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John 14:1 & 27
WORDS OF HOPE
IN A HOPELESS HOUR
Intro: Notice the first phrase found in verses 1 and 27. Jesus says to His Disciples, Let not your heart be troubled... Those six simple words offered hope to our Lords disciples in a hopeless hour.
Were their hearts troubled? Certainly! Jesus has just told them of His impending death, 13:31-33; they had just learned that one of their number is going to betray Jesus into the hands of the enemy, 13:21; even Simon Peter has just been notified that he will deny Jesus three times before the morning comes. Yes, their hearts were heavy with sorrow and burdened with grief and questions. But, even in the hour of His greatest trial, Jesus still loved His own, 13:2, and reached out to them to comfort them and encourage them.
It would be impossible to adequately cover every detail of the glorious chapter in one message. Still, it is worth our time to take a birds eye view of this precious text today. In this great chapter, Jesus addresses some very important areas of life and offers us hope for them all.
In the hour of His greatest need, He takes the time to encourage the hearts of His Disciples, and of every person who takes the time to read and heed these words from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to show you the areas of life where we have hope today.
We live in an hour of great uncertainty. Changes and upheaval in our world have left many people concerned about their futures. The economy is in shambles. The world seems poised on the brink of war. People are losing their jobs. Money is tight. Prospects are dim, and for many, the future is bleak. There are many troubled hearts in this room today.
Jesus has a word for you. Sandwiched between verses 1 & 27 are some much needed words of hope and comfort. I want to give those words to you as I preach about Words Of Hope In A Hopeless Hour. Let me show you, from this chapter, the areas of life where Jesus has promised to give us hope.
I. v. 2-3 THERE IS HOPE
A. v. 2 A Heavenly Home - Jesus tells us about a prepared place for a prepared people! While we cannot go into great detail about the wonders of that Heavenly City today, I can tell you that when we arrive there, we will be home! We will dwell in the Father's House, in the Father's presence, free from sin, sorrow, suffering, separation or any other thing that would hinder the glory of Heaven, Rev. 21:4; 27. Try as I might, I could never adequately describe the glories of that place. I think Paul summed up the concept pretty well in 1 Cor. 2:9. I look forward to entering that city some day!
(Ill. Barring the return of Jesus in the Rapture, the only way to get to Heaven is through the door of death. Isn't it interesting that Jesus would speak of Heaven as Home? Often people are frightened by the prospect of dying. Yet, for the child of God, death is not the end; it is simply a time to go home, 2 Cor. 5:1-8!
This was the attitude of Paul - 2 Cor. 12:2-4. Paul had seen it, couldn't find the vocabulary to describe what he had seen, so he simply said that that whatever was over there was far better than what we have down here, Phil. 1:23.)
B. v. 3 A Heavenly Hope - In this verse, Jesus reminds us that there will come a day when He will return for His people. There are some who do not believe in the Rapture of the church, however the Lord does and I'll just stick with Him! Paul sheds a little more light on this monumental event in 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thes. 4:16-17. People may doubt it, and men may mock it, but Jesus is going to come again and the best advise I have for you is for you to be ready, Matt. 24:44!
C. v. 3 A Heavenly Homecoming - The Disciples are upset by the notion that Jesus is going away. Therefore, He tells them that where He is going, they can come also. Thank God today, the greatest glory of Heaven will not be golden streets, jasper walls, angelic hosts, crystal rivers, an endless day, or even seeing those who have gone on before. Even the thought of all these wonders pales when placed alongside that which will thrill our hearts more than anything else.
That thing that excites me more than anything else; that one wonder that I most anticipate is the day when I shall at last look upon the face of the One who died for my sins on Calvary. I look forward to the day when I shall at last have the opportunity to bow at His nail pierced feet and shout His praises in that Heavenly City on High. One day, we will join the glorified hosts of the redeemed in Heaven to fall at His feet and give Him glory, Rev. 4-5. (Ill. What A Day That Will Be!)
John saw Him and described Him this way, Rev. 1:13-19. However, the greatest description ever penned about our risen Lord is found in Rev. 5:6. That is the Jesus we will behold in glory!
