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Skip Heitzig - John 16

Skip Heitzig - John 16
Skip Heitzig - John 16
TOPICS: Expound, Gospel of John, Bible Study

Father, we calm our hearts and we give you, like Paul said in the book of Romans, we present our bodies before you as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable, which is our reasonable service. Lord, we pray that you would, through this time together, being exposed to your word, bring a personal word to what we are experiencing, dealing with, wrestling with, deciding upon. And I pray that your same spirit, using the same word, would have different effects according to the needs that are presented. Thank you, Lord, for those who have come out. Thank you for those who were joining us in a variety of ways. And we just pray that you would have free reign in our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen.

The first time that I ever went to Israel, I had a privilege of working on a farm, a kibbutz. And this was a collective farm in the northern part of the country, in the northern Galilee. And as a young guy, I was just so excited to be in Israel. And it happened to be around Passover time. And I found out that every Jewish person wants, at least one time in their lives, to be in Jerusalem during Passover.

I knew I wasn't being able to go to Jerusalem, so we celebrated the Passover with friends, with families who were gathered there, in the northern part of the country. At the end of the Passover meal and the Passover celebration, and by the way, they keep track of what they do in a little book called a Seder, the order of the festival.

At the end of the Passover, they will say L'Shana Haba'ah B'Yerushalayim, a phrase that means, in Hebrew, "next year in Jerusalem." Because Passover was considered the greatest festival celebrating the deliverance of the children of Israel in times past from Egypt, though it is not mandatory if you're Jewish living around the world like it is in Islam to take the Hajj to Mecca, it is preferable to be able to go to Jerusalem at least once to celebrate that notable feast.

So it's always "next year in Jerusalem." So I was stuck up in Galilee, not a bad place to be stuck, I'll tell you, but that heart's desire to go to Jerusalem. Well, Jesus is with his disciples in Jerusalem for the Passover. They have spent many a night with him. They have been with him three, three and a half years total. And they have already spent probably at least two Passovers with Jesus.

On this final Passover, 13 men gather in an upper room in the upper city of Jerusalem to celebrate together. It is, of all of the discourses, and we've told you about those a couple of weeks ago, that there are four major speeches or sermons or discourses that Jesus gave, of all of them that are recorded in the Gospels, the longest and the most intimate one is this one, the upper room discourse.

Now it's called the upper room discourse, and it covers John 13, 14, 15, and 16, though it's not all in the upper room. Part of it is in the upper room as Jesus washes their feet, celebrates the Passover meal with them. But then at the end of chapter 14, Jesus said arise, last verse, arise, let us go from here.

So we can presume that chapter 15 and 16 are spoken by Jesus en route to the Garden of Gethsemane, having left the upper room, but in conversation with those disciples, now 11 of them, Judas has left the room to make his pact, his deal with the enemy to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. And that is where they are headed.

Jesus continues speaking to them, giving them instruction. And that takes us to chapter 16. Now, in this chapter, sort of like what we've seen in the previous chapters, Jesus tells his disciples what we might call the dark side of discipleship, the consequences of Christianity. He said in chapter 15, I call you my friends. But he also said, the world's gonna hate you because it hated me first, all in that previous chapter.

Now, what he's going to basically tell them is you are my friends, but you need to know that I have enemies and my enemies don't like my friends, and that's you guys. So I want you to know the dark side of discipleship, the consequence of Christianity. Now, he knows they're already troubled, so he begins chapter 14 by saying, don't let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father's house, there are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I'm going to prepare a place for you. But even still, as he encourages them and lifts up their spirits, they're still drowning in sorrow because he has announced that he is going to die. He's announced that one of them is going to betray him. He's announced that Peter is going to deny him.

So they find it awfully hard to be lifted up to exuberance, but Jesus continues. Now, something else just to make a note of. Because what you find in this upper room discourse is a method of teaching that Jesus employs. And if you try to outline it, you find it difficult. I know people have outlined it. I have outlined it.

But those of us who delve into it and try to outline and make sense of it, notice that Jesus, in teaching them, does not introduce a subject, then exhaust the subject, then go on to another subject that he introduces and exhausts it. What he does, rather, his he gives several items to them, then circles back around and touches on them all again in a different way, in a deeper way, and then circles back around again then does it a few times like that.

About four courses, altogether, with the same subjects. And if you think, well, that's kind of weird, it's really not that weird. That is the same way that 1 John is written. 1 John is written where John introduces a smattering of subjects with a theme, then he goes back around and delves a little bit deeper and a little bit deeper, does it again, does it again to reinforce a certain set of truths to them. That is the method employed in chapters 13, 14, 15, and 16.

Now, chapter 16 verse 1. Jesus continues, "these things I have spoken unto you that you should not be made to stumble." I know you're sorrowful. I know you're bummed out. I know the subjects that I have shared with you cause you great distress. But I'm not telling you that just to bum you out. I don't want you to fall away or stumble. I want to tell you before they happen so that you know I knew all about this before it happened to you. I'm fully aware of what you're going through. The word stumble, skandalizo, which is to offend or cause to stumble, to fall away, that's the idea. I'm telling you this because I don't want you to freak out. I don't want you to run away. I want you to know what to expect.

