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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - Jesus Is Lord

Allen Jackson - Jesus Is Lord

Allen Jackson - Jesus Is Lord
TOPICS: All Things New

It's good to be with you today. Our topic is "All Things New". Jesus said to be a Christ follower means we become a brand new creation. You're not just forgiven, it's not that just your past is overlooked. Everything is made new, so no matter what your story is, no matter what your family system may represent or not, in Christ we are a totally new creation. Now that's an exciting promise. Grab your Bible and a notepad but, most importantly, open your heart.

When Moses went up Mount Sinai, most of us know he came down Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments cut in stone. But he also came down Mount Sinai with the pattern for the tabernacle. It was a tent structure. It was portable. They were in the desert. They weren't yet into the Promised Land. They're a transient people, they're moving from time to time, so the place of worship has to be transient. It's a tent structure, but he had very specific instructions on how to build it. He came down the mountain with a vision of the tabernacle that God had given him. And it says that God had shown it to him. He was given specific instructions, everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. What did Moses see? He saw the tabernacle in heaven.

God didn't just give him instructions in how to build it. He didn't just give him, you know, put slot A into point B 'cause if God had given him instructions, you and I know what would happen. Moses wouldn't have read them, and he wouldn't have built it right. It's kind of a design flaw in us fellas. You know, instructions are for people that have no imagination. And Moses would have gotten the tabernacle put together and there'd have been a few poles left and a little extra goatskin and it wouldn't have been symmetrical, and it would have been his wife's fault. But the implication of scripture is that God showed him. He took him on a tour of the heavenly tabernacle, so that Moses didn't come back simply with dimensions. We read the dimensions. He had to communicate it to the people, how to build it. But he had seen it, he had a mental image.

I can see him walking through the camp, the workmen doing their part, and he's looking at what they're constructing and he's comparing it against the mental image he has from his experience with the authentic. It's a powerful image. Look at the balance of this verse. It says, "The ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs," the earthly priest, "as the covenant of which he is a mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises". The new covenant brings better promises to us. It's not by keeping rules. There's over 600 rules in the laws extracted from the laws of Moses. But we have a new covenant founded on better promises.

I know you've turned the page, but I wanna go back to a phrase. Don't get ahead of me. It talks about the ministry that Jesus has received. Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus came to the earth to accept a ministry? It's worthwhile because ministry isn't a word that we hold in particularly high esteem. It isn't as if our lives are constructed striving for ministry. Ministry is typically what we do with leftover time, leftover energy, leftover focus, leftover emotion. The great passions of our life are typically invested in other things. But it says that Jesus received a ministry.

Now the Bible says that God has a ministry for you. God has an assignment, he created you for a God purpose. It has to be received in the same way Jesus had to receive his. It's a theme in the New Testament, this Jesus receiving his ministry. In Philippians chapter 2, it's not in your notes, but it says, "Although he was equal with God, he didn't consider equality with God something to be grasped, but he made himself nothing". You know what when "he made himself nothing," you know what it's referencing? He became one of us. He got an earth suit. It's the incarnation. You know, our bodies are typically points of pride. It's really a perversion of what God intended. We get so inflated with our ego and our pride and our selfishness about our appearance, "our pride of face," the Bible says. But the truth is, our bodies were intended to remind us that we are creatures and we are dependent upon the Creator.

When Jesus took on an earth suit, think of what, he laid aside the power and the majesty and the glory of heaven to become one of us, to understand what it is to be exposed to exhaustion, fatigue, failing strength, the limits of emotions. To understand what it is to be plagued by hunger or thirst. "He became one of us," the Bible says. The upside of that is we have a high priest, Jesus of Nazareth, who is able to sympathize with us in all of our weaknesses, he knows what it is to be human. But he accepted, he received that ministry. It wasn't a glorification. If you think of ministry as a reason for elevation or glorification, you are deceived. Ministry is about humbling ourselves, not to serve ourselves, to serve the Lord.

Now, it says because Jesus did that, "because he humbled himself and became obedient, even to death, therefore God exalted him and gave him a name that's above every name, at the name of Jesus every knee will bow in heaven and earth and under the earth". The outcome of that ministry was overwhelming, remarkable, incredible, beyond imagination. But it began by humbling himself, and if you follow Jesus through the Gospels, you see all kinds of expressions of that. When he came to earth, he didn't come with a royal acceptance, he wasn't born in a palace. He was born in a stable. His parents weren't famous or wealthy or particularly gifted. At least not identified as so. They were rather inconspicuous young people from an insignificant village in an out-of-the-way part of the land of Israel.

