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JESUS IS COMING TO JUDGE ... SOON! (CC)

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Please rise. Grace and peace are yours from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our text this morning is the Gospel Lesson which I will reread for emphasis: John, Chapter 5, verses 19 through 24 [and through verse 29]: JESUS GAVE THEM THIS ANSWER: "I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, THE SON CAN DO NOTHING BY HIMSELF; HE CAN DO ONLY WHAT HE SEES HIS FATHER DOING, BECAUSE WHATEVER THE FATHER DOES THE SON ALSO DOES. FOR THE FATHER LOVES THE SON AND SHOWS HIM ALL HE DOES. YES, TO YOUR AMAZEMENT HE WILL SHOW HIM EVEN GREATER THINGS THAN THESE. FOR JUST AS THE FATHER RAISES THE DEAD AND GIVES THEM LIFE, EVEN SO THE SON GIVES LIFE TO WHOM HE IS PLEASED TO GIVE IT. MOREOVER, THE FATHER JUDGES NO ONE, BUT HAS ENTRUSTED ALL JUDGMENT TO THE SON, THAT ALL MAY HONOR THE SON JUST AS THEY HONOR THE FATHER. HE WHO DOES NOT HONOR THE SON DOES NOT HONOR THE FATHER, WHO SENT HIM. 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. 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. FOR AS THE FATHER HAS LIFE IN HIMSELF, SO HE HAS GRANTED THE SON TO HAVE LIFE IN HIMSELF. AND HE HAS GIVEN HIM AUTHORITY TO JUDGE BECAUSE HE IS THE SON OF MAN. DO NOT BE AMAZED AT THIS, FOR A TIME IS COMING WHEN ALL WHO ARE IN THEIR GRAVES WILL HEAR HIS VOICE AND COME OUT -- THOSE WHO HAVE DONE GOOD WILL RISE TO LIVE, AND THOSE WHO HAVE DONE EVIL WILL RISE TO BE CONDEMNED." We pray: Dear Lord, open our eyes to the wonderful things that we have heard. We ask this in Your name, Jesus. Amen. [Text taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, by permission of ZONDERVAN BIBLE PUBLISHERS] Dear Fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ: Why are "judge programs" so popular on TV? Judy, "Judge Judy" has been on TV since 1996. She's been nominated for 11 Emmy awards. And a few of us are old enough to remember Judge Wapner one of those favorite judges of all people from 1981 to 1993 he was on. And the story ... the story always started out ...the show always started out: "What you are about to witness is real ... " Today we are observing the second to last Sunday of the Church Year, the Last Judgment Sunday. It is obvious from Jesus' words in the Gospel that the Judgment Day IS real. Today's Gospel Lesson tells us JESUS' JUDGMENT IS COMING! He will judge by the Father's authority. His judgment will include all people. And ... His judgment will be final. Listen carefully to Jesus' words: [JOHN 5:22-23a] "THE FATHER JUDGES NO ONE, BUT HAS ENTRUSTED ALL JUDGMENT TO THE SON, THAT ALL MAY HONOR THE SON JUST AS THEY HONOR THE FATHER." ... "AND HE HAS GIVEN HIM AUTHORITY TO JUDGE BECAUSE HE IS THE SON OF MAN. DO NOT BE AMAZED AT THIS, FOR A TIME IS COMING WHEN ALL WHO ARE IN THEIR GRAVES WILL HEAR HIS VOICE AND COME OUT - THOSE WHO HAVE DONE GOOD WILL RISE TO LIVE, AND THOSE WHO HAVE DONE EVIL WILL RISE TO BE CONDEMNED." [JOHN 5:27-29] Many think generally of the Father judging the world on the Last Day. But Jesus explicitly says: "THE FATHER JUDGES NO ONE, BUT HAS ENTRUSTED ALL JUDGMENT TO THE SON." These words are very plain. You don't have to be a Greek scholar to understand them. Jesus explains why this is the case: THAT ALL MAY HONOR THE SON JUST AS THEY HONOR THE FATHER. Sometimes people think of Jesus as just a little lower than the Father. After all, God the Father sent the Holy Spirit to the Virgin Mary so that she would conceive and bare a son ... that Son is the Son of God - Jesus. Jesus though was a man. He hungered and He thirsted. He grew tired. He wept. He was tempted in every way as we are ... and yet was without sin. But remember the Apostle John's words: [JOHN 1:1-3] "IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD. HE WAS WITH GOD IN THE BEGINNING. THROUGH HIM ALL THINGS WERE MADE; WITHOUT HIM NOTHING WAS MADE THAT HAS BEEN MADE." [JOHN 1:14] "THE WORD BECAME FLESH AND MADE HIS DWELLING