"They will put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things I have told you that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning because I was with you. But now I go away to him who sent me. And none of you ask me, where are you going? But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart."

He says, "they're going to put you out of the synagogues," in verse 2. Whoever kills you is going to think that he's doing God a favor. My mind immediately goes to a young rabbi from Tarsus named Saul, who believed it was his sacred duty to arrest those who called on the name of Jesus, who had left Jerusalem and gone up north to Syria to Damascus.

And he got orders from the high priest to arrest those who called upon Jesus' name who were still in the synagogues, to excommunicate them or to eliminate them. He was one of the chief opponents to the early church. It was a religious opposition. But then after Saul of Tarsus gets converted and becomes Paul the Apostle, he himself will experience a very similar persecution.

He'll go into a city. He'll go first to the synagogue, because he said the gospel is first to the Jew, and then to the Greek. And so often he will get cast out of the synagogue, a riot will ensue, he ends up going to jail or getting beat up. Then he goes to the next city, goes to the synagogue, gets kicked out of there, goes to jail, gets beat up, goes to the next town.

You know, pretty soon Paul the Apostle must have just gone into a town and say, would you just show me the local jail? I'd like to know where I'm spending the night. So the persecution that he was the initiator of against the early church once he gets converted, he will find that himself will be the recipient of it.

If you know church history, you know that the early Christians in the Roman Empire had it tough. Many of them were fed to the lions for sport, burned at the stake. Some of them were placed on wooden poles, bound with ropes covered in pitch, tar, and used as living torches to light the way for Caesar Nero to run his chariot races.

Other accounts of how Christians were taken, animal skins that had been flayed or skinned recently, animal skins were placed over the believer's body and they were sewn in them so that wild dogs would be let loose smelling the fresh scent of the animal and attack it and eat them inside the animal skin. Molten lead poured over them. Gruesome acts.

Now I commend to you a book. I know it's going to sound gross, but it's inspiring to your faith. It's called Foxe's Book of Martyrs. If you've never read it, it's a must. It's a must to have and to own. It's the account, the testimony of believers from early on in the first century all the way up to about the 1500s. That's the original book, Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Now, Jesus is telling his closest followers what they might expect. Peter, James, John, those 11 apostles. Remember, Judas is out of the picture now, but he's telling them what they can expect. What is interesting is what became of those apostles as time went on. According to history, Matthew was slain with a sword in Ethiopia. John will be put in boiling oil. He will escape that, legend says, unharmed. He will then be placed on the island of Patmos to be exiled.

Peter will be crucified in Rome, but upside down because he requested to be killed upside down, saying, I am not worthy to die in the manner my Lord was killed. James, the son of Zebedee, one of the apostles, will be beheaded at Jerusalem. James, the son of Alphaeus, thrown from the pinnacle of the temple, then beaten with a club.

Bartholomew will be flayed alive. Andrew, bound to a cross, where he preached to his persecutors until he died. And Thomas will go to India to share the gospel and will be run through with a lance while in that country, and he died. Now that's their future. And what you have to ask yourself is, what would motivate these men to suffer like they suffered and died like they died if it was a myth they were following?

If they knew that they just sort of had to keep this thing going, that there really wasn't anything to the deity of Christ, the Resurrection of Christ, that this was a hoax, you'd think one of them would break. But all of them did not. All of them were willing to face the most gruesome death for what they believed. And here, Jesus says, I'm telling you this. I don't want you to stumble. I want you to know what's coming up ahead.

And verse 3, "these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father." What's interesting is he says this is going to happen in religious settings. The synagogue, by the very people who claim to know God and represent God. "They have not known the Father, nor me. But these things I have told you that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you."

Now, he's told them he's going away. He's told them that a couple of times. And so I said, you know, I didn't tell you this at the beginning because we were always together. But that's about to change. "But now I go away to him who sent me. And none of you asks me, where are you going? But because I said these things, sorrow has filled your heart."

Now, go back to chapter 14 for just a moment, because you need to remember this to get what he is saying here understood. Chapter 14, verse 28. "You have heard me say to you I am going away and coming back to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice because I said I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I."

Now look at verse 5. "But now I got away to him who sent me, and none of you asked me, where are you going?" They really weren't asking where. They didn't care where. What they cared about was why. Why are you leaving us? Why would you do this to us? How could you love us if you said you're gonna leave us?

But none of them cared where he was going. He's going back home. He's going to the father. He has left heaven in the incarnation. He has come to the earth. But their focus was on their loss rather than their focus being on what Jesus would gain. And, by the way, they were focused on what they would lose rather than what they would gain, because Jesus is about to say, I need to go. It's for your benefit. It's expedient that I go. Because when I go, I'm going to send you the Holy Spirit who's going to abide with you forever.

