Dealing With Death • John 11:21-27, 33-44 • Nov. 24,
Introduction: Recently I heard of a child who was killed in a car wreck. The father of this child was a pastor of a very liberal church and he held to a very liberal theology. During the funeral service no positive expression of life after death or a heavenly home were talked about for this lad. The last song, as they rolled the casket out of the church was “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,” because that was the boy’s favorite song. Without hope in Christ it is very difficult to be Dealing With Death.
1. Dealing with Death and The Savior’s . . Promise. John 11:21-27
Did the Lord deliberately take time in other events so Lazarus would have the experience of death? He did have to have one in a tomb in order to raise them. Martha did understand some theology that many did not as she expressed her belief in the power of Jesus and the future resurrection. Immediately she confused the future resurrection with what Jesus planned to do in the near future. Did you realize if you have two births you will not have two deaths? People who have experienced the new birth will never die spiritually but pass from death into life eternal. But without the new birth, a person will die physically and spiritually. Do you believe Jesus is the Messiah? Have you placed your faith in Him and received Him as Lord? It made a difference in Martha’s life.
2. Dealing with Death and The Savior’s . . Personal Concern. John 11:33-38
This is the only time the New Testament tells us Jesus wept. It represents a sorrow for the people as well as a sorrow related to the sin that causes all death. Jesus shared His compassion as He moved toward the scene of Lazarus’s resurrection. He knew He would soon witness what the power of God alone could do. It is interesting how even some who would not be considered friends recognized how He loved Lazarus and his family.
3. Dealing with Death and The Savior’s . . Power. John 11:39-44
If Jesus can raise the dead (and He can) why doesn’t He roll the stone away. He gives the people who cannot raise the dead something to do. If I were there, I would have been pleased to say I helped to move the stone. Now Martha knew her brother and she said he is going to stink. But Jesus raised Lazarus and he did not even smell like death. Some of the work we do today is similar as we can set the sails but we cannot cause the wind of God’s power to blow. He allows us to set the sails. He gave thanks to the Father as He prayed. He knew the Father is going to hear and answer His prayer. Why such a loud voice and the name Lazarus? In a humorous vain one pastor suggested it was so everyone in the cemetery did not rise. (For a more detailed outline, go to: http://www.preachhim.org/SundaySchoolIndex.html.)
Live Selflessly • John 12:24-33, 35-36, 44-48 • Dec. 1
Introduction: Do you find it sort of unusual to meet people who could be classified as ones living selflessly? When we meet someone we could classify that way, it will normally be a Christian. But sadly, Christians living that way are not as numerous as they should be.
1. The . . Principle of Living Selflessly. 12:24-26
If we choose to life selflessly, we have an excellent pattern in Jesus. Jesus used an example of a grain of wheat and that is a fine example, but He makes an even better one. If we love our life supremely, we will never love and follow Christ like He desires for us. When we have the thought of giving our self away in His service we are on the road to selfless living. How can we receive eternal honor from the Heavenly Father? Selfless service to Jesus will be recognized by the Father and He will give us eternal honor.
2. The . . Price of Living Selflessly. 12:27-33
Whatever lifestyle we choose, we need to recognize it carries a price. To live our life for Christ means we will pay a price. On one occasion I heard of a missionary who after years of service gave her testimony and afterward a lady said to her, “I would give the world to have a testimony like you gave.” The missionary said, “That is exactly what it cost me.” What is your lifestyle costing you? Jesus’ lifestyle caused Him to pay a price that took a very painful death. All along the way Jesus knew what a selfless life was costing Him and He proceeded to the cross in obedience to the Father.
3. The . . Present Urgency of Living Selflessly. John 12:35-36
Do you think there is a present urgency for Christians to walk in the spiritual light Jesus produces? Almost every Bible-believing person I know speaks of a spiritual urgency for the nation to return to the biblical principles. The movie and television industry do not seem to care about producing information that will honor a godly lifestyle. They seem to think sales and the production of large numbers are the most important results. If we can help people live for Jesus and witness for Him, we will be fulfilling an urgent need for this generation and others.
4. The . . Preciseness Of Christ’s Words for One Deciding to Live Selflessly. 12:44-48
Spiritual light takes people out of Spiritual darkness and places them in a belief system that causes them to believe Jesus is the Light and the Savior of the World. Because of this position they surrender to Jesus for their personal salvation. They also become part of the spiritual light Jesus shares. People can pay attention to the written Word captured by those who were inspired to write it down. His Word will be the guidelines for judgment. I am comfortable knowing that. His Word helps me to desire to Live Selflessly! Amen? Amen! (For a more detailed outline, go to: http://www.preachhim.org/SundaySchoolIndex.html.)