaking world, and so they would not be talking about A to Z. They would be talking about Alpha to Omega because that would be the lettering of the world in which they lived, spoke, wrote, and read.

If A to Z is the completeness of communication, understanding, and knowledge for all of your life, from the time you get up in the morning till the time you go to bed at night, you are banking on the fact that those letters are not changing on you. When Jesus says, I am the Alpha and Omega, he is declaring that he himself is the complete knowledge base for all of life. And Jesus says, I'm not just talking about an alphabet, I'm talking about me. Because he says, if you want to know one of my names, I am Alpha and Omega.

And so, the name Alpha and Omega is a name that identifies the comprehensive knowledge base, the comprehensive wisdom base, the comprehensive revelation base of Almighty God, resident in the person of Jesus Christ. First Corinthians chapter 15, verses 27 and 28 says, all of life, all of life revolves around Jesus Christ. Every part of your life is to be connected, plugged into, sink into, not God the Father, Jesus Christ. Because he is the revelation of God from heaven to earth.

His job is to bring it from there down here so we get it. And that is why what Jesus says about a subject, and he is the basis of the full revelation of God, is the final word on the subject. Hebrews chapter 12, verses 1 to 3. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and it sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him who has endured such hostility by sinners against himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose hearts.

I know that this day I am talking to some people here who are tired. It calls it being weary and losing hearts. And so if you're tired, this passage is for you, because he wants you to keep going. He says, don't quit. It's rough right now, he says, I understand that, but there is a race that I want you to finish, referring to the Christian race of living your life for the glory of God and the good of others.

There is a race I want you to finish, because there is somebody who starts stuff and finishes stuff. That's Alpha and Omega. It says the author that is the originator and the finisher that is the completer of your faith. So we must make an assumption as I make these critical points. The assumption is that you are a Christian. If you have trusted Jesus Christ as your personal savior for your eternal life and the forgiveness of your sins, then that means you have entered the faith.

But it is possible to enter the faith but not be running the race. So he wants to talk to folk who are in the faith, but who may not be running the race or running the race well. He says to those folks, I want you to change your focus.

A focus, the Greek word here for focus means to stare at or to look with a penetrating eye. He says, I want you to focus on Jesus. He says in verse number two, fixing our eyes, that's focus, become fixated with, fixated with Jesus, because we already know his name is Arthur and Finisher or Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, first and last. He says, I need you to fixate on him. Now, if you fixate on something, then that means that you have to stop being fixated on something else. You can't be fixated on multiple things at the same time.

You can look in multiple directions at the same time, but you can't be fixated on something, on multiple things at the same time, because that means you're zeroing in on it. He says, I want you to fix your eyes on Jesus, which means I want you to stop fixating on you. I want you to leave you for a minute. I want you to stop fixating on your posse. I want you to stop fixating on your friends.

I want you to stop fixating on what everybody else thinks. And I want you to fixate on Jesus Christ. A great illustration of this is Matthew chapter 14, verses 28 to 31, because there's a storm, and Jesus is walking on water. Okay, wait a minute. Jesus sent his disciples out into a storm, and he comes to them walking on the problem, because the problem is a storm.

That is the problem. Jesus sent them into a storm, and it's coming to them on the same storm that he sent them on without getting rid of the storm. So what I'm trying to say, just in that much, is that your mess, your billows, the wind blowing you all over the place, might be just the right space to see Jesus walking on the very thing that's got you terrified. So he begins walking to them on the storm. Peter, my boy Pete, Peter says, If the Lord bid me to come, if you give me an okay, because I'm looking at you, and I'm seeing what you're doing, if you tell me okay, I'm going to take the risk, and I'm going to step out the boat. You see, if you fixated on the circumstances, then you're not going to take the risk to step out the boat. But if you fixated on Jesus, and he bids you come, he's telling you to take a faith risk in a difficult situation. So Peter steps out the boat, and Peter is walking on the problem.

Mind you, we're still in a storm. The circumstances haven't changed, but he's now walking on it and not being consumed by it. But the Bible says in Matthew 14, 28 to 31, that while he was walking on the storm, he took his eyes off of Jesus.

And when he took his eyes off of Jesus, it says he began to sink. He began to go down. In other words, the circumstances took over.

