Jesus Raises His Friend Lazarus from the Dead, Part 5 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 158)
TEXT: John 11:7-14
7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 158.
A.B. Simpson said, “We must learn to live on the heavenly side and look at things from above. To contemplate all things as God sees them, as Christ beholds them, overcomes sin, defies Satan, dissolves perplexities, lifts us above trials, separates us from the world and conquers fear of death.”
As we return to this passage, Jesus is still on the far side of the Jordan river. He has informed His disciples that He is ready to return to Judaea, not because He is eager for another confrontation with the Jews, but because it is His mission as the Son of God to give them another reason to believe. The disciples, understandably, are confused by this desire to, as we would say, “return to the scene of the crime” of terroristic threats made against Jesus by the religious Jewish establishment. So, Jesus begins to speak in terms they can understand — or at least terms that they should be able to understand.
Jesus says, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.” The disciples again misunderstand Jesus’ words. They thought Jesus was speaking of physical sleep, so they say, “Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.” John informs us, however, that ‘Jesus spake of Lazarus’ death.’
We see here again that Jesus is speaking on a different level than the people around Him. Jesus did not see Lazarus’ death as the end of the story. He said previously that the sickness “shall not be unto death.” The disciples likely thought that He was speaking of Lazarus’ soon recovery. But Jesus was looking much farther than that. Here, the same principle is at play: God sees things in a way that we cannot see them. Thus, in Jesus’ eyes, since He knew what He was going to do, Lazarus’ death was only sleep. Because Jesus raised Lazarus on the fourth day after his death, he had to have died shortly after Mary and Martha sent their message to Jesus. We are now at the third day following that message, so Jesus has known that Lazarus was dead for some time.
Such knowledge did not bother Jesus. Surely, He felt for Mary and Martha, and for the fact that they were in mourning. But Jesus did not shed a tear even though Lazarus was His friend. To Him, Lazarus was only sleeping. He had used the same term to speak of Jairus’ daughter before He raised her from the dead. The Bible says that Stephen also, who was brutally martyred, had only fallen asleep. The Old Testament describes the death of the kings of Israel by saying, ‘they slept with their fathers.’
Just as Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead — and Jairus’ daughter and the widow’s son — He intends to raise all those who believe in Him from the dead as well.
Sleep is a wonderful metaphor for death — but it only applies to those who “die in the Lord.” Daniel 12:2 says, “Them that sleep in the dust of the earth [that is, those who are dead and buried] shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
You will fall asleep one day, but you will also be awakened. What happens when you awake is a matter you must settle in this life. You can give your life to Jesus now and be awakened to everlasting life and an eternal union with Him. Or you can reject Jesus now and be awakened to everlasting contempt (that is, eternal damnation, punishment, and separation from Him). Which will it be for you?
If you choose life, here is how you can receive Jesus into your heart today.
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.