Support us on Paypal

James Merritt - Aftermath

  • Watch
  • Audio
  • Donate
  • Shop
    James Merritt - Aftermath

In 2015, the website advertised themselves as the most recognized and reputable married dating company on the Internet. Their company facilitated adulterous flings for married people, married people who wanted to have an affair, who wanted to have a hookup with someone they weren't married to so that nobody would know. 37 million people became their clients, attracted by the promise of anonymity and the ability to browse thousands of willing adulterous.

As a matter of fact, at their peak there were only three ZIP codes in the entire United States that did not have an Ashley Madison account. These people signed up believing, "I can have my fling, I can have my one-night stand, and nobody will ever know, and nobody will ever get hurt". But the site was hacked, and what those customers did in the dark was exposed in the light, and we'll never know to this day how much hurt, heartache, destroyed marriages, broken homes, and devastated children resulted from that deal. 3,000 years ago in one of the most famous stories ever told there was a king by the name of David who fell in the same trap with the same result.

If you're a guest of ours today, first time here, we've been on a series on David we've been calling "Life Lessons from a King," and I would encourage you if you don't even read your Bible very much it would be worth your while to go read the story of David in the Old Testament. He lived a fascinating life. It was filled with victories and success. But we're gonna learn that this man of whom it was said, the only man in the Bible, a man after God's own heart, we're gonna learn today how a man after God's own heart was someone who broke God's heart.

If you brought a copy of your Bible and I want you to look with me today. I'm in a book called 2 Samuel. You just go to Genesis and turn right just a few books. We're in 2 Samuel chapter 12. Let me tell you what's going on to just kinda catch you up. A year has gone by since what we read occurred in 2 Samuel chapter 11. And if you forgot what we talked about, let me refresh your memory. David was a king. He is on the rooftop of his palace, strolling around, while his army's fighting out on the battlefield. He looks down from his rooftop and he sees this beautiful, gorgeous woman who is bathing on her rooftop. Even though he's warned she's somebody else's wife, he has her brought to the palace, he has sex with her, he sends her home thinking it was one of those harmless nobody will ever know, nobody will get hurt, one-night stands.

Except a month later he hears three words he never wanted to hear. Bathsheba sent a message. "I am pregnant". David's in a conundrum. What's he gonna do? So he summons Uriah, her husband, back from the battlefield, gives him a pass, brings him home, and does everything he can, from giving him some gifts to getting him drunk, to sleep with Bathsheba hoping that will cover up his sin. But Uriah was too honorable. He was too noble. He was too good to do that and he refused to even go home and see his wife. So David's now got a big mess on his hands, he feels like he's got no other choice, so he sends Uriah back to the battlefield and purposefully has him murdered to cover up what he has done. He then brings Bathsheba to the palace, they marry, they have this lovechild, and now a year has gone by.

And David not only thinks that his sin has been covered up, David now believes it's been put to bed, put into its casket, and buried underground. Because, remember, this was back in the day, there was no "60 Minutes," there was no Instagram, there was no Twitter, there was no Facebook, there was no Snapchat, there was no special prosecutor, and David thought, as we all tend to think at one time or another, "I think I've gotten away with it. I think I've committed the perfect crime. I don't think anybody is going to know". But as he was to learn and we need to remember, if there is a God in heaven nobody ever gets away with it, nobody. Nobody ever gets scot-free. Listen to this. The path of sin always leads to the aftermath of sin. Don't ever forget that. The path of sin always leads to the aftermath of sin.

So God uses a man Nathan, David's most trusted advisor, David's best friend, God uses a man named Nathan to come to David to do two things. To break God's heart, to take a hammer and break God's heart, but also as a medicine to heal David's soul. Now this is why this message is so important. I'm gonna tell you something that's gonna sound counterintuitive, it's gonna sound like it doesn't work, but it really does. How do you really know you're right with God? How do you really know that you have a real relationship with God? How do you know it's not just talk? How do you know you're not gonna be one of those people that when you die are gonna realize you never got it right with God, you really weren't right with God, you really didn't know God? How do you really know that you're right with God? This is gonna shock you.

