John 12 (Pastor Jeff Shipley)

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Now I want you to pay attention. It wasn't anything in Israel. It wasn't their military size.
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It wasn't the type of people. We're going to be in John chapter 12 today.
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And I guess first of all, the awkwardness of which
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I enjoy producing, but the awkwardness of the situation is that today is
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Palm Sunday. And if you grew up in the Catholic or Episcopal or Methodist faith, you're probably expecting some palm fronds, right?
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Can I get an omnio deo spiritual sanctu from my Catholics? Where are you? We didn't have any.
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Because to be quite honest, there ain't no palm trees in Memphis, okay? There ain't no way to cut down palm trees.
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Guys, if you've been here long enough, we really don't preach about moms on Mother's Day.
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We really don't preach about dads on Daddy Day, or whatever it's called. Father's Day.
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We don't preach about America on July 4th. We preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, because it's really cool if you preach that, it covers all of that, right?
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This is not made for entertainment. This is the word of the living God that some of y 'all desperately need to get because y 'all have been stuck in chains and mire long enough.
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But, just to play along, happy Palm Sunday, you filthy animal.
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Alright, so, I want to talk to you today about crowds, Christians, and the choice of Christ.
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Now, for those of you that were wondering, and I'm sure most of you were, if the juxtaposition of Wynton is that we don't do anything, what do most people around the world do?
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Now, I know you probably can't see this real well, so I put my magnifying glass, I'm a technological genius, check this out.
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In Belgium, 12 men today, or Sunday morning, it's actually
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Monday over there, 12 men carry a wooden statue of Christ around while children go door to door selling palm fronds.
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That's a pretty good racket right there, you know? In England, from 1600 to 1800 in England, it was traditional on Palm Sunday to make a straw effigy, a straw man, of Judas Iscariot, and then they would beat it and set it on fire to get revenge for Jesus, because Jesus needs that.
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And then in Egypt and Ethiopia, palm leaves will be blessed and distributed. In Finland, children dress up as Easter witches, they get this confused with Halloween, and go in the neighborhood and sell decorated branches.
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You know why they use branches? Because there ain't no palm trees in the Netherlands either! And in India, the
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Catholic Church in India, palms are blessed and the priests hand them out. In Ireland, once again they have to use spruce and cypress, branches are blessed with holy water, and on and on and on and on.
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In the Philippines they have a special statue that they go out and the little kids run around with palm branches and they do their thing.
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Guys, do you notice that in all of these, now in America we do the same thing, we do probably all of that and more.
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Do you notice something? And this is why religion is so stupid. It will take the symbol of something and elevate it on equal platform to that which it's supposed to symbolize.
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That's amazing to me! We do that! I thank God that we have no original autographs of the
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Old Testament. I'm so glad that we don't have the original letter
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Paul wrote to the Romans because I guarantee you if we did it would be in six inch thick glass with some church built around it and people would go by and try to hug it, kiss it, or touch it to get some special anointing from God.
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We don't need any palms! We don't need no badges! We don't need no palms to find
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Jesus. Here's how I want to break us down today. I want to show you from John chapter 12 what the crowd did with Jesus, what the church or the
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Christians were trying to do with Jesus, the disciples were doing, and then eventually what the choice of Christ is going to be.
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First of all, turn with me to John chapter 12 and verse 12 and it says this, the next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem so they took branches of palm trees and they went out to meet
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Him crying out, Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the
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Lord, even the King of Israel. Now, Hosanna means save us or save us now.
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And what they're quoting is Psalms chapter 118 verse 25. What they were wanting
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Jesus to do was to come in and kick butt and take names. That's what
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He was wanting them to do. They were wanting them to take them old nastily scraggly beard
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Italian Romans and run them out on a rail and make Israel Jewish again.
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Where everybody's running around with little pigtails saying oi. That's what the Jews were wanting to happen.
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They wanted Jesus to pull a sword and lead them in a revolt. But that's not what
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Jesus did. You see what Jesus did on that morning. He rode in.
