A long time ago a movie came out called The Lion King. I saw it at the drive-in theatre. Around that time I remember talk on the news regarding the beginning of the movie and whether or not it would be too sad for children. Disney is really good at making the beginning of a movie sad. They did it in Finding Nemo as well. Also, Frozen and probably many other Disney movies that I only watch when my children are sick during the night. The beginning of The Lion King was not too sad for me when I first saw it. I think I was thirteen years old. But awhile back I was watching it with Mercedes and it was gut wrenching. Watch this and I’ll tell you why.
So, the king is murdered. Mercedes is watching it with me and she said, “He is asleep.” I said, “No, Mercedes he is not asleep he died.” Mercedes said, “No, he is asleep, look, he is just sleeping.” I continued trying to explain that the lion is dead. Now, some would say this is not good for children to be exposed to, but the evidence is to the contrary. People who write about talking with children about death say that we should not use euphemisms, but we should be straightforward. Further, children used to learn about death from the farm animals. Now, the fish dies and we try to replace the fish before it gets home so that little Johnny never has to understand that his fish died. In reality, that is a small way for the child to learn about death. So, I applaud Disney for crushing children’s hearts in the beginning of a movie and teaching children about life. In reality, I think it is harder the on the parents than the children.
So, why do I share this? Why am I putting you through this? I share this because we all face death. The older I get, and many of you would say that I am pretty young, but the older I get, the more I grapple with death. I stand in front of too many graves every year. I stand beside too many hospital beds. By the time my father was my age his dad had died. By the time my father was just a few years older than me his mother had died as well. That was the only time I saw my dad cry. I have to tell you that I HATE death. I hate to think about it. I really do. Meagan and I have talked extensively about our will and who would take care of our children if we were both to die. I hate the conversation. I hate it! I hate to think that they would have to go through such a thing.
All of what I just shared, including the video clip is why the Lenten season matters. All of what I just shared is why the cross matters. Jesus died, was buried and resurrected so that we will live again. So, death will be no more (1 Cor. 15:55-56; Rev. 21:4).
So, I am beginning a Lenten sermon series and it is all about Jesus.
Jesus saves, Jesus sanctifies, Jesus heals and Jesus is our coming King. Today, I am giving a brief overview and then next Sunday we will focus on Jesus saves, followed by Jesus sanctifies, Jesus heals and Jesus is our coming King. This is one denomination, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, calls the “4 Fold Gospel.” I cut my spiritual teeth with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and heard that Jesus is our Savior, Sanctifier, healer and coming King.”
My theme today: Life is all about Jesus. He saves us, sanctified us, heals us and He is our coming King.
Application: Wholly Surrender this Lenten Season
Revelation 5:1-5 and verses 9-10:
Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign[b] on the earth.”
The Christian life is all about Jesus. Only Jesus is worthy, Amen!
- Jesus saves!
- Jesus is our Savior, only Jesus. Jesus is worthy. This is why good Friday is good. Jesus was crucified, but we live. This is why resurrection Sunday, which we usually call Easter is so powerful.
- Acts 4:12 says: Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
- Jesus sanctifies!
- Every now and then I like to eat something sweet, okay, I admit, every day I like to eat something sweet. So, suppose we have 5 brownies left in the morning and I know that I want one when I get home. Maybe I will take one and place it in a special place not to be touched. I sanctify that brownie for my eating later.
- Simply put, sanctify means to “set apart for a purpose.” More specifically it can mean to free from sin. Jesus sanctifies us.
- In Christianity, this is positional and progressive. When you accept Christ as Savior you are in a sinless position in God’s eyes. Jesus has freed you from sin because of the cross.
- However, this life on earth we still struggle with sin and this means that Jesus is working in us to make us more holy now.
- What is key to understand is that it is about Jesus.
- Jesus sanctifies, not you and not me.
- If you are trying to work out sin on your own, stop and turn it over to Jesus.
- You ask, “Do you have a Scripture?” Yes, thanks for asking:
- 2:6 is progressive sanctification: So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him…
- 1 Cor. 6:11 is positional sanctification: And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
- Jesus heals!
- When we talk about Jesus as our healer we will actually have a time to come forward for prayer and anointing. I believe that Jesus still heals, but it is about Jesus and not about us. There are a lot of people faking healing for there own gain. But I have heard some amazing testimonies of healing.
- Matthew 8:14-16: When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”
- One more passage:
- James 5:14-16: Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
- I know some are skeptical. Listen, every Christian will be healed for eternity when we die. But sometimes for God’s glory He heals now.
- One pastor writes: As a pastor, I was called to meet a couple at a hospital. Their daughter had suffered a seizure and was not breathing. When I reached the hospital, neither the parents nor the doctor were with the child. A nurse was unplugging the flat-lined machines.
The Holy Spirit prompted me to do something I’d never done before — pray over the girl’s lifeless body. I asked the nurse if I could pray for a minute, to which she replied, “You know she’s dead,” but allowed me to go ahead.
I asked God to restore the little girl. Then I went to next room and found the parents witnessing to the doctor. About a minute later, we heard a scream, then the little girl crying for her mommy. It’s never happened to me before or since. But Jesus is still healer.
- Jesus is our coming King
- Jesus will come again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords
- Acts 1:11: Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
The Christian life is all about Jesus. We face death now, but because of Jesus death is not the end. Jesus saves. We face sin now, but because of Jesus we are purified of sin in God’s eyes and Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit to keep us from sin now (Ephesians 5:18). We face sickness now, but Jesus is our ultimate healer. He heals some now, but He heals all for eternity. We will all serve in Jesus’ coming Kingdom.
Aslan lives! Jesus lives! We live!
Do you know Him? Are you wholly surrendered? Or, are you living the Christian life on your own strength?
God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)