Summary: What a mess we are in. And we aren’t even aware of it! The whole purpose of Christmas was to respond to our need for deliverance.
Passage: John 3:10-21
Intro: Someone has said, “Ignorance is bliss.”
PP to which Thomas Gray responded, “If ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise.”
PP Cater Burwell has continued the thread, “If not bliss, ignorance can at least be fun.”
PP but Philip Wylie has ended the discussion for me: “Ignorance is not bliss-it is oblivion.”
1. The coming of Jesus Christ into the world is a statement of critical importance
2. while we moan about global warming and asteroids that may impact Earth, an absolutely certain disaster awaits the human race.
3. it is as if we were partying on the Titanic as it raised up before sinking beneath the waves.
4. We may be blissfully ignorant of our state, but God is not.
5. and He sent His own Son to be the deliverer of the human race.
6. the character of Jesus Christ is the exact remedy for our sinful condition.
7. that condition is why Christmas is about rescue, not retail.
8. so Doctor Jesus is sent with the diagnosis, to shake us from blissful ignorance caused by spiritual darkness.
I. People Are So Darkened in Understanding That Even the Enlightened Don’t Get it.
1. Jesus is talking here to a teacher of Israel, a man seeking the truth; Nicodemus
2. earlier, Jesus made the famous quote, “You must be born again ” 3:7
3. Nicodemus didn’t get it, and Jesus was amazed, v10
4. it is a rather simple concept, with ample evidence in the physical world.
5. we sin, we war, we suffer, we get sick, we die.
6. everything physical rots, breaks down, finally perishes.
Il) a friend of mine was talking about his Volvo with 360,000 miles, but he knows where it is headed. The junkyard!!
7. and yet with all this evidence, even a person with the advantages of Nicodemus could not connect the dots.
8. this is our state, unable to understand things of eternity, even with the evidence laid out before us.
PP Arabic text untranslated. Anyone read it?
9. but look at the character of our deliverer. V11.
10. Greek word oida=perfect knowledge
11. Jesus has seen it, knows it, he is the perfect eyewitness
12. Jesus walks into a room full of blind people as the only one that can see, begins to describe the visible world
13. he comes to the earth with the perfect knowledge that can break our ignorance and bring us true bliss.
14. He came to tell us what we needed to know to be delivered.
II. People Are So Limited in Space That We Cannot Access God.
1. frankly, this one kind of surprised me
2. look at v13..no one has gone to heaven.
3. little tough. Not yet? Not ever?
4. or as I believe, “heaven” here is a description of the presence of God in His perfect righteousness.
5. no person has been able to see God, though some have claimed to.
Il) "High Flight" by John Magee Jr.
“Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, …and touched the face of God.”
6. well…no. the physical barrier is real, just like the spiritual.
Il) used to sing a song, “Oh you can’t get to heaven, on roller skates…”
7. we can’t, but Jesus can.
8. He is from there, v13
9. and not only from there, He took on our flesh without sin so He could rescue us from this limitation.
10. spiritual death is separation from God, but our Deliverer knows the way and is the way, the only way, to God.
PP John 14:6
11. He not only knows the way, but is the very bridge by which we can come to the Father.
12. the book of Revelation is just filled with descriptions of people in heaven, with God!
13. how did this happen?
14. we are carried there in the arms of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Deliverer.
15. the surly bonds of earth will be slipped, alright, but not temporarily and not by just a couple thousand feet or miles.
16. Jesus came to deliver us from being separated from our Father, both physically and spiritually
III. People Are So Weakened by Sin That We Are Doomed to Die Under God’s Wrath
1. this is where ignorance promotes a bliss that is extremely dangerous
Il) “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die”
2. vv16 and 18 bring up a very sobering thought.
3. “shall not perish”…who said anything about perishing? God did, to Adam and Eve, and to us
4. v18 adds the concept of condemnation, a very legal term for judgment for crimes.
5. in fact, that is the natural state of mankind.
6. “is condemned already,” perfect tense, a past event that has continuing effect.