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And as He was riding through the gates in fact if you look at your little paper there's actually the route from Bethany.
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You'll find that in chapter 12 verse 1. He left from Bethany and it'll show the exact route
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He went in the temple complex. It was during the Passover. And people from all over the known world at that time would show up for Passover.
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For some of us rednecks in here it was when the county fair would show up. Everybody from 42 counties would come and eat you know fried snicker bars and fried
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Twinkies and whatever else. Everybody was there. And the one thing they had to do to celebrate
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Passover is that each family, each person had to have a lamb sacrificed for them.
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There was at one count and I can't cite where this is found but at one count there were over 256 ,000 lambs on Passover in Jerusalem one year.
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So I want you to picture this. While the crowd is sitting there with their palm branches getting ready for the big game, the big fight.
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Jesus is riding on a colt, a baby donkey going through the gate with the other lambs that are going to be slaughtered.
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And people had no idea. You see Christ had an ambition on that day and it wasn't to overthrow the government or get
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Biden out of office or put Trump into office. It wasn't to elect this or that or to have this ideologue or to have this thing that I stand for or this denomination or I believe in this.
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Jesus was there to do one thing. Obey and sacrifice. And He did them both.
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The crowd though was in the idea of it's us versus them. Verse 17.
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Let me show you something else the crowd needed. The crowd that had been with Him when
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He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness.
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I love this because it gives a credence to the authenticity of Scripture. In other words, if I saw
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Mercedes right now get up and there's nobody dead in here.
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Well Carrie's close to being dead. Carrie's real old. If she walked up to Carrie, I call her
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Grady now. If she walked up to Grady and said and Carrie went from being 67 all the way back down to being 20 again,
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I'm going to be following Mercedes around for a little while. I'm going to be checking out what
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Mercedes is doing. If this is just a Shakespearean novel. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
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Everybody went home and had a ham, well not a ham sandwich, but they had a beef sandwich, right? Kosher.
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Come on, I can't do it. Lamb chops. There you go. They're still following Jesus around.
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Because this dude had done something they had never seen before. They heard he was in Jerusalem.
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And so the crowd gathers like on a Sunday afternoon in the stadiums around the
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United States. We need to see something. We need to be fed something. You see, our lives are so empty and miserable,
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I need a sign a vision, a validation of life. I need something other than God to give me value.
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So here's Jesus. He raised someone from the dead. Man, we're following Him around.
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And it says the reason why, verse 18, the crowd went to meet
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Him was that they heard that He had done this sign. How many of you are trying to get sober and you made this statement?
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Man, I need to get back into church. How many of you, your marriages are a wreck, and if you get back in church, it's going to get fixed?
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You see, you're looking for a sign rather than a Savior. You're looking for a religion rather than the
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Lordship of Jesus Christ. You want Him to fix something for you instead of you dying to yourself and following Him.
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You're in the crowd, see? You're in the crowd. You're looking for something that's not really even there.
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Verse 19, the Pharisees said to one another, now these are the pastors. Think of these guys as apostle, prophet, something, something.
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They have to have 42 names and be dressed in a 3 ,000 -piece suit. They've got to have a 50 -piece orchestra wherever they go, going, hallelujah, praise
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God, ha, ha, ha, smacking people in the head. I could never be a Pentecostal, I'll be honest with you.
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Because you smack me, I'm going to jack you up, right? Be healed! Knock you out!
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The Pharisees sat there and noticed their attitude. Noticed their attitude.
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It says, you see, you see that you are gaining nothing.
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Look, the world has gone after him. Now if you kick back up to verse 12, here's what the
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Pharisees are planning. There's a whole group of them, and like any Baptist committee, you get 12
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Baptists in a room, they're going to come up with 14 different opinions, okay? And so the
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Pharisees are the same way. They're saying, we've got to do something about this Jesus. And a bunch of them said,
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I know what to do. I'll get Vinny and Luigi, they'll take him up to the top floor, he'll get stabbed in the back 40 times and fall off committing suicide off the top building.
