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The Coming Back (Who is Jesus)

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that JESUS is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have LIFE in His name.
John 20:30-31

 


(you have full permission to copy this video/notes and reuse it for a group of any size, if you have a vimeo account here’s the link for easy downloading: http://vimeo.com/40686737)

 

~speaking notes~
download the pdf: Who Is Jesus Sessions #10

 

A people without a past have no future (Jesus Session #1). So much of this life is temporary, expiring, has a short memory, here today gone tomorrow; the curse found early in Genesis 3 that no man can escape, for dust you are and to dust you will return, death. Is there One who is not temporary, not expiring, who has defeated death and transcends life, one who was and is and is to come, an eternal memory. Yes, there is One. What is His name? Quite fitting, His name is Yahweh, translated to English from Hebrew the name means I AM, because the beholder has no beginning and no end. He simply exists. This is the name of Jesus.

 

For those who find their origin and ancestry in Abraham, Christians, Muslims and Jews alike, Jesus is greater than Abraham, more than a prophet. He existed before Abraham and eternally before that. Jesus has no beginning, no end and he offered freedom to those that could accept that. Hope for today and peace for tomorrow. Our call as Jesus followers is not to bring peace to mankind, our call is to bring Jesus. Reactions will vary, to some Jesus will be the greatest source of peace and for others, a great hatred will well up inside of them. But is this not what the angels said at the announcing of His birth, Glory to God in the Highest and Peace to men on earth on whom His favor rests We cannot confer peace on each other. Nor can we confer it on the Lord Jesus or any prophet who walked before us; Because we have no internal reservoir from which to draw. God is the only source of peace and He lavishly pours it out to “men on whom His favor rests” through His Son Jesus Christ.

 

In Jesus Session #2: the Miracle Birth, we learned that God’s son came to the world – the most important moment in human history. His name was Immanuel because ‘God walked among us‘. Even though He fulfilled every prophecy and sign given of the One to come, as we learned in Jesus Session #8, still men are looking to the skies and looking for a saviour. God came and we missed Him. God stood right in front of us and instead we wanted the perfectly sculpted bronze gladiator, not the peasant carpenter born in the animal shed. **Of our Big 5 Questions, 2 remain unanswered. The One is this: When Is the End of the World? The question assumes that the world has an expiration date and, yes, the Bible is clear that it does. The Bible also lists many signs and wonders that will chase this Armageddon. Outside of the Bible there are many doomsday predictions, many people and cultures thinking they know the exact time that this life will be over. But they are all deceived. We can say this with confidence because of 2 Peter 3:1-11a. Jesus came once and we missed it. Even though many signs and prophecies preceded His coming, we still missed it. He will come again and we’ll be just as clueless. Instead of predicting the end of the world, or even waiting for it, the key, is to be ready for it. In light of this “what kind of people ought you to be?” In Jesus Session #3 Jesus preached, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand” eternity is closer than you think; when the temporary gives way to the everlasting.

 

Notice the plot of many movies and well written books is a land we are removed from, a Utopian society, incomparable to our present reality. The plot follows the main characters and their attempts to reach this distant land. At times it is impossibly far away and others it’s as simple as walking though a wardrobe. But a common theme behind these stories is.. the longer you are removed from this cherished land the more it becomes a distant memory, eventually leading to a state of temporary to permanent amnesia. The land moves from real as real can be when One walks its streets to an impossible fairytale. When removed long enough it’s hard to believe it ever existed. Not only does the memory of the land fade into the night but the person you were in this land is soon lost. You are who you are supposed be in this land. But outside of it, you lose yourself to the greed and corruption of your present reality. Not only do you lose sight of this perfect land, but you lose yourself in the process. We are thousands of years removed from the Garden of Eden, a time of perfect union with God, when Lions laid with Lambs. Heaven is but a distant memory, an imprint left on man by his Creator. We hardly believe it exists. And we are so far removed from the people that God intended us to be. We lost sight of God and in the process we lost ourselves as well – For those people who at one time or another in their lives will go on a quest to find themselves, the solution to this quest is very simple and yet very profound. Seek after God first, and you will find God and you will find yourself. Look to yourself first and you will lose God and lose yourself. A people without a maker have no identity. Jesus is the key to knowing who you are because as we learned in Jesus Session #4 our identity is to be found in Him alone.

 

Who will your identity be through?
  • Will you be like the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day? Their identity was religion. They used religion and God to prop up their own egos, they justified their self-seeking lifestyles by the position apparently given to them by God. They used this position and their importance to oppress the people whom God loved.
  • Will you be like the Sadducees who found their identity in their intellect? They intellectually studied and cut apart God’s word like a common textbook and the truth naturally eluded them.
  • Will you be like the Jews who found their identity through a nation? They were so proud of their national identity, Israel, and the building up of the golden vine in the temple – It clouded their eyesight and foggied their reasoning and darkened their hearts so much so that when the object of their anticipation, the Messiah, for whom their nation was established came, they completely missed Him.
  • Will you be like the rich young ruler who found his identity through his riches? A man who met Jesus and was given the invitation to follow Him, but chose his money instead. A decision he apparently regretted immediately. He reportedly chose riches and went away sad. On the surface a paradoxical statement.
  • Or will your identity be found through the Good Shepherd who we met in Jesus Session #5?