They're focused on why, how, how could this be, instead of where. Wrong focus. I've discovered that unbelievers also have the wrong focus when you tell them about Christ and you try to persuade them to commit their lives to Christ. You know, you ought to give yourself to Jesus Christ, and you ought to enjoy his forgiveness and have a relationship with him.

They focus often on the wrong things. They focus on their loss. What about all my friends that don't like me anymore or that will forsake me? I'm going to lose my friends. Ah, but you'll gain a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Oh, but I'm going to lose popularity, on earth, but not in heaven. Oh, but I'm going to lose my old life. Perhaps, but you're going to gain a whole new one. You're going to gain an eternal one.

There was a missionary who was killed by the Auca Indians named Jim Elliot. Many of you know of him, and you know his story. Very famous missionary. He gave his life to preach the gospel to the Auca Indians. One of the most famous things Elliot ever said is, "He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." I love that. Focus on the right stuff, not the wrong stuff, on the eternal, not the temporary.

"But because I have said these things, sorrow has filled your heart." He knew his men. It was still written on their faces. All of the promises he gave them in this speech, they're still kind of like walking along going, oh, man. This is a bummer. What a drag. I hate this. "Nevertheless", verse 7, "nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away."

Now, I just got to know that these disciples at this point were going, are you kidding? It's better that you go away? No, I have a different idea. I think it's better that you stay with us. I think we're going to take a vote, and you just hang around with us. We like that plan better. "Nevertheless, I tell you, it's to your advantage that I go away. For if I do not go away, the Helper", remember, that's the Holy Spirit. He's called the Helper four times in this upper room discourse.

You need help. You need all the help you can get, and so do I. And I'm so glad Jesus said, you have it. In fact, you don't just have help, you have a helper. He's not just going to give you resources. He's going to live inside you to pull it off. You have the Helper. I'm going to send the Helper. "He will come to you. But the Helper will not come to you unless I de, but if I depart, I will send him to you."

Here's the deal, and you don't have to give me a show of hands, because this is a rhetorical question. Have you found that the Christian life is sometimes very difficult to live? Of course. We all have. And how often have we doubted and wondered, am I going to make it through this? This is more than I can bear, or I'm struggling in this area. I don't know if I could ever conquer it.

That's why you need a helper, and he'll live inside of you, and he knows your weaknesses. But he still is with you, and he's not going to leave you, and he's always going to hang around. I love an illustration that DL Moody, the evangelist from Chicago, gave when he was alive. He was a simple preacher, and he loved simple illustrations and explanations.

He held up a glass, an empty glass. And he said to his congregation, now, how am I going to get the air out of this glass? He goes, I suppose I could get a pump and pump it out, get some device to pump out all the air. But then I will create a vacuum and shatter the glass.

So how will I get the air out of the glass? Then what he did is he took a pitcher of water and he poured it in the glass till it filled up, and he said, problem solved. I get the air out by having it filled with water.

And he said, that is the Christian life. That is the victory that is offered to you by the Helper. The key to your success is in trying to suck out one sin, one problem at a time, but just being filled with the Holy Spirit. Be filled with so much of him that there's nothing left of you. Oh, but there's so much air in there. Just keep being filled.

In fact, it is in the present tense in the book of Ephesians when Paul says, be filled with the Spirit. It's be being filled, be constantly being filled with the Spirit, the Helper. "If I depart, I will send him to you." Now, remember, just to jog your memory, Jesus called the Holy Spirit another Helper. And I told you, I just want to refresh your memory, I know you've memorized this by now. If you haven't, I'm going to tell you a second time.

There's two words Jesus could have used for another Helper. He could have used the word heteros, which means "another, of a different kind." But he used the word allos, which means, "another, of exactly the same kind." And the illustration that I gave you was let's say you pick up a CD that somebody says, you ought to listen to this band. You listen and you go, this is horrible. I never want to listen to another song of this band in my life.

So you're about to throw it away or give it to somebody who you think might like bad music... And then you say I'm going to go buy another CD. You don't mean I'm going to get another one just like that one. No, you're going to get a heteros CD, one that's completely different from that band. But if you were to say to a friend I'm giving you this CD and they go, oh, I love it. And you go, go ahead and keep it. I love it, too. I'm going to buy another one. Now you're going to use the word allos. I'm going to buy another CD just like the one that I gave to you.

So when Jesus said, I'm going to send you the Holy Spirit, he is another Helper, it was the word allos, another one just like the one I've been to you all these years. It's not going to be me, it's going to be him. But he's going to provide for you the same kind of help. You've called on me, you've asked things from me, and I've been there for you. Holy Spirit will be another one just like I am.

"And when he has come," verse 8, that is the Spirit, the Helper, "when he", notice, not, "it." The Holy Spirit is not a force. It's a person, not an impersonal force of electricity. Ooh, I'll feel the Spirit. It's a person, a divine person. "He", "when he, has come, he will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment. Of sin, because they do not believe in me. Of righteousness, because I go to my Father and you me no more, of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged."

