Thursday, August 18, 2005

Even A Blind Man Can See This Sign!

Surprise! have a bonus for you today. At the end of this lenghty sermon is an additional short one named after the song, "This world is not my home." As it is all across the nation we are melting. Plant life is almost non-existent, mankind is slowly slinking away to near dehydration. We all are looking for Lazarus to come put a drop of diet Dr.Pepper on our tongue for we are in torment. I'm afraid if it were to rain right now and all animal life was outside we would puff up three times our normal size. (Would that be considered as a population explosion?) :) Hope you all are well - Kirk
Main points of lesson #11. People pay fines because they fail to heed the signs.2. God is honored through our sickness or trouble by letting him work through it for our good.3. Six Signs we need to remember:a. You cannot argue the goodness of God according to your circumstancesb. You can’t always expect God to work the same way in your lifec. You CAN ALWAYS expect God’s work in your life to draw attentiond. You should always be prepared to choose sides in your lifee. You can be guaranteed that God’s work always leads you to greater depths of revelation.f. There is no greater blindness than spiritual blindness.
Even A Blind Man Can See This Sign!John 9
I. IntroductionPeople frequently get traffic violations because they fail to heed the signs. Whether parking, speed, or directional signs, some folk are just too busy to look, or just don’t care. When it comes to Jesus, many fail to see the sign that he is the very son of God and that he has given us specific guidelines to follow if we are to enter heaven. Our lesson deals with “Even a blind man can see this sign!” I hope we can too.
A. One may read about blindness throughout the entire Bible.
1. Men who were going blind, Jacob (Gen. 48:10); Eli (1 Sam. 3:2); the prophet, Ahijah (1 Kn. 14:4).
2. Folks who were mentioned as being blind; Blind men near Nazareth (Mt. 9:27); Blind men at Jericho (Matt. 20:30); demon possessed, blind and mute man (Matt. 12:22); blind Bartimaeus (Mk. 10:46) and our text, the man born blind (Jn. 9).
3. Those who were smitten with blindness from God: Sodom (Gen. 19:11); Syrian Raiders (2 Kn. 6:18); Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9); Elaymaeus the sorcerer (Acts 13).
4. Finally there were those who were called blind for their lack of spiritual discernment which we will discuss later in our lesson.
B. On the surface, the Story tells me that Jesus has time for me.
1. One of the most amazing things we learn from studying the life of Jesus Christ is that He was never in a hurry. He was never worried sick; never got burned out; never run down; never so frightened that he panicked.
2. The story begins back in 8:12 where Jesus tells the Pharisees that he is the light of the world and proceeded to accuse them that their father was Satan because they did not know God because they failed to hear the words of Jesus (Jn. 8:43); they thought they knew what the Father taught (Jn. 8:28); they did not do what the Father instructed (Jn. 8: 29); nor did they deliver (dispensed) what the Father commanded (Jn. 8:12, 26).
3. Finally, he identified himself as the I AM (8:24, 28, 58) which made them so mad that they look up stones to kill him (read v. 59).
4. It is in the mist of this chaos, that Jesus took time to minister to this blind man, someone who seemed totally insignificant. Jesus is never too busy or rushed to minister to you; or to me; or to anyone, no matter how much chaos is going on around us. I get great comfort knowing the Creator of the universe will stop to minister to me...even if I think I am insignificant to the world. We must remember, we are never insignificant to Jesus, and I like that!