I. There Is Hope For Tomorrow
II. v. 4-31 THERE IS HELP
A. v. 4-11 Help In Salvation - In these verses, Jesus tells the Disciples that there is only one plan of salvation for all men. He tells Thomas that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He declares Himself to be the only access to God for any man! He goes beyond that revelation and says that He is in fact the very physical representation of Almighty God, v. 9. Boiled down to its very simplest terms, Jesus is the only means of salvation for all humanity! Acts 4:12 Acts 16:31; John 3:16, all bear testimony to the truth that salvation is found in Jesus Christ and in Him alone.
(Ill. I realize that this is a pretty narrow view for our day and time, but it is a view that is taught by the Bible. Many believe there are many routes one can take to reach God. Yet the Bible makes it clear that there is but one way for all men and that way is through faith in finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary! Jesus blazed the trail from earth to Heaven so that sinners might come to him by faith and be saved.)
(Ill. A pioneer missionary in Africa tells how he was taking the gospel to a new tribe, far to the north. With his bearers, he arrived at a village, a point beyond which his porters refused to go.
The missionary appealed to the local chief. Was there someone in his village who could act as his guide to the distant northern tribe? The chief summoned a man, tall, battle scarred, carrying a large axe.
A bargain was made and the next morning the missionary set off through the bush, following his new guide. The way became increasingly rough and the path had all, but disappeared. There was an occasional mark blazed on a tree, occasionally a narrow path.
Finally the missionary called a halt. He asked the guide if he was sure he knew the way. The man pulled himself up to his full height. White man, he said, you see this axe in my hand? You see these scars on my body? With this axe I blazed the trail to the tribal village to which we go. I came from there. These scars I received when I made the way. You ask me if I know the way? Before I came, there was no way. I am the way!)
In this passage, Jesus gives us a threefold assurance:
1. How can I be saved? He is the Way!
2. How can I be sure? He is the Truth!
3. How can I be satisfied? He is the Life!
Thank God, Jesus is all you will ever need to guarantee your soul's salvation!
B. v. 12-14 Help For Service - As we live in the here and now, we can rest assured that Jesus will aid us in His work. He gives us a threefold promise related to the matter of our service.
1. v. 12 He will Honor Us - Jesus declares that we will be able to do greater works than those which He did. What He means is that they will be greater in quantity, but not in quality!
When Jesus was here, He was limited to one geographical locality. However, when He ascended back to Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to indwell His people, He has the ability to be in many places working at the same time.
While Jesus was on the earth, many of His miracles were physical in nature. Now, He uses His children to bring the Word of salvation to lost men. That is a tremendous miracle! For that which is spiritual is always greater than that which is physical!
2. v. 13-14 He Will Hear Us - Here we are given the blessed assurance that when we call upon the name of the Lord, He will hear us and will move in the time of our need. It makes serving Jesus much easier to know that we do not serve alone, but that we have His presence and His attention to our prayers. We serve a prayer hearing and prayer answering God, Jer. 33:3.
3. v. 13-14 He Will Help Us - Not only does Jesus promise to hear our prayers, but He also promises to move in such a way as to bring about an answer. He hears us and He helps us! I am glad that we do not serve a God who has left us to make it the best way we can. No! We serve a Lord who is able to help us by giving us that which we need day by day! (Ill. Matt. 7:7-8)
C. v. 15, 19-24 Help For Surrender - In these verses, Jesus speaks of about the area of our surrender to His authority. He declares that our surrender to Him should be based in love! He shares two great truths that must not go unnoticed.
1. v. 15, 21, 24 The Proof Of Love - Jesus makes it crystal clear that our obedience to Him and His word is the absolute proof of our love to Him. Our lips can say what they please, but until our lives match our lips, we are only deceiving ourselves!
2. v. 21, 23 The Promise Of Love - The promise to those who are obedient to the Lord Jesus and His will for their lives is that He and the Father will manifest themselves to them. That is, the believer who walks in obedient, surrendered love will experience an influx of power from on high. The promise of love is that surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ will bring with it great authority in the work of Christ, Matt. 25:21.
D. v. 16-18, 26 Help In The Spirit - These verses tell of the coming of the Holy Spirit. We are given several truths about Him and His ministry to believers that need to be looked into today.