Three things Jesus promised the Holy Spirit will do. He's going to convict or convince, you could translate. He's going to convince the world, the unbelieving world. He's going to convince them, first of all, of sin. "...because they do not believe in me." A person will never be open to receiving Jesus as their Savior unless they realize they need saving.

If they don't need a savior, they won't ask Jesus to save them. If they don't see their need, they won't act to receive the solution for their problem. So the first work of the Holy Spirit is to convince people, you really need help. You really are unsaved. You really won't go to heaven without Jesus. Holy Spirit, his job is to convict the world.

I like this. It's not my job to convince them. It's not your job. Don't you love that? I gotta go out and save people. No, you can't. I've had people come to me, goes, man, you saved me. And I put my arm around him. I go, I know what you're saying, but I didn't save you. I might have told you where to find help or I threw out the rope, but God pulled you in. He's the one that saved you. So, it's,

Yeah, it's not your job to convince people or to convict, You know, I had friends trying to talk me into following Jesus for weeks and weeks. And finally I got so sick of it, I thought, I'm moving. I'm leaving. And I moved. I moved way up north, 400 miles away. And I was watching television one afternoon all alone. And I'm watching Billy Graham on television.

And I'm listening, but it wasn't really what he was saying. I don't even remember what he was saying. But I felt a conviction. I felt convinced that I needed something. My friends had been trying to push me over the edge, sign on the dotted line. But I'd have none of it. But that afternoon, completely caught off guard, the Holy Spirit used what I heard on that television broadcast to draw me in.

He convinced me I was a sinner. He convinced me that I needed a Savior. By the way, how else do you explain the results of Peter at Pentecost? Peter preaches the gospel on the day of Pentecost, yes, the same Peter who denied that he even knew Jesus, that Peter. The same Peter who said a lot of stupid things during Jesus' ministry, same dude.

Now he's preaching a gospel in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost and 3,000 people respond, to Peter? And it says they were cut to the heart, they were convicted in their heart, not by Peter's mastery of the text, but the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Notice the second thing, of righteousness, because I go to my Father and you see me no more.

When Jesus died and then rose again from the dead and then ascended to the right hand of the Father having completed the transaction, it's as if that God the Father was saying, this is the righteousness that I will accept in my presence, the righteousness of this one. That's why you need to be in Christ, clothed with the merits of Jesus Christ, not your own.

I have noticed that by and large, when it comes to righteousness or goodness, the world, is sort of like they carry around a scale in their head. They may not articulate it like this, but it's as if they have like a little thermometer from cold to hot. And so a criminal might be like 10%, 20% good, righteous. And then there's other people a little warmer. You know they do a few good things. They are 30%, 40%.

Then there's other people who are really good, and they're even religious. They may be 50%, 60%, even 70%. God's 100%. And so they kind of measure on a sliding scale. Whereas the Bible says about all mankind, none are righteous. None are good. Even Jesus said, why do you call me good? There's only one who is good? That is God. That's God's standard of righteousness. He is perfect. No one else is.

Now, religious people think that they can raise the temperature of their thermometer, work a little harder, get a little hotter. If I get up to this level, then God will accept me. He has to. I've earned it. And their righteousness is like the Avis rent-a-car motto, "we try harder."

I try harder. My church tries harder. Yet, God said to the prophet Isaiah, all of our righteousness is as filthy rags. So the righteousness that God will accept as seen by the ascension of Jesus to the Father is that kind and that kind alone. So that's why we are clothed in him. Our trust is in him. And then, finally, verse 11, "of judgment", so he'll convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment, "because the ruler of this world", and we discovered last time in our study that that is Satan, the ruler of this world, " judged."

When he convinces a person that not only are they sinners in need of a Savior, not only are they not righteous in their own merit and their own religious works, but that there is a consequence to it all, and that's called judgment. There really is a final judgment. And, if left to themselves, they will face the certain judgment of God. That's a work of the Holy Spirit. It's a work he does. And again, it's his job, not yours. Oh, there's this sinner. Man, I'm going dangle him over the fires of hell.

Right now he has his cafe latte. I'm going to go over there right now and I'm going to make him sweat it out. "The Holy Spirit will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment." And by the way, I find it healthy when a person begins to think of the future and think, if I stand before, if everything that they are telling me is true about Jesus Christ from the Bible, if I stand before this God, I am ill-prepared to face that judgment. I think it's a healthy thing to think along those lines because that takes you back to the first one, he convinces the world of sin, and that's where you seek a Savior.

Verse 12, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." When I was a week old in the Lord, two weeks old in the Lord, three weeks, the first month, et cetera, there were many things I didn't know that I know now. The Lord has revealed them to me over the years. I mean, if you knew how ridiculously rudimentary I was in my relationship with God, it's laughable.

