Summary: What does Jesus mean when he talks about crossing over? When does it happen? How does it happen? What difference does it make? Parts: A. Keep listening to the Son’s voice. B. Keep anticipating the resurrection
Text: John 5:24-29
Theme: You’ve Crossed Over to Life
A. Keep listening to the Son’s voice
B. Keep anticipating the resurrection
Season: End Times 3: Saints Triumphant
Date: November 15, 2009
Web page: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/You_ve-Crossed-Over-to-Life-John5_24-29.html
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Word from God through which the Holy Spirit brings us Jesus and his word is John 5
"Truly, truly I say to you that the one who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and isn’t coming into judgment. Rather, he has crossed over from death to life. Truly, truly I say to you the time is coming and now is here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who have heard will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to the Son to have life in himself, and he gave him authority to carry out judgment, because he is a son of man. Stop being astounded at this, because the time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear his voice. Those who did good will come out for the resurrection of life, and those who practiced evil, for the resurrection of judgment." (John 5:24-29)
Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:
Ghosts crossing over into the light. As psychic propaganda and occult ideas seep into our culture, they increasingly infect people’s conceptions of death and what comes next. Even our own thoughts can be manipulated by what we see on TV whether it’s purely a fictional story supposedly for entertainment or whether it claims to be real.
Rather than having our minds shaped by psychics or mediums, let’s listen to the words that come from the Lord of life and death. He too talks about a crossing over, but how vastly different this crossing over is from the deceptions promoted in our age. Let’s take to heart, dear friends, what Jesus says about crossing over.
A. Keep listening to the Son’s voice
1. What kind of "crossing over" is Jesus talking about?
First of all, when Jesus in the text talks about crossing over, he’s not talking about ghosts or spirits, whose bodies have died. He’s talking about people whose hearts are beating and lungs are breathing. For you see, once the body dies, it’s too late for you to cross over into the light. I don’t care what the TV tells you. There’s no second chance, no time to make amends. You heard that in the Scripture reading from Hebrews 9 last week, ". . . man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment . . ." (Hebrews 9:27 NIV). Whoever does not cross over while they’re alive on this earth will never enter the light. Whatever light they think they see as death approaches is only a deception of Satan, who masquerades as an angel of light. Death brings them the outer darkness and damnation of hell, the unending torment and unquenchable fire.
Have you crossed over?
Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24 NIV). That’s what Jesus means by crossing over. To cross over is to believe that the Father sent his Son, Jesus, to bring you over from death to life, to bring you over from darkness of sin to the light of forgiveness. It’s to believe that Jesus’ death frees you from sins power to condemn and his resurrection brings you eternal life. So important is this that Jesus introduces these words with that statement of verity, "I tell you the truth."
So important is this that he repeats the same idea in the next verse: "I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live" (John 5:25 NIV). Now maybe if we just had the words about the dead hearing his voice, we’d think about Jesus raising the dead on the Last Day. But look at the context. He says, "a time is coming and has now come" (John 5:25 NIV). Jesus wouldn’t say "now" if he were talking about the Last Day. Rather he’s talking about what’s going on right then and has continued to go on down to our day. The previous verse explains it, doesn’t it? "Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me . . . has crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24 NIV). The dead who hear his voice and live are those spiritually dead who believe his word and come alive through faith in him.