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That's what we'll do. We'll put him on a horse head in his bed. We're going to knock him out. And the other
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Pharisees are like, no, we can't do that. We can't go around killing people. Like, oh, we've been doing it for a thousand years.
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Yeah, we can. Somebody was like going, man, by this time now, if you look back in verse 12, they don't want to just kill
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Jesus. You know else they want to kill? They want to kill Lazarus. Because that gump, this guy got raised from the dead.
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Everybody saw him in the grave. In fact, if you read the King James Version, you know he stinketh.
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Right? He was in that tomb rotting. Everyone knew it.
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All of a sudden this dude comes up and he says, hey Lazarus, come forth.
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They moved the stone away and that dead man walked again. They were freaked out.
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But notice this, they weren't so freaked out by it that they were willing to lose their position or their power.
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You hear what I'm saying? Some of you preachers out there, we've been talking. You need to put down the platform and pick up the pulpit again.
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Guys, if your Christianity is based on your circle of friends and it's a self -gratitude grandiose thing in which you pat yourself on the back, striving for holiness yet you are nothing more than a sepulcher full of dead man's bones.
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You are in the crowd. You are not with Christ. Pastor, how do I know that? If you find no value in the whore walking down the street, but you're excited about the type of music, if you think revival has to do with everybody else in this country except you, look right here, you are who the gospel is speaking to today.
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You need to repent. Let me ask you, how long has it been since you've been to the altar?
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How long has it been since you realized, I don't care if they're gay.
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I don't care what they do. I'm no better than they are. That adulterous woman you gossip about.
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Listen to that statement again. The adulterous woman that you gossip about, guess what boat she's in?
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Yo's? Okay. You see, the Pharisees knew all of the
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Scriptures. They had all the best clothes. They listened to T .G. Jakes. They listened to all the trendy.
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If you named a new Christian book, they had it in their bookcase. Man, Joel Osteen was their favorite guy.
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He'll be joining them soon. They were focused, not on Christ, they were focused on themselves.
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Now look at verse 28. Here's another characteristic of the crowd. Jesus said in 28, Father, glorify your name.
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Notice just for a second the absolute diametrical opposition between these two mindsets.
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Now church folk, now listen to me. Listen to me. Especially you folks that are holier than thou.
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Listen. Father, glorify your name. Not Wynton Baptist Church.
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Not Pastor So -and -So. Not my family. Not my heritage. Not my letter.
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Not my tithing. Not my music program. Not the children program. Father, glorify your name.
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And your name alone. Then a voice came from heaven. Ooh. I have glorified it.
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Now watch. And will glorify it again. Now you sit there and go, are you going to do a rap song,
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God? What do you mean? Like, God, you are great, great, great, great, great. No, no. The Greek word there again doesn't mean simply a repetitive nature.
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It means a growth exponentially in intensity. In other words, 10 ,000 years.
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Watch this. You know how like when you're singing one of them songs? You ever been to a
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Metallica concert? No. Okay.
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Well, pretend like you had. And someone like, I don't know, Poison opened up for them.
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Right? A little sissy girl band. Right? And you kind of get through that to get to the good stuff.
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Or maybe better put it like this. In other words, like I'm up here leading singing and worship.
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And y 'all are like going, praise God. We love you, Pastor. Get off the stage.
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And then the praise team comes up. You know an amazing grace where it says, and we will praise
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Him for 10 ,000 years, and we've only just begun. We're always going to get one more better song, one more better verse, one more better moment.
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And it will never, ever, ever end. Guys, the other part of that is this.
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For some of you that have put your faith in religion or asking Jesus Christ in your heart as your
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Lord and Savior, you're going to get something that lasts every day too. Where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.
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And there will be no weekends, no parole, no recess, no time off for good behavior, no double days.
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You're going to be in hell forever. If you run with the crowd. Now notice this.
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The crowd that stood there and heard it, they didn't quite understand what was happening. They said, oh, that was just thunder.
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Or someone had been to Taco Bell. That was just thunder. Or some other people said, an angel has spoken to him.