I mean, I remember reading my Bible and smoking marijuana and taking other substances thinking, hey, man, it's natural. God gave them to us. And, in fact, I kind of feel like I really get in touch with God when I,

I mean, I think I've seen God, perhaps, on that substance. I had received Christ, and it was two weeks later that my friend said, you know, I don't think that's a good idea. And I wasn't convinced. But again, one day I was alone, and I was reading the Gospel of Matthew, and the Holy Spirit convinced me, "you need to get rid of those drugs." And I'm thinking, man, that's a lot of money.

I could sell them. And I could get, I could use it for the Lord, the money. And I felt like the Lord was telling me, no, you need to flush those things down the toilet. But I had received Christ, and that that's how ignorant I still was. I had a lot of growing up to do. So listen, I was saved, and the Lord was very patient with me, and he had a lot of things to tell me. I just couldn't bear them. But the next week I could bear a little more and a little more and a little more. And the more you put into practice what he tells you, he has more to tell you.

He's got a lot more stuff to tell you. When you say, I'll do that. But if you just say, I won't do that. But Lord, tell me more, show me more. Reveal more of yourself. He's thinking, why should I even, do what I revealed to you first few weeks. Why don't you just start there and obey that? And I'll give you more. "So I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now."

I think of my perfect, precious little granddaughter, Cadence Joy. If I were to give her a set of encyclopedias, she wouldn't appreciate it. She might look at the pictures, tear a few out that she likes. If I were to give her a box of gold that would carry her through the rest of her life, don't worry, I don't have one. But if I did and I gave it to her, too much.

She wouldn't know what it means. She wouldn't know what to do with it. She wouldn't know how to invest it. It's just shiny, I'll play with it. She would much rather have an ice cream from Baskin-Robbins than a box of gold. That's what she can handle right now. And Jesus said, I have a lot more to tell you, but you just can't bear it yet. "However," he said, that's going to come. You'll be able to bear it, and here's when. "However, when the Spirit of truth has come, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will tell you things to come."

Now there is a couple of words in that sentence that most translations do not carry in English. Notice, it says to you in verse 13, when the Holy, "when the spirit of truth has come, he will guide you into", what are the next few words? All truth. There's an article that should be there, "all the truth." Tes aletheias, the truth. Is not just, "whatever you feel to be true at the moment, man."

It's a specific, not a generic truth, the truth. It's the truth about the message of Jesus Christ. That's the truth the Holy Spirit leads a person into. It's the same idea when, in that little book of Jude, that little, one-chapter book of Jude toward the Book of Revelation, when the apostle said, that we should contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Not just for faith in general.

You have your faith, I have my faith, just believe strong enough and long enough, and have your best day now. But it's the particular kind of faith and the particular kind of truth that centers on Jesus. It's New Testament truth. So that's very important. He will God you into all, specifically, the truth. And notice he amplifies that.

Verse 14, "He will glorify me," Jesus said. "He will take of what is mine and declare it to you. All things that the father has are mine. Therefore, I said that he will take of mine and declare it to you." Now he is telling us, he's informing us, what it looks like in the life of a believer filled with the Holy Spirit, influenced by the Holy Spirit, controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Now, there's a couple of verses I want you to tie together. Because remember, Jesus introduces the subject, leaves them, comes back to them, leaves them, comes back to them, and he's done that already. So go back with me to chapter 15 and look at verse 25 or verse 26. It says, "When the Helper comes whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify of" who? Me. He'll testify of Jesus, right?

Then, chapter 16, look at verse 9. He says, "The Holy Spirit will convince people of sin because they do not believe in me." And then in verse 14, "He will take of what is mine and declare it to you." So here's the deal. The Holy Spirit, this third person of the Trinity, is like the stage director. He's not going to come out on stage be center stage. That's Jesus role. He's going to be the stage director making sure the spotlight shines squarely on the main character, Jesus Christ, and that he holds up the applause sign when Jesus walks out onstage.

Think of a stage director. Jesus comes out, and the Holy Spirit says, ladies and gentlemen, may introduce to you, Jesus Christ. And then applause sign. Applause, applause, applause, applause, applause. That's what the Holy Spirit is about instead. Of saying, hey, what about me? Focus on me, think about me. He says, look at Jesus. Focus on Jesus. Think about Jesus. That's his role. Think of it, if you don't like the stage director analogy, think of it like lights on a building at night. We have lights around the property, and you'll drive down the street you'll see a well-lit building.

But typically, a well-lit building, you won't see the lights themselves. They won't shine in your face. They will shine on the building that they want you to focus on as you're driving down the street. So the Holy Spirit focuses on Jesus because that's the one he wants you to notice. "...of sin, because they do not believe in me." Now, why am I bringing this up?

Because simply, you want to find out if a person's filled with the Holy Spirit? That person makes much of Jesus. That person always talking about the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit, he's a living in us, he's part of the Godhead. I believe that. He's part of the Trinity. But his role is to direct our attention to Jesus.