The circumstances hadn't changed. His eyesight changed. He stopped looking at Jesus, and the circumstances took over.

The same circumstances a minute ago, he was walking on. He started to sink. While he was going under, he remembered Jesus. And it says he looked back up to Jesus and said, Lord, save me. Then it says Jesus then reached down and pulled him up.

I don't want you to miss this. Jesus let him sink. Jesus didn't stop him from sinking. Sometimes we go on under and we want to know, where is God? God didn't move. Jesus hasn't moved. Where are your eyes? That's the question. What are you focused on?

What are you looking at? When he remembered to refocus on Jesus, Jesus then reached down and saved him. And watch this. And they walked together on the storm. They were still in the storm, but now they're walking together in the storm. And there are other people walking alongside us as we go through the tough times of life.

Dr. Evans will tell us about them when he continues our message in just a moment. Right now, though, I want to tell you that what you're hearing today is part of a series of lessons called Encountering Jesus Names. To most of us, a name is just a label. But in the Bible, and especially when referring to Jesus, it's much more.

How much more? You'll find out as Tony translates in-depth Scripture research into clear, relevant insights into what it means to be the Lamb of God, the Great High Priest, and more. Right now, we'd like to send you a copy of all 11 of these full-length messages on CD or as digital downloads as our gift when you make a donation to help support Tony's work here on the air and around the world. This offer is only available for a limited time, but if we hear from you right away, we can include an extra bonus, Tony's hardcover photo book, Experiencing Israel. In this guided tour of key locations in the Bible, Dr. Evans reveals the historical and spiritual significance of each setting, allowing you to discover the Holy Land like never before. Together, this combo offer of Encountering Jesus Names and Experiencing Israel will enrich your understanding of Christ and build on the spiritual foundations of your faith. So visit us today at tonyevans.org for details, or call our resource center at 1-800-800-3222.

Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. Well, Tony will come back with more of today's lesson after this. Right now, let's get back to Dr. Evans for Part 2 of today's teaching. I love Philippians 1, 6, which says, He who hath begun a good work in you will complete it till the day of Jesus Christ.

That's good news. Jesus is in the Omega business if you've come to Him in the Alpha star. Even if you've gotten your letters mixed up along the way.

The beautiful thing about an alphabet is that you can rearrange letters and create new sentences and new words. He is the Alpha. He is the Omega. He is the beginning. He is the end. And the good news is that if you will focus on Him, He can still take you to the finish line. Now watch this.

This is good stuff. He says, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses, a witness is a testimony. A witness is somebody who testifies. When they have heavyweight boxing championships and the two fighters are getting ready to square off, particularly if it's a heavyweight bout, you know what they do? They bring in previous champions. Folks who've already been in this ring and come out victors, and they go shake the hand of both parties who are getting ready to fight. And the reason they bring them in is to bring in somebody who's been here before, who's been through the bumps and bruises and still came out a winner, even though they got beat up in the process.

And they're letting both of these fighters know, even though you're in a battle, it's a winnable war. Well, God knows that we have a struggle with focusing on Him. And so He brought some witnesses, some folks to testify. He called for a testimony service.

That testimony service is the whole chapter of Hebrews chapter 11. See, when He says chapter 12 verse 1, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, the witnesses He's talking about are all lined up in chapter 11. Now when you read the heroes of the faith in chapter 11, you wonder how some of those guys made it to that chapter, because there are some fools in that chapter.

There are some folks with some issues in that chapter. Moses was a felon. Moses was a murderer, and he had to run for his life. But when he got his eyes fixed back in the right direction at the burning bush, God still used him to let my people go. Even though he made a mess, God was able to redirect him and still accomplish his purpose. So you'll find him in Hebrews chapter 11. I don't know how Jacob got in Hebrews chapter 11.

Jacob has 12 children by four different women. He has got a mess. He's a deceiver, a liar, a conniver, and a jiver. But when he met God and when he wrestled with Him all night, God said, I'm still going to make a great nation of you and keep my promise to Abraham and Isaac. You got David in chapter 11.

He is a murderer and an adulterer. But when he got straight with God based on Psalm 51 and got right with God, the scripture says God still called him a man after my own heart. I sure don't know how Samson got in that chapter. He is the Don Juan of the Old Testament.