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You see, they didn't quite understand. They didn't quite get it. When the
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Word of God is spoken, they don't really understand that their comprehension is not necessary for God's Word to complete its task.
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And that task at that time was for it to be heard to those it was intended to be heard by.
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Because most people didn't get it. But there were a few that did. Last thing about the crowd is this.
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Verse 34. So the crowd answered Jesus. We have heard from the law that Christ remains forever.
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How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man? Now, I want you to understand something.
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These people memorized entire book. What's y 'all's favorite verse? If someone says
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John 3 .16, I'm going to vomit. Okay? What's your favorite verse? If any man be in Christ.
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What? Philippians 1 .9. Alright. What? What's your favorite book?
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Ephesians. Quote it. Wait a minute. Quote it. These guys that were in the crowd could quote the first five books of the
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Bible. By heart. By heart. Jesus called himself the
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Son of Man. And you have to understand in the Semitic idiom of what Son of meant in the likeness of.
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So when Jesus said I'm a Son of Man, he was saying I'm in the likeness of a man. They didn't get it.
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Even though that had been prophesied in the Old Testament. The same Old Testament they had read and they knew.
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They still did not get it. Say it with me. For God so loved the world that He gave.
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Ok, stop. You're butchering it. You sound like Bellevue. Some of you know it.
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But you still don't get it. Because you walk down an aisle in a Baptist church and pray
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Jesus into your heart. And maybe you got a little feeling. And then you got baptimized.
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And you got a little blue or pink Bible with the pastor putting your name in it. And you were good to go.
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And nothing changed in your life. You didn't get it.
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Ok? And maybe there are churches out there more interested in growing their numbers that ain't going to tell you that.
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I don't care. I'm fixing to retire in a few years. I don't want your membership or your filthy money.
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What I want is for you not to go burn in hell forever. That honest to God look in my eyes.
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That is the passion of my life. Sometimes much to my wife's embarrassment when we're on airplanes.
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That's the crowd. Now, let's look just for a second at the disciples. The crowd's clueless.
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I'm going to be honest with us Christians. I'm talking about real Christians now. I'm going to be honest. We're just as clueless.
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But here's the good part. We've got a Savior that we can still be clueless with. Look at these Christians.
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Verse 16. His disciples did not understand these things at first.
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Now listen. Jesus is talking. He said, I've got to be lifted up. I've got to go die. I've got to do this.
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They're like, what? What are you talking about? They did not understand things at first. But when
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Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about Him and had been done to Him.
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You see, when you stay with Jesus enough, when you walk with Him daily, Christian, you'll begin to understand things that there is no explanation of anywhere in this world.
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It's amazing. I can tell you the exact flight patterns and time frames of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
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I can tell you the exact casualty number. I can tell you all of that. I can tell you the battle of Bunker Hill.
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You know where the battle of Bunker Hill was fought? Breed's Hill. Who said it? Good man.
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Two good history nerds. I know all that stuff. I knew that before I was a
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Christian. But here's what I'm telling you. After I became a Christian, I started seeing
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God in things that I'd never seen God in. Like, there is no military economic way that we won the
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Revolutionary War. It's impossible. Can I get an amen, history nerds? There's no way.
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And yet we won. Guys, there's no way the state of Israel can fight seven nations at one time and beat them in six days.
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It's impossible. It can't happen. But when you begin to see things through the vision of God's Word, rather than the academia that the world's trying to make you sick with, you'll start seeing
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God in miracles and signs everywhere. You see, the signs are already there.
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The proof is already there. The truth is already there. You just need to have the blinders taken off your eyes.
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In other words, some of y 'all need to take that red pill and shut up. Us Christians, even though we're truly saved, sometimes we still just don't get it.
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Look at this, verse 20. Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some
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Greeks. Oh, those Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethesda in Galilee, and asked him,
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Sir, we wish to see Jesus. Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip went and told
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Jesus. Now let me explain this to you real quick. Miss Gwen and I just got back from San Francisco.