So if you want to see a church that is filled with the Spirit, they make much of Jesus. Any emphasis on the Holy Spirit that detracts from the person of Jesus Christ is not of the Holy Spirit. So you want to see a spirit-led church or a spirit-led person, it's in a Jesus movement. It's when it's all about coming to Jesus and making Jesus stage center and he's the hero. That's the role of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 16, "a little while, and you will not see me. And again, a little while, and you will see me because I go to the Father. Then some of his disciples said among themselves, what is this that he says to us? A little while and you will not see me, and again, a little while and you will see me, and, because I go to the Father?" What's all that about? This is ironic. They don't understand what Jesus is telling them. They can't figure it out. He just said something. They're going, huh? He keeps saying stuff like that. I don't get it. What's ironic is Jesus was right there with them. Instead of talking to each other, why didn't they just ask Jesus what he meant? Hey, Jesus, we don't get it.

Right? We're sort of like Thomas, going, I don't get it. Or like Philip, I don't get it. Why didn't they just ask Jesus? But they didn't. It's interesting, they're talking to each other about it, trying to figure out why. I don't know why, but I do know that sometimes we try to act like we're spiritual in front of somebody we're trying to impress. Maybe they just don't it. And they think, I don't want to let Jesus know that I don't go it, because I want him to think I'm one of the cool apostles, right?

So I'm just going to walk along in this room, nod my head, and go, that's profound. That's good. Yeah, amen. Not working because Jesus, he knows stuff, right? He knows what we're thinking. "Therefore, they said, therefore, what is this that he says, a little while? We do not know what he is saying." Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask him, and so he just said to them, are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said?

I can see a little smile on his face. And he says, "a little while, and you will not see me, and again, a little while, and you will see me? Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. And you will be sorrowful." Literally, "you will be plunged into deep sorrow. But your sorrow will be turned into joy."

Now what is you talking about exactly? Well, he's probably talking about what's going to happen immediately. They're going to kill him. And the world is gonna go, he's out of our hair. Good. But his disciples are going to be plunged into sorrow. And we know what they do after Jesus dies on the cross. They run away and they hide themselves in that upper room where they had Passover.

They locked the doors, it says, "for fear of the Jews." So they'll be in hiding until Jesus appears in their midst, risen from the dead, and says, "peace to you." And it says, "they were filled with exceeding joy." Their sorrow will be transformed, in that moment, into joy.

So that's what he probably meant, immediately. But then there's a way to look at this not immediately, but imminently. And that is he would rise from the dead. He'd be with them for several weeks. Then he'll ascend to the Father and he'll be gone from them physically, but the Holy Spirit will come in reality. But spiritually, they won't see the Holy Spirit. But the presence of the Holy Spirit. And you can read the book of Acts, the joy that they had when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost.

Then there's a third way to look at this, not immediately, not imminently, but ultimately, eventually. That whether by death or by rapture, we are in the presence of the Lord, our sorrow will also be turned into joy. All three of those are true, but he's broadly speaking of the immediate, and that is his crucifixion.

Now he gives an example of the principle. He gave. He says, "a woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come. But as soon as she is given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish for the joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore, you now have sorrow. But I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice. And your joy no one will take from you."

Pretty simple analogy, right? What he's saying is having a baby hurts. Women, can you say amen? I can't talk to you obviously from experience. You know, when our wives have babies, us men, we're all stoked, we're happy, we're like, I'm having a baby. I'm having a boy, I'm having a girl. Whatever.

But that's about the anguish we have. I love what Carol Burnett used to say. She goes, men, if you want to know what it's like to have a baby, try taking your lower lip and stretching it all the way back over your head. And if you can do that, that's what it feels like.

I remember being part of those silly Lamaze classes. I'm sorry, but for us, it didn't work. You should have just seen the look on my wife's face. I'm going breathe, breathe, breathe.

Jesus is saying, it really hurts. But once that baby is born, she forgets the sorrow because the sorrow is eclipsed by ecstasy. The despondency is eclipsed by ecstasy. Sorrow has turned into joy. "Therefore now you will have sorrow. But I will see you once again and your heart will rejoice. And your joy", I love this, "no one will take from you."

OK, one of the men that heard this was a guy named Peter. And Peter is going to write 1 and 2 Peter, right? The epistles. And I love what he says. He says, "he has begotten us again listen to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." So think of those fishermen up in Galilee. One day Jesus shows up in their lives says, Follow me. I'll make you fishers of men. They go, I'm in for the ride. Let's go.

And for three years, they discover who this person, this rabbi is that they are following. And they're so excited, they're elated, they come to believe he is the Christ, the Son of the living God. They make that confession. They're on a roll. And then Jesus says, oh, word up. I'm leaving you. I'm going to die on a cross. I'm going to rise again, then I'm going back to heaven. And then I'm going to send you the Holy Spirit.

And they go... Great. And then when he died on that cross even though he had announced it in advance, when he died on the cross, all of that hope that they had fell away. Their hope died when he died. That's why the two on the road to Emmaus said concerning Jesus, "we hoped", past tense, "we hoped he was going to be the one to redeem Israel."