One of the absolute, surefire ways you can know you have a real, true relationship with God is when you sin. Because if you do have a relationship with God, if right now you're living in sin, you're addicted to pornography, you're sleeping with someone who's not your wife, you're doing drugs, you're embezzling from your company, whatever it is you might be doing, I don't know what it may be or what it is, it doesn't matter, you can know right now, you can know today whether or not you really have a real relationship with God or it's just talk, because if you're right with God God will always do three things in your life when it comes to whatever you're doing, he will always do three things and it is his way of letting you know, "You really do belong to me". So you might wanna pay attention because what happened with David happens to everybody who really knows God when they decide they're going to live in sin.

Number one, God will lead me to confront my sin. God will lead me to confront my sin. Now David has assumed for the first time in history he's committed the perfect crime. He's had sex with Bathsheba, he's covered it up, nobody will ever know, maybe God was asleep at the wheel, or maybe David thought, "You know, I'm a man after your own heart, maybe you've decided to give me a free pass. Maybe you've decided to give me a get-out-of-jail-free card". Because David goes for a year, everything's cool, everything's fine, everything's going great. But things are not always as they appear. Because you may remember, if you don't I'll refresh your memory, there's a little footnote at the end of chapter 11 after all this takes place, and it reads like this.

"But the thing David had done displeased the Lord". Outside of Joab, he thought, "Nobody knows what happened, and Joab's gonna keep his mouth shut. I have fooled everybody". But it displeased the Lord. David had fooled everyone, but he hadn't fooled God, because God always sees and God always knows. And here's what's kinda interesting. God had waited patiently for a year. God had given David a year to make things right on his own, to do what he knows he ought to do. Because, you see, God doesn't always settle his accounts at the end of a day or at the end of a week or at the end of a month or even at the end of the year. But God does settle every account. David had racked up the sins of adultery and murder on the credit card of deceit, but now the bill is about to come due.

So the story begins in 2 Samuel 12. "The Lord sent Nathan to David". Very important. "The Lord sent Nathan to David". If you're right with God, God will send a Nathan to you. Now here's what's interesting. When did God send Nathan to David? Was it immediately after David committed adultery? No. Was it after David found out he was gonna be a father of a baby with a woman that was not his wife? No. Was it immediately he had Uriah murdered? No. Was it after he had married Bathsheba? No. Was it immediately after the birth of the baby? No. God waits one year, one year has gone by, and God allowed this sin to simmer on David's heart. And by the way, David wrote two psalms about this year that he spent.

If you wanna go back and read them, it's Psalm 32 and Psalm 51. Those psalms are about the year that David had spent, and what we found out was David was absolutely miserable for that year. Psychologically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically. David was an absolute wreck. But David's not prepared for Nathan, but God's prepared Nathan for David. So Nathan goes in to see David, and David has no idea what Nathan's going to talk to him about. And so Nathan does a wise thing. He tells David a story that David assumes is true.

Now here's the story. He says, "King David, there were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, it drank from his cup, and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him".

Now the symbolism in this story is really plain, is not hard to figure out, I'll bet you'll figure out with us, so I'll just ask you. All right, so, in the story, who is the rich man? He's David, right, all right. Who is the poor man? He's Uriah. Who is the pet lamb? Bathsheba, right? And the traveler passing by is temptation. So he's telling David this story, and with every passing word, David's body temperature is coming to a boil. His temperature gets into high gear, you can see the veins pop out on his neck, his blood pressure goes off the chart, his pulse rate is three times the speed limit. He is not just mad, he is hot. How do you know he's hot? Listen to what we read. "David burned with anger against this man. He said to Nathan, 'As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die. He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and he had no pity.'"

Now let's just stop and see what's going on. Nathan tells David a story is not true but he thinks is true. And I mean David is hot. And isn't it amazing, listen, isn't it amazing that David gets so worked up over someone else's sin, but he ignores his own? Aint it amazing how we're so easy to spot the stick in somebody else's eye we can't see the log coming out of our own? Isn't it kind of incredible he is more angry with a man who has taken a lamb than he was with himself for taking a life? See, David thought he was looking into a window. He was actually looking in a mirror. David had sentenced himself in his own court. David was the villain in the story. He hadn't stolen a lamb. He had stolen a lady. He hadn't killed a sheep. He killed a soldier. And David had just identified himself as the guilty party, and David had passed his own sentence.

I'll tell you a funny story I read about a year ago, and it's a true story. It was about a crime and it involved a man by the name of Thomas Martin of Oroville, California. He was a former manager of a Jack in the Box restaurant. So he reported, he called the police up one night, and he said, "Hey, I've just been robbed of $300. The store is about to close and a man just came in and robbed me of $300". So the police came and they investigated, and they brought along Jack Lee who was a police sketch artist. So he sat down with this guy and he said, "Okay now, tell me what this suspect looked like". So he began to give a detailed description of this subject.

