Series Code: ICJ
Program Code: ICJ190004B
00:06 When we hear the words of Jesus again, we want to reemphasize
00:09 that as He turns to John, puts His hand on him, and He says,
00:12 "John, don't be afraid."
00:14 And then Jesus says why.
00:16 Even though John falls like a dead person, he's not dead,
00:19 but he just loses all strength.
00:20 And Jesus puts His hand on him and says, "Don't be afraid."
00:23 Then Jesus gives the reason why.
00:25 So we want to go to Revelation 1:18
00:28 and listen to Jesus as He says why we should not be afraid.
00:33 He says, "I am He who lives, and was dead..."
00:37 In other words, "I'm alive. I was dead, but I'm alive."
00:41 So that should give you hope.
00:43 "...and behold, I am alive forevermore."
00:46 So Jesus is saying, "Don't be afraid, because
00:49 even though I was dead, I'm now alive.
00:52 And I'm going to be alive forevermore."
00:53 Now that's very, very important to remember.
00:56 And then He says, "Amen." Or so be it.
00:59 "And I have the keys to Hades and Death."
01:04 Or to grave and the death.
01:05 Now that's quite a statement.
01:07 Jesus alone has the keys to unlock the graves.
01:12 You know every time you ride by a graveyard,
01:14 it's like riding by one of Satan's prison houses.
01:17 Because as people die, they go into Satan's grave,
01:20 if you please.
01:22 Into the prison house.
01:23 But Jesus is coming some day to release His children
01:27 from that prison.
01:29 He has the keys. He can unlock that grave.
01:31 He can bring people back to life.
01:33 Some people think that's a hard thing, but
01:36 really for the God of heaven it's not going to be hard
01:39 to bring people back to life.
01:41 Let's just go on just a little bit.
01:43 When Jesus talks about having the keys, He's the living proof.
01:47 He knows what He's talking about.
01:50 Well how did the human race get into this mess anyway?
01:53 We've talked a little bit about that.
01:55 But God is love.
01:56 But it's because the whole human race bought into
01:59 the selfish proposition of the devil and his evil angels,
02:02 that somehow they could live and be selfish.
02:05 But you can't be selfish and live.
02:07 The only way you can live is to become unselfish.
02:10 And we need Jesus to do that.
02:12 Now it was a big risk for God to bring people into the world.
02:15 It's a risk to bring children into the world.
02:17 I mean, they're beautiful and wonderful as little babies,
02:19 you know, that's great.
02:21 But they're going to grow up and you're going to lose
02:23 control as a parent, and they are going to make decisions.
02:25 And they may make decisions that, you know, bother you.
02:28 It's a risk to bring children into the world.
02:30 It was a risk to bring a creation into the world.
02:32 Now Jesus could have made everybody robots.
02:36 I remember the first time we saw our little girl.
02:40 And I saw her through the window,
02:41 she had a little pink hat on.
02:43 She was so precious.
02:45 Now this didn't happen, and this is just after
02:48 I got to thinking about it and after she began to grow up.
02:51 She's been a wonderful daughter.
02:53 Is a wonderful daughter.
02:55 I began to think about this a little bit, and my imagination
02:58 worked on a little parable.
03:01 What if while I was looking at my little daughter
03:04 an angel appeared to me and said to me,
03:07 "You know what, behind her ear is a button.
03:12 And if you'll just push that button, she'll always be good."
03:19 Would you push it?
03:21 Would you push it?
03:24 I mean, it would be like saying she has to be good because
03:29 she'd be programmed that way.
03:33 No, you wouldn't push it.
03:35 Because when she sat on your lap and she said,
03:37 "Daddy, I love you," you'd be listening to a tape recorder.
03:41 No, God made His children free moral agents.
03:43 And we want our children to have freedom
03:46 to love and to take the risk of not loving us.
03:51 Love takes a risk.
03:54 That's why God made us free moral agents
03:57 so that when we say we love Him,
04:00 He's not listening to a tape recorder.
04:02 Jesus wants children, not robots.
04:07 So God runs His universe by these laws.
04:11 He wants to give us all the freedom he possibly can.
04:13 Some people think that God's law is restrictive.
04:15 No, it's not.