His birth took place in a stable, and he was hunted by the king of the day to be executed. He grew up in anonymity. Then when he began his public ministry, no less than Satan himself came to tempt him. He said, "There's an easier way. I'll show it to you". We get to listen in to Jesus in Gethsemane at the beginning of his passion, praying to the Father. He said, "Father, if there's any other way, I would rather not go this path". He knows what's coming. "If there's any other way, any other plan, God, I'd rather not go this way". Jesus is accepting a ministry, but he's not accepting it easily.

You see, I think you and I have mistakenly thought that ministry will be something, oh, we wanna do. I enjoy this. This is meaningful to me. This fulfills me. This completes me. This causes me to bound out of bed in the morning, going, "Wha-hoo"! And Jesus is sweating great drops of blood, saying, "God, if there is any other plan I would rather take plan B". Nevertheless, not my will but your will be done. Is it possible we've misunderstood ministry? That the pathway to the blessing of God, the exaltation of God, the promotion of God, comes from a desire within us to accept God's assignment? We serve others.

You see, ministry is serving someone else on behalf of Almighty God. It's very difficult to argue that you serve God if you don't serve God's people. 'Cause if you only serve God for yourself, you're really serving yourself, hoping God will give you a little leverage, a little extra juice, a little power. We serve God by serving God's people. Ministry matters, folks. And if you haven't crossed that line yet, it's a point of development in all of our discipleship journeys. I didn't come to add shame or guilt to your journey today. I wanna open a door for you. Find ways to serve. Serve a Small Group, the children, serve the congregation. "So I can serve other places than church"? You most certainly can. I would encourage you to do so. But I would also suggest that around the structure and the accountability of serving in community is a wonderful learning tool for how you serve.

Ministry matters. You know, you can be the... there's an acronym we use these days. I heard it last night on TV. I was watching a ball game and they turned the camera to somebody in the stands and they said, "That person is a GOAT, the Greatest Of All Time". And I happen to know the athlete. I thought, "Yeah, he was a pretty talented fella". Greatest Of All Time. You know, you could be a GOAT, the Greatest Of All Time, and if you're not prepared for eternity, you have nothing. Time is brief. It's a short little hiccup in your eternal journey. And what you do in time qualifies you for significance in the kingdom of God.

Jesus's ministry, his ministry, the reason God exalted him and gave him a name that's above every name, that every knee in heaven, earth, and under the earth will bow to him, is not about the majesty he had in heaven before Bethlehem. All of those things come to Jesus because he accepted an assignment for 33 years. We meet Jesus all through the Bible. Jesus is a force at Creation. We meet Jesus when Abraham pays his tithes to the king of Salem. We meet Jesus in multiple places through the scripture, but after Bethlehem when Jesus puts on his earth suit and accepts the ministry that God has given to him, his entrance into time qualifies him for a unique place for all eternity. Please don't let your days go by without intentionally, purposefully, consciously finding some way to give your very best to God, even when it seems inconvenient. God will honor it in your life.

All right, I wanna take it a little further with you. 2 Corinthians chapter 12, you've already turned the page. The apostle Paul is talking this time. He said, "I must go on boasting. Although there's nothing to be gained, I'll go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I don't know... God knows". We read just a moment ago about a tabernacle in heaven. Now Paul is saying, "I knew a man who was caught up to the third heaven". Now I grew up in a barn in Tennessee, folks, but if there's a third heaven, there has to be a first and a second heaven. That's just logic. Is that fair?

Paul said, "I don't know whether he was actually physically caught up or he simply had a revelation". He said, "I can't tell". He wasn't able to discern the difference between that. Talk about virtual reality. Said, "I was caught up into the third heaven". The third heaven, the Bible tells us, is God's dwelling place. It's a place of holiness and righteousness. The first heaven is the heavens that we see that contiguous with the earth's surface when we look up to the skies, the heavens. The second heaven, that intermediate heaven, in my opinion from scripture, that's Satan's dwelling place, that's the realm where he has authority.

