A Sermon Preached At Ryedale Evangelical Church by William Horsburgh on Sunday 9th February 2014 from John chapter 13 verses 1 to 19
A Sermon Preached At Ryedale Evangelical Church by William Horsburgh on Sunday 9th February 2014 from John chapter 13 verses 1 to 19
The number of older residents means there’s a higher than average number of disabled drivers for whom double yellow lines are a parking space. Add to them delivery vehicles and those who think the highway code is for other people, and scenes like this become a daily event.
The sheep was lost because it was silly, the coin through someone’s negligence, but the boy is lost because he chooses to get far away from all who love and care for him.
Luke 15:14–16 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
He’s fallen out of the good life, into a world where pigs eat better than he does! He’s in a jam!!
Matthew 4:17 (NKJV) From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Luke 5:32 (NKJV) I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Luke 13:3 (NKJV) I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.To repent is to change your mind. However, this only defines the word, not the concept, for you need to ask, Change your mind about what? … If repentance is understood to mean changing your mind about your sin—being sorry for your sin—this will not necessarily save. There are plenty of criminals in and out of jails who are repentant in this sense. They are sorry for making certain mistakes, but this does not mean they give up a life of crime. People can be sorry for their sins without wanting to accept the forgiveness of a Saviour. But if repentance means changing your mind about the particular sin of rejecting Christ, then that kind of repentance saves, and of course it is the same as faith in Christ. C. C. Ryrie Repentance isn’t feeling. It is turning from sin to God. One of the best definitions was given by a soldier. Some one asked him how he was converted. He said:
Believing his father would receive him, he’s ready to consign himself to the most menial tasks necessary – To his great delight and benefit – When he reaches home there’s a welcome and he’s embraced as a long lost son.
Luke 15:21–24 (NKJV) And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
Romans 1:20–21 (NKJV) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Here they learned that all are equally sinners, that God holds each individual responsible for their sin, and that unresolved sin would mean eternal separation from God in hell.
Then they heard the great Good News of God’s resolving the sin of believers through the work of Jesus Christ, whereby He paid our penalty and now sets free from sin and judgment all those who will take Him at His word, repent and believe on Him as Saviour. So Simple, yet So Hard to Accept.
Romans 6:23 (NKJV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
A Free Gift
Remember, salvation is a free gift, and it is a free gift for us. Can you buy it? It is a free gift, presented to “whosoever” will accept it.
Suppose I were to say, I will give this Bible to “whosoever” will take it; what have you got to do? Why, nothing but take it. But a man comes forward, and says:
“I’d like that Bible very much.”
“Well, didn’t I say ‘whosoever’ will can have it?”
“Yes; but I’d like to have you mention my name.”
“Well, here it is.”
Still he keeps eyeing the Bible, and saying, “I’d like to have that Bible; but I’d like to give you something for it. I don’t like to take it for nothing.”
“But I am not here to sell Bibles; take it, if you want it.”
“Well, I want it; but I’d like to give you something for it. Let me give you a cent for it; though, to be sure, it’s worth about five dollars.”
Suppose I accept the cent; the man takes up the Bible and marches away home with it.
His wife asks, “Where did you get that Bible?”
“Oh, I bought it.”
Mark the point; when he gave the penny, it ceased to be a gift. So with salvation. If you were to pay ever so little, it would not be a gift.
D. L. Moody
Romans 2:4-6 do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honour, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honour, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
I was weeping in the most bitter contritition of my heart, when I heard the voice of children from a neighbouring house chanting, “take up and read; take up and read.” I could not remember ever having heard the like, so checking the torrent of my tears, I arose, interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book and read the first chapter I should find. Eagerly then I returned to the place where I had laid the volume of the apostle. I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: “Not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not is strife and envy; but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” No further would I read, nor did I need to. For instantly at the end of this sentence, it seemed as if a light of serenity infused into my heart and all the darkness of doubt vanished away. – Augustine
Romans 13:14 (NKJV) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. God.
Romans 5:10 (NKJV) For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Romans 3:26 (NKJV) to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Mary had a little pig and it was white as snow,
That is when it had had a bath, as you of course might know.
But Mary had an awful time to keep the piggy clean,
For it was just the dirtiest pig that one has ever seen.
She’d wash him and she’d scrub him, till he would squirm and squeal,
As if he wanted her to know it was an unfair deal.
And then inside his green backyard he’d plan from morn to night,
Unless he happened to sneak out and lose himself from sight.
And then when Mary found him he’d be blacker than ere before,
So Mary’d get the soap again and scrub the pig some more.
Poor Mary thought and wondered much what she could ever do
Until she figured out a plan, and this she carried through.
She took him to a doctor who put the pig to sleep, and then he
Took his heart right out, but not of course to keep.
And then he took a little lamb and took his heart out too
And put it in the little pig before the piggy knew.
When little piggy did awake he had no more desire
To wallow in the mud again or ever in the mire.