1. V. 16a, 18 His Person - Jesus promised the Disciples that when He went to the Father, He would ask the Father to send the Comforter.The One Jesus call the Comforter is none other than the Holy Spirit. There are some facts about this divine Person that we need to acknowledge.
a. His Title - Comforter - paraklete – One who comes alongside of another to offer aid and comfort. It carries the idea of an advocate, or a lawyer.
b. His Personality - Another - allos - Literally another of the same kind and quality. Jesus was a Comforter Himself, but the Spirit of God is Another Comforter; He is One just like Jesus.
c. His Ability - v. 17 - Jesus had lived among these men for over three years. Now, even though He is going away, He will still be able to abide with His children. When the Holy Spirit comes, the Lord will not just abide with them, but He shall abide in them. Hence, Jesus has the ability to promise every child of God that He will never leave them nor forsake them, but that He will be with always, Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20.
2. v. 16b His Permanence - When the Spirit of God takes up residence in the heart of the believer; He comes in to stay forever! As long as this life lasts here on earth, the Spirit of God will never desert the child of God. He will ever be present and ever be guiding us as we walk through this wicked, sin cursed world!
3. v. 17, 21, 26 His Purpose - The purpose of the Spirit in the believer's life is manifold. These verses tell us about His plans for us and of His purpose in coming into us at conversion.
a. To Indwell - v. 17 - At the moment of salvation, the believer literally becomes the Temple of God, 1 Cor. 6:19. God, in the form of His Spirit, comes in and takes up permanent residence. He dwells in the life of the believer! Just take a minute and let that truth sink in! Our problem is that we have become so familiar with the deep truths of the Bible that they no long hold much luster for us. We fail to see the glory in the thought that God lives in our hearts!
b. To Invest - v. 21 - That is, He fills us with the power to live and to labor for the Lord. Without Him, we would be able to accomplish nothing of glory for Jesus sake. However, with Him filling us and leading us we have the ability to accomplish things that would otherwise be impossible - Phil. 4:13.
c. To Instruct - v. 26 - One purpose of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to instruct us in the things of God. It is the Holy Spirit who teaches about the Bible. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the deep things of God unto us. It is He the Holy Spirit who teaches us how to reach our fullest potential for the glory of God. He is a divine Instructor!
d. To Inspire - v. 26 - Again, we are reminded that He is an encourager. When we become discouraged, the Holy Spirit in our soul rises up and wraps the comforting arms of Heavenly love and protection around us and reminds that we belong to Him. He encourages us to keep on running, to keep on going, to keep on living for Jesus. He inspires us to press forward for the glory of the Lord.
E. V. 27-31 Help In Stillness - As Jesus brings the thoughts of chapter 14 to a close, He speaks to the Disciples troubled hearts once again. He reminds them that He is still the Prince of Peace and that just because He is leaving, that doesn't mean that He will remove His peace. Here, Jesus tells the Disciples that even though their world is about to be shattered, they can face it with the assurance that they have His peace to keep them during the difficult hours ahead.
(Ill. May I remind you that we have the same assurance today? Our world is in turmoil; there is uncertainty all around. Yet, through it all, the saints of God are possessed of a peace that defies all description. According to Jesus this peace is Heavenly in origin, therefore it cannot be affected by the events of earth. Our response in times of trouble is to lean on the peace of Jesus and trust Him to take care of His own - Phil. 4:6-7; Isa. 26:3.)
(Ill. Eph. 1:3 – We already have many of the spiritual blessings that we spend much of our time praying for.
· Love – Eph. 5:5
· Joy – 1 Pet. 1:8
· Peace – Phil. 4:7
Instead of worrying, we should be resting. Jesus has loaded us with spiritual blessings! We can take comfort in that truth today!)
Conc: I praise the Lord that believers have hope in what seems like a hopeless hour! I am glad that when I do not understand what is going to happen; when it seems that everything is falling apart; when I don't know which way to turn, I can count on the Lord Jesus Christ!
He has already given us all we need. Whether you need is for salvation, help for service, of peace of heart, your remedy will be found in Him.
I invite you to come to Jesus today and cast your cares upon Him, 1 Pet 5:7. Whatever you may be facinggggg today, you do not have to face it alone.