As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!
Intro—The future is something that is unknown. At times it can be fearful to think about the future. It is much easier to think about the past because it has already happened and we can base our decisions or our future on what our past pluses or minuses have been. There is a time to ponder, pray, and plan for the future.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, God says there is a time for everything, even a time to ponder, pray, and plan for the future.
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die,a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate,a time for war and a time for peace.
So today, as we come to a place in our study of the book of John, we are going to look into our time for the future and see what God has in store for us.
Read: John 5:24-30
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. 28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
- The Future belongs to God
- If you hear the Word of God this morning, and believe in Jesus this morning, you can cross over into an eternity with God.
- Jesus clearly states the condition of your future. You are spiritually dead until you hear and believe.
- The Bible teaches us that everyone one of us has sinned and we don’t measure up to God’s standards (Romans 3:23)
- There is only one way, not several ways, only one way to know where your future lies. That is to hear the Word of God and to believe in the name that is above all names, and that name is Jesus.
- There is no other escape route, other formula, or loophole. The Message interprets John 5:24 like this:24 “It’s urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living.
- Jesus is the one who holds the future of your life.
- Jesus is the Truth for the future.
- John 14:6 says, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
- Do not fear the future, know the Truth about the future.
- God has provided the crossover by way of the Cross. You can cross from death to life by the cross of Jesus Christ.
- The Cross is the crossover!
Illustration—Both Super Bowl Quarterbacks playing later today are Christians, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos, and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks. I want to share with you Peyton Manning’s faith story.
Peyton tells the story of his conversion: “My faith has been number one since I was thirteen years old and heard from the pulpit on a Sunday morning in New Orleans a simple question: ‘If you died today, are you one hundred percent sure you’d go to heaven?’
“It was a big church, and I felt very small, but my heart was pounding. The minister invited those who would like that assurance through Jesus Christ to raise their hands, and I did. Then he invited us to come forward, to take a stand, and my heart really started pounding and from where we sat, it looked like a mile to the front. But I got up and did it, and I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since.”
Peyton says his four priorities, in order, are: faith, family, friends, and football. He testifies, “My faith doesn’t make me perfect, it makes me forgiven.” He describes his spiritual life: “I pray every night, sometimes long prayers about a lot of things and a lot of people, but I don’t talk about it or brag about it because that’s between God and me, and I’m no better than anyone else in God’s sight.”
He doesn’t pray to win games. Rather, “I pray to keep both teams injury free, and personally, that I use whatever talent I have to the best of my ability.” And he has made this character commitment: “Dad says it can take twenty years to make a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it. I want my reputation to be able to make it through whatever five-minute crises I run into. I’m a lot more comfortable knowing where my help is.”
The minister who led a 13-year-old boy to Christ had no idea the platform God would entrust to Peyton Manning.
Application: If you died today, are you 100% sure you would be with Jesus? If you are not, then today is your time under heaven as the Scripture says to make sure!
- The Future is Forever
- Eternity is forever. Forever is a long time. I know it is hard to wrap our minds around the idea of forever.
- We say things like “I will love you forever, or best friends forever, you will forever be in my heart, or they take forever to get ready, or it is taking forever to get our food.
- We use forever in our speech, but we know that it is not true. The food wont take forever, they won’t be getting dressed forever, and there is a good possibility that you wont be BFF’s or best friends forever.
- So, no wonder it is hard to really think or imagine about the realness of forever.
- Forever does not end. It has no time constraints.
- On the other hand, your earthly life is bound by time. You have an expiration date.
- Have you ever drank expired, spoiled milk? That is why they have the dates marked on the bottles or cartons.
- We have an expiration date marked on us. Only God knows that date. You will expire when He determines.
- Hebrews 9:27-28—27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
- Are you prepared to face Jesus Christ’s judgment?
- The Future belongs to God and it is forever.
- In our text this morning, Jesus says in verse 25, that the dead (and He is speaking to the spiritually dead) will hear his voice, and they will crossover from death to life.
- How do you know if you are spiritually dead? It is a very simple test. Here it is. If you have no desire for the things of God and His Kingdom reign over your life, then you my friend are in what the Scripture calls spiritual deadness.
- I am not trying to guilt you into anything this morning, but it is a simple fact. God knows your heart. You cannot hide or run form Him.
- He is speaking to you this morning, and if you hear His voice, then answer the call. Receive Him as your Lord so that you can be absolutely sure about your eternal security.
- This world offers nothing that is secure and we placed so much of our faith in it. We trust in things that aren’t worth trusting in.
- So, here is the offer this morning, come to Jesus, and be secure about your future.
Illustration—Now I want to tell you about Seattle Seahawks will Russell Wilson as they play the Denver Broncos in today’s Super Bowl. In a recent interview with Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll, four Seahawks players and an assistant coach discussed their faith. The coach stated that “Jesus is better than anything… even better than the Super Bowl, better than an NFL career, any of that.” Russell Wilson was one of the players nodding in agreement.
There was a time when he wouldn’t have been so affirming. In a video titled “The Making of a Champion,” Wilson says, “I was kind of a bad kid,” explaining that “I used to beat up kids and bite kids and do stuff all the time.” What changed? “I had a dream that my dad passed away. And that Jesus came into the room. He was knocking on my door, saying, ‘You need to find out more about me,'” Wilson said. “So that Sunday morning I ended up going to church and that’s when I got saved.”
Did his salvation guarantee a life of success? Not at all. Wilson was part of a very athletic family—his father played professional football, his brother played in college, and his sister is one of the top high school basketball prospects in the country. However, six years after his conversion, his father died at the age of 55 due to complications from diabetes. Wilson grew to be only five-feet-eleven-inches in height, a fact that made him an unlikely professional prospect.
He was eventually drafted in the third round by the Seattle Seahawks. Five quarterbacks and 69 other players were drafted ahead of him. Surprising everyone, he beat out veteran competition and became the starter as a rookie. He led his team to the playoffs and played in the Pro Bowl. This year his team went 13-3 and will playing the today’s Super Bowl.
While some athletes get in trouble for comments on Twitter, Wilson posts daily Bible verses on his Twitter feed. During the NFL season, he visits the Seattle Children’s Hospital weekly and has visited with soldiers at the local military base. He is National Ambassador of the Charles Ray III Diabetes Association. His explanation: “I realized that God had given me so many talents, and I wanted to give him all the glory.”
Application—If you have been given eternal life by Jesus Christ, are you giving God all the glory through your life and with your gifts and talents? If not, do it today!
- The Future is for Everyone
- Lastly in our passage today ion verse 28-29, Jesus makes it clear that everyone has a future.
- Everyone who has ever lived will be raised to meet Jesus. All will hear voice.
- Some will hear Jesus say, “Well Done Good and Faithful Servant,” as stated in Matthew 25:21
- Others won’t be so blessed. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus has some of the worst news anyone could ever hear on judgment day.
- 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
- Jesus does what God has asked Him to do. He is the One sent to give us the Truth about the future.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Application—How does your future look? Make sure today!
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,