The Bible says in Ephesians that our wrestling match is not with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in the heavenly places. Don't think of the three heavens as a layer cake, stacked one upon the other. They're different dimensions, different realms of authority. But they're real. They're real. See, we live in an age, the modern age, where we take great pride in the fact that we tend not to believe in spiritual things. You know, we will reject the spiritual things in the Bible. It's more fashionable for us to believe in zombies. And somehow we think it's an expression of accomplishment and achievement that, you know, we're in the modern world. An expression of our modernity is that we no longer believe in those spiritual things.

And there's an arrogance, a pride that is expressed in that. But I think we're not really conscious of the message. It comes at us so frequently and so forcefully and so consistently, I think we miss it. Let me share with you a decision I made some years ago. I decided God was smarter than I am and I know that's not a revelation for you, but for me, that was a shock. I thought God probably needed me to help him with the hard questions. And when I decided to treat the Word of God as if it were true and I would subject myself to its authority, everything changed in my life. You don't understand how diminishing unbelief is or you wouldn't touch it. Jesus, when he went to his home town, he grew up in Nazareth. It's a sleepy little village, tucked away in the hills of Galilee, off all of the major roads.

When Jesus was there, the scholars said maybe 1,500 people, tiny little place. He left there to begin his public ministry. He needed a more strategic location on a major thoroughfare. He moved to Capernaum. But after he begins his public ministry, he goes back to Nazareth. He went into the synagogue, a small synagogue, tiny space. He'd been in it hundreds of times. He knew the people in the community. They'd grown up together. He'd been a boy in that community. He played soccer with their kids. And he comes into the synagogue and he reads from the scroll of Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He's anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted".

And it says of those people in Nazareth, they were offended at him. They said, "Who does he think he is? Isn't that Joe's kid? Isn't Mary his mother? Don't we know his brothers and sisters? Didn't we carpool that little brat"? And do you know what it says? It says in Nazareth Jesus could not do many significant miracles because of their unbelief. The unbelief of those... they knew him. You see, you can know Jesus, you can know of his miracles, you can know his back story, you can have all the facts. They knew more details about Jesus than almost anybody that heard him minister. It's not about information. It's about a decision.

And if you've been celebrating your skepticism, if you've been a champion of the reluctant, I wanna ask you this morning if you'd be willing to say to God, "I'm sorry". In fact, I'd like to pray for you. We could lay down unbelief and we can walk out of here as Believers with a capital B. If that's been you and you'd like to say to the Lord, "Lord, today, I'd like to be different," I'm just gonna ask you to stand real quickly. We don't, I'm not gonna take long 'cause this is... I'm not done yet. This is just an interlude. But if you'd say, "I'd like to believe. I'd like to lay down that skepticism. I don't wanna sit in that mocker's seat anymore".

If you're in New Harvest, you can stand over there. If you're joining us digitally someplace else, just put your coffee down for a minute and get off the bed and stand up with us for a minute. We're standing before God. We're not standing in the presence of Pastor. This is serious business. Our role in eternity's hanging in the balance. We can't accept the ministries God has for us if we're sitting over here in the skeptic seat. We've mocked long enough. Folks, I've done this, I used to make fun of Christian preachers on Christian TV. Be careful what you make fun of. You'll have to have, you know, yes. Crow served cold is not really good. Anybody else? I don't wanna leave you out. All right, I wanna ask you to say a short prayer with me, then I'm gonna pray for you. That be okay? So just repeat this after me.

Almighty God, I repent of my unbelief. I renounce skepticism, doubt, and unbelief. I want no part of it. It has no place in me, through the blood of Jesus. I am a believer. I believe Jesus is your Son. I believe he was born of a virgin. I believe he died on a cross. I believe you raised him to life again. I believe he's coming back to the earth. He is Lord of my life and all that I am. I'm a believer in Jesus, amen, hallelujah.

Father, I thank you for these men and women. I thank you for their lives, and we come in humility today, Father, to acknowledge our sin, our stubbornness, our pride. Lord, we have stood in our own arrogance and imagined that we were wiser and that we knew ways better than you. Lord, we have discredited the message because we could discredit messengers. Forgive us. We come, Lord, to ask for your forgiveness and your cleansing. Lord, we come to ask for your help today. Holy Spirit, I pray you would give us hearts that are sensitive to Almighty God. Give us ears to hear and eyes to see. Give us perception. Give us discernment beyond ourselves. I thank you that you have cleansed us today, that we will leave this place differently than we came, in Jesus's name, amen, hallelujah.