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Stop it. We just got back from San Francisco. Yeah, that's one of the things I want you to edit out. I just got back from San Francisco and what
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I noticed in San Francisco is that the people cutting the yards and doing the menial work that Latinos do here are the
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Chinese there. I don't get it, but that's the way it is there, right?
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And it was funny. I watched certain folk and they were being served dinner, but they didn't really notice the server.
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They were just kind of there. You know what I mean? In other words, that wasn't a human being there.
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That was my water glass getting refilled or my food being brought to me. The people out selling hot dog on a stick, cats, whatever they are, right?
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They were just a background annoyance to the agenda that I have for myself that day.
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It's funny to watch people push by them. That's who the Greeks were to the Jews. They were barbarians.
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They were a lesser group of people. Now watch this.
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And some of y 'all need to hear me on this. The Greeks come up.
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Now there was one disciple out of all twelve disciples that had a Greek name. Everyone else had
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Hebrew names. But there was this guy named Philip.
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And isn't it strange that the Greek named dude there was the guy that the
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Greeks showed up to? And I want you to watch this for a second. I want you to watch this for a second.
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Hey, we want to see Jesus. No longer did the disciples sit there and go, get these kids out of here.
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The master's talking. Because they had learned the lesson from the rebuke Christ had given them. Suffer these little children to come on to me.
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Because unless you have the faith of a child, you'll never see the kingdom of heaven. They had learned.
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Somebody said, I want to see Jesus. Philip went, okay, how do we do this?
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What's the protocol? Do I need a green sheet, right? I hate them green sheets.
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Do I need a green sheet? Nah. Philip said, I got you.
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Andrew, where Jesus at? Oh, he's over there. Hey, man, let's go. So they grabbed the
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Greeks. They walk up to Jesus. They go, Jesus, Greeks, Greeks, Jesus.
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Christians. How's your witnessing doing? You know, sometimes
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Christians need to be seen without being heard. But dang, nowadays, we need to be heard a lot more than just being seen.
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Dang gum, when's the last time you witnessed somebody? When's the last time you brought someone to the
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Word of God, to Jesus, to the Logos? When's the last time you opened the
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Word of God with an unbeliever? When's the last time? This ain't a rhetorical question,
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Farley. Think about it for a second. When's the last time the grace that you want to sing and drop a tear at because of special music, if it's so precious to you in that five minutes of getting that filling of the
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Holy Spirit, quote unquote, why is it not more filling to actually use it to let the light of Christ take the blinders off someone who desperately needs it?
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You see, my summation is this. I think you're full of poopoo. I think you're looking for an emotional feeling rather than truly serving
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God. And I think you've lost your way. I still believe you're a believer. I know because in your heart you want to do what is right.
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You want to be more bold. You want to do this. You want to do that. But you feel like,
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I've heard so many people, Christians tell me this in 30 years of pastoring. Well, pastor, I would witness I just don't know what to say.
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Or I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing. I'm going to teach you. You ready? Jesus loves you.
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This I know because the Bible tells me so. Right there is the best apologetical sentence you can come up with.
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Why do you believe? The Bible tells me. Well, who? Jesus loves me. Well, how are you saved? Because Jesus loves me.
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And I know it. In the vacuum of absolutes in our culture today, the absolute fact of Jesus loving me is like a warm blanket this world will never be able to match.
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You don't need to know the apologetics of lapsarian theology. You don't need to know all that garbage.
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All you need to be able to do is take someone, bring them to the Word of God, and show them the truth of the life of Jesus Christ.
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Look at this. Verse 26.
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If anyone serves me, he must follow me. And where I am, there will my servant be also.
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If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. Man, who's in that crowd?
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Watch this. Here's the crowd. If anyone serves me, he must follow me.
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And where I am, there will my servant be also. So right now, how many of you can say that this week, everywhere
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Jesus has led, you followed perfectly? Thank God, because I thought you were going to have to fire me.
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Because it ain't been me. Because I've just been to San Francisco and flying on an airline. In coach,
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I promise you my heart was not with Jesus. Okay? It wasn't. I also found the anesthetic for your rear end if you ever have to have surgery.
