John Gray - It's Not Over
If he said it here, at the beginning. No matter what happens in the middle, what he said is gon' be there at the end. That's why he is the author, and the finisher of my faith. So no matter the fact, that he said "This sickness will not end in death". He did not say death will not meet you in the middle. Sometimes something will die in your life and it looks like there is no hope. Sometimes brokenness will come. Bad decisions, broken relationships, lost hopes, failed dreams. And Lazarus of all people, he cried out the name Lazarus, in Hebrew means God is my help. Oh God I need your help right now. I'm at the point of my need. I'm beyond the end of my rope. There is no more rope. What would you do?
I want you to understand you've done all you can do in the natural. So Jesus has to show up and put his super on top of your natural. And this wasn't about Lazarus, just like your situations aren't about you. It's about the people connected to you. You do know, you're a walking billboard for the power of God. You do know that you are the greatest advertisement of the miracle working power of Jesus Christ. You do know that people are watching your life, to see if you'll remain faithful through your trial. You do know that people are watching. I know you're at home, but people are watching you at your job and watching you to see if you're gonna fight for that marriage. Are you gonna fight for your children? Are you gonna fight for your community? Are you gonna fight for the thing that God said to you?
I know it's been years. I know it looks like it's over, but I hear God saying, it's time to go ahead and dust off those dreams and revisit those hopes. It's time for you to awaken to the destiny of God. This thing ain't over. In fact that's the name of this sermon, it's not over. And I need you to understand if anybody look like it was over, it was Lazarus. By the time Jesus strolls into town, the funeral was over. They had put the chicken away and the mashed potatoes. Potato salad, the rolls, the red kool-aid was gone. They don' took the funeral flags off the camels. Service was over. He wasn't fresh dead. He was dead dead.
See, you gotta understand that Jesus was establishing his Lordship over certain areas throughout his earthly ministry. Each time he did a miracle, it wasn't just for show, he was establishing authority over the enemy. I need you to understand when Jesus came into the earth, as the fullness of our Father, he was taking authority one day at a time. That three and a half years of ministry, he was doing something significant every day to move us back into our rightful place. He did what we could not. He got our authority back. He got our position back. He made us right with the father. And so every time he came across another place of the enemies attack, he would have to reintroduce himself.
See, Jesus had a checklist. Sickness? Check. Water to wine? Check. Walk on the water? Check. Fish lunch into a fish buffet? Check. Leper to cleansed? Check. Paralyzed to walking? Check. Widow of nain's son? Check. He was fresh dead. So people watching was like, he was just in a coma or something. You know, that wasn't even the real. Little girl dead, walked up to the room, took Peter, took John? Check. But this one right here is different. He was in the ground. Stinking. Four days. Wrapped up. Mummified. Just in the grave like thriller. Thriller night, it's close to midnight something's evil lurking in the dark you hear a calling Jesus Christ he really wants your heart so close your eyes and realize this is not imagination and all the while the king of kings he wants your very life your very life his name is Jesus Jesus Christ bled and died and rose just to give eternal life his name is Jesus Jesus Christ bled and died and rose to give you eter... Eter... Eternal life.
Every now and then, God has to show up in a crazy way to thrill you. To let you know, I got all the power, not the devil. I'm the one in control, not the enemy. I've got keys to death, hell, and the grave. And so whatever you're going through, it has to bow down to my Lordship. Can somebody give God a praise? That was awesome. That was totally not planned. So as Jesus was checking off his list. The things that the enemy thought he had control over, he was introducing himself to the enemy in every situation. Death? Meet life. Sin? Meet holiness. Disobedience? Meet perfect obedience. Law? Meet grace. Dead and buried? Meet the walking resurrection.
We interrupt this regularly scheduled Sunday morning service, to bring you a special announcement. Apparently Jesus is late to the funeral. Oh what a shame, Bob what is he gonna do? I don't know Bill. It's an early morning and there's a lot of drama. If we can go to the replay, Mary shows up and hears Jesus is in town. But it says Martha went out to see him, but Mary stayed behind. Mary had an attitude. Anybody ever had an attitude 'cause Jesus didn't show up when you needed him to? Only three of y'all, the rest of y'all telling a story. You ain't that perfect. Martha went out. She was like Lord if you would've been here, my brother wouldn't have died.
