Summary: Jesus could have removed the stone by just speaking a word, but the Lord was teaching us that He uses men, in the process of raising those who are dead in their sins. Perhaps there are stones in our lives that we need to move to be a help to the Lord
TAKE AWAY THE STONE
TEXT: John 11:39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone.
INTRO. A wonderful thing about our Lord’s earthly ministry,
was His willingness to associate His disciples with Himself.
Anything that they could do, He allowed them to do.
As a father smiles to see his children imitating him,
and attempting to help him in his work,
so it pleases Jesus to see our feeble efforts on His behalf.
We can not melt sin-hardened hearts or humble proud spirits,
but we are commissioned to proclaim the Gospel message to a lost and dying world.
Before Jesus raised Lazarus there was work for the disciples to do.
Jesus could have removed the stone by just SPEAKING A WORD.
But the Lord was teaching us that He uses men, in the process of raising those who are dead in their sins.
Perhaps there are stones in our lives that we need to move so we can be a help to the Lord and His work.
I/ WE MUST REMOVE THE STONE OF WORLDLINESS:
Matthew 13:22(NKJV) “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.”
The parable about the Sower is all about fruit bearing.
Jesus is the Sower, we are the ground, and the seed is the Word of God.
Jesus here says the reason that some ground does not bear fruit is because
this type of ground cares more for the world’s pleasures than obeying the Word of God.
MY QUES: WHAT KIND OF DIRT ARE WE ?
Do the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the command of God’s Word to win souls?
Question: Would you do for Gold what you would not do for God ?
The bible asks “what would a man give in exchange for his soul ?
There is no more important thing you can do this week than to share the Gospel with those who are lost.
II/ WE (Christians) MUST REMOVE THE STONE OF INDIFFERENCE
It is said that only 3% of Christians actively witness for the Lord.
There is a story about a convocation of angels who had gathered around the Lord after he had come back from earth.
They were asking him questions, and one angel said, "Lord, how are you going to spread the gospel message throughout the world?"
Well, the Lord Jesus said, "I have called out some disciples to carry out my great commission”.
They will go and share this wonderful message with others.
Those will respond, and they in turn will go and share with others who need to be saved."
The angel said, "Are you saying that you have entrusted the task of getting out the message of eternal life and salvation to those earthlings ?
The Lord Jesus said, "That’s absolutely right."
The angel said, "Well Lord, if they don’t do what you command them to do, what is Plan B?"
To which the Lord replied, "There is no Plan B."
I want to say to you this afternoon, if you want to know how God intends to reach a lost world for Jesus Christ, go home and look in the mirror.
There is no Plan B. If we do not do it in the power of God’s Spirit, it will not be done.
III/ WE MUST REMOVE THE STONE OF FEAR
The single command that occurs more often in scripture than any other, is for us not to be afraid !
Lloyd Ogilvie notes that 366 times in the Bible we are commanded to not be afraid.
The bible tells us in 1 Samuel 17:24 that all the men of Israel were afraid of Goliath. Fear caused them to do nothing.
Likewise for us, fear of failure, fear of what our neighbors will think many times cause us to do nothing.
David said “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
We who are here, represent the living God in this world, and like David we should be concerned that the world system is teaching men to defy God.
David’s trust in God overcame his fear. His desire to glorify God caused him to go into battle.
We are like that, in the past we have failed to TRUST AND OBEY as Jesus asked, and now it is easier to turn Him down.
Spiritual courage is nothing more than trust in God.
Be strong, be courageous, go with us this week and share Christ with a dying world.
IV/ WE MUST REMOVE THE STONE OF LAZINESS
In Amos 6 it says: “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion”,
That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;