11 August, 2019

11/08/2019 13:11

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Date: 7 August, 2019
Text: John 12:35-50
Title: Gospel Work
 
Introduction:
 
HBC - lots of fun with the kids this past week 
- missionary story - Greasy - Russian boy, robber who got saved
- puppets, songs, crafts, games, snacks.....
- Bible Story time - we took imaginary rides on the Good News Express.
 
All week long - we have followed Paul in His Gospel (Good News) ministry. 
- Jesus - the Son of God came
- Jesus died for our sin and rose again
- God will forgive you of your sin and give you eternal life - if you trust in Jesus.
 
We saw different receptions to the Gospel work these preachers were doing.
- Sometimes many people believed, were baptized and added to the church.
- Many other times unbelievers stirred up the people - stoned, whipped, imprisoned the Gospel preachers.
 
Jesus himself saw varied responses in his work on earth.
 
In our text - John 12:35-50 - we join the Lord Jesus in the final week of his ministry before His crucifixion.
 
This morning I want to consider two main ideas about our Gospel Work from what Jesus experienced in his good work.
1) Why it may seem at times like the Gospel is not working.
2) Why we must continue in our Gospel work.
 
I. Why it may seem at times like the Gospel is not working.
 note: The Gospel IS powerful.
Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
ill. Our story - Greasy - Pasha Tikomirav - murdering thief going with his band to confess their crimes because they had gotten right with God.
 exp. Praise God - THE GOSPEL IS POWERFUL. But, not everyone submits to the power of the Gospel.
 ill. When I first entered into evangelism and pastoring, I thought if you had enough of an opportunity to present the Gospel to somebody (information) that the person I was speaking to would get saved.
ill. I should have stopped and thought about the church I grew up in. A teen girl in my youth group had an unsaved dad that faithfully attended church - and as far as I know never got saved. 
 question: What is keeping a person from the dynamic life changing power of the Gospel? Perhaps - what is keeping you from the dynamic power of the Gospel. WHY DOES IT SEEM LIKE THE GOSPEL IS NOT WORKING.
A. Because of ignorant men.
35  Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
ill. NY City - We lived on the back of the city - Long Island.
- Our church was just beside the Queens/Nassau border. 
- Much of our church was first generation immigrants. 
- It would take two hours driving through horrible traffic to get out of the city. 
- We took these kids to camp (16 hour) drive in Wisconsin. 
- What is growing over there - corn.
- Where are the street lights.
exp. You would be sadly disappointed outside of NYC to find yourself in the dark when the sun went down.
app. How many people today are living life - ignorant that the light is fading - they possess no light of their own and they are going to pass into eternity - ignorant of the Light.
Jeremiah 8:20  The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
 app. We want to give them Gospel Light - but they are ignorant of their need for LIGHT.
B. Because of unconcerned men.
36  While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
exp. They could have been children of the light and walk in the light. But, they did not see their need. They were unconcerned.
 ill. There was another assumption I had when I started evangelism - Everyone thinks about eternity. Until I often heard from unbelievers, "I never think about it."
ill. Whaley Bridge - emergency services - evacuated the village - Whaley Bridge Dam - was at risk of collapsing and flooding the town.
- Holiday plans / wedding plans, etc were interupted. 
- Some people wanted to be unconcerned about their predicament - EMERGENCY SERVICES WERE FRUSTRATED BY THE UNCONCERNED WHO REFUSED TO LEAVE THEIR PROPERTIES. WHY - because they knew of the immenent danger.
 app. It is frustrating to us who are saved to see men unconcerned about their need. 
Rev 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
note: The Gospel is powerless to help the unconcerned - they have to wake up to their need.
C. Because of unbelieving men.
37  But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
38  That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
exp. God gave them the greatest of preachers, the Lord Jesus, and made bare His mighty arm. But, they still did not believe.
John 12:9  Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
10  But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
11  Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
 exp. Jesus himself could not reach them with God's truth - THEY BELIEVED NOT ON HIM.
ill. Another statement I've often heard in evangelism, is "nobody has come back and told me yet? If someone came back from the dead....."
app. It may seem like the Gospel isn't working. The Gospel hasn't lost it's power - but unbelieving man can not receive the Gospel. IF THEY WOULD ONLY BELIEVE THEY COULD BE SAVED.
Romans 10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
D. Because of hardened men.
39  Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
40  He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
41  These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
note: It wasn't just that they did not believe. They could no longer believe because they had hearts that were hardened and eyes that were blinded BY GOD! 
 ill. Moses had to deal with a hard hearted man - 
Exo 8:32  And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.
Exo 10:1  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:
ill. The Auca (wa'rani indians) who killed 5 preachers at Palm Beach were all saved within a few years after the death as the Gospel came into their village - Rachel Saint - Betty Eliot.
exp. These naked murderous savage people were converted within a few years - but we can labour for years in Scotland with men who refuse to God saved.
 app. It seems that we aren't just dealing with unbelievers - but often with men who's heart is hardened against God. It seems like the Gospel isn't working because men are hard hearted.
E. Because of proud men.
42  Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
exp. It seems that they had come to true faith.
- But, they were proud in their religion.
- they were proud in their synagogue
- they were proud men who wanted man praise.
 note: It seemed like it wasn't working - but perhaps it had but pride kept it concealed.
exp. I wonder at times how many times a Gospel preaching church doesn't see fruit.
- Because those who got saved are too proud of their religion
- too proud of their kirk building
- too proud of man praise
app. At the crucifixion - Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea come out of the shadows to identify with Jesus. Perhaps we'll see fruit in coming years that is now on the tree - but we don't know about it because of the pride of men.
 
