Sunday, February 19, 2006

Selling Jesus Out - Betrayed!

Today we will consider these points of interest about Judas:
1. Did Judas have a choice?
2. How did Judas get to the point of selling him out?
3. The result of selling Jesus out.
4. Jesus will never sell you out.
The colors of fall has been great. Too bad they don't hang around very long. Hope your work is progressing nicely. All is well in Ktown. Here is a story you may want to relay to young people who are moving out on their own. A girl (18) rents with several others and invited a minor over night. While sleeping, two of the minors had sex. The girl (16) goes home and claims that the other guest (11) raped her. This situation could be messy if they pursue a facilitation case on the 18 year old renter. Take care - Kirk

Selling Jesus Out - Betrayed!
Jn. 13:18-30
I. Introduction
A. Bible prophecies, regardless how splendid or how disturbing they may be, are always true
1. Whether they discuss the glory of the coming Messiah, his peaceable kingdom and the dawning of a new age or whether they describe the destruction of a nation, the judgment of God coming upon a people or even the death of the only Son of God - because it is inspired, God breathed, it WILL come to pass.
2. Bible prophecies point us to the reality that the Messiah would be ‘sold out’ by a familiar friend (Psa. 41:9; Matt. 26:47-50). It not only told us that he would be ‘sold out’ but for what price would be paid for doing this dastardly deed (Zech. 11:12, 13; Matt. 26:14-16). Do you want to receive a faith lift? Then do not let your fingers do the walking through the pages of the Koran; pages of Carl Sagan (atheist); pages of Shirley McClain (New Age); the pages of astrology; some self help guru or some prayer book. If you want your faith lifted as high as the heavens and become as strong as the currents in the sea, one can always go study Bible prophecies and return enlightened, encouraged and strengthened in the inner man.
B. Today we will consider these points of interest about Judas:
1. Did Judas have a choice?
2. How did Judas get to the point of selling him out?
3. The result of selling Jesus out.
4. Jesus will never sell you out.
II. Did Judas have a Choice in the matter?
A. The concept of predestination infers that Judas could no more do righteousness than a dummy could talk. This doctrine implies that the God who created us has predestined every move every word, every action of a person before they were even born. So if you wanted to be saved, you could not be, and, if you wanted to be lost and God wanted you saved, you could not resist. The Bible tells me I have a choice - (Josh. 24:15); That I must search (Phil. 2:12); That I can choose to harden my heart (Heb. 3:12ff)
B. Did Judas have a choice? Yes, as much as you and I do today. Richard Pfiel wrote, “Can we know something will occur, can we even predict it to happen, without our causing it? And the answer is yes. We do it all the time. For instance, advertising. The reason why companies will shell out $1 to $2 million for a 30 to 60 second spot during the Superbowl is because they know with absolute certainty sales will go up 12 to 15 percent. When they flash a picture of a Coke can at a ball game, they know that 15 seconds after the flash of the picture, 2000 people will get up in the stadium and go get a Coke. It is predictable, but did anyone cause those 2000 people to get up, to open their wallets and buy the Coke? No. It was predictable. It was predicted by 50% of the people that Tennessee would lose to Notre Dame. Now you might have predicted it. They might have let you down, again, but did you in predicting it, cause the loss? The Fraternal Order of Police will tell you before every holiday, a certain number of people will loose their life. Many will, but did the police cause it to happen? Absolutely not. Insurance companies know exactly how many people per 10,000 will die in any age group. And what happens every year? The same number of people die in each age group. It is predictable, it occurs, but did the insurance companies cause it? Many times I look at human behavior and predict possible outcomes and many times they happen. Did I cause that marriage to survive or be destroyed? Did I help that
child become evil or person hate the church. No. If we, as human beings can predict these things by our finite wisdom, how much more can an all-wise God who knows us and observes all of life, be able to observe something, predict it, have it occur and he never caused it? Though the scripture foretold the betrayal of Christ, it never mentioned the person by name. Though Christ selected the 12 he knew that any one of them possessed the potential to betray him because scripture cannot be broken, prophecies which are of God cannot fail. Each apostle made the choice to serve or deny on their own. Judas freely chose to sell out the Christ.
