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Summary: Far too many people are living without hope or vitality and thus they are cheating life

Cheating Life

John 11

November 16, 1997

Morning Service

1. The aspect of Dead air:

A. The best part of radio: The playing of record and D.J., the challenge of radio was to avoid dead air

B. Why do we focus so much on the concept of death? What is it about death that seems to fascinate?

2. Break down of Life

A. Breakdown: 20 years of Mother - Where going?, 40 years of wife - Where been?, 1 hour at funeral of everyone wondering where going?

B. Comical statement: Holds some basic truth, death is part of life

C. Death is far too often a focus: Talk about it, do everything to avoid it - even being frozen, most people fear it - fear of dying comes from not knowing how to live

3. Stuart Briscoe - British Preacher who moved to U.S.

A. Insurance Salesmen: Briscoe took many calls and had one visit, salesman spoke about ‘if’ something were to happen, Briscoe got upset

B. Briscoe’s Response: Not if but when, death is an absolute reality

4. Society seems to Focus on Death

A. Movies and TV: News, Homicide, Profiler and Law & Order, Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Flatliners

B. Video Games: 90% focus on violence and killing,

C. Boats: When they won’t run, dead in the water

D. Social Issues: Abortion & Euthanasia - Justified killing

E. Have we become so focused on death that we have forgotten how to live?

5. Cheating Life

A. Car Accident: The vehicle was totally destroyed, man was thrown from the car, he walked away with scratches, statement - He cheated death

B. Life is meant to be savored: Each day is a new adventure, new challenges await and new demands have to be met, life is a gift and we can not waste it, in our focus on failures and disappointments, we focus on the negative, death is the ultimate negative, in our negative attitudes are we cheating life

6. Earthquake in California - Johnathan Petersen

A. Zondervan was launching book project: Petersen was in San Fransisco with Dravecky, Candlestick park and world Series,

B. The quake hits: Massive concrete overhang, questions - will I die?, if I die, will I see God?, Is my faith in Christ strong enough?, Is it true?, What will happen to my family?, What if I didn’t die, would I be maimed?, What if I wasn’t hurt, would I run?

C. Questions that we often do not explore: We may not be dead but it feels like it, we feel insignificant and unimportant, areas of our lives are dead, are we really living the abundant life?

7. Jesus’ Work - Read John 11.11, 25-26, 38-44

A. Source of Life is beyond ourselves: Jesus announces that Lazarus had died, He is going to wake him up, death has no place in the vocabulary of Jesus, Jesus never had to preach a funeral, Jesus wants people to have life that is abundant,

B. Death is life giving: Jesus announces hope for the sisters, Jesus is the source of Life, this Life does not end when we die,

C. Power of Life: NFL - Feel the Power, Jesus announces his power, Jesus has the power of eternal life, new life that is precious and free, He raises Lazarus from the dead, He can raise the dead parts of your life to new life,

8. The substitute

A. Napoleon’s army: One man was drafted, another volunteered to go in his place, the surrogate was killed in battle

B. The man was drafted again: Clerical error, man claimed he had served and died for France, the case was taken before Napoleon,

C. The response: The surrogate had taken his place, the man had not only fought but also died, no one can die twice and there was no legal claim

D. Jesus is our surrogate: He has paid the price and defeated death, this is our hope and glory in God, He has made the sacrifice

We have two choices

1. Accept the life of the surrogate:

2. Walk in new life:

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