 transition: Are you weary of giving the Gospel because it seems like it doesn't work - Don't be! Jesus didn't quit preaching because it seemed like it was ineffective. There were real reasons why it wasn't working - but the problem was with THE AUDIENCE NOT THE MESSAGE.
 - ignorant, unconcerned, unbelieving, hard hearted and proud men - were resisting the preaching!
 
II. Why we must continue in our Gospel work.
exp. As we followed preacher Paul this past week - the theme became - don't quit. Some will get saved. Some churches will be started. Some will be stedfast in the truth. PAUL NEVER QUIT.
 note: Jesus never quit - WHY? because his message could.....
A. Restore sinners.
44  Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45  And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
exp. Jesus is God - but he became a man to point people to God the Father. His message was to restore mankind to God.
1Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
exp. Jesus is the man who goes between mankind and God.
ill. An Ambassador - represents a country, king or president to another kingdom. Jesus was heaven's ambassador bringing conditions of peace to a rebellious world.
 note: Now that Jesus is back in Heaven, someone else needs to be God's earthly ambassador to restore mankind to Himself.
question: Wouldn't it be sad if Jesus left and no one took his place seeking to bring mankind to God's terms of surrender and reconciliation?
2Co 5:20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
 app. Continue your Gospel work. You are ambassadors for Jesus seeking to restore the world to God.
B. Illumine the world.
46  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
exp. Jesus was the light. They had the Saviour in front of them. He told them - BELIEVE WHILE YOU HAVE THE LIGHT. But, then he ascended up into glory and the LIGHT OF LIFE departed.
 ill. Have you ever had a bright light - 4,000,000 candle watt light - light up a field.
question: If that light is like the light of Jesus, in comparison, how bright is your light.
Matthew 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
ill. One of my favourite stories I shared with the kids this past week was the Philippian Jailer. They beat Paul and Silas, put them in stock in jail - and at midnight they prayed and sang praise to God!
exp. The jailer called for physical light, got spiritual light and got saved! Why? Because RATHER THAN NOT BEING THE LIGHT - PAUL AND SILAS BURNED BRIGHTLY FOR THE LORD.
 app. You are the GOSPEL LIGHT. How is your light burning?
C. Save the world.
47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
exp. Jesus didn't come to condemn unbelievers. He came to find the lost he could save.
Luk 19:10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
ill. James and John - Luke 9:52  And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54  And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. 
question: Have you ever wanted to call down fire from Heaven upon those who reject Jesus? 
 app. Jesus could have - but He never did. He was here to save those who opposed him!
D. Tell the world.
48  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
exp. Jesus was willing to be rejected. He would still give them God's Word. The WORD OF GOD would either save them or condemn them.
Isa 55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
 ill. We have put out 100's of thousands of Gospel flyers. We've witnessed. We've preached and told them and IT IS NOT IN VAIN! It will either save them or condemn them.
app. If they reject Jesus and the Words of Jesus - their judge will be the SAME WORDS which they refused to hear. Our telling them - is not in vain.
E. Herald to the world.
49  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
exp. Jesus spoke because the Father gave him a message FROM HIM for the world. Jesus would be pleasing God if NOBODY received God's message.
Joh 8:29  And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
 ill. David - sent by his father to his brothers.
 1Sa 17:28  And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
exp. It didn't matter what Eliab thought - David was just doing his father's bidding.
 app. The world has a lot to say to people who speak for God. It doesn't matter. We are God's herald to the world.
F. Breathe life to the world.
50  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
exp. Jesus looked at men who would be cast into hell and told them that they could be saved. His message is so IMPORTANT that he would lay down his life on the cross.
ill. Jesus wouldn't stop because he HAD A COMMANDMENT FROM GOD OF ETERNAL LIFE to those who would believe in Him.
Mat 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Mar 6:34  And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
Mar 10:21  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him,
 question: When is the last time you told someone the Gospel with compassion because you knew how important it was that they get saved.
Jud 1:22  And of some have compassion, making a difference:
app. Don't quit giving the Gospel. It is GOD'S COMMANDMENT FOR ETERNAL LIFE.
 