04:17 Unless death is freedom, and it's not,
04:19 God's laws are the law of liberty, as the Bible says.
04:23 They can make freedom possible.
04:24 They make life possible.
04:26 And without life, there's no freedom, of course.
04:28 So He runs His universe by these finely tuned laws.
04:32 We'll talk about that in another program again.
04:35 But if you change those laws, as I mentioned before,
04:38 death is the result.
04:40 Not because God is mean, but because He loves life.
04:43 And those laws are necessary to life.
04:46 And that's why Adam and Eve had to be tested.
04:49 That's why there was the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
04:52 Not because God wanted them to choose evil,
04:54 but they couldn't grow in character without that testing.
04:59 And testing is different than tempting.
05:03 Let me underline that.
05:05 I mean, when you take a test in school,
05:06 does your teacher want you to pass the test?
05:08 Of course she does.
05:10 Of course he does.
05:11 He's rooting for your success.
05:15 He wants you to do well.
05:16 That's why you have tests. God's rooting for their success.
05:19 He's made them free moral agents,
05:20 and their loyalty now needs to be tested.
05:23 When somebody tempts you, they're tempting you
05:27 to get you in trouble because they don't like you.
05:30 Because they want to get you in a very difficult situation.
05:34 Temptation and testing are two very different things.
05:37 God tempts nobody, but He does test us.
05:41 And Adam and Eve were being tested.
05:43 Their loyalty was being tested.
05:45 And without loyalty, without trust in God, you can't exist.
05:50 That's the thing that connects us to God.
05:52 It's just that simple.
05:53 You trust God, you have faith in Him,
05:55 and now you're connecting with God.
05:56 He's the source of all life.
05:58 You don't have faith in Him, then you're not connected
06:01 with Him, and you're going to die.
06:03 That's why the whole world is dying,
06:04 is because of a lack of faith.
06:08 So how do we get out of this mess since we're all
06:11 born into a sinful condition?
06:13 I mean, you're born with a carnal nature
06:16 that tempts us, Satan tempts us,
06:18 the selfish world that we live in tempts us.
06:21 I'm telling you, we had to have a substitute.
06:23 We had to have somebody different from Adam
06:25 who fell and plunged us all into this mess.
06:29 And Jesus became our substitute.
06:32 What is a substitute?
06:33 That's a big word.
06:35 Well let me give you an illustration
06:37 maybe to help understand that.
06:39 I'm not sure I really like where I get it from, but
06:41 it helps you to understand how substitution is
06:43 going on in our own culture and our own society.
06:47 Let's just suppose that two guys are at work and it's Friday,
06:50 and they're getting ready to get off,
06:51 and each one of them are the sponsor of a ball team.
06:54 I don't care what kind of ball. Some kind of sports team.
06:57 And one says to the other, he says, "You know what?
07:00 You know what?
07:01 Our team is going to win this weekend.
07:03 And the other one says, "No, our team is going to win this week."
07:05 Oh, they have this friendly back and forth.
07:08 And then they go home.
07:09 Have you ever seen a sports, pardon the word,
07:13 ever seen a sports fanatic?
07:17 You know, they paint their faces, they go to some
07:20 sports game, they stand up and they yell and they scream.
07:23 Or they get in front of the television,
07:25 nobody can hear them there or maybe except their kids
07:27 and their wife.
07:29 Or maybe it's their husband.
07:31 And every time something goes right, they jump and yell.
07:34 And every time something goes wrong, they say, "Oh no."
07:39 Well, come Monday morning, and they get back and
07:44 the guy whose team won, he comes in and he says
07:47 to his friend, "We beat you.
07:49 We beat you good."
07:56 We never touched the ball.
08:02 So what's going on here?
08:04 It's called, substitution.
08:08 Substitution means that whatever the team does happens to him.
08:13 So if they win, they're happy as all get out, so to speak.
08:18 And if they have lost, they go into depression.
08:25 Whatever happens to the team happens to them.
08:28 The wonderful thing about our wonderful Savior is
08:31 that everything He did can be substituted for us.
08:34 His death, His resurrection, His life.
08:38 That's where you get power to live a Christian life.
08:39 You can't live a Christian life on your own.
08:42 I want to underline that.
08:43 You need a union with Christ in order to be able to
08:46 live a Christian life.