So they had hope when he came into their lives. Their hope grew. And then their hope was shattered when he died. But the day that Jesus rose from the dead, you know what happened? Their hope became a living hope. When Jesus became alive again, their hope became alive again. It says, "a living hope through the resurrection." Now on the day Jesus rose from the dead, their hope went ballistic. Their hope was turbocharged hope. It was hope at a whole new level.

You know why? Because now all those promises Jesus made about eternal life, now they make sense. When a dead guy comes back to life again and conquers death and that guy said, if you believe in me you'll never die, now that makes sense. Now, all of those promises about life and eternal life and living forever, I get it now. It just happened. He's begotten us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Verse 23, "In that day, you will ask me nothing. Most assuredly I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken unto you in figurative language, but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day, you will ask in my name. And I do not say that I shall pray the Father for you, for the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father. I have come into the world. Again, I leave the world, and I go to the Father."

Do you understand what he's saying? He's saying, up to this point whenever you needed something, you asked me for it. When there was a storm on the Sea of Galilee, you cried out to me. I was there. When you needed lunch that day on that hill in Galilee, I made it. When your relatives got sick, Peter, your mother-in-law, I healed her. So you've asked me for everything. But now, the relationship changes. And I don't need to ask the Father for you. You can go directly to the Father in my name, praying according to my marriage and according to my character and wishes, we covered that last week.

You can go directly yourself. You don't need an intermediary. You have direct access to God the Father. You do not have to pray to a saint. You do not have to pray to the mother of Jesus. Because you just better not talk to Jesus directly because he's so far above you. Or, you can't talk directly to God. No, you can. I'll tell you, I'll tell you how you can.

It's not that you just can. You should do it boldly. Isn't that what Hebrews says? Come boldly before his throne of grace that you might receive grace to help in time of need, his throne of mercy. Come boldly. I'm coming to you, Father, in the name of Jesus. That's very important. It's on his merit, not yours. If you ever said, I'm coming to you in the name of Skip, not a good plan.

If you wanted to see the Prime Minister of England and you went over there and you said, I come to you in the name of Skip Heitzig, you will be turned away. But if you have in the United States government credentials and you come in the name of the United States and you prove that you have their credentials sent by the commander in chief, you will have access. So you come to the Father in the name of Jesus directly, boldly. And then verse 28. "I came forth", I just want you to notice something in verse 28. There's a lot of theology in one verse.

Verse 28 could be a sermon series. Notice he says, "I came forth from the Father." That's his incarnation. "I've come into the world", his humiliation. "I leave the world", his resurrection and ascension. "And go to the Father", his glorification. He's giving a one-sentence summary of what he has done and what he's going to do. This is who I am been, and this is where I am going.

His disciples said to him, "See, now you are speaking plainly and using no figure of speech. Now we are sure that all things and have no need that any one should question you. By this we believe that you came forth from God. Jesus answered and said, do you now believe? Indeed, the hour is coming, yes, now has come, that you will be scattered, each to his own and will leave me alone. And yet, I am not alone because the Father is with me."

Now perhaps they have reached a point in their little stroll, leaving the upper room going across the Kidron Valley. Maybe right about now they're entering the Garden of Gethsemane. That's what it appears like. And perhaps they can even, Jesus can lift up his head and see in the distance, torches coming his way. Judas leading a band of soldiers coming to arrest Jesus.

And he knows what is about to happen, and he knows what their reaction is going to be. And so they're all like, Yeah, you know what? Now we know, and now we believe. And Jesus said, yeah, you know what? I do know all things, and I know that in a few minutes, you're all going to be running away. You're gonna scatter in all directions. You're going to be hiding in that upper room.

The prophet Zechariah, I believe, predicting this, said, smite the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. Jesus announces as much. You're gonna be scattered. You're gonna leave me alone. Yet, I'm not alone because the Father is with me. Boy, there's so much there I wish we had time to develop it. You're never alone. People have forsaken me. But has God?

He can't forsake you because Jesus experienced the forsaking on the cross so that you would never have to be forsaken. He'll never leave you. Now, when Jesus said this to his disciples, he wasn't castigating them, he was preparing them. He wasn't saying, and you're gonna leave me alone. I want you to know because I don't want you to stumble. I've told you that. I don't want you to get freaked out by this.

But your reaction is not going to be a good one. You're going to leave me alone, you're gonna scatter, you're going to hide. It was all in preparation. "These things", verse 33, listen to how he ends it on a high note, "these things I have spoken unto you that in me you might have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation", agitation, despair, despondency, "you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."

Cheer up. Cheer up. Oh, but the world's getting so bad. The election is not what I thought. What's happening in the Middle East is not what I expected. My income, whatever. Cheer up. How he conquered the world? How has he overcome the world? Spiritually, by the cross? Ultimately, when he comes again, his cross and his coming. Now some of you are going, well, if he's overcome the world and the enemy is defeated, how come he still attacks me?