Well, when Lee put his pad down, he looked at the drawing and he looked at Martin and he realized they looked just alike. And when he began to question Martin, Martin confessed he was the thief. Martin had identified himself, and that's exactly what David had done. David had opened a noose and David slid his neck right through it, because, remember, a year earlier David heard three words that would change his life forever. "I am pregnant". And when he heard those three words, he ran from God. Now Nathan's about to share with David four words that's gonna make him run to God. "Then Nathan said to David, 'You are the man.'"

Now you're sitting there watching this, can you just imagine? The blood drains out of David's face. His hands begin to shake. His lips begin to tremble. His eyes fill with tears. Because he was the man. His sin had been exposed, the shades had been opened, the light's been turned on, the coverup's been uncovered, and now David is facing the music. David, you are that man. It reminds me of a story about a second grade boy who walked to his teacher at the end of the class and he said, "Miss Haze, can I talk to you for a moment? It's really, really important". She said, "Sure, Bill, what's the matter"? He looked around to make sure nobody was listening and he said, "Miss Haze, I don't wanna scare you, but my dad says if my grades don't improve somebody's gonna get a spanking".

Mark it down. Mark it down, listen to this. If you're truly a child of God, and if you're truly right with God, whatever sin you conceal, God will reveal. Whatever sin you conceal, God will reveal. And you're going to be spiritually spanked. God will lead me to confront my sin. If I'm right with God and I'm living in sin, committing sin, and I know I'm not living the way I should and doing what I ought to do, God will lead me to confront my sin. That's step one. Then God takes step two. God will move me to confess my sin. God will not just lead me to confront my sin, he will move me to confess my sin. Now listen to those four words again. "You are the man," those words echoed out of the palace, down into the valley, up into the mountains.

David had concealed his sin and now God has revealed his sin. David had lived in the dark for a year and now God flips the switch and God turns on the light. And what God now says to David through Nathan is something we all need to hear and we all need to remember if we decide I'm gonna go against God, I'm not gonna do what God wants me to do, I think I can do this, I think I can get away with it, and I don't really care what God thinks anyway. Always remember what God says to David at this moment. "This is what the Lord God of Israel says. 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all of this had been too little, I would have given you even more.'"

Here is a man after God's own heart, and he had totally forgotten God's heart. I want you to learn this lesson. You never have to do what's wrong to get what is right for you. You never have to do what is wrong to get what is right for you. You never have to do what is bad to get what is best for you. You know how I know that? Because God always wants what's right for you. God always wants what is best for you. And with God, the end never justifies the mean, and the mean never justifies the end. So let me just make this real simple. If you've gotta lie, if you've gotta cheat, if you've gotta steal, if you've gotta make sure you cover your tracks, if you've gotta make sure all the lights are off, if you've gotta make sure that nobody is looking to get what you want, then you want something God doesn't want you to have. You want something God does not want you to have. And David is about to face up just how wicked sin really is.

See, here's our problem. We all know that we sin. We don't use that word much, but we all get it. Yeah, I'm not perfect, yeah, I've done this, I've done that, I've done those things, I've done these things, you know, nobody's perfect. But what we don't realize is just how wicked sin really is, and I wanna show you how wicked it really is. Because, yes, David had committed adultery. And David had conceived a child out of wedlock. And yes, David did have a man murdered. But his sin was far worse than that. You say, how can it get worse than that? The wound of David's sin was deeper than he even imagined because God tells David three things that happened as a result of his sin.

Okay, and this is why you're gonna learn something. All sin breaks God's heart. All sin breaks God's heart. Listen to what God says to David in verse nine. "Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what was evil in his eyes"? Then he says this in verse 10. "Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own". And then he says in verse 14, "However, because by this deed you've given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme". Here's the point. All sin is ultimately and primarily against God. If I steal from my company, I'm not primarily sinning against my company, I'm sinning against the God who said, "You shall not steal". If I commit adultery on my wife, I'm not primarily committing a sin against my wife, I'm committing sin against the God who said, "You shall not commit adultery". If I lie, I'm not primarily committing a sin against the person I lied to, I'm sinning against the God who said, "You shall not bear false witness".