Mary was in the house like, hmmm, I guess you wanna show up now, huh? Food is put away. Go eat your manna or something. Find something else to eat. Can't believe you shows up four days late. I know I pray. Hello. I know I sent the word. I know you got it. I know you got it Jesus. I know you checked your cell phone. I know you got my texts. Stop playing, don't even act like that. You know Mary was the black one. Martha was the white one. She was like, Jesus I can't even believe it. You totally weren't there and it makes no sense. Oh my gosh! I'm so mad at you, you're naughty. You're a dirty birdy. Mary was like, whatever! Somebody just give God a praise, if you feel the joy of the Lord rising up in you. Does anybody feel the joy of the Lord stirring in you?
Jesus shows up. He shows up and he sees the situation is even worse than he heard. Finally Mary comes out of the house, but she left her attitude in the house. She approached Jesus with the proper posture. Says, she fell, at his feet and said Lord if you had been here, my brother wouldn't have died. If you would've just been here, I wouldn't have lost my marriage. If you had just been here, I wouldn't have had to filed bankruptcy. If you had been here, I wouldn't have watched that dream float through my fingers. If you had been here. And you can insert whatever issue that you've had in your life. The Bible says that Jesus saw the tears of Mary and Martha, and those who were with him. And it says he began to be troubled in his spirit.
I want you to know that your pain effects heaven. I want you to know that you have a God, that is concerned about your every need. And I want you to know that Jesus does care and he loves you and he's concerned with where you are right now. And he's so concerned that he's about to begin to move in resurrection power in your life. And it says Jesus looked around and it says that he got troubled in his spirit. That means, something there. Something bothering. He said, nah nah this can't be. I already said what it as 'gon be, but it doesn't look like what I said.
So I guess I'mma have to come behind that first declaration with another one. Every now and then, you gotta confess again what God has declared first. Stop being afraid to declare the promise of God over your life. Until your life looks like what he said, keep speaking it. Keep declaring it. Keep praying for it. Keep fighting for it. Live a holy life. Make sure you're in right alignment with the Father, but don't stop declaring out of your mouth, the Word of God. Jesus was so moved. The Bible says, "Jesus wept". Ahhh now you don' went and did it devil. You don' made Jesus cry. He got mad, but he didn't cry for long. He wiped his tears and he said, "Show me where they laid him".
See, okay now this is the difference between y'all and a black church. Right there? A black church would've ran around the whole building. Y'all missed it. So I'mma rewind and give y'all a chance to understand. When he said, show me where they laid him. It wasn't for him to pay his respects. It was for him to interrupt the funeral. So let me rewind. And so Jesus wept. But he didn't cry for long. So he wiped his tears and he said, show me where they laid him. And Martha said, listen I know he's gonna rise up 'cause Jesus said he will rise up again. Martha said, "I know he will rise on the last day of the resurrection". And Jesus made a stunning claim. He said, I am the resurrection, and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And those that live and believe in me, will never die. Do you believe this? Show me where they laid him.
He start walking towards an impossible situation. The funeral was over, four days dead, wrapped up and stinking. And he said, roll the stone away. I missed somebody up in the balcony. You were suppose to catch this. See when he rolls the stone away, that's him removing the scab of unbelieveth. That's him removing the bitterness of the past. God wants you to roll the stone away. The stone of unforgiveness. The stone of bitterness. The stone of broken dreams. The stone of lost hopes. Remove the stone of the place where you lost your faith. He says roll the stone away. Why? Because whether you knew it or not, his word was inside of that tomb. Remember he said what it was gon' be. Before Lazarus died, this sickness will not end in death. That word was sitting in that tomb waiting for his body. And then when Jesus showed up, the second confession activated the first declaration.