III. Since such be the case, How then did Judas to get to the point of selling Jesus out? He did not get there because a lack of opportunity to know and do better. He sat in the presence of Jesus, he heard the same voice the other 11 heard every day, he watched the same miracles, saw the perfect lifestyle Jesus lived. So what made his heart grow cold? James May:
A. First, We will notice he had not left the desires of this world behind like all the other disciples (Matt. 6:33 seek first; 16:24ff deny self). Greed was a motivation in his life and it is really spelled in John 12:6 when Mary anointed the feet of Jesus. Because he had such a love for money and the things that it could buy it became the root of evil in him. If money is one of the things that led Judas to sell his savior out, then it would tell us that money has the ability to cause us to sell out our savior as well. Its amazing what people will to do for money. People are willing to eat worms for money. In fact, there is a book written called Are You Normal About Money? What surprised the author is the length to which people go for money: 21% will wolf down a worm for $300, 59% would shave their heads for $10,000, and 60% will commit adultery for $1,000,000. How many saints of God has gone after the American dream and have become spiritually bankrupt. Remember the seed which fell among the thorns (Lk. 8:14)? What is a man profited if he gains the whole world.... Judas followed Jesus for what he could get out of him. He had not left the desires of the world. That’s one reason that led him in selling him out. What of you? Me?
B. Secondly he could sell Jesus out because, he committed Jesus to his life but he never committed his life to Jesus, and there is a difference. One you want Jesus to serve you, the other you want to serve Jesus. A lot of people commit Jesus to their life, meaning they are willing to follow Jesus as long as it improves their lives, fits in with their values, fits in with their morals, fits in with their social views, fits in with their political views but, if Jesus has a claim on these things, it is surprising how many people opt out. Have you committed Jesus to your life or have you committed your life to Jesus? Because when you give your life to Jesus, what you are saying is that Lord, I am tired of leading my life, in fact I have led it and it is not working. I want you to take leadership of my life and I want to learn. Teach me what I should believe, how I should live, what the values and purpose of my life are. Lord, spill that into my life and I accept it. Whatever you say, I accept it. I accept it as your disciple. Judas could sell out Jesus because he had not committed his life to Jesus. It is the same for you and me today. Psa. 37:5 “Commit thy way unto the Lord and he will bring it to pass.”
C. Third, Judas could sell Jesus out because his thoughts were not on Jesus nor on the work which he called them to do. Judas knew all the right moves, the right words, the right way to smile, the right way to pray, the right way to dress – in short, he had all the appearances on the outside of being a great man of faith, but his heart was far from him. Sacrifice is good for others not me. Taking care of the burdened is a good work of the church but don’t ask me to get involved. Going into all the world to preach is fine for missionaries but don’t expect me to get religiously involved with my coworker or neighbor. Are our thoughts his and his work mine? If not, before we know it, we could sell out Jesus too.
D. Finally, Judas got to the point of selling Jesus out because he made the same mistake that so many of us make right now. He forgot that Jesus is God and that God knows all things, eve the very thoughts of your mind and the intent of your heart (Heb. 4:12). He knows your motive for doing whatever you do. He knows your selfishness. He knows your fears. He knows your doubts. He knows what you love and what you hate. He knows how this sermon will affect you. Kevin Smith: One meaning of betrayal is "To be false or disloyal to".. Or in modern day terms, "To front or stunt." Judas was disloyal to Jesus! He had to be frontin’ and stuntin’ the whole time. He was putting on a facade (like veneering on furniture) to get close to Jesus! Some people think they can get away with their frontin’ & stuntin’ before other members. Whether the elder or other spiritually minded Christians can see through your acts, God sees and don’t you forget it. We know that God looks not on outward appearances (1 Sam.16:7). When we forget that God is God and think we can outsmart, even fool the divine being, we too are on the road to selling out his son.
III. Now briefly, lets notice the result of selling Jesus out.
A. Matthew 27:3-5, One who sells Jesus out, will feel guilty v. 3. Judas attempted to relieve his conscience by returning the money. Its like words you speak in anger, once spoken, you can never take them back. Its like hurting the one you love, once you do, you can never relieve their anguish. If we will observe, Judas tried to free his guilty conscience on his own terms. He was in no position to bargain. He was merely a pawn the Jews used to get what they wanted. Listen young folk, some people are users. They’ll seduce you by fair words and pretenses just to get you cuss, to smoke dope, sleep with them. So you do. Then you go to church Sunday feeling all dirty because you’ve broken your promise to yourself and to your God. We all feel burdened when we sin. Big or little it matters not, sin is sin. Satan wants us to sell out Jesus on his terms of morality. When we do, we feel guilty. We can’t get rid of the guilt on our terms.