AMONG US. WE HAVE SEEN HIS GLORY, THE GLORY OF THE ONE AND ONLY SON WHO CAME FROM THE FATHER, FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH." God from eternity, yet He took on human flesh. Human bones ... and flesh. He became one of us. The Apostle Paul also in Philippians 2:5-11 when he says: YOUR ATTITUDE SHOULD BE THE SAME AS THAT OF CHRIST JESUS: WHO, BEING IN VERY NATURE GOD, DID NOT CONSIDER EQUALITY WITH GOD SOMETHING TO BE GRASPED, BUT MADE HIMSELF NOTHING, TAKING THE VERY NATURE OF A SERVANT, BEING MADE IN HUMAN LIKENESS. AND BEING FOUND IN APPEARANCE AS A MAN, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF AND BECAME OBEDIENT TO DEATH - EVEN DEATH ON A CROSS! THEREFORE GOD EXALTED HIM TO THE HIGHEST PLACE AND GAVE HIM THE NAME THAT IS ABOVE EVERY NAME, THAT AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH AND UNDER THE EARTH, AND EVERY TONGUE CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER. Being in very nature God, Jesus Christ did not need to be exalted. But He willingly humbled Himself taking on our human nature, becoming a man, living in all humility without using His power as God for Himself. With respect to His human nature, Isaiah prophesied about the suffering servant saying [ISAIAH 52:13-15]: "SEE, MY SERVANT WILL ACT WISELY; HE WILL BE RAISED AND LIFTED UP AND HIGHLY EXALTED." JUST AS THERE WERE MANY WHO WERE APPALLED AT HIM -- HIS APPEARANCE WAS SO DISFIGURED BEYOND THAT OF ANY MAN AND HIS FORM MARRED BEYOND HUMAN LIKENESS -- SO WILL HE SPRINKLE MANY NATIONS [with His redeeming blood] AND KINGS WILL SHUT THEIR MOUTHS BECAUSE OF HIM [in astonishment]. FOR WHAT THEY WERE NOT TOLD, THEY WILL SEE, AND WHAT THEY HAVE NOT HEARD, THEY WILL UNDERSTAND." Those who do not honor the Son just as they honor the Father, those who do not honor Jesus Christ as God, are denying that He has been entrusted all judgment by the Father. If it is not a trivial thing to question the authority of an earthly judge -- how much more questioning the authority of our Lord and Savior: The Lord of the universe! John clearly writes: "NO ONE WHO DENIES THE SON HAS THE FATHER; WHOEVER ACKNOWLEDGES THE SON HAS THE FATHER ALSO." The Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons may be excellent neighbors. They may have good moral character -- but if they deny the Trinity and the godhead of Jesus Christ, they've lost the Father as well as the Son. Muslims likewise claim to be people of the Book, but if they've acknowledged Jesus only as a prophet, they have lost the Father as well. That's why Jesus told His disciples: "IF YOU REALLY KNEW ME, YOU WOULD KNOW MY FATHER AS WELL. FROM NOW ON, YOU DO KNOW HIM AND HAVE SEEN HIM." [JOHN 14:7] And what about us? Do we by our words and actions deny our Savior? Do you confess Him before men or do you disown Him? Do you shy away from confessing your belief in Jesus before others? Are we sometimes like the people of Jesus' day of whom it is written: "MANY EVEN AMONG THE JEWISH LEADERS BELIEVED IN HIM. BUT BECAUSE OF THE PHARISEES THEY WOULD NOT CONFESS THEIR FAITH FOR FEAR THEY WOULD BE PUT OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE; FOR THEY LOVED PRAISE FROM MEN MORE THAN PRAISE FROM GOD." [JOHN 12:42-43] And didn't Jesus, our Coming Judge, say to us in Matthew 10: "WHOEVER ACKNOWLEDGES ME BEFORE MEN, I WILL ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE HIM BEFORE MY FATHER IN HEAVEN." BUT WHOEVER DISOWNS ME BEFORE MEN, I WILL ALSO DISOWN HIM BEFORE MY FATHER IN HEAVEN." Do we deny our Savior by our actions? "WHOEVER CLAIMS TO LIVE IN HIM [JESUS] MUST WALK AS [HE] JESUS DID." [1 JOHN 2:6] John reminds us: "IF ANYONE SAYS, 'I LOVE GOD.' YET HATES HIS BROTHER, HE IS A LIAR. FOR ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE HIS BROTHER, WHOM HE HAS SEEN, CANNOT LOVE GOD, WHOM HE HAS NOT SEEN. Repeat that with me, please. "EVERYONE [EVERYONE] WHO DOES NOT LOVE HIS BROTHER, [WHO DOES NOT LOVE HIS BROTHER] CANNOT LOVE GOD [CANNOT LOVE GOD] WHOM HE HAS NOT SEEN. [WHOM