Abiding in Christ and Bearing Good Fruit, Part 11 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 246)
TEXT: John 15:14-17
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
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 246.
Oswald Chambers said, “Jesus Christ became Incarnate for one purpose, to make a way back to God that man might stand before Him as He was created to do, the friend and lover of God Himself.”
Jesus has referred to those who are His followers in several different ways in the context of their relationship to Him. They are disciples, fishers of men, servants, and branches of the vine. Here, Christ introduces a new term. He calls them friends. All of those who obey Christ with a sincere heart are His friends.
Jesus says, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
In a master-servant relationship, the servant is expected to simply do as he is told. He does not have a friendship with the master. Their relationship is strictly business. What he learns from the master is on a need-to-know basis. The master does not tell the servant why he is doing things. He does not try to explain what is going on. The servant is simply expected to do whatever the master tells him. However, a friendship is different.
The Greek word for “friend” implies ‘one who is familiar with another, one who is regarded as a companion, one who is an associate and knows about the affairs of another.’ Jesus sees His disciples and us in this manner. He did not just go to the cross and expect His disciples to fall in line. Rather, He treated them like friends. He took the time to explain to them what was going on and to prepare them for the days ahead even though they didn’t understand it all. After His resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days with His friends teaching them, explaining things to them, and getting them ready for the great work that they had ahead of them. That is what a friend does.
Rodney A. Whitacre said, “Jesus’ disciples are his friends because he has made known to them everything he heard from his Father. The disciples thereby fulfill the ideal of Abraham and Moses. Abraham was called God’s friend, and he was one from whom God did not keep secret his plans. Moses likewise was God’s friend, for ‘the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.’ The opponents of Jesus in this Gospel have exalted ideas of Moses and Abraham. But such intimacy with God is now open to all in Christ.”
The idea of a friendship between God and man really goes back to the Garden of Eden. In Genesis chapter 3, we are informed that God would walk with Adam “in the garden in the cool of the day.” God and Adam were friends. It was nothing for God to just show up in the Garden and He and Adam take a stroll just like you or I would do with one of our friends. Can you imagine God and Adam talking about the business of tending to the Garden? God would explain things to Adam and teach him about the different plants and animals. Adam would share with God what he and Eve had been doing that day. All of that changed, however, when Adam and Eve sinned. Their fellowship with God was broken. They became the enemies of God as did all their descendants.
But Jesus came to restore the friendship between Earth and Heaven. He came to make it so that God and man could be friends again as long as man would abide in Him. Now, Jesus walks with us and talks with us and ‘makes known to us all things that He has heard of His Father.’ It is a wonderful thing to be a friend of Christ and of God.
Merle Haggard wrote:
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ not only as your Savior, but as your friend, His invitation to you stands: ‘Come and follow me.’ God loved you enough to send His Son to the cross to die for you so that you could have a relationship — a friendship — with Him. Allow me to explain how you can receive Him as your Savior 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.”
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.