CONCLUSION:
IT WILL SEEM AT TIMES LIKE THE GOSPEL DOESN'T WORK. 
Because of Ignorant, unconcerned, unbelieving, hard hearted, and proud men.
But, we need to keep at our Gospel work.
- Restore sinners.
- Illumine the world
- Save the world
- Tell the world
- Herald (God's message) to the world
- Breathe life to the world!
 
note: The Gospel IS powerful.

Date: 7 August, 2019

Text: John 12:35-50

Title: Gospel Work

 

Introduction:

 

HBC - lots of fun with the kids this past week 

- missionary story - Greasy - Russian boy, robber who got saved

- puppets, songs, crafts, games, snacks.....

- Bible Story time - we took imaginary rides on the Good News Express.

 

All week long - we have followed Paul in His Gospel (Good News) ministry. 

- Jesus - the Son of God came

- Jesus died for our sin and rose again

- God will forgive you of your sin and give you eternal life - if you trust in Jesus.

 

We saw different receptions to the Gospel work these preachers were doing.

- Sometimes many people believed, were baptized and added to the church.

- Many other times unbelievers stirred up the people - stoned, whipped, imprisoned the Gospel preachers.

 

Jesus himself saw varied responses in his work on earth.

 

In our text - John 12:35-50 - we join the Lord Jesus in the final week of his ministry before His crucifixion.

 

This morning I want to consider two main ideas about our Gospel Work from what Jesus experienced in his good work.

1) Why it may seem at times like the Gospel is not working.

2) Why we must continue in our Gospel work.

 

I. Why it may seem at times like the Gospel is not working.

 note: The Gospel IS powerful.

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

ill. Our story - Greasy - Pasha Tikomirav - murdering thief going with his band to confess their crimes because they had gotten right with God.

 exp. Praise God - THE GOSPEL IS POWERFUL. But, not everyone submits to the power of the Gospel.

 ill. When I first entered into evangelism and pastoring, I thought if you had enough of an opportunity to present the Gospel to somebody (information) that the person I was speaking to would get saved.

ill. I should have stopped and thought about the church I grew up in. A teen girl in my youth group had an unsaved dad that faithfully attended church - and as far as I know never got saved. 

 question: What is keeping a person from the dynamic life changing power of the Gospel? Perhaps - what is keeping you from the dynamic power of the Gospel. WHY DOES IT SEEM LIKE THE GOSPEL IS NOT WORKING.

A. Because of ignorant men.

35  Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

ill. NY City - We lived on the back of the city - Long Island.

- Our church was just beside the Queens/Nassau border. 

- Much of our church was first generation immigrants. 

- It would take two hours driving through horrible traffic to get out of the city. 

- We took these kids to camp (16 hour) drive in Wisconsin. 

- What is growing over there - corn.

- Where are the street lights.

exp. You would be sadly disappointed outside of NYC to find yourself in the dark when the sun went down.

app. How many people today are living life - ignorant that the light is fading - they possess no light of their own and they are going to pass into eternity - ignorant of the Light.

Jeremiah 8:20  The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

 app. We want to give them Gospel Light - but they are ignorant of their need for LIGHT.

