Title: You Respond the Way You Want To
Text: John 7:10-24
- Thesis/Premise: No matter the era or culture, there are only a few fundamental reasons that people either surrender to or rebel against the lordship of Jesus Christ over their lives.
- Mission Statement: My goal for this message is to clearly articulate the fundamental reasons people have for either rejecting or surrendering to the claim that Jesus Christ has upon their life.
- Vision Statement: Best case scenario, I see you surrendering to the lordship of Jesus Christ over your life before you leave the church today. However, minimally I want you to know why you are really rejecting Jesus Christ and the implications of that decision.
What You Need to Know
Reasons for not believing in Jesus
(1) People are more afraid of people now than they are of God later.
13 But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders.
- Application: If you can’t take the “heat” here on earth you are resigning yourself to living in hell’s flames forever.
2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV) Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
(2) People don’t like Jesus’ credentials.
15 The people were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked.
- Example: John Bunyan // A.W. Tozer // Brandie Kennington (intern)
- Isaiah 53 (NLT)
(3) People simply don’t want to submit to Jesus.
17 Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.
- Example: Professor Fred Hoyle’s odds that life could—on its own spring out of nothing: 1040 (there are only 1080 atoms in the entire universe)
Revelation 16:8-11 (NKJV)
Fourth Bowl: Men Are Scorched
8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
Fifth Bowl: Darkness and Pain
10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
Reasons for believing in Jesus
(1) Jesus points to the Father—not Himself.
16 So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me.
- In other words, Jesus’ worldview is that there is a sentient, rational, omnipotent God who holds man accountable.
- IOW, if you reject or betray Jesus you are going to have to give an answer to God Almighty.
(2) Jesus speaks the truth.
18 Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies.
- Example: someone dying of a terminal disease and no one bothers to tell them. Jesus will tell you and will also provide a cure.
(3) Because of the incredible difference He makes in your life.
- · At the end of the day, your decision about Jesus Christ is a personal choice that will affect you personally—both now and forever. IOW, don’t be blinded by peripheral issues when Jesus has come to renovate and later transform your life.
23 So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? 24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.
- Miracle of the lame man.
Your “To Do” List
Surrender to Jesus today!
- Surrender = You release your rights and agree to Jesus’ terms.
- Explain how I was originally going to admonish you to “accept” Jesus today. (As if Jesus had finally sweeten the deal enough that He was acceptable to us.)
- We don’t “accept” Jesus—He provides a way for us to be accepted. What we do is surrender to Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
- Read: Revelations 1:12-17a
- VITAL! Explain the difference between living under the mercy of God and in the grace of God.
- Mercy is living on the “wrong” side of the cross. IOW, God is staying his judgment to give you time to repent.
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
- Grace is living on the “right” side of the cross. IOW, you have repented and surrendered to Jesus.
- IMPORTANT: Do not confuse the two!
- There are many that are living under God’s mercy (God holding back his judgment) and because nothing bad has happened to them yet they assume they’re OK. They could not be more wrong.
2. Surrender to Jesus today!
- Today = right now // this moment.
33 But Jesus told them, “I will be with you only a little longer. Then I will return to the one who sent me.34 You will search for me but not find me. And you cannot go where I am going.”
- Closing Illustration: RZIM’s account of visiting an execution room in a prison – on the wall was two murals: one a picture of Daniel in the Lion’s den // the other Elijah and the fiery chariot.