How come I have such a rough time, and my temptation and trials, and I don't much peace, I don't have much joy, I get hounded and hassled the lot. What you are experiencing in the tribulation from this world, the temptation from the enemy, Satan, you know what you're experiencing? The death throes of a defeated enemy. That's what the tribulation in the world is, the death throes of a defeated enemy.

It's like when an animal is mortally wounded, but he'll lash out and he'll try to kill and maim anything he can until it's finally his expiration time. Satan has been dealt a blow at the cross, but he wants to take every one and every thing with him until that time. In the meantime, you have peace. And I'll tell you what, there's something about knowing this in advance that does bring us peace and gives us the ability to endure.

Father, with bowed heads, not because we have to, but because we want to, we want to just show you this gesture of humility in honoring you. You've been in our presence. Your Spirit has spoken through your word. Much of Jesus has been made tonight, and we thank you for him. We thank you for his life, his work on our behalf, and we thank you that he's coming again. Lord, I pray for those who are struggling. I pray that you would encourage and strengthen them and take those feeble knees and make them upright, those hands and heads that hang low, bring joy and bring your peace. Let them know that, spiritually, at the cross, and ultimately, at your coming, and even intermediately with your Spirit dwelling within us, we can have a level of peace that the world does not know.

We cast our cares on you. And I pray for those, Lord, who don't know you yet, who haven't committed their lives to you yet, but you've convicted them of sin. You've convicted them that they need a savior. You've convinced them of that. You've shown them that the righteousness that they have had, that they have tried to maintain or attain to, isn't good enough, is not acceptable, but that you will give them freely your righteousness in exchange for our unrighteousness. And you have convinced some of your judgment to come. And in that, Lord, it's your Holy Spirit that is drawing them to the person and work of Jesus Christ on their behalf. And I pray they will respond as you, by your Spirit, draw them to your son the Lord Jesus Christ.

As our heads are bowed, you may have come tonight burdened, hopeless, or you may have come tonight relatively light hearted, everything's great, everything's good. You've got a good outlook. But you know your heart isn't right with the living God according to the Revelation of Scripture. And through it all, whatever experience you present, you're convinced you need a Savior. You're convinced you need his forgiveness. You're convinced you need his love. And that's because you do. If you are willing to say yes to him, if you're willing to receive Jesus as Savior, to invite him in as Lord of your life, if you are willing to say yes to him and have your sins forgiven and get a brand-new start, as our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed, my head is going to be up, my eyes are going to be open, because I want to acknowledge you.

If you are here and you want to receive Christ as Savior and get a brand new start, a brand new lease on life, a redo, a do-over, I want you to raise your hand up. Raise it up high, raise it up bold, and keep it up for just a moment so I can acknowledge you and pray for you. God bless you, to my left. I see your hand over there. And you on my right, in the middle, anyone else. Raise those hands up. Say yes to him. God bless you.

Anybody else? Would you raise your hand up? You know, it's like a drowning person. They're in the ocean, they raise their hand up. They're saying, I need his help. I need saving. I need rescuing. Anyone else? Raise that hand up. You've seen altar calls like this a long time. You just waded through it. God bless you. You've not done it, but you know you need to. God bless you. Anybody else? You and you? You're among friends. You're going to see in a minute. We're going to love this and encourage you for making this decision.

Lord, we pray for those who have raised hands. They've admitted they have needy lives. We are so grateful that you are here to meet their need. No church can do it, no pastor can do it, no group of humans can do it, but you can do it. And I pray, Lord, that you would settle deep within them, give them hope, give them peace, transform their lives, in Jesus' name, amen.

Would you stand to your feet? We're going to sing a final song. And those of you who raised your hands, I'm going to ask you now to get up from where you're standing, find the nearest aisle, stand right up here. I'm going to lead you in a prayer. And I'm going to lead you in a prayer to receive Jesus Christ, and we're going to do that together. So as we sing this song, you get up and come and let me lead you in that prayer. Jesus called people publicly. Come stand right up here.

And could it be that you remember a time in your life when you had a spiritual awakening or something happened but you've walked away from the Lord, you are not following him, you're not living in obedience to him? You need to come as well. You might be in the family room or the balcony. We'll wait for you, but you come. If you're in the middle of a road, just say, excuse me. And you will watch your road graciously part like a Red Sea to let you out of it.

And maybe somebody will even stand with you just to encourage you. But just say yes to him, come back to him, or come to him for the first time. Anyone else? We're gonna sing this through one more time. Please come.

Go ahead, tell them they did the right thing. Tell them that. Yeah, OK. Those of you who have come forward, I'm gonna lead you in a prayer. I'm going to say this out loud. I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, after me, from your heart to the Lord. OK? You tune everybody out, and this is just you talking to him. OK? Come on out. God bless both of you. Yeah. Let's do this. Let's pray. Say:

Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus. That he died on a cross. That he shed his blood for my sin. And that he rose again from the grove. I turn from my sin. I repent. I turn to Jesus as Lord. And savior of my soul. In his name. Amen.

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