B. Because of unconcerned men.

36  While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

exp. They could have been children of the light and walk in the light. But, they did not see their need. They were unconcerned.

 ill. There was another assumption I had when I started evangelism - Everyone thinks about eternity. Until I often heard from unbelievers, "I never think about it."

ill. Whaley Bridge - emergency services - evacuated the village - Whaley Bridge Dam - was at risk of collapsing and flooding the town.

- Holiday plans / wedding plans, etc were interupted. 

- Some people wanted to be unconcerned about their predicament - EMERGENCY SERVICES WERE FRUSTRATED BY THE UNCONCERNED WHO REFUSED TO LEAVE THEIR PROPERTIES. WHY - because they knew of the immenent danger.

 app. It is frustrating to us who are saved to see men unconcerned about their need. 

Rev 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

note: The Gospel is powerless to help the unconcerned - they have to wake up to their need.

C. Because of unbelieving men.

37  But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:

38  That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

exp. God gave them the greatest of preachers, the Lord Jesus, and made bare His mighty arm. But, they still did not believe.

John 12:9  Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.

10  But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;

11  Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.

 exp. Jesus himself could not reach them with God's truth - THEY BELIEVED NOT ON HIM.

ill. Another statement I've often heard in evangelism, is "nobody has come back and told me yet? If someone came back from the dead....."

app. It may seem like the Gospel isn't working. The Gospel hasn't lost it's power - but unbelieving man can not receive the Gospel. IF THEY WOULD ONLY BELIEVE THEY COULD BE SAVED.

Romans 10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

D. Because of hardened men.

39  Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,

40  He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

41  These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

note: It wasn't just that they did not believe. They could no longer believe because they had hearts that were hardened and eyes that were blinded BY GOD! 

 ill. Moses had to deal with a hard hearted man - 

Exo 8:32  And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.

Exo 10:1  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:

ill. The Auca (wa'rani indians) who killed 5 preachers at Palm Beach were all saved within a few years after the death as the Gospel came into their village - Rachel Saint - Betty Eliot.

exp. These naked murderous savage people were converted within a few years - but we can labour for years in Scotland with men who refuse to God saved.

 app. It seems that we aren't just dealing with unbelievers - but often with men who's heart is hardened against God. It seems like the Gospel isn't working because men are hard hearted.

E. Because of proud men.

42  Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

43  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

exp. It seems that they had come to true faith.

- But, they were proud in their religion.

- they were proud in their synagogue

- they were proud men who wanted man praise.

 note: It seemed like it wasn't working - but perhaps it had but pride kept it concealed.

exp. I wonder at times how many times a Gospel preaching church doesn't see fruit.

- Because those who got saved are too proud of their religion

- too proud of their kirk building

- too proud of man praise

app. At the crucifixion - Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea come out of the shadows to identify with Jesus. Perhaps we'll see fruit in coming years that is now on the tree - but we don't know about it because of the pride of men.

 

 transition: Are you weary of giving the Gospel because it seems like it doesn't work - Don't be! Jesus didn't quit preaching because it seemed like it was ineffective. There were real reasons why it wasn't working - but the problem was with THE AUDIENCE NOT THE MESSAGE.

 - ignorant, unconcerned, unbelieving, hard hearted and proud men - were resisting the preaching!

 

II. Why we must continue in our Gospel work.

exp. As we followed preacher Paul this past week - the theme became - don't quit. Some will get saved. Some churches will be started. Some will be stedfast in the truth. PAUL NEVER QUIT.

 note: Jesus never quit - WHY? because his message could.....

A. Restore sinners.

44  Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.

45  And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

exp. Jesus is God - but he became a man to point people to God the Father. His message was to restore mankind to God.

1Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

exp. Jesus is the man who goes between mankind and God.

ill. An Ambassador - represents a country, king or president to another kingdom. Jesus was heaven's ambassador bringing conditions of peace to a rebellious world.

 note: Now that Jesus is back in Heaven, someone else needs to be God's earthly ambassador to restore mankind to Himself.

question: Wouldn't it be sad if Jesus left and no one took his place seeking to bring mankind to God's terms of surrender and reconciliation?

2Co 5:20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

 app. Continue your Gospel work. You are ambassadors for Jesus seeking to restore the world to God.

B. Illumine the world.

46  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

exp. Jesus was the light. They had the Saviour in front of them. He told them - BELIEVE WHILE YOU HAVE THE LIGHT. But, then he ascended up into glory and the LIGHT OF LIFE departed.

 ill. Have you ever had a bright light - 4,000,000 candle watt light - light up a field.

question: If that light is like the light of Jesus, in comparison, how bright is your light.