HE HAS NOT SEEN] [1 JOHN 20-21] "AND HE HAS GIVEN US THIS COMMAND: [AND HE HAS GIVEN US THIS COMMAND] WHOEVER LOVES GOD, [WHOEVER LOVES GOD] MUST ALSO LOVE HIS BROTHER." [MUST ALSO LOVE HIS BROTHER] How can you say you love Jesus and acknowledge Him as your Lord and yet turn your back on Him? Jesus says we can't follow Him if we're living for ourselves. He [JESUS] said [TO HIS DISCIPLES]: "IF ANYONE WOULD COME AFTER ME, HE MUST DENY HIMSELF AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS AND FOLLOW ME." We're talking about crucifying our sinful nature. "FOR WHOEVER WANTS TO SAVE HIS LIFE WILL LOSE IT, BUT WHOEVER LOSES HIS LIFE FOR ME WILL FIND IT. WHAT GOOD WILL IT BE FOR A MAN IF HE GAINS THE WHOLE WORLD, YET FORFEITS HIS SOUL? OR WHAT CAN A MAN GIVE IN EXCHANGE FOR HIS SOUL? FOR THE SON OF MAN IS GOING TO COME IN HIS FATHER'S GLORY WITH HIS ANGELS, AND THEN HE WILL REWARD EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO WHAT HE HAS DONE." [MATTHEW 16:24-27] I think by now you get the idea. His judgment, which has been entrusted to Him by the Father, will include all people. It says: "FOR THE SON OF MAN IS GOING TO COME IN HIS FATHER'S GLORY WITH HIS ANGELS, AND THEN HE WILL REWARD EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO WHAT HE HAS DONE." Daniel already had a glimpse of that back in the 600 B.C.'s. when he wrote in Daniel, Chapter 7: [Verses 9-10]: "AS I LOOKED, THRONES WERE SET IN PLACE, AND THE ANCIENT OF DAYS TOOK HIS SEAT. HIS CLOTHING WAS AS WHITE AS SNOW; THE HAIR OF HIS HEAD WAS WHITE LIKE WOOL. HIS THRONE WAS FLAMING WITH FIRE, AND ITS WHEELS WERE ALL ABLAZE. A RIVER OF FIRE WAS FLOWING, COMING OUT FROM BEFORE HIM. THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS ATTENDED HIM; TEN THOUSAND TIMES TEN THOUSAND STOOD BEFORE HIM. THE COURT WAS SEATED, AND THE BOOKS WERE OPENED." And in REVELATION 20, John adds to the description: [Verses 12-15] AND I SAW THE DEAD, GREAT AND SMALL, [high station and low station in other words], STANDING BEFORE THE THRONE, AND BOOKS WERE OPENED. ANOTHER BOOK WAS OPENED, WHICH IS THE BOOK OF LIFE. THE DEAD WERE JUDGED ACCORDING TO WHAT THEY HAD DONE AS RECORDED IN THE BOOK. THE SEA GAVE UP THE DEAD THAT WERE IN IT, AND DEATH AND HADES GAVE UP THE DEAD THAT WERE IN THEM, AND EACH PERSON WAS JUDGED ACCORDING TO WHAT HE HAD DONE. THEN DEATH AND HADES WERE THROWN INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE. THE LAKE OF FIRE IS THE SECOND DEATH. IF ANYONE'S NAME WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE, HE WAS THROWN INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE." Does that scare you? There is no escapting standing before Jesus Christ on the Last Day. As Paul writes: "FOR WE MUST ALL APPEAR BEFORE THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, THAT EACH ONE MAY RECEIVE WHAT IS DUE HIM FOR THE THINGS DONE WHILE IN THE BODY, WHETHER GOOD OR BAD." [2 CORINTHIANS 5:10] And He adds ... We know what it is to fear the Lord: "SO WE MAKE IT OUR GOAL TO PLEASE HIM ... [Verse 9a] No matter how much you want to please the Lord, no matter how much you make that your goal in your life, no matter how much you're grateful for Christ ... for humbling Himself and taking the form of a servant and dying in our place ... becoming the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world ... we each know all too well that we sin every day ... in our thoughts, by what we say and by what we do. Since we're all sinners and since His judgment will include all people including believers ... Satan would have you believe that you're damned. Satan would have you sink into despair of your sin. He would have you believe that you're saved by what you do. Thank God that our sins are forgiven. Thank God that it is by God's undeserved love, by His grace, that we are saved. Not by our own actions. As Paul wrote: ... "BY GRACE [by God's undeserved love] YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED, THROUGH FAITH -- AND THIS NOT FROM