He's the player. But when he got straight, even in the latter part of his life that cost him his life, God met him, God let him see him again, and God graduated him to the Hall of Faith. What I'm trying to say is there's testimonies out there that no matter how messed up you are, how long you've been messed up, if you will fix your eyes on Jesus, if you ever look at the Olympics and you see the rowers, and the rowers are going this way, but they're rowing like this. They're rowing, but they're going this way. So they don't see where they're going. That's why on this side of the boat is a coach called the Cockswain.

Now the Cockswain is looking where they're going, and the Cockswain says, look at me, look at me. Don't try to figure out where you're going because you can't see where you're going. Just follow my dictates, follow my guidance, follow my rowing cadence because I know where we need to go. See, life is too uncertain. Things come to us from too many directions. We only know this much, but since Jesus is alpha and omega, He knows where we're going.

And if we will focus on Him, He will take us to where we need to be. In closing, it was 1992. It was Barcelona, Spain, and it was the Summer Olympics. It was the 400-meter race. And in the race was a British runner, the leading runner for that race, and his name was Derek Redmond.

Derek Redmond got in the starting blocks, and he took off, and he was ahead of the pack. 100 meters from the finish line, he tore his hamstring, an excruciating, painful thing, and it took him to the ground. He lay there crying and in excruciating pain, pain after injury and tears because he had lost the race that he had been training for all these years. If you remember those sports fans, remember, he tried to drag himself along just to try to get as far as he could fall, but it was too much pain. But that's when a gentleman from the top of the audience worked his way down, came down to the track.

The man's name was Jim Redmond. That was Derek's daddy. Derek's daddy came from the top of the stands, made his way down. Derek said to his daddy, Daddy, I don't want to go out like this. I want to finish the race. That's when Jim Redmond helped Derek up, put his arm over his shoulder, and he said, Son, we're going to finish this race together.

And he helped Derek Redmond on the cross to finish line. You may be broke down. You may be tore up.

You may have failed. You may have sinned. You may have disregarded the truth of God, but the Bible says when Jesus died, he rose, and he went to the third heaven, and he's on the right-hand side of God. But when he sees one of his saints who are fixated on him, he'll leave the stands. He'll come down onto the track. He'll see where you're laid out. He'll pick you up, and he'll drag you across the finish line for his glory. Keep your eyes on Jesus, because he's the alpha and the omega. He's the beginning and the end.

He's the author and the finisher. He'll get you across the finish line. Sometimes it's hard to grasp the idea that we're never too far gone for faith. But if you're still struggling with guilt and regret, Dr. Evans is back right now with an encouraging invitation for you. Do you feel like you're too sinful, too flawed, too rebellious, that you've failed too much for God to ever forgive you?

Guess what? You are a perfect candidate for salvation. Jesus said that he didn't come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance and salvation. So if you're a big sinner, you've got a bigger Savior. If you go to Jesus Christ now, carry the boatload of sins with you to the cross, acknowledge him to be your Savior, acknowledge your sins needing to be forgiven, and trust him to do the forgiving that you desperately desire. He promises he will forgive you, give you eternal life, and offer you the free gift of salvation. I don't care how big your basket of sins are. Carry them to Jesus.

He's ready to empty them for you. Find out more about what it means to be a real Christian. Visit tonyevans.org and follow the link that says Jesus. There, Tony will explain everything you need to know, and you'll find some free resources to get your new life started right. That's tonyevans.org. And while you're there, you can take advantage of that special offer I mentioned earlier. You'll get Tony's beautiful and informative photo book, Experiencing Israel, along with all 11 full-length messages in his current teaching series, Encountering Jesus' Names.

They're yours with our thanks when you make a contribution to help us continue to bring this program to you and other listeners each day. Just visit tonyevans.org to get the details and make the arrangements. You can also get some in-person help from a member of our resource team when you call 1-800-800-3222 any time of the day or night.

That's 1-800-800-3222. We love the idea of having a Savior, a rescuer, a friend in high places. But a ruler? Not so much. Well, tomorrow Dr. Evans will remind us that Jesus, the gentle shepherd, is also the King of Kings. I hope you'll be with us. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you. ... ... ... ...
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-18 22:07:23 / 2023-07-18 22:16:00 / 9

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