Matthew 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

ill. One of my favourite stories I shared with the kids this past week was the Philippian Jailer. They beat Paul and Silas, put them in stock in jail - and at midnight they prayed and sang praise to God!

exp. The jailer called for physical light, got spiritual light and got saved! Why? Because RATHER THAN NOT BEING THE LIGHT - PAUL AND SILAS BURNED BRIGHTLY FOR THE LORD.

 app. You are the GOSPEL LIGHT. How is your light burning?

C. Save the world.

47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

exp. Jesus didn't come to condemn unbelievers. He came to find the lost he could save.

Luk 19:10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

ill. James and John - Luke 9:52  And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

53  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

54  And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?

55  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

56  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. 

question: Have you ever wanted to call down fire from Heaven upon those who reject Jesus? 

 app. Jesus could have - but He never did. He was here to save those who opposed him!

D. Tell the world.

48  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

exp. Jesus was willing to be rejected. He would still give them God's Word. The WORD OF GOD would either save them or condemn them.

Isa 55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

 ill. We have put out 100's of thousands of Gospel flyers. We've witnessed. We've preached and told them and IT IS NOT IN VAIN! It will either save them or condemn them.

app. If they reject Jesus and the Words of Jesus - their judge will be the SAME WORDS which they refused to hear. Our telling them - is not in vain.

E. Herald to the world.

49  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

exp. Jesus spoke because the Father gave him a message FROM HIM for the world. Jesus would be pleasing God if NOBODY received God's message.

Joh 8:29  And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

 ill. David - sent by his father to his brothers.

 1Sa 17:28  And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.

exp. It didn't matter what Eliab thought - David was just doing his father's bidding.

 app. The world has a lot to say to people who speak for God. It doesn't matter. We are God's herald to the world.

F. Breathe life to the world.

50  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

exp. Jesus looked at men who would be cast into hell and told them that they could be saved. His message is so IMPORTANT that he would lay down his life on the cross.

ill. Jesus wouldn't stop because he HAD A COMMANDMENT FROM GOD OF ETERNAL LIFE to those who would believe in Him.

Mat 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Mar 6:34  And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Mar 10:21  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him,

 question: When is the last time you told someone the Gospel with compassion because you knew how important it was that they get saved.

Jud 1:22  And of some have compassion, making a difference:

app. Don't quit giving the Gospel. It is GOD'S COMMANDMENT FOR ETERNAL LIFE.

 

CONCLUSION:

IT WILL SEEM AT TIMES LIKE THE GOSPEL DOESN'T WORK. 

Because of Ignorant, unconcerned, unbelieving, hard hearted, and proud men.

But, we need to keep at our Gospel work.

- Restore sinners.

- Illumine the world

- Save the world

- Tell the world

- Herald (God's message) to the world

- Breathe life to the world!

 

note: The Gospel IS powerful.

 

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Date: 7 August, 2019
Text: John 12:35-50
Title: Gospel Work
 
Introduction:
 
HBC - lots of fun with the kids this past week 
- missionary story - Greasy - Russian boy, robber who got saved
- puppets, songs, crafts, games, snacks.....
- Bible Story time - we took imaginary rides on the Good News Express.
 
All week long - we have followed Paul in His Gospel (Good News) ministry. 
- Jesus - the Son of God came
- Jesus died for our sin and rose again
- God will forgive you of your sin and give you eternal life - if you trust in Jesus.
 
We saw different receptions to the Gospel work these preachers were doing.
- Sometimes many people believed, were baptized and added to the church.
- Many other times unbelievers stirred up the people - stoned, whipped, imprisoned the Gospel preachers.
 
Jesus himself saw varied responses in his work on earth.
 
In our text - John 12:35-50 - we join the Lord Jesus in the final week of his ministry before His crucifixion.
 
This morning I want to consider two main ideas about our Gospel Work from what Jesus experienced in his good work.
1) Why it may seem at times like the Gospel is not working.
2) Why we must continue in our Gospel work.
 