And try as hard as ere he could he never understood,
How such a pig as once he was could ever be so good.
And so you see, dear friends of mine, you need a new heart too,
Just like the little piggy did, the old will never do.
If you’ll receive a brand new heart, well, here is how you may.
Accept God’s son as Saviour now and let him in today.
The car owning public usually ignore them, unless stuck behind one on our winding country roads!
Other people may need to use them, but not me, I’m independent, going where and when I choose! Perhaps I’ll even use a tractor!!
All is well until you find you can no longer drive, and if, for whatever reason, there is no suitable transport to hand, you are stuck!
Job 7:6 “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.
To which we could add:
Job 9:25 “Now my days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good.
Job 16:22 For when a few years are finished, I shall go the way of no return.
Psalm 103:15,16 As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
Life, Happiness in: Charlie Brown, pondering his plight in life, thought, “Yesterday, for one brief moment I was happy. But just when I thought I was winning in the game of life, there was a flag thrown on the play and life dealt me a blow.”
Life’s Journey has one direction, every step bring us closer to meeting our Maker!
Genesis 50:12–14 So his sons did for him just as he had commanded them. For his sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as property for a burial place. And after he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who went up with him to bury his father.
If this were all, then life is about enjoying what you have while you wait for extinction.
Luke 7:12–15 And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.
Acts 13:28–31 And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people.
1 Corinthians 15:55–57 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
One recent summer, a bee was drawn into the open window of a car traveling down the road. The bee was upset, and so was a boy in the car, who had previously suffered a severe reaction from a bee sting. But before things got out of hand, the boy’s father caught the bee in his hand and tossed it back out the window. Then he pulled the car over to comfort his son. The boy, however, was now desperately worried that his father would die from the bee sting. “Oh, no,” said the father, showing him that his hand was only slightly swollen. “The sting won’t hurt me like it would you, so I took the sting for you.” And that is just what Jesus did for us: He took the sting of death for us, and now that sting is gone.
It began with a comment and complaint that people had no idea that this was ‘Whit Week’! And developed into a discussion of how to be ready to meet God.
The lady was so disillusioned with the ‘Established Church’ that she’s been meeting with ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ for a long time.
We touched base on their familiar shibboleths: Jesus isn’t god, the Holy Spirit is just God’s energy and that God’s Name is Jehovah.
When I explained that the JW’s were a man made cult with just c.150 years of history, and that they’d gone so far as producing their own version of the Bible to pass off their views as Biblical, she began to listen.
“Ah”, she said, “you’ve got to have hope”, so I pursued her line of thought to show that what the JW’s call hope is no hope at all – just ‘I hope so’, and so they are no different from every other religionist on the planet, ‘hoping’ that when the meet their Maker and Judge, He will review their ‘good works’ and approve them as worthy of a place in His eternal world.
The Christian’s hope is very different, it is a person – Jesus Christ, who as our representative and substitute, has completely covered our sin and made us acceptable to God, here, now and forever.
So desperate is our state by nature that we need rescuing, not another set of rules which no one can keep. Jesus Christ is that Saviour, those whom He saves have the ‘blessed hope’ that He will bring them into the eternal world by His strength, and His alone.
The People of Pickering, and every other place on this planet, need ‘hope’ not the ‘hope so’ of man made religion, but the ‘Living Hope’ which God has Established through the Death and Resurrection of His Son.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) is a heritage railway in North Yorkshire, England. First opened in 1836 as the Whitby and Pickering Railway, the railway was planned in 1831 by George Stephenson as a means of opening up trade routes inland from the then important seaport of Whitby. The line closed in 1965. It was reopened in 1973 by the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust Ltd. The preserved line is now a significant tourist attraction and has been awarded many industry accolades.
The NYMR carries more passengers than any other heritage railway in the UK and may be the busiest steam heritage line in the world, carrying around 350,000 passengers in 2009. The 18-mile (29 km) railway is the second-longest standard gauge heritage line in the United Kingdom and runs across the North York Moors from Pickering via Levisham, Newton Dale, Goathland and terminating at Grosmont. Some heritage rail operations continue along Network Rail tracks to Whitby.
You buy your ticket, take your seat, then enveloped in oily clouds of steam and smoke you enjoy the scenery along the way, but all too soon it’s over and you return to the hum drum routine of life.
A highlight of the train journey is the arrival of the ticket inspector to check the validity of your ticket, you mustn’t travel without one. You may have to buy it yourself, or perhaps enjoy the benevolence of a generous friend, parent or companion, but not to have a ticket is to contravene the railway’s regulations. Those who break the rules must pay up, immediately or find some generous soul to bear the cost.
Do you have one? We begin this journey by just being born, using the amenities and consuming resources day after day after day, no one has a ticket, yet everyone needs one to exit on the right side of the track at the end of the road.
