Text: John 7:25-36
The sacking and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by the legions of Rome under the leadership of Titus.
Josephus reported that 1,100,000 people were killed during the siege, of which a majority were Jewish, and that approximately another 100,000 were captured and enslaved.
- “The slaughter within was even more dreadful than the spectacle from without. Men and women, old and young, insurgents and priests, those who fought and those who entreated mercy, were hewn down in indiscriminate carnage. The number of the slain exceeded that of the slayers. The legionaries had to clamber over heaps of dead to carry on the work of extermination.”
This was prophesied by Jesus (Matthew 23)
Application: The odds of a similar thing happening in the U.S.A. is ever-increasing
- NOTE: Not because we are God’s chosen people—we are not an O.T. theocracy; but because of how we are treating Jesus Christ.
[Background: the parable of the vineyard, i.e. how Israel rejected Jesus]
- Matthew 21:41-43 (NKJV)
- 41 They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”
- 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
- Matthew 23:37-39 (NKJV)
- 37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
- 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”
Scripture in O.T.
- Psalm 33:12 (NKJV) Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…
- Psalm 9:17 (NKJV) The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
Bottom line, the United States is pushing Jesus Christ out.
- Thesis/Premise: Don’t be fooled by the use of Jesus’ name in our culture today. Just because our culture uses the name of Jesus doesn’t mean they truly know who He is and it certainly doesn’t mean they endorse him. Matter of fact, the day will come when the leaders and influencers of our nation will reveal their true colors and seek to arrest and eventually kill Him (and his followers.) Warning! When you see these things happening know that it is a precursor (sign) of the coming judgment of God.
- Mission Statement: The “arresting” process has been going on in our country for many years and will only continue to get worse. The question is: will your faith be able to stand the test? It is my mission with this message to awaken you to this fact and challenge to strengthen yourself in your faith in order to finish and finish well.
Luke 18:7-8 (NKJV) And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
- Vision Statement: You are living in wartime conditions. This is not a time to be passive, or preoccupied. However, it is also a time of unparalleled opportunity. Many will and do believe in Jesus. I see you bravely devoting yourself to something that really and eternally matters: defending the honor of your Savior and seeking the salvation of your loved ones and those that Jesus brings into your life.
What You Need to Know
FIRST: A nation rejecting Jesus misunderstands who He is. (7:27)
- John 7:25-36 (NLT)
- 25 Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 But here he is, speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah? 27 But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.”
Bottom line, they had a distorted understanding of who Jesus really was.
- Example: U.S.A.’s founding fathers—most were “deist” and “Unitarians” (all religions are good) at best…
- This is not to say these were not good and moral men // matter of fact, I wish we had men like them serving our country today. However, their understanding of Jesus was wrong and in the end, getting that right is all that matters.
SECOND: A nation rejecting Jesus seeks to “arrest” Him. (7:30, 32)
- There has been a relentless, systematic attack on the Christian faith in our country for the last 100 years.
- Think how Christianity has been marginalized in America…
- You can watch hours of television and see or hear no mention of church, the practice of the Christian faith or a personal relationship with Jesus Christ // and the limited times that the Christian faith is mentioned it is most often put in a bad light.
- Thanksgiving (Turkey Day) and Christmas (“Happy Holidays”) and “Spring break”
- The arrest of Christianity in the public arena
THIRD: A nation rejecting Jesus ultimately kills Him—in their lives and culture.
- The full-circle from my beginning, i.e. the sacking of Jerusalem and the long night of sorrow for the Jewish people.
FOURTH: Nevertheless, there will be a remnant! (7:31)
- 31 Many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him. “After all,” they said, “would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done?”
This is NOT a message of doom and despair // this is a message of revelation, assessment and counsel.
What to do…
FIRST: Make your calling and election sure.
- 2 Peter 1:10 (NKJV) Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble…
- Revelation 21:8 (NLT) But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
- Bottom line: Run the flag up the pole – show your colors // to your family, friends, foes and the entire world.
SECOND: And then stay the course.
- There’s a time that you stop dating // stop seeing if you’re compatible // and you make your intentions clear
- “Jesus I’m in—win or lose // good or bad // easy or tough.”
1 Peter 4:19 (NKJV) Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
THIRD: Let us gather up, protect and strengthen the remnant.
How do I want you feel as you leave today…
I want you to leave here feeling like you’ve got a job to do—your life is worth living. There’s people counting on you; God is counting on you—He counted you worthy. What you do matters. And above all I want you to leave here convinced that no matter high the price it is worth it. If you have Jesus you have the greatest treasure in the universe…and in the end He will prevail! Bottom line, you’re on the winning team. They finally arrested Him and killed Him; but on the third day…
You may (probably will) be knocked down, lied on, betrayed and abused…but you will get up… you will win! Your Creator is faithful!