 

Paul explains in his letter to the Romans, ch 6 vs 16 you ultimately serve one of two masters. Whether it be the Vanity of the religious leaders in Jesus’ day or the pride of the Israelite Nation or the foolishness of riches – these are all sourced in the same father of lies and they lead to death – this is satan the thief of whom the Good Shepherd warned us (John 10). But don’t be deceived, Jesus came to bring freedom for the oppressed. He did not die so that men could enjoy free will. That’s not the freedom that He brought. Jesus willingly laid down His life only to take it back up again so that men could have freedom from sin. The Good Shepherd offers freedom from the thief of our soul. Rm 6:17-23

 

So, in beginning to address the final question of the 5 posed: Does mankind have freewill? You tell me. You are a slave to death or a slave to life. A slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. A slave of satan or a slave of God. You serve one of two masters and mankind is not the third kingdom. A servant does the will of his master, so you tell me, whom do you serve? Whose will do you follow? Freewill?! Stop being deceived! No man is free to serve himself. You serve God who offers life or you serve satan which leads to death.. What ‘will’ have you ever had that doesn’t lead to one of those two options?

 

See how Jesus responded when satan (the tempter) tried to deceive Him, Matthew 4:1-10. Serve God. How do you serve God? By following His Son. As we’ve discussed in the sessions before whether or not men know or acknowledge who Jesus is, the demons and satan know exactly who He is. Satan said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God do this…” “If you are the Son of God do that…” How do we serve God? John 3:16; 6:28-29 When Jesus left the desert, he began His earthly ministry calling people to come and ‘Follow Him’. Why? Because by His own testimony He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father except through me.” (Jesus Session #6) We discussed Jesus’ claim of exclusivity and also introduced the concept of ‘Grace’ in Jesus Session’s 6 and 2 with respect to John 14:6 and Joseph’s love for Mary and the unborn child. But we never unpackaged the ramifications of this Grace.

 

Remember the name of God, I AM. A name that gives credit to no one else because it is its own source. Grace is similar. Grace is ‘unmerited favor’ (“Peace to men on whom God’s favor rests”) the recipient of grace cannot take credit for the favor they receive because they did nothing to earn it. That’s the essence of grace. Grace gives credit to no one else except the giver Ephesians 2:8-9 the nature of our salvation through Jesus Christ is that of grace. We did not and can not bring about our own salvation. In fact the Bible says the natural inclination of our hearts is to move in the opposite direction of God Romans 3:10-12. If this is true, then ‘Freewill’ by definition is a lie – one that seeks to rob God of the credit due Him. The Bible says that we cannot boast about our salvation, because it has nothing to do with us. And our natural ‘free’ will, left alone, is to turn away from God, replace “free” with “sinful”. For those blessed to follow Jesus, how did they come to Follow Him? By their ‘free’ will? NO. Man’s will is an enemy to God. By faith, yes. But as the truth says, even your faith is a gift of God so that no man can boast (Eph 2:8,9;Phil 1:29). Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord, 1 Corinthians 1:31.

 

In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. (Jesus Session #7) He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through Him, without Him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has never overcome it.

 

Here’s the great thing about the light of Jesus Christ. The light is our best weapon, living and active, for blazing through the confusion and revealing the truth from among the lies. What about ‘rights’ in the light of this revealer of truth, “I am a human being therefore I have the right to life, I have the right to freewill, I have the right to success, I have the right to live forever…” NO. These are not rights but gifts.. there is one ‘right’ in the text, John 1:10-12. Amen, Praise be to the Lamb.

 

Here’s another way the darkness does not understand the light (Jesus Session #8). The prophets told the whole story of Jesus ‘the Messiah’ Christ, long before He ever came to walk among us: from his birth, life, death and resurrection. The complete strategy of how God was going to Gloriously defeat death was laid out word for word by the prophets in the Old Testament of the Bible. *It’s like going to war and giving the enemy your entire playbook beforehand. But God is so Sovereign, so in control of the darkness that satan had the playbook and still crucified Jesus Christ playing brilliantly into the plan of God: the Lamb of God met death as a spotless man, face to face, and defeated it three days later by raising from the Dead!!

 

Where O death is thy victory? Where O death is thy sting?!!
1 Cor 15:55 and Hosea 13:14

 

Who else can defeat our common curse of death? What other man who made such claims backed them up in such a powerful way? Why would you follow another? Why wouldn’t you follow Jesus Christ?

 

The final question comes from Jesus Session #9: the Death and Resurrection – all those involved with Jesus’ death – Judas Iscariot, the Pharisees, Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, King Herod, or the Roman centurions – could any of these ‘by their own will’ have decided not to follow through with the crucifixion? Could any of these mortal men have resisted the Will of God? Or is God’s Will so compelling, so decided and unchangeable that neither man nor demon, nor the prince of darkness had any power to stop the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that JESUS is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have LIFE in His name.
John 20:30-31

 

Go Back to the First Session..
Jesus: the I AM..

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2 comments to “The Coming Back (Who is Jesus)”

  • The 10 JESUS SESSIONS (Previews) | JesusLIFE, May 3, 2012 at 11:28 am
    [...] The Coming Back (Who is Jesus) The ‘BIG 5′ Q’s to Christians [...]
  • Introducing JesusLIFE.ca | GraydonBaker.com, May 23, 2012 at 9:39 am
    [...] GO TO THIS SESSION JESUS SESSION #10 – Who is JESUS? Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that JESUS is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have LIFE in His name. read more.. Share this:SharePrintEmail Tags: Coming Back Death & Resurrection Expected ONE of the Prophets Good Shepherd I AM Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand Miracle Birth Revolutionary Son of God Way Truth & LIFE who is Jesus? [...]

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