Offer them a timetable or details of what to expect at the terminus and they foolishly brush you aside with a curt, ‘No thanks I’m OK’ . What a tragic mistake, for it’s not a train they miss but the privilege of knowing God and the provision He has made for all who can see their need and accept His ‘gift’ of the full and free cancellation of all charges incurred enroute, with a guaranteed welcome into His world of beautiful peace and joy at the end.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Acts 13:38–39 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Acts 16:30b–31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Luke 12:20–21 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
While the right to think and say this must be respected, it does trouble me. It is a good example of the proverbial Ostrich burying it’s head in the sand.
How does anyone know what a piece of paper has written on it unless they read it? How can you know whether what’s being offered has any relevance to you unless you take time to read? Could it be that they are really just being polite, or is it that they are so self confident they can’t imagine that anyone offering literature on the street has anything to say worth listening to? It was cold, and I could understand people not wanting to hang about, but I don’t understand why people won’t just accept what’s offered and read it later!
While it’s always possible to point to Satan’s delusion of every unbeliever, let’s not forget the choices people make are their own responsibility! Acts 7:51 You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.Not just blinded by the god of this age, but an evil heart of unbelief keeping each individual from seeking and finding the Living God?
You are far from “OK”, you are in desperate trouble, lost, without hope, ignorant of God and His salvation, guilty, etc., etc.. Ephesians 2:12 at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Those little pieces of paper are invitations to find out the truth about yourself and the wonder of God’s love for people like you. So many said “No thank you, I’m OK” to Jesus, only to find out too late that their condition was in fact desperate. Jesus described such people as play actors: Luke 12:56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time? HYPOCRITE — one who puts on a mask and feigns himself to be what he is not; a dissembler in religion. The only person they fool is them-self, and when the mask is finally removed it will be a time of inconsolable sorrow and suffering!
Diagnosing man’s sorrowful solution and Dispensing God’s way of Salvation. You are far from “all right”, but don’t despair, Jesus Christ takes dying sinners and gives them everlasting life. Matthew 9:28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened.
Jesus makes broken people whole, but you need to admit you are in need of help and call upon Him until He delivers you.
1 Peter 1:24,25 (NKJV)
“All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
But the word of the Lord endures forever.”
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
The first man has spoken with me each week for the last couple of months, we’ve considered God’s Kindness at length, unfortunately he’s not yet able to comprehend the incredible nature of God’s free gift of salvation and wants to recommend himself as one who is kind and therefore to be commended by the Lord on Judgment Day.
No one sees them-self as God does until the Lord of Grace and Mercy opens their blind eyes – Do you see yourself as He does? This is one part of what He has to say about people:
Romans 3:10–12 (NKJV)
As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”
Titus 3:4–6 (NKJV)
But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
A lady spent a few minutes collecting leaflets and booklets from the table, her daughter taught religious studies and would find the literature useful. Was she a Christian, sadly no, just another Roman Catholic ensnared in the dogma of centuries of error. The antichrist had taught her that Jesus died for her past sins, but now it is up to her to work to be good and pay them for forgiveness when she stumbled.
Romans 6:23 (NKJV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV)
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
The third person had been a professional singer, he was able to speak of the well known performers of yesteryear with familiarity, having performed in public with them.
He enquired of my text for Sunday Morning, to which I quickly replied:
John 10:9 (NKJV)
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
He repeated it aloud in my hearing and suggested he might just come and hear it preached – but never did!
Jesus’ words to the religious leaders of His day seem appropriate here:
John 5:39–40 (NKJV)
You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
A party of friends wanted to enter a quaint old parish church. Going to the sexton to ask for the key, they received it with the promise that he would join them at the earliest opportunity. When he met them he found them still standing before the door, endeavouring to open it with the ponderous key. Taking the key out of their hands he said, “Excuse me; I should have told you that the door was open.” Then he lifted the latch, and the crowd entered the sanctuary without further bother. One who tries to open an unlocked door with a key will have to stay outside. It is that way with an ordinary door. It is also that way with the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the door! He is the door to the kingdom of heaven. He is the only door! And this door is open. We need only to step inside through faith in him; and all else will follow: holiness, service, happiness.
Praise God that He has not withdrawn His offer of forgiveness for sin! This good news, however, is for sinners only. Many people, though, don’t see themselves as sinners in need of salvation. They make excuses like these:
• My good deeds outweigh my bad.
• I’m not as bad as some people.
• Usually I’m a good person.
Their shortcomings, they feel, don’t jeopardize their standing before Almighty God.
Imagine a citizen being brought to trial for several charges of shoplifting. It would be useless for that person to appeal to the judge by saying: “Don’t forget, my good deeds outweigh my bad.” “I’m not as bad as many others.” “Most of the time I’m a law-abiding citizen.” The offender must be judged according to the offense, not according to previous good deeds. If justice is to be done, someone must pay, and that someone should be the offender—unless another is allowed to bear the penalty instead. That’s exactly what Christ in love did for sinners, which we all are, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
Our Daily Bread, December 8