Summary: What will you do with Jesus, who is called the Christ?
I like to have a good crowd on Sunday morning. Much of what we do as a church in done in the effort to enlarge our Sunday crowd. In fact, some accuse the American church of being so focused on drawing crowds that we’re tempted to water down the truth. Contrast that with Jesus. Whenever we read about large crowds following Jesus, it seems as though He often said something that made most of them leave. That’s because Jesus gave people the uncomfortable truth.
“From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. ‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’” - John 6:66-68 (NIV)
When people hear uncomfortable truth, they do one of two things: 1) They avoid being confronted with it; 2) They allow themselves to be changed by it. Today we’re going to look at uncomfortable truths. Remember when Jesus was before Pilate? He asked the people the question, “What should I do with Jesus?” Pilate knew if he believed Jesus was who He said He was, it would change everything. And so he washed his hands. But you can’t wash your hands of Jesus any more than a person overlooking a cliff can wash their hands of gravity. The ultimate question can’t be ignored. So let’s look at some uncomfortable truths and then answer the ultimate question. (READ TEXT)
Lazarus is sick. There’s nothing else to be done for him. Doctors have done everything they can. But he’s such a good friend of Jesus, that his sisters don’t even have to use his name. They just say, “The one you love is sick.” Lazarus isn’t going to get better . . . there’s nothing anyone can do . . . he needs to be saved. And that’s an uncomfortable truth for you and me as well. For you see . . .
1. We Need to Be Saved.
You’re sailing in the ocean when a storm hits. Waves thrash your boat and you’re tossed overboard. But you have your cell phone in your hand. You flip it open and are happy to see you have a signal. But then the battery warning comes up. You realize you have just enough juice for one call. With that one call what are you going to ask for? Are you going to ask for food because you’re getting hungry? A raise at work so you can buy a bigger house? Are you going to ask someone to marry you because you really want to be married? No, the request you make is, “SOMEBODY SAVE ME!”
The reason we don’t ask to be saved is we don’t know we’re drowning. But we are. And you may be going under for the final time.
The Bible says all of us have sinned. It’s one thing everyone has in common. And the Bible also says the punishment for our sins is death. Not just physical death - our sins condemn us to eternal separation from God in hell. Hell is a place of outer darkness. And the truth is all have sinned and unless we’re saved - hell will be our eternal reality.
Now, though the Bible teaches this, most don’t believe it. The reason they don’t is because they don’t want to. They may even say, “I believe in God - but I don’t believe in a God that would send people to hell.” But what if that’s the real God?
Imagine you walk into a restaurant and you see a friend having a candlelit dinner with a woman who is not his wife. You ask him who the woman is and what he’s doing. He says, “I am on a date.” And you say, “What about your wife?” He responds, “Oh, well, I still love her too.” So you walk away disgusted. You decide someone needs to tell his wife, so you call and tell her. He comes home from his date and you’ve already told his wife. She meets him at the door and says, “Hi, honey, did you have a nice time on your date?” And he says, “You know that I have been on a date and you don’t even care?” And she comes over and kisses him on the cheek and says, “Oh I love you - even if you do date other people.” How absurd would that would be? As soon as that guy walked in the door from his date, he should fear for his life!
Now, a man can choose to believe in a wife who is happy for him to have candlelit dinners with other women; but the truth is, a real wife is waiting at home, and she’s going to have something to say about it!