See, what David's sin had done, our sin does, because when we sin, here's what happens. Number one, we despise the Word of God, because even though we know what God tells us to do, we say, I don't care what your Word says, I'm not going to do it. We despise the Word of God. Then we disgrace the name of God, because even though we know God wants us to do what is right we still do what is wrong. And then we damage the reputation of God, we give outsiders an opportunity to say something like this. Oh, so let me get this straight, James. So you're a pastor, but you've been sleeping with somebody the whole time you've been preaching? Or John, let me get this straight.

So you're my nextdoor neighbor, and you tell me that you're a believer, but you just got fired for embezzling money from your company? Or Sally, let me get this right. You kinda go to church and carry your Bible and kinda make out like you're this big religious and you say you're a real Christian, but I just found out that you've been gossiping about me behind my back and you've been lying about me behind my back. You know what? It must be a mighty poor God you say you know that can't change your life more than that. 'Cause every time you sin, you despise the Word of God. You say, I don't care what you say, I'm not doing it. I'm gonna do it in spite of what you say. You despise the name of God. You disgrace and damage the reputation of God, and here's the point. It really gives me, you talk about something that really frustrates me, I hate it when people say something like this.

I don't know why what I do bothers you, because my sin doesn't hurt anybody. That's a lie. That's a lie. Don't ever believe that certain sins don't hurt anybody, you know why? All sin hurts God. All sin hurts God. Now the man after God's own heart shows again why he's a man after God's own heart, because this is the David I want you to love and this is the David I want you to respect and this is the David we all admire and this is the David we oughta look up to. Yes, I know he's an adulterer, I know he was a liar, I know he was a thief, I know he committed murder, I know he broke six of the 10 commandments just like that, I get it. But this is the real David. Watch what David does. Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord".

Now that's the David, that's my man. Just like that. No excuses. Accurately. Completely, totally. David confesses his sin. You ready for this, watch this. He doesn't call it a mistake. He doesn't call it a misjudgment. He doesn't blame Bathsheba, she shouldn't have been bathing on the roof of her house. He confesses first of all to God that, first of all, his sin was against God. Do you understand how refreshing that is in the 21st century?

I came across an article, you're gonna love this. The title of the article was "What If David Were a Baby Boomer"? And what this man said was, he said, what if King David had been caught today? What if this came out about King David today? What if The New York Times or "60 Minutes" did an expose on David today? What would he have said today in the 21st century if he'd been caught red-handed? And this person said he probably would have called a nationwide address on television, he'd gotten CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox News, everybody to cover it, and he might have said something like this:

My fellow countrymen, I requested this air time on CNN of Israel to speak to you about questions regarding my relationship to a woman you've heard about in recent months. I'm referring to my newest wife Bathsheba. Many have wondered why we married so soon after the death of one of our national heroes, her late husband Uriah. Rumors have been spread concerning the tragic death of our son shortly after his birth. I acknowledge there was something inappropriate about my relationship with this woman before our marriage. Now my assertion that I did not have sexual relations with my wife before our marriage was technically correct because she was not my wife before our marriage. I was also correct when I affirmed that when Uriah was killed in battle I had nothing to do with it, because the battle orders were issued by General Joab. I didn't volunteer to reveal any additional information.

You may feel that you've been mislead. There are good reasons why I kept silent these past 12 months, so I made my previous statements. I didn't see any reason why I should suffer public embarrassment by the revelation about one of my relationships which, after all, is strictly personal. I was concerned about the impact this inflation might have on all my other wives and all of my other children. And I feel like it was grossly unfair to cast a shadow over the integrity of my wife Bathsheba and do anything that would harm our marriage. Now you're probably sensing in my voice great anger, and I believe I have a right to be angry, because what happened between me and Bathsheba was a private matter and it should have been handled privately within the family.

And, by the way, this prophet Nathan? He's mean-spirited. He's a scandal monger. He's a trouble maker. He's jealous. He's full of fake news. Because I'm a king and I'm not him. This man did not only say that I deserved judgment but that I should suffer the consequences of my actions. Can you imagine him telling me that? I mean, I'm the king. So I've come before you to say today enough is enough. This matter is between me and my family and our God. It's not his business, it's not your business, it's not anybody's business. In other words, it's time to move on. My family and I need time to heal from these terrible tragedies we've experienced and from the unmerciful meddling of that nasty, mean-spirited prophet.