And so he said, Lazarus come forth. And that's the power of my Jesus. He was in a graveyard, that's why he had to say Lazarus by name. He's got so much power that if he had simply said come forth, everything dead would've got up. Oh you can stand for a second. What he said, is what it's gon' be. It's not over. I said it's not over. And here comes Lazarus, and they say get the grave clothes off of him. Get the dead stuff off of you. Get away from that dead praise. That dead faithlessness and begin to give God a praise worthy of his love. Worthy of his sacrifice. Worthy of his investment. Said loose him and let him go. I want you to know God's about to loose your dream. He's about to loose that idea. He's about to unleash you on the world. You're about to be the tah-dah of God. You're about to be the surprise of God. Who is he again? Where did she come from? And what's your credentials? My credentials is he qualified me. And whom God called, he also qualified. I didn't graduate from the best school. I don't have the best resume. But my Father owns everything in here. Are you hearing what I'm saying?
As you're standing, I want you to prepare your mind for a miracle. See you gotta get your mind prepared for a miracle. You can't just expect a miracle, but don't have the right mindset. You gotta cast down the wrong imagination. You gotta cast down bad thinking. If you don't believe God can do it, guess what? You just limited God. He's not limited, but if you limit him by your faith and by your confession, then that's what you'll have. But I want you to know, some of us want a miracle, but are you ready to receive it. What if Lazarus was your relative? He was dead. You went to the funeral, he showed up at your house.
Hey, quit playing Lazarus, for real. Stop man. The story doesn't say if he was married or not, but I can tell if he was married, his wife probably just kept her eyes open all night. What? Just making sure. Just making sure you still... You know 'cause four days ago, you was snore or something, let me know. I want you to know, it's not over for you. It's not over for your dreams. This life is just long enough for you to do everything that he promised, everything that he seeded in you, everything that he's declared for you to do. And no one else can do it but you, so get to living and get to being the miracle that God has created for you to be. Exhaust every opportunity. Move in every place of potential. Know that Christ, in you, is the hope of glory. You can and you will succeed. You don't have a choice. Jesus has already declared what is going to be. It's not over. It's not over. It's not over. Somebody give God a great praise.
You know pastor, I cry a lot these days, because God's been that good to me. This weekend, my first film, full length feature film made it to theaters all over the country. Tonight the Lakewood young adults, we're gonna go storm the theaters and watch Unconditional. But it was six years of prayer, before this past Friday. Six years! But I never stopped believing God. And this ain't the biggest budget film in the world, but it's a seed. At least I believed God and he did it. And if he can do it in me, I know he can do it in you. You've got limitless potential in Christ. Walk in your favor. Walk in your relationship. Walk in the declaration of your faith. I want you to know I'm a living witness. My wife and I are living witnesses that God will do so much with this little bit. Mustard seed faith will unlock the resources of heaven on your behalf. It's not over. It's just beginning.
Let me pray for you, if you'd be kind enough to just bow your head, close your eyes. If you're in here and you're saying, I wanna know this walking resurrection that you speak of that can resurrect lost hopes and lost dreams and broken lives. I need to know this Jesus for myself. I need to make him the Lord of my life. If that is you, would you be kind enough to lift your hand, right now. Wherever you are, saying I'm giving my heart to Jesus. If that's you. I see hands. I see hands. I see hands. All the way in the top sections, I see hands. If you're here and you're saying, you know what, I used to walk with the Lord. I got off track, but now I want to reestablish my connection with the father through his son. I want to know how to access my dreams again. I want limitless potential found in Christ Jesus. You need to rededicate your life. If that's you, this afternoon, why don't you just lift your hand right now, if that's you. If that's you. Saying that's me, I'm gonna give my life. I'm gonna rededicate. Look at that. All those hands. Let's all pray this prayer together:
Lord Jesus, it's me. And today, I confess with my mouth and believe in my heart. Jesus is Lord. Forgive me of my sins. Give me the deposit of the Holy Spirit. So that I may serve you. Lord, you can have every area of my life. Change me. Heal me. And restore me. In Jesus name, amen.