This sermon was preached at the IGH Family Service, Sunday 10 November 2013
Accompanying Scripture John 19:14-22
These are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ telling us what is going to happen: these are the facts. He concludes His expansive Olivet teaching before He goes to the cross.
Some months ago the news showed a clip on level crossings. The clip showed the warning sign, the barrier, the flashing lights signifying danger. A woman had observed the signs but never took them in, ignored the lights and went round the barrier and ended up less than a foot away from an oncoming train.
Why did she do it? We read there are 3600 incidents at level crossings a year, that’s 10 a day! Why is this? Is it because people can't be bothered to stop, or because they are ignorant of the signs, or is it because they are in a hurry? There are a host of reasons.
In Matt 22, 23 , 24 and 25 we have been given danger warnings, solemn warnings that tell us about the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. You need to consider these warnings, think them over; ponder them. Maybe you have come here before but have been been too busy to do something about it, maybe you simply don’t believe.
May these words of the Lord Jesus be imprinted on our hearts, they are vital words, solemn words.
The words tells us about when Jesus comes again, not if He comes. This is not a forecast, the King is coming. Everyone needs to realize this. He is not coming to a stable or a manger - he came that way before. No, He is coming as supreme King, absolute, to sit on His throne of glory with all His angels.
The King is coming, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained (Acts 17:31).
Jesus was raised from the dead. He had laid down His life (John 10:16) and on the third day He rose again (Luke 24:5). He predicted this. If God the Father raised Jesus from the dead then it is also true that He is exalted at the right hand of God and is Price and Saviour (Acts 5:30-32), therefore He has a mandate to sit on His glorious throne (Matt 25:31).
He will also divide His kingdom, Matt 25:32. Today it takes years for politicians to come to an agreement over some long standing socio-political issue. When the nations of the kingdom are divided there will be no procrastination, no refusal, no exceptions and no excuses.
Jesus will gather them all, the sheep and goats. What does this mean? He is talking about those who follow Him and obey Him and those who ignore Him / reject Him / won’t have anything to do with Him.
Where do you stand today? Have you accepted Jesus as Saviour and Lord? On that day there will be a separation; we can't separate the kingdom today because we don't know who is saved and who is not: but God knows.
So to the sheep's, Jesus will say come, welcome.
To the goats Jesus will say depart, go away.
This is written as a warning for us. What a tragedy that men and women, boys and girls are going to be cursed (Matt 25:41).
God is preparing a place for those who love Him, to take them to a place of every eternal blessing, to inherit the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world (Matt 25:34). Heaven is being prepared for Gods people.
Hell is being prepared for the devil and his angels, but it is also the fate of the goats, those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ.
We can't avoid this. This is the great challenge to all of us. Where will you be when the nations are separated?
We sometimes think we can negotiate with God - for example people say 'we are not that bad'. Or people think ‘God is a God of love, He would never do that.’ But God is holy, true, just and He will keep his word.
It is true that God is love. In John 14:1-3, the King who will be ruling, the one who separates the nations is also the one who died.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down;
did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?
When I Survey (Isaac Watts)
We point you to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. On that cross God put our sins on His only begotten son, so that you can be saved (John 3:16-17).
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
Everything that offends God from man, Christ took it all. We present to you the saviour, the only saviour.
The gift of God is eternal life. Do you have it? How do you get a gift, well you just have to accept it! Accept what God in Christ has done for you. He offers salvation to everyone. You have the option. It is simple as that. God is offering to you salvation. Just accept it where you are today.
God knows your heart, He knows what you need. What are you going to do with this gift of God? There is nothing you can't understand in this. You can read it by yourself, it is clear. None of us know what is going to happen tomorrow, none of us know when the King is coming.
The King died on a cross at Calvary for you, we offer this to you today. You must do something. If you receive God's salvation it will be the richest blessing you will ever receive in this life and the life to come.