Give him a hand. That's awesome. Now, I know you've got a big section in your notes about Ephesians and the heavenly places. I'm gonna come get that another week, okay? I wanna go to Jerusalem with you. I'd love to do, I wish we could have lunch in Jerusalem today, in God's time. But I wanna talk to you about a new Jerusalem. Of all my places on planet Earth, Jerusalem is very near the top of the list. It's a special place. But there's a new Jerusalem coming. In Revelation chapter 21 and verse 1 it says, "I saw 'a new heaven and a new earth,' for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God".

The original, the authentic, coming down to the earth for we've had the temporary, the passing, the one that was grounded in time. There's a Jerusalem coming that is rooted in eternity, not rooted in time. You know, we started with the heavens and the multiple heavens. Well, the Bible from Genesis to Revelation uses heavens in the plural. In Genesis 1 it says, "God created the heavens and the earth". Heavens is plural and earth is singular. I don't do a lot of word studies with you, but I gave you a word in your notes. I gave you the Hebrew transliteration of the word for Jerusalem. Hebrew uses a different alphabet than the one we use, so when you translate from English to Hebrew, or Hebrew to English, it's not just an exact correlation because the letters, the alphabets, are different.

So sometimes, you'll see a word, a Hebrew word in English, and it'll be spelled differently. You may see the same word with three or four different spellings. It's because it's not a one-to-one correspondence, so we call it transliteration. We take the Hebrew characters, and we give you the best approximation in the English alphabet that we can. Well, I gave you the transliteration of the Hebrew word for Jerusalem. It's Yerushalayim. Now what's critical in this context is those last two letters, I-M. It's a plural ending in Hebrew. It's the same as using an S on an English word, or an E-S. You don't just have one Bible, you have two Bibles or six Bibles. Well, I-M on a Hebrew word is a plural ending.

So the word for Jerusalem is plural, more than one. I was in a meeting this week. A young woman was presenting. She's an archeologist from Israel, young Jewish woman. And they have opened a new excavation in recent years, within the last seven or eight years. Brand new. They've never excavated here before, from David's Jerusalem. It's outside the walls of the Old City today. And for a long time, they didn't really understand its significance. They didn't have access to it, but they've begun to dig there, to uncover King David's Jerusalem.

And this young woman was so excited, she could hardly contain her enthusiasm. She said, "There's a new Jerusalem arising from the dirt". She looks at the audience and she said, "You know, in Jewish tradition, there is more than one Jerusalem". And she pointed out what I just pointed out to you, that the word is plural. And I smiled as I listened to her. I thought, "Yeah, in my tradition there's more than one Jerusalem too. There's the one here and there's the one in heaven". Ah, the things of the earth are passing away. A new Jerusalem. Look at Revelation 21, "He carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and he showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. And it shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel".

Folks, new Jerusalem is as real as the chair you're sitting on, and it's gonna last a lot longer. Perhaps you think it's just in Revelation. Look at Hebrews chapter 12, "You've come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly". It goes on to say, "To the church of the firstborn". It's a picture. We're shown a scene of what is ahead of us. The new Jerusalem, the numberless throng of angels, the believers gathered together, giving glory and honor to Almighty God. It's a pretty exciting picture.

In Hebrews chapter 11, this is the Hall of Fame in the Bible. It lists these remarkable men and women of faith and what they accomplished. It says, "All of these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and confessed that they were strangers and exiles on earth". They were hoping for something more than just life on earth. Says they're exiles. You're not exiled as a reward. Exile is a temporary thing you endure. "For those who say such things make it clear that they're seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they'd been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them". Folks, God is making all things new.

I believe all of us struggle with some chapters in our past. Before we go, let's ask the Lord that he will cleanse us, forgive us, and give us a new beginning today. You ready?

Father, I thank you that through the blood of Jesus we have been cleansed, redeemed, and delivered, sanctified. I pray that reality will break through into our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, that in Christ Jesus we truly are new creations, amen.

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