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You sit in a southwest seats coach chair, you will be numb for days. I'm still trying to learn how to walk.
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You know what's really cool? Is that His disciples, that we are standing on their shoulders today,
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Christian. One will, well they all betrayed Him. But one betrayed
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Him three times. Peter, the rock, folded like a cheap
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Walmart lawn chair when a 13 year old girl came up and said, you were with Jesus. He goes, I don't know the man.
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No, no, no. You were with Jesus. I don't know the man. The third time, it says
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Peter cursed, swore an oath to God. In other words, he said, may
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God strike me dead if I know Jesus. You know what happened to Peter?
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Jesus showed up three days later on the shore. He said, come here son.
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Peter was like, yes Lord. Sit down and let's have breakfast.
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Now, before I understood the doctrine of grace, me standing for God always involved this.
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Either God going, son, you make me sick, because that's what my dad said to me.
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Son, you're so stupid you couldn't pour water out of a boot if the directions were on the hill. You are absolutely worthless, you piece of poo -poo.
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See, that's, I knew what God would do to me. Or the other vision I had was something like this.
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Now, I can't do this, but picture thunderbolts coming out of my fingers and me frying for an eternity in a boiling vat of some sort of hot flaming liquid.
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Right? Those are the two visions I had of God. Jesus showed up after he rose from the grave and he said to Peter, hey man, let's eat.
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I like that Jesus. I like that Jesus said let's eat. But he didn't stop with food.
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Then he said to Jesus, he goes, hey son, now, go feed my sheep.
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Go be a pastor. You mean you can be a pastor even though you're a loser? Yes. 100%.
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Unmerited favor. Grace. You see, Christian, when you walk with Christ, you're going to fail.
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But the grace of God is more powerful than your sin will ever be.
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He will never look at your past to judge your worth in the present, nor your destiny in the future.
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You are free. Notice this. You notice what these little silly disciples did?
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This is going to sound crazy, church. I'm almost done, y 'all. Hang in there. You know what else they did? They argued amongst themselves who was right.
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Can you believe how childish they were? You know? I mean, it's not like us.
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You know? I mean, we're evolved in our
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Christianity. Right? You know the most segregated place in America is in the houses of God on Sunday mornings.
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Because them white church and that black church. Hey, dummy, there's only one church. Now, you can sit there and have whatever name and building you want, but just like there's only one race of people, there's only one church.
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When God sounds that trumpet and the dead in Christ shall rise, it ain't going to be no Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal.
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It's going to be those covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. I want to be in that boat.
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I don't really care who's sitting beside me. I just want to go home. Hear what
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I'm saying? Now, I'll close with this. You got a choice this morning.
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And I know for some of you, especially those of you that are visiting, this has been a culture shock for you.
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Okay? Because I ain't wearing a suit and tie. I didn't say pretty nice words about little donkeys and draped clothes and palm leaves.
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By the way, they weren't waving them. They threw them on the ground. So why are you people running around waving them anyways? But guys,
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I want you to look deep in my eyeballs here. Look right here. I don't care about your church membership.
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You have nothing I want or need. If you're a lost person, you ain't got nothing
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I want or need. Because my God shall supply all of my needs. The reason
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I'm standing up here this morning is because I desperately want you to make a choice for Jesus Christ today.
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And for some of you, it might be the first time you've ever made one. Okay? It might be the first time you truly are saved.
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For some of you, you may have been a Christian, but you've chosen the world and the love of man rather than the love of God.
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And you're a little dry and dusty on the inside. You know, let me try to describe it.
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You feel like you and God are this far apart. Your prayers don't get further than the ceiling. You're wondering whether you're even a
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Christian or not anymore. There ain't no joy in your life. Your prayer life stinks.
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You really don't care about reading your Bible. Am I hitting anybody up in here? Keep your silence because God forbid that you actually confess
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God before men. Let's see. How'd that scripture finish? Oh, yeah,
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He won't confess you before the Father. Look at the choice.
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I'm just going to read two more verses to you. Relax. Verse 24.
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Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone.
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But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Let me ask you a question.