As a nation, we've gotta face the current threats of the Philistines and the Ammonites, we've got to deepen our national unity, we've got to build on the prosperity that I brought you during my reign, and it's time for me to get back to serving the Israeli people. What we need is not confrontation and condemnation by self-righteous religious prophets. We need to forgive each other, feel each other's pain, and encourage each other when we make mistakes. And, by the way, we all make mistakes. So this will be my last statement on the subject, so good night, and may God bless you, and may God bless the United States of Israel.

That is what you'd hear today. And I wanna tell you something, I want you to hear this. It makes me sick. And it makes God sick. Well, David didn't handle it that way. Not only did he make a public confession, it was the most publicized confession in history. It's been read by millions of people over thousands of years. And what is so ironic is the sin that David did everything he could to hide has become probably the best known sin in all of the Bible, 'cause what is true of David is true of us, it's true of you, it's true of me. Can I sin? Can I sin, I do sin. Can you sin? Can you sin, you do sin. But I wanna tell you something. If you're right with God, God will lead you to confront your sin, and God will move you to confess your sin, but there's one other thing, and I wish I didn't have to tell you this but it's true. Here's the third thing God does. God will allow me to consider my sin.

Now, David's profession of sin is met with God's pardon for sin, 'cause here's what Nathan says to David. "Then David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the Lord.' Nathan replied, 'The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.'" Now why did he say that? Well, the penalty for adultery was death. Bathsheba should die. The penalty for murder was death. David ought to die. He said, "David, you're not gonna die". Because if we truly confess our sin, God completely cleanses us of our sin. David, the Lord has taken away your sin. But here's the good news and the bad news. The good news is grace has come. The good news is guilt has gone. But the bad news is grief is just around the corner. Because there are always consequences to sin.

So here's these words. "Now, therefore". I.e. now because of what you have done, David, "the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own. This is what the Lord says. 'Out of your own household I'm going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I'm gonna take your wives to give to the one whose close to you. He will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son that was born will die.'" So because of what David had done the baby dies, David is chased out of his own palace, his own son commits adultery with his wives, another one of his son rapes his own sister, and then another one of David's son kills his brother for raping his own sister.

I know some of you are saying right now, whoa whoa whoa whoa time out, wait a minute, whoa whoa. Back the tape up. I thought you said God forgave David? He did. I thought you said that God had cleansed David of his sin. He did, that's true. But don't ever forget this. Forgiveness erases the guilt of sin. It doesn't avoid the grief of sin. It erases the guilt, but it doesn't avoid the grief. Because even though forgiveness removes the spiritual consequences of sin, it doesn't always remove the personal, the relational, or even the physical consequences of sin. Look, if you commit adultery, God will forgive you. But you may lose your marriage. If you embezzle money or you cheat or you lie or you steal, God will forgive you, but you might lose your job. If you commit murder, God will forgive you, but you'll probably go to jail. Because even a king after God's own heart had to learn the lesson nobody's above the law.

The king's not above the law, the pastor's not above the law, the pope is not above the law, you're not above the law, I'm not above the law, nobody is above God's law. And remember, when you use the credit card of sin, the payment will come due and you'll owe more than you ever dreamed you would owe. But how do we know this, how do we even know this story? Because the key phrase is what I read in the very first verse. "God sent Nathan to David". And this is what it has to do with you today. 'Cause some of you say, well, he missed me today. You threw a rock but you didn't hit me. I'm living right, kinda doing good. Well, everybody in this room is either a David, and if you're not a David then you can be a Nathan.

You say, well, what do you mean? Here's what I mean. In your worship guide today you're gonna find a simple way to share the message of God's forgiveness that Nathan shared with David. We call this a good news card, that's what we call it, the best news card. And we've given every one of you what we call a smartphone wallet. I've got one on mine right here, you've got one too, a smartphone wallet. What I'm gonna ask you to do is to take that and put it over the back of your cellphone. And we've given you two cards you can put in there. Why do I that? 'Cause every time you take out that cellphone, I want you to ask the question, okay, who's my one?