08:48 It's that union with Christ that means everything to us.
08:51 Some people say, "Well, how is it that one Man's life could
08:54 pay for everybody else's?"
08:56 Well, let me ask you a question.
08:59 Who is more valuable, the artist or the artwork?
09:05 Well, I know in our world today so many people say
09:07 the artwork is more valuable, but they're wrong.
09:11 The artist is always more valuable than his artwork.
09:15 The creator of anything is always more valuable
09:20 than what he created.
09:22 Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega.
09:25 He is the one who created everything.
09:29 He created Adam and Eve, from which we all came.
09:34 So Jesus, because He's the Creator of the universe,
09:39 is worth more than all of us put together.
09:43 He's worth more than the entire universe.
09:46 So when He gives His life in place of mine,
09:51 His life is worth all of our lives.
09:53 So His life can be a substitute for the life of
09:58 everybody on the planet.
10:00 What a wonderful Savior.
10:02 There's nobody like Him.
10:04 This incomparable Jesus who gave His life for us
10:09 so that He could save us
10:11 and get us out of this terrible mess.
10:14 You know, if you choose Jesus as your Messiah,
10:18 then there's several wonderful things that happen.
10:21 First of all, of course, He brings you to repent
10:24 of your sins, which is a good thing to repent
10:27 in front of God's Ten Commandments.
10:29 And then you surrender your life to His control.
10:31 And that's a good thing because so many people's lives
10:34 are out of control.
10:36 That's why there's so much unhappiness in the world.
10:38 People are just out of control.
10:40 Everywhere you go you see people doing crazy things.
10:44 And they're ruining their life because they're out of control.
10:49 But the result of that is a brand new you.
10:51 We call it a new birth experience or a new creation.
10:55 But you know, in order to keep that new birth going,
10:57 you need a constant faith in the Lord Jesus.
11:00 Not a one point in time faith.
11:04 You need a constant faith.
11:06 You need a constant union with Christ.
11:09 And the wonderful thing is that even if we do sin,
11:12 if we do sin, thank God we have an Advocate,
11:16 we have somebody that can help us.
11:18 You know, you've heard people say, "Well, I'm not perfect."
11:21 Have you ever heard anybody say that?
11:22 Yet Jesus says, "Be perfect, even as your Father
11:26 in heaven is perfect."
11:27 What did He mean by that?
11:28 Oh, a few months ago I got to thinking about that.
11:30 And I said, I've got to understand that better.
11:33 And I went and read... Let me tell you this.
11:34 Context is everything.
11:37 If you take something out of context,
11:38 you can make it say anything you want.
11:40 But when you go to the context in Matthew 5:43-48,
11:47 you hear that Jesus says, "Be like your heavenly Father.
11:50 He makes the sun shine on those that are not nice
11:53 and He makes the sun shine on those who are nice."
11:56 God does nice things for everybody
11:59 because He's such a wonderful loving God.
12:01 He cares about everybody.
12:03 And that's the context where Jesus said,
12:07 "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."
12:09 In other words, learn to love unselfishly,
12:14 like your heavenly Father loves.
12:17 You love everybody.
12:18 That doesn't mean you condone everybody,
12:21 nor justify wickedness or evil.
12:23 Still call sin by its right name.
12:26 But we do love. We care about people.
12:30 Listen, Jesus has the key.
12:32 This union with Christ means everything.
12:35 One of my favorite authors in, Desire of Ages, page 388,
12:38 says this, and I'd like to share this with you.
12:41 "Christ became one flesh with us so that we might become
12:45 one spirit with Him."
12:46 Now listen.
12:48 "It is by virtue of this union with Christ
12:52 that we are to come forth from the grave,
12:55 not merely as a manifestation of the power of Christ,
12:59 but because of faith," in Him, of course,
13:02 His life has become ours."
13:04 In other words, the life of Christ
13:07 has become our substitute.
13:10 Let me tell you, this incomparable Jesus,
13:12 this Alpha and Omega, this Beginning and the End,
13:17 this One who says don't be afraid,
13:20 He can say that, He can say that because
13:25 He is able to bring us back from the grave.
13:30 Don't be afraid.
13:31 You have the Alpha and the Omega on your side.