C. For the disciples of Jesus, this blind man served as an opportunity to ask Jesus about the corporal punishment of God.
1. Who Sinned? What made God cast this sickness or malady upon this man?
2. Jesus answered this question in an unexpected way. Nobody did!
3. Now in v. 4, 5 He is tells the disciples that there is no time to stand around discussing theology. He has work to do and it must be done while the opportunity is there, “before night falls and all work comes to an end.” When night comes, no one can work. However, regardless of what they think, God is going to be honored in this man’s misfortune (v. 3).
D. Since that be the case, lets note some ways in which God is honored during sickness.
1. THROUGH THE HEALING OF THE SICK PERSON.a. God is always praised when one of our loved ones are raised up off their bed of affliction. But that is not the only way.
2. THROUGH THE HURTING OF THE SICK PERSON.b. Everyone who has suffered knows that when they get well they come out on the other side a changed person. The work that God does in our lives when we suffer brings glory to Him in many ways. We are wiser, more humble, more compassionate, more understanding, and more patient. These characteristics glorify God. In Psalm 119:67, the writer said: I used to wander off until I had affliction; but now I closely follow your word.
3. THROUGH THE HELPING OF THE SICK PERSON.
a. When the body of Christ rallies around a hurting person and serves that person with the love of Christ, God is glorified. It is wonderful to see God glorified when Christians take care of one another in times of sickness and suffering.
4. Through THE sickness of the person a PERFECT CURE may occur. a. What happened that day was not so much that the blind man’s eyes were open physically as much as his spiritual eyes were opened and he came to know Jesus. John tells us that the man worshipped Jesus when he believed. In other words, the man became a Christian; he was “born again” (born spiritually - his eyes were opened). How many souls have been made whole because of one’s sickness. Even a blind man could see this sign, (that God is honored in sickness) I hope we can too!
II. We need to have our blindness removed. If the Church is just a building to you; if the Bible is just a book to you; if Jesus is just a famous man, then you are spiritually blind. Each of us need to receive the healing salve of Jesus applied to the eyes of our heart. You need to believe that Jesus died for our sins, that He rose again, and that we will have the free gift of eternal life when we trust and obey Jesus. We are just like the blind man in this story, we need our blindness removed. When we see Jesus with spiritual eyes, and notice the importance of his life, the greatness of his work and the mission we have been given, then we will walk by faith and not by sight!
III. There are Six Signs the blind man saw, may we see them too.A. You cannot argue the goodness of God according to your circumstances.1. Listen, you can’t look at your life or anyone else’s life and ask the question – who sinned? You can’t look at your neighbor’s woes and decide that one of them has been in sin. That may or may not be true – but the same is true of your own life.
2. Some of you are going through some very trying circumstances right now. We could go around the room and begin to name names and point out what you’re going through – but what we can’t do is argue the goodness of God according to those circumstances. Let me ask you something – is God good? Is He really good?
3. Is He good when…he brought Jesus into the world which was filled with darkness; he gave you the necessities for you to survive for another day; brought love into your life by family, friends, or the church. He is good when....he gave you direction for your life through the written word; promised you a place of rest providing you remain faithful.
4. Job in his terrible circumstance could well have said, “the Lord is good whether he gives me much or takes it all away - blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job. 1:21)5. Even a blind man could see this sign, the goodness of God in our trouble, Can we?B. Sign #2, You can’t always expect God to work the same way in your life.
1. I am amazed by this story. Jesus spits into a handful of dirt and smears it into this guy’s eyes. You might say that he never saw it coming!
2. When Jesus worked at the wedding – how did He turn their water into wine? · When He healed the centurion’s servant – He never touched the slave, never met him so far as we know, never even spoke the word to heal him, just said that the he was healed. · When Jesus calmed a stormy sea, He commanded it to be still. · When the woman with internal bleeding encountered Jesus, she touched His robe and felt healing power flow through her body. · In Matthew 9, Jesus healed some other blind men by simply touching their eyes.
3. If you are expecting “instant results” you may be in for a rude awakening. Everyone wants a miracle when what we need is God! I asked God to take away my pride. God said, No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up. I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, No. His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary I asked God to grant me patience. God said, No. Patience is a by product of tribulations; it isn't granted, it islearned. I asked God to give me happiness. God said, No. I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you. I asked God to spare me pain. God said, No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to Me. I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life. God said, No. I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things. I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me. God said...Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.
C. Sign #3, You CAN ALWAYS expect God’s work in your life to draw attention.
1. What happened when Jesus healed the blind man? Verse 8 says that hisneighbors had to know. Then some other people had to know. They took himto the Pharisees, and they wanted to know. They brought in the parents –I love their answer in verse 20. “Well, that’s our son all right, but we want to know too.” The man immediately became the talk of town. No longer was he a blind nobody begging on the street; he was a seeing somebody that people were drawn to. “Nothing like this has ever happened before – tell us all about it!”
2. When change occurs in our life expect to get attention. Some will be positive, some negative. This attention is a work of God.
a. When the Samaritans received the preaching of Philip, it drew the attention of the Jerusalem congregation. When Paul was converting the Gentiles, it drew the Jewish Christian’s attention. When we turn people from denominationalism to true faith in Christ, it will draw attention. The blind man could see this sign, can’t we?
D. Sign #4, You should always be prepared to choose sides in your life.
1. You notice that when the parents got drug into it they backed away real fast, and John explains why in verse 22. There were going to be lifelong social, religious and economic repercussions for anyone associating themselves with Jesus.
2. Where does our blind man stand in it all? He takes his stand with Christ. Look at verse 27. He chooses sides when he says to the Pharisees, “will you also be his disciples?”
3. Brethren, we cannot live in the world and participate with the world. We can’t live among our denominational friends and not let them know that there is a great difference in what the hierarchy has handed down and what the Scriptures actually teach.4. Which side will we choose? The blind man could see this sign, (be ready to choose) can we?
E. Sign #5, You can be guaranteed that God’s work always leads you to greater depths of revelation.
1. Very quickly I want you to see this – when the man was questioned about who healed him, what did he say in verse 11? “A man that is called Jesus.” When the Pharisees pressed him for an answer, what did he say in verse 17? “He is a prophet.” When Jesus revealed himself to him he acknowledged him as the Son of God vs. 35-38.
2. In the gospel of John, you will always find he speaks what he knows from experience. What Christians know is rooted in experience, not theory. They stay true to their convictions because of experiences they have confronted as the word of God is proved true time and again in their life.
3. Those who resist Jesus in John’s gospel are described as maintaining an inherited faith, not an experiential faith. They had a faith rooted in tradition which they were intent on preserving, not rooted in experience.
4. I have experienced that when one is true to the word, their spirit is at peace. I have done business with the Devil, I have paid a terrible price. God has worked in my life and because of his doings, I gain confidence in him every time I read his word and note more carefully how to apply what I learn to my environment.
5. The blind man could see this sign, (God’s work will lead you into a deeper revelation about him) can we?
F. Sign #6, You can be sure that there is no blindness in the world like spiritual blindness.
1. On that day long ago, a blind man received sight, then a seeing mansaw the light. Verse 35
2. We may look at the Pharisees blindness:a. First, they try to claim that the man wasn't healed (9:18a): “You were never really blind.”
b. When his parents testify that he was in fact blind from birth(9:18b-23), they posit another explanation (implied from 9:24): “Someone else other than Jesus must have healed you.”
c. When the man reiterates his testimony (9:25-27a), they revile him(9:27b-29): “You're too ignorant to know what you're talking about.”
d. When that doesn't intimidate the man into withdrawing his testimony (9:30-33), they get rid of him (9:34): “You’re a big-time pre-natal sinner—we excommunicate you!”
3. To the very end, they insist they see clearly, but Jesus disagrees (9:40,41). Claiming to see, they have become spiritually blind, and they are morally accountable for their own blindness.
4. Isn’t it a shame that folk who enjoy vision prefer spiritual darkness.a. Isa. 30:10 “Prophecy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits”
b. 2 Tim. 4:3, 4 They gather teachers who teach what they want to hear.c. 2 Thess. 2:9-10 reminds us that God will permit you to believe a lie if a lie is what you want to hear.
d. The captain of the Titanic refused to believe the ship was in trouble till water was ankle deep in the mail room. Only then was it apparent the multi-layered hull had been pierced and the unsinkable ship was going to sink. Ships that could have arrived before the great ocean liner went down weren't summoned until it was too late.
5. People have heard and accepted lies concerning modesty, social drinking, lottery, evolution, nonessentiality church, nonessentiality of baptism, or that it may be administered by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion, and that we can’t believe the Bible alike.
6. The blind man could see this sign, (that there is no blindness in the world like spiritual blindness) would to God that we all could see this fact.
CONCLUSION:
1. People pay fines because they fail to heed the signs.2. God is honored through our sickness or trouble by letting him work through it for our good.3. Six Signs we need to remember:a. You cannot argue the goodness of God according to your circumstancesb. You can’t always expect God to work the same way in your lifec. You CAN ALWAYS expect God’s work in your life to draw attentiond. You should always be prepared to choose sides in your lifee. You can be guaranteed that God’s work always leads you to greater depths of revelation.f. There is no greater blindness than spiritual blindness.

