Jesus Raises His Friend Lazarus from the Dead, Part 6 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 159)
TEXT: John 11:11-16
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.
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
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 159.
G. Campbell Morgan said, “We may learn that God often permits us to pass into profounder darkness, and deeper mysteries of pain, in order that we may prove more perfectly His power.”
The disciples now know that Lazarus is dead. And Jesus Christ is finally on His way to Bethany. The disciples probably think Jesus is going there to be with Mary and Martha in their grief, but that is not the case. In fact, Jesus does not seem to be in a grieving mood.
After telling them plainly that “Lazarus is dead,” Jesus says, “I am glad.” Announcing someone’s death and declaring our own gladness at the same time would not occur to us; indeed, it would not be acceptable in our society. But the word translated “glad” in our English Bible means “to rejoice, to rejoice exceedingly, to be cheerful, or to greet someone joyfully.” The news of Lazarus’ death was not cause for sadness for Jesus. Let’s look at part of the reason why.
Jesus said, “I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent that ye may believe.” Did Jesus want Lazarus to experience death? Did He want Mary and Martha to go through the mourning process? No, of course not. But, to Jesus, these were minor inconveniences. The real thing that He was getting at was people’s belief system. The point, “the intent” of this whole episode was for people who did not believe (like the Jewish religious leaders) to believe on Him, and for those who did believe (like the disciples, Mary, and Martha) to have their belief strengthened.
The next verse tells us of the response of one of the disciples: “Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.” At first, it might seem that Thomas is talking about going to die with Lazarus. But, scholars believe that Thomas is referring to dying with Jesus. Considering the reception they received in Judaea during their last excursion there — Jesus being mobbed and nearly stoned — the disciples really believed that if Jesus went back there He would be killed. Thomas was expressing his willingness to die with Jesus.
Now, we all know what happened with the disciples when the time for Jesus’ death really did come, but Thomas’ sentiment is a noble one. The question we might ask ourselves is: Are we willing to die? When we face death, can we, like Jesus, see it as a ‘glad’ occasion? When others who are ‘in the Lord’ face death, can we be glad about that?
In a letter he wrote about the death of his wife, C.S. Lewis said, “There are only three things we can do about death: to fear it, to ignore it, or to desire it.” He added, “What a state we have gotten into when we can’t say, ‘I’ll be happy when God calls me’ without being afraid one will be thought ‘morbid.’ After all, St. Paul said just the same. If we really believe what we say we believe — if we really think that our home is elsewhere and that this life is a ‘wandering to find home’, why should we not look forward to the arrival?”
Yes, the Christian can ‘look forward’ to death — not only his own death, but the death of other believers. We can be ‘glad’ about it, as Jesus was, because we know that, in the end, we, like Lazarus, will be raised from the dead.
You can have the same ‘gladness’ about death if you receive Jesus Christ into your heart today. Here is how:
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 email@example.com 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.