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If the seed of the Holy Spirit is in your life right now, ask yourself,
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Pastor, I don't know if I'm a Christian or not. Yes, you do. Someone said 2 Corinthians 5 .17 over here.
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If any man be in Christ, he is a new... Is it creation or creature?
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Old things have passed away. Behold, listen to this word, all have become new.
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You know, I learned to love people after I was a Christian. I thought I knew how. I didn't. All things are new.
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All things. You're going to bear much fruit. If you got saved 20 years ago and nothing's changed, you ain't saved.
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Look right here. I want to tell you before you stand before God, you are not a Christian.
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Watch this. Watch this last thing. I know I keep saying that, but just hang on me. Verse 39.
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Jesus is talking. It says this. Therefore they could not believe, for again
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Isaiah said, he has blinded their eye and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.
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This is some scary stuff right here, kids. Jesus is talking and he's quoting the Old Testament, so you can pretty much book this is absolute truth.
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Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many, even of the authorities, believed in him.
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Now Jesus is talking, or Jesus is sitting here, and many of the Pharisees who were going to try to have him killed, believed in him.
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But for fear of the Pharisees, they did not confess it, so they would not be put out of the synagogue.
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Verse 43. For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
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You want to be accepted in this world? Don't be a Christian. Don't be a Christian.
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Because I promise you, you walk in the power of the Holy Spirit in this fallen, lost world.
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You've got a target on your back, but I tell you right now, praise God, you also have the armor of God.
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And there ain't no dart of Satan that can get through it. But I promise you, you're going to be a target. Well Pastor, I haven't had this problem.
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Things that make you go Mm -hmm. Ain't got no fruit, you ain't no target.
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You walk like a duck, sound like a duck, fly like a duck, whatever else you do like a duck, you a duck.
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Okay? I ain't good with, you know, little idioms. But anyways, but I want you to notice this verse right here, where it says
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God hardened their heart so they would not believe. Remember that first time you heard the gospel?
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And you were convicted? Woo -hoo -hoo! You had to push that way down deep in there.
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Pass all that childhood trauma. You had to push it down deep. But somewhere over the years, that is now more like, you know why?
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That heart of yours is getting hardened. It's getting hardened. And I'm telling you, the day is coming.
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And I don't care whatever preacher has ever told you or what your church ever told you, there is a time limit to your salvation.
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For I tell you this, God's account will be balanced. And those who do not bear the blood of Christ for the remission of their sins will stand face to face with a holy and righteous
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God. You're here today and you've heard these words and I apologize for you on behalf of the people of Witten Baptist Church.
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This hadn't been an ootsy -kootsy, warm, fuzzy -feeling sermon. But before the eyes of God, may
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His name be blessed forever. I pray that the word of God has busted the scales off your heart and it's been tenderized again.
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And that you no longer care what people will think. You no longer care what people will say. And you don't care no more how much it will cost you.
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That you're willing to give up whatever God asks of you and you are willing to march and follow
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Him straight to that cross and die so that you can be raised again. If that's where you are today,
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I'm going to ask the pastors to come forward. If you need to be saved, I want you to come down here.
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If you need to know for sure that you're going to heaven, I want you to come down here.
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If you are a Christian and you are trapped in a sin that is whipping your tail and has been for a long time, and you just can't shake it, it's because you're trying to shake it.
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What you need is the Holy Spirit of God and some accountability for some brothers and sisters in Christ.
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And I promise you, it'll get better. But it's going to take you leaving the pride and humbling yourself before God, confessing your faults one to another that you may be healed.
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Because what you've got is a sin disease. It ain't a sin problem. And that disease will eat you alive.
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If you're here today and you say, you know, I've been jumping here and flapping here and I ain't got no accountability and I don't want anybody to tell me what to do, go to another church.
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Go to another place. Because if you come here, people are going to be all up in your business.
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Because when we say we love you, we actually mean it other than a fake I'll pray for you.
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We actually want you to have a life and have it abundantly. I'm going to ask you to stand with me, and if God has spoken to you today, you come this morning in obedience.