sermon#2THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOMEYou are anticipating your landing on a distant planet with intelligent life. You begin to think, “What will they look like? How will they sound? Will this be a human friendly enviornment? Everyone is looking for a place to call home. A Friendly voice, a friendly face, a friendly environment. The Bible tells us not to get too attached to this world that when we do we forfeit our home in heaven. Jesus has prepared it for us (Jn. 14). We must trust and obey to enter it.The main reason many loose their happy eternal home. Gen. 6:5, 6. Imagination of one’s heart is only evil continually. Noah said, “This world is not my home.” (Gen. 6:8). Some were more concerned with building a city to reach heaven than living a life that would take them there (Gen. 11). They made this world their home. City of Sodom got too worldly (Gen. 19) They made this world their home. Lots’ wife got too worldly and turned into a pillar of salt. Sodom was not her home. When the people of God chased after the false gods of this world they lost their home. Cannan was not their home.Any nation which rose up and ignored the will of God, God destroyed.Some who lost everything this world had to offer yet they did not loosetheir eternal home. Heb. 11 - Able, Noah, Abraham, Job, Paul - Mt. 16:26 For what has a man profited. There were some things which they did which kept their eyes focused on their goal. 2 Cor. 10:5 they controlled their thoughtsPhil. 3:8; Col. 3:1, 2 set your mind on things above, not on things ofthe earth. Prov. 4:23 Keep your heart. Job said naked I came, naked I shall return (Job. 1). David said, I nearly slipped, but I remembered the end of the wicked (Psa. 73) Song, I know what I was doing, but man, what was I thinking. Not thinking about home. They controlled their actions Eph. 2:3, 11, 12; 4:20-24. Paul said he disciplined his body (1 Cor. 9:27).David hid the word of God in his heart so he might not sin against God(Psa. 119:11). Jn. 2:15-17 Love not the world. This world is not ourhome. They controlled their doubt. John the baptizer, while in prison doubted, yet sought out truth to end his doubt (Matt. 11). Paul said 2 Tim. 1:12 I know who I have believed. Thomas doubted but changed his mind (Jn. 20). This world is not our home. One can never have heaven as their home if they busy themselves building paradise on earth. (Heb. 11:13-16) They were busy looking for a city not on earth but in heaven. Beside, you and I know what is eventually going to happen to this world (2 Pet. 3) These righteous people viewed earth as a strange planet. So they found a friendly face (Heb. 12:1, 2); A friendly voice (Matt. 11:28-30); A friendly environment (Matt. 16:18) and made heaven their home. We’re just passing through. Make sure the life we live is worthy to help others go to heaven!

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