YOURSELVES, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD -- NOT BY WORKS, SO THAT NO ONE CAN BOAST." [EPHESIANS 2:8-9] We pray along with the adulterous murderer King David: [See Psalm 51] I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said I will confess my transgressions to the LORD ... and You forgave the guilt of my sin. And we remember both the warning and the promise that the Apostle John wrote: [1 JOHN 1:8-10] "IF WE CLAIM TO BE WITHOUT SIN, WE DECEIVE OURSELVES AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN US. IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST AND WILL FORGIVE US OUR SINS AND PURIFY US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. IF WE CLAIM WE HAVE NOT SINNED, WE MAKE HIM OUT TO BE A LIAR AND HIS WORD HAS NO PLACE IN OUR LIVES." God, in His mercy, loved us while we were still His enemies. He made us alive through the Word of Truth and cleansing of the water through the Word of Baptism. God wil reject those who despise Him and His Word on the Last Day. But God is a merciful and compassionate God to all those who fear Him. To those who humble themselves before Him and confess their sins, He promised that their sins are tossed into the ocean; that they are removed into the depths of the sea. He said that He's crushed the devil and his power underneath His feet. He's removed our sins - "AS FAR AS THE EAST IS FROM THE WEST." [PSALM 103:12a] He's crushed Satan under His feet. He's forgiven our sins. He will remember our wickedness no more. [JEREMIAH 31:34] He's blotted out our sins [See ISAIAH 43] [REV. 20] from His book of deeds in which every action of every person is recorded. He's turned His back on our sins it says so that they are no longer before His eyes. He's swept our sins away like a cloud of mist vanishes in the morning. [ISAIAH 44:22] All our sins are gone! ... "THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH ... [that is eternal death ... ] BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE IN OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST." [ROMANS 6:23] He took the punishment of our sins on the cross and He paid that debt completely. He said: "IT IS FINISHED." [JOHN 19:30] When He said that, He said the debt has been paid in full. He lived that perfect life that we could not do ... COMPLETELY keeping the Father's will ... so that His deeds could be credited to our account. That's why it's written: He is: [JEREMIAH 23:6] "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." He did this so that on the Last Day when we stand before Him believers will not fear those words: [MATTHEW 25:41] "DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO ARE CURSED, INTO THE ETERNAL FIRE PREPARED FOR THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS." Words that we deserve to hear! But rather, we will hear His undeserved love: "COME, YOU WHO ARE BLESSED BY MY FATHER; TAKE YOUR INHERITANCE, THE KINGDOM PREPARED FOR YOU SINCE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD." [MATTHEW 25:34] "WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT! [MATTHEW 25:23] We no longer need to cower in terror at the thought of Judgment Day because fear has to do with punishment. And God's love and His promise for us that we are forgiven drives out all fear. "WE LOVE [HIM] BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US." [1 JOHN 4:19] And finally, His judgment will be final. Listen again to the finality of Jesus' Judgment: "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. 