I had a lady come up to me at the end of the nine o'clock service, a lady that had never, ever, ever been a part of a church anywhere. That was her one, she church, she's given her heart to Christ, she's gonna be baptized. She said, "Hey, this is my one". We're asking everybody to have one, at least one. You need to be a Nathan to somebody that doesn't know Jesus. You need to have one person that you would ask God over the next year, I'm gonna ask God to use me to bring that person to Christ, to bring that person to God, to experience God's forgiveness of sins, to let them know, you know what? You don't have to live under sin any longer. 'Cause when you look at the consequences of sin in someone's life and the gift of salvation that Jesus can offer, there's nothing you'll ever do greater than to share that message with someone. So we wanted to make this very practical for you, because let me tell you why. I heard this a long time ago when I first started preaching and I've never gotten over it 'cause it's so true.

When you decide, you know what? I'm gonna do it my way. I'm gonna sleep with that girl, I'm gonna have an affair with that woman, I'm gonna embezzle from my company, I'm gonna get involved in pornography, I'm gonna give my life to drugs. Whatever it may be, when you decide to do that, I just want you please not to forget this. Sin will always take you farther than you wanted to go. Sin will always keep you longer than you wanted to stay. And sin will always cost you more than you thought you'd have to pay. Now God will heal the wound of any sin, but the scar always remains. Let's take a look at a fact and we'll kinda get to the close of this. When you read your Old Testament, you have all these Old Testament kings. You've probably never thought about this but it's true. The Bible divides all the kings Israel had into two categories. Those who did what was right in the sight of the Lord and those who did what was wrong in the eyes of the Lord.

Now David is put in the first category. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. But in case you forgot, let's go back to his obituary, let's go back to what they put on his tombstone and listen to these words. "For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord," and he had. "He had not failed to keep any of the Lord's commands". He had not. "All the days of his life". But this is the word you wish was not there. "Except in the case of Uriah the Hittite". Gosh. There was one blemish on the record. There was one scar on his heart. Now it was only a scar because God's grace and God's goodness is always greater than God's judgment. You know why we can say that? You know why Nathan could say to David, "God has taken away your sin"? He didn't just tell David what was happening. No, David didn't know it. He was telling David why it would happen. And the reason why God could take away David's sin, now watch this, this is so good, is because of David's descendant.

You know who he is descendant was? Jesus, another king. David had a descendant named Jesus. And you can go back to those last words that David heard that brought peace, joy, forgiveness to his heart. "The Lord has taken away your sin. You're not going to die". Another translation renders the passage this way. "The Lord has laid your sin on another. The Lord has laid your sin on another". Does that ring a bell? That's exactly what God did through Jesus Christ. Now you may think, oh, you're just stretching that out. Oh no, I'm not, 'cause I wanna tie this together. What were the four words that Nathan said to David? Can you say them with me? "You". Hello? "You are the man". Remember that? 2,000 years later, Jesus is standing before Pontius Pilate. And Pontius Pilate has done a thorough investigation. Pontius Pilate has turned over every rock and every stone. Pontius Pilate has conducted interviews. Pontius Pilate has found out everything he could about this man named Jesus. And he said, "I find no fault in this man. I can't find one thing this man has ever done".

But you remember what he said about Jesus? "Behold the man". 2,000 years after this happened, actually 1,500 years after this happened, Pontius Pilate looked at Jesus and he said, "You are the man". Except he wasn't the man. I was the man. And you were the man. And we were the man. But he says to Jesus, "You are the man". Because when Jesus Christ died on the cross, he became the man. He became the man who took our sin that we might be forgiven and we might enjoy God's grace. Now here's the point of the story we're gonna finish up, watch this, listen to this. David was not defined by his sin, and neither are you. 'Cause you may be sitting there today and you may be saying, you know what? I appreciate what you said, but it's too late for me. I'm in too deep. I've done too much. My record it's too black. It's just too late for me.

Listen to me, I've said this so many times and I love saying it. I don't care what you've done. I don't care what you're doing. I don't care what you did last night. I don't care what you may think you have planned to do today. Listen to me, please hear this. You are never defined by what you've done wrong, you are defined by what Jesus has done right. You do not have to let your sin and your mistakes destroy your future, listen. Your sins may define your past. Okay, you've done what you've done. You've blown it, you failed, I get it. But even though your sins may define your past, they don't have to destroy your present and they don't have to determine your future. They don't, you know why? Because you can come to the one who was the man, who took your sin, who took the wrath for you, who took the crime for you, and he said, "Listen, let me tell you what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna take your sin for you, and then I'm gonna take your sin from you. And I'm gonna deliver you from guilt to grace, because I am the man".
Are you Human?:*