B. Judas, when he saw that Jesus was condemned, was filled with, remorse. Remorse is a powerful thing, when you’ve been had by Satan. It can change you or break you. Simon the sorcerer was remorseful that he attempted to purchase the gift of the holy spirit and asked for forgiveness and prayer (Acts 8). Judas went and hung himself. Sometimes we do not realize the full consequences of our actions. A night of lust can turn into a life of burden (ask King David if I’m right on this); zealous positions we take, religious or politically may determine how far I may go in life or at least how people relate to me for the rest of my life. Anxiety about how the world looks at us may make a man destroy much good. Could have Judas repented? Yes. But how could he face those whom he betrayed? It was more than he could bear. So it is with some sins we toy with. For some, they have caused so much harm to the church their pride will never permit them to return. Paul teaches us to walk worthy of the vocation we have been called to practice (Eph. 4:1). Be warned, remorse never saved Judas, it only destroyed him. Live a life so remorse will not eat you up! Learn to ask God for forgiveness. It doesn’t matter if anyone else forgives you God can. If your heart is right, and actions pure, God will.
C. Acts 1:18-19 tells us that those who sell our Jesus, God will cause them to desecrate themselves. For Judas, his body decomposed openly. Scriptures told us who buried Jesus, but it never mentioned who buried Judas. Point is, God will not permit one who sells out his Son for their own pleasure in this life to get any glory. Yes, they sing the glory of Charles Darwin. They giggle over the likes of Heidi Flice. They applaud those who have decided to ‘come out.’ They give awards to those who push the ‘entertainment envelope.’ But there will come a day when all will know that God despises those who sell out his son. Who betray him with teaching of vulgarity, lifestyles of hypocrisy, and religion of permissiveness (Rev. 21:8) and he will appoint them to an eternity of desecration and destruction.
IV. But we must close on a positive note, Though man may sell out Jesus, Jesus will never sell us out.
A. Lam. 3:21-23
B. How many years had he waited for his people to repent. How many warnings did he give before he brought calamity upon them? The word ‘mercy’ occurs 282 times in the NKJV. This should tell us something about the patience of God. Satan troubles us on every side. He is constantly trying to get the Christian to ‘sell out’ their savior, to go their own way, to abandon the faith. Sometimes we stumble, sometimes we have a major breakdown. Thanks be to God who tells us that Jesus is always seeking his child as a Shepherd who loves his sheep which went astray.
CONCLUSION:
John Stott says this: When the choice is seen for what it is, a choice between the creator and creature, between the glorious personal God and the miserable thing called money, between worship and idolatry, it seems inconceivable that anyone could make the wrong choice, and yet it happens over and over again and it happened in Judas’ own life. What is sad about Judas’ life is that he had such potential of being a dynamic man of God, but he chose not to because he gave Jesus his life and not his life to Jesus and, as a result, the pursuit of happiness took a greater part of his life and it robbed him of his soul. Remember what we said about predictions. Just because we predict something has the potential to happen, it does not mean that we made it happen. I predict that one of us will sell out Christ soon. It may not be today or tomorrow for I don’t know the time or the circumstances that will cause us to do such to Jesus. But I am convinced that most definitely before this week is over, someone will fall right into the devil’s hands, make a deal with the devil, and sell out the Christ. How do we sell him out? Just like Judas did, by not leaving the desires of the world behind, by permitting Jesus to be committed to us, but never committed to him; by not letting his thoughts be on Christ or his purpose in our life; and by frontin’ and stuntin’ our way through religion. In a nutshell, I think we might sum it up by saying that Judas moved a little father away from Christ every day he lived. Don’t let this happen to you! Judas tried to buy back the relationship that he once had with Jesus but once he completely sold out to Satan there was no turning back for him. Judas died in that state of betrayal! May it never be named once among us. Please, if this message has placed a burden upon your heart turn back to Jesus in repentance before it’s too late. The closing verse of our text says, “and it was dark.” Right now would be a great time to recall the story of the prodigal son. He sold out completely to the world, but he came to his senses. May that story, as told by Jesus, motivate us to realize we have such a loving and forgiving God that all who have sold out his son can return and find rest for a weary conscience.

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