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. FOR AS THE FATHER HAS LIFE IN HIMSELF, SO HE HAS GRANTED THE SON TO HAVE LIFE IN HIMSELF. AND HE HAS GIVEN HIM AUTHORITY TO JUDGE BECAUSE HE IS THE SON OF MAN. DO NOT BE AMAZED AT THIS, FOR A TIME IS COMING WHEN ALL WHO ARE IN THEIR GRAVES WILL HEAR HIS VOICE [WILL LIVE ... WILL RISE TO LIVE] AND COME OUT -- THOSE WHO HAVE DONE GOOD WILL RISE TO LIVE, AND THOSE WHO HAVE DONE EVIL WILL RISE TO BE CONDEMNED. [JOHN 5:24-29] Think about this: After that great day, no one will ever be able to accuse you of your sins again. It says in 1 THESSALONIANS 4:14-17: "WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED AND ROSE AGAIN AND SO WE BELIEVE THAT GOD WILL BRING WITH JESUS THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP IN HIM. ACCORDING TO THE LORD'S OWN WORD, WE TELL YOU THAT WE WHO ARE STILL ALIVE, WHO ARE LEFT TILL THE COMING OF THE LORD, WILL CERTAINLY NOT PRECEDE THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP. FOR THE LORD HIMSELF WILL COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, WITH A LOUD COMMAND, WITH THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL AND WITH THE TRUMPET CALL OF GOD, AND THE DEAD IN CHRIST WILL RISE FIRST. AFTER THAT, WE WHO ARE STILL ALIVE AND ARE LEFT WILL BE CAUGHT UP WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR. AND SO WE WILL BE WITH THE LORD FOREVER." We will be with the Lord forever. No more possibility of falling into sin and separating us from God and from His blessings. Jesus says in our text: "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] And Jesus tells in John 10:29, No one can snatch us out of the Father's hand. No one can snatch us out of His hand. But God does warn us: "... BE CAREFUL THAT YOU DON'T FALL!" [1 CORINTHIANS 10:12b] We can by our negligence turn away from the living God and His Word like many in Israel did to their destruction. Remember Lot's wife, who loved the things of this world ... more than the things of God. She came under God's judgment because of her unbelief. Remember Judas who at one time was a believer - one of Jesus' own disciples - and yet turned away to his own destruction. Paul reminds us: "DO NOT GRIEVE [by willful sinning] THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, WITH WHOM YOU WERE SEALED FOR THE DAY OF REDEMPTION." [EPHESIANS 4:30] Rather, "BE ALL THE MORE EAGER TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE." [2 PETER 1:10] by living a good life of works in response to Christ's love which has called us out of darkness into His wonderful light. And Peter encourages us: "LIVE SUCH GOOD LIVES AMONG THE PAGANS THAT, THOUGH THEY ACCUSE YOU OF DOING WRONG, THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD DEEDS AND GLORIFY GOD ON THE DAY HE VISITS US." [1 PETER 2:12] We know that God's judgment is coming. We know that it will include all people. It will be final. Peter writes then since we know that : "EVERYTHING WILL BE DESTROYED IN THIS WAY, WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE OUGHT WE TO BE? YOU OUGHT TO LIVE HOLY AND GODLY LIVES AS WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE DAY OF GOD AND SPEED ITS COMING. THAT DAY WILL BRING ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF THE HEAVENS BY FIRE, AND THE ELEMENTS WILL MELT IN THE HEAT. BUT IN KEEPING WITH HIS PROMISE WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH, THE HOME OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. SO THEN, DEAR FRIENDS, SINCE YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS, MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO BE FOUND SPOTLESS, BLAMELESS AND AT PEACE WITH HIM." [2 PETER 3:11-14] Amen. LOVE ONE ANOTHER DEEPLY, FROM THE HEART. FOR YOU HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN, NOT OF PERISHABLE SEED, BUT OF IMPERISHABLE, THROUGH THE LIVING AND ENDURING WORD OF GOD. FOR, "ALL MEN ARE LIKE GRASS, AND ALL THEIR GLORY IS LIKE THE FLOWERS OF THE FIELD; THE GRASS WITHERS AND THE FLOWERS FALL, BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD STANDS FOREVER." AND THIS IS THE WORD THAT WAS PREACHED TO YOU. [1 PETER 1:22b-25] Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 23 minutes and 20 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 61
Posted by: hischild on Nov 19, 2012

Guest speaker, Rev. Jim Sherod, serving Zion on 11-11-2012 reminds us of the warnings and promises God gives in His Word as the Last Day draws near for each of us.

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