I. Why it may seem at times like the Gospel is not working.
 note: The Gospel IS powerful.
Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
ill. Our story - Greasy - Pasha Tikomirav - murdering thief going with his band to confess their crimes because they had gotten right with God.
 exp. Praise God - THE GOSPEL IS POWERFUL. But, not everyone submits to the power of the Gospel.
 ill. When I first entered into evangelism and pastoring, I thought if you had enough of an opportunity to present the Gospel to somebody (information) that the person I was speaking to would get saved.
ill. I should have stopped and thought about the church I grew up in. A teen girl in my youth group had an unsaved dad that faithfully attended church - and as far as I know never got saved. 
 question: What is keeping a person from the dynamic life changing power of the Gospel? Perhaps - what is keeping you from the dynamic power of the Gospel. WHY DOES IT SEEM LIKE THE GOSPEL IS NOT WORKING.
A. Because of ignorant men.
35  Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
ill. NY City - We lived on the back of the city - Long Island.
- Our church was just beside the Queens/Nassau border. 
- Much of our church was first generation immigrants. 
- It would take two hours driving through horrible traffic to get out of the city. 
- We took these kids to camp (16 hour) drive in Wisconsin. 
- What is growing over there - corn.
- Where are the street lights.
exp. You would be sadly disappointed outside of NYC to find yourself in the dark when the sun went down.
app. How many people today are living life - ignorant that the light is fading - they possess no light of their own and they are going to pass into eternity - ignorant of the Light.
Jeremiah 8:20  The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
 app. We want to give them Gospel Light - but they are ignorant of their need for LIGHT.
B. Because of unconcerned men.
36  While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
exp. They could have been children of the light and walk in the light. But, they did not see their need. They were unconcerned.
 ill. There was another assumption I had when I started evangelism - Everyone thinks about eternity. Until I often heard from unbelievers, "I never think about it."
ill. Whaley Bridge - emergency services - evacuated the village - Whaley Bridge Dam - was at risk of collapsing and flooding the town.
- Holiday plans / wedding plans, etc were interupted. 
- Some people wanted to be unconcerned about their predicament - EMERGENCY SERVICES WERE FRUSTRATED BY THE UNCONCERNED WHO REFUSED TO LEAVE THEIR PROPERTIES. WHY - because they knew of the immenent danger.
 app. It is frustrating to us who are saved to see men unconcerned about their need. 
Rev 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
note: The Gospel is powerless to help the unconcerned - they have to wake up to their need.
C. Because of unbelieving men.
37  But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
38  That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
exp. God gave them the greatest of preachers, the Lord Jesus, and made bare His mighty arm. But, they still did not believe.
John 12:9  Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
10  But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
11  Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
 exp. Jesus himself could not reach them with God's truth - THEY BELIEVED NOT ON HIM.
ill. Another statement I've often heard in evangelism, is "nobody has come back and told me yet? If someone came back from the dead....."
app. It may seem like the Gospel isn't working. The Gospel hasn't lost it's power - but unbelieving man can not receive the Gospel. IF THEY WOULD ONLY BELIEVE THEY COULD BE SAVED.
Romans 10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
D. Because of hardened men.
39  Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
40  He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
41  These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
note: It wasn't just that they did not believe. They could no longer believe because they had hearts that were hardened and eyes that were blinded BY GOD! 
 ill. Moses had to deal with a hard hearted man - 
Exo 8:32  And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.
Exo 10:1  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:
ill. The Auca (wa'rani indians) who killed 5 preachers at Palm Beach were all saved within a few years after the death as the Gospel came into their village - Rachel Saint - Betty Eliot.
exp. These naked murderous savage people were converted within a few years - but we can labour for years in Scotland with men who refuse to God saved.
 app. It seems that we aren't just dealing with unbelievers - but often with men who's heart is hardened against God. It seems like the Gospel isn't working because men are hard hearted.
E. Because of proud men.
42  Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
exp. It seems that they had come to true faith.
- But, they were proud in their religion.
- they were proud in their synagogue
- they were proud men who wanted man praise.
 note: It seemed like it wasn't working - but perhaps it had but pride kept it concealed.
exp. I wonder at times how many times a Gospel preaching church doesn't see fruit.
- Because those who got saved are too proud of their religion
- too proud of their kirk building
- too proud of man praise
app. At the crucifixion - Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea come out of the shadows to identify with Jesus. Perhaps we'll see fruit in coming years that is now on the tree - but we don't know about it because of the pride of men.
 
 transition: Are you weary of giving the Gospel because it seems like it doesn't work - Don't be! Jesus didn't quit preaching because it seemed like it was ineffective. There were real reasons why it wasn't working - but the problem was with THE AUDIENCE NOT THE MESSAGE.
 - ignorant, unconcerned, unbelieving, hard hearted and proud men - were resisting the preaching!
 
II. Why we must continue in our Gospel work.
exp. As we followed preacher Paul this past week - the theme became - don't quit. Some will get saved. Some churches will be started. Some will be stedfast in the truth. PAUL NEVER QUIT.
 note: Jesus never quit - WHY? because his message could.....
A. Restore sinners.
44  Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45  And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
exp. Jesus is God - but he became a man to point people to God the Father. His message was to restore mankind to God.
1Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
exp. Jesus is the man who goes between mankind and God.
ill. An Ambassador - represents a country, king or president to another kingdom. Jesus was heaven's ambassador bringing conditions of peace to a rebellious world.
 note: Now that Jesus is back in Heaven, someone else needs to be God's earthly ambassador to restore mankind to Himself.
question: Wouldn't it be sad if Jesus left and no one took his place seeking to bring mankind to God's terms of surrender and reconciliation?
2Co 5:20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
 app. Continue your Gospel work. You are ambassadors for Jesus seeking to restore the world to God.
B. Illumine the world.
46  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
exp. Jesus was the light. They had the Saviour in front of them. He told them - BELIEVE WHILE YOU HAVE THE LIGHT. But, then he ascended up into glory and the LIGHT OF LIFE departed.
 ill. Have you ever had a bright light - 4,000,000 candle watt light - light up a field.
question: If that light is like the light of Jesus, in comparison, how bright is your light.
Matthew 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
ill. One of my favourite stories I shared with the kids this past week was the Philippian Jailer. They beat Paul and Silas, put them in stock in jail - and at midnight they prayed and sang praise to God!
exp. The jailer called for physical light, got spiritual light and got saved! Why? Because RATHER THAN NOT BEING THE LIGHT - PAUL AND SILAS BURNED BRIGHTLY FOR THE LORD.
 app. You are the GOSPEL LIGHT. How is your light burning?
C. Save the world.
47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
exp. Jesus didn't come to condemn unbelievers. He came to find the lost he could save.
Luk 19:10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
ill. James and John - Luke 9:52  And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54  And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. 
question: Have you ever wanted to call down fire from Heaven upon those who reject Jesus? 
 app. Jesus could have - but He never did. He was here to save those who opposed him!
D. Tell the world.
48  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
exp. Jesus was willing to be rejected. He would still give them God's Word. The WORD OF GOD would either save them or condemn them.
Isa 55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
 ill. We have put out 100's of thousands of Gospel flyers. We've witnessed. We've preached and told them and IT IS NOT IN VAIN! It will either save them or condemn them.
app. If they reject Jesus and the Words of Jesus - their judge will be the SAME WORDS which they refused to hear. Our telling them - is not in vain.
E. Herald to the world.
49  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
exp. Jesus spoke because the Father gave him a message FROM HIM for the world. Jesus would be pleasing God if NOBODY received God's message.
Joh 8:29  And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
 ill. David - sent by his father to his brothers.
 1Sa 17:28  And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
exp. It didn't matter what Eliab thought - David was just doing his father's bidding.
 app. The world has a lot to say to people who speak for God. It doesn't matter. We are God's herald to the world.
F. Breathe life to the world.
50  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
exp. Jesus looked at men who would be cast into hell and told them that they could be saved. His message is so IMPORTANT that he would lay down his life on the cross.
ill. Jesus wouldn't stop because he HAD A COMMANDMENT FROM GOD OF ETERNAL LIFE to those who would believe in Him.
Mat 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Mar 6:34  And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
Mar 10:21  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him,
 question: When is the last time you told someone the Gospel with compassion because you knew how important it was that they get saved.
Jud 1:22  And of some have compassion, making a difference:
app. Don't quit giving the Gospel. It is GOD'S COMMANDMENT FOR ETERNAL LIFE.
 
CONCLUSION:
IT WILL SEEM AT TIMES LIKE THE GOSPEL DOESN'T WORK. 
Because of Ignorant, unconcerned, unbelieving, hard hearted, and proud men.
But, we need to keep at our Gospel work.
- Restore sinners.
- Illumine the world
- Save the world
- Tell the world
- Herald (God's message) to the world
- Breathe life to the world!
 
note: The Gospel IS powerful.
Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.