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Jesus Makes Life Better

Jesus Makes Life Better

(Chapel Hill Easter Message 2017)

Jesus makes life better; not always easier; but, always better.

It seems to me, that the Apostle Paul had one of the most difficult lives ever lived.
But; he had one of the best lives ever lived, and his eternal life will be filled with eternal joy.

A short-sighted life is just that, _ short-sighted.

My momma had an expression for foolishness.

She would say, _ “He’s a child of the moment.”

A child of the moment never considers the consequences of their actions.

It is common with little children _ and too common with adults.

Children of the moment are always in trouble; because, they just don’t see far enough into the future.

They are slaves _ to their own impulses.

There is a Scripture which describes how Jesus frees us from the slavery which is caused _ by our own short-sightedness.

Hebrews 2:14-15 speaks of us as children of the moment, and how Jesus sets us free.
It says:
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, Jesus, Himself, likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery _ all their lives. (NASB)

The resurrection of Jesus is why we, who are saved, celebrate Easter Sunday, and every other day _ of our lives.

We have no fear of death because Jesus died for our sins and rose again.

Paul wrote,
“If the dead are not raised, LET US EAT AND DRINK, _ FOR TOMORROW WE DIE.” 1st Cor. 15:32 (NASB)

That is the attitude of the lost.

Jesus told a parable about a rich fool, in Luke chapter 12, _ verses 16-21:

16 And He told them a parable, saying, _ "The land of a rich man was very productive.

17 “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?'

18 “Then he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.

19 ‘And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink _ and be merry."'

20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?'

21 “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (NASB)

Soul, take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.

This is the swan song _ of the lost.

Everyone knows they will die, someday; but, in the meantime “get all you can, can all you get, and sit on the lid”, as brother Jim used to say.

Hebrews 9:27 says, “and just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, _ and after that the [certain] judgment, (AMP)

The resurrection _ is what it’s all about.

The resurrection is the difference between being lost _ and being saved.

The resurrection is the difference between eternity in the lake of fire _ or eternity in New Jerusalem with Jesus.

The resurrection is the difference between living your life in slavery _ or living your life in freedom.

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, Jesus, Himself, likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

What are the lost in slavery to?

They are enslaved to Satan.

They are in slavery to their own lust, greed, _ and self-centeredness.

Soul, take your ease, eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

Lost people live their lives as children of the moment.

They are always focused on the temporary.

They seldom if ever think of their own eternity.

Their lives are temporary.

Their treasures are temporary.

Their pleasures are temporary.

The fear of death is always there to haunt and control them.

The devil has them right where he wants them.

The devil says to them; just as he said to Christ, when he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. _

And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.

"Therefore, if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours."

Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD _ AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'" Luke 4:5-8 (NASB)

So, lost people are held captive in the domain of darkness; _ but they don’t have to stay there.

They can be saved by God _ just as we were.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His Beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. _ Colossians 1:13-14 (NASB)

The resurrection _ is what it’s all about.

The resurrection is the difference between being lost and being saved.

The resurrection is the difference between eternity in the lake of fire or eternity in New Jerusalem with Jesus.

The resurrection is the difference between living your life in slavery or living your life freedom.

A child of the moment never considers the consequences of their actions.

Children of the moment are always in trouble; because, they just don’t see far enough into the future.

They are slaves to their own impulses.

Jesus makes life better; not always easier; but, always better.

Drunkards and drug addicts are slaves to their desire to escape _ reality.

Whatever turns you on will eventually take you out, if you are not set free _ by Jesus.

Why are lost people children of the moment?

Because that is all they believe they have, a moment.

But, the truth is, _ they have eternity.

And they will spend it in the lake of fire, if they are not set free by believing in the resurrection of Jesus and trusting only Jesus to set them free from their bondage to their own sin.

And how will they believe if no one tells them about the resurrection of Jesus?

How will they believe if no one tells them about the two coming resurrections?

The first resurrection is the resurrection of the saved.

The second resurrection will take place 1,000 years later.

It is described in: Revelation chapter 20, verses 11-15

Revelation 20:11-15

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (NKJV)

Now, you might say, “That’s not fair. I can’t believe a loving God would do that.”

That fantasy was planted in your brain by the father of all lies the devil.

It does not matter, what YOU think a loving God would do.

You don’t know _ what God would do.

Here are the FACTS _ about what a Loving God DID DO.

Have you gone to heaven _ and interviewed God?

The fact is _ you have not ascended to heaven.

Jesus, through whom all things were created, has given you the facts, and here they are:

13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, _ even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

15 that whoever believes in Him _ should not perish but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds _ were evil.

20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." John 3:13-21 (NKJV)

It does not matter what you think.

It is eternally crucial, _ what you believe.

It is eternally crucial, _ who you believe.

You have the testimony of Jesus Himself.

Jesus died for your sins.

He was buried.

He rose from the tomb.

He defeated the devil, who has held you captive in his dark domain ever since YOU were old enough to know right from wrong.

You have often chosen to do what you know is wrong.

This is the sinful nature you were born with.

But Jesus came to set you free from the dark domain and when you trust Jesus, _ God the Father will convey you into the Kingdom of the Son of His Love.

He has qualified you to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in the LIGHT.

The moment you TRUST JESUS, God the Father puts you on a conveyor belt and transports you from the dark domain of your spiritual blindness _ into the marvelous Light Of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

Those who do not trust Jesus face FERVENT HEAT.

2 Peter 3:9-14 (NKJV)

9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; ….”

Someday all the stuff which we now see will burn _ with ‘fervent heat’.

An old deacon once said, _ “I wonder how hot is ‘fervent heat’?”

Today, _ we will try to estimate the answer the deacon’s question.

How hot is fervent heat?

There was a news article this past week, which said that our military was considering new weapons to combat Russian tanks armed with nuclear artillery shells.

These new weapons would fire tungsten projectiles at 3 to 6 times the speed of sound.
That is 2300 to 4600 mph, _ or up to 6,750 feet per second.

That means, if you were a Russian tank commander and one of these tungsten projectiles was fired at your tank, from 3 miles away, the bullet would hit your tank 3.84 seconds BEFORE you heard the gun go off.

This projectile would be made of tungsten which melts at 6,192 degrees Fahrenheit, and at that speed the friction of the projectile going through the steel armor _ would turn the tungsten into a fire ball.

Since steel melts at only 2500 degrees and the tungsten melts at 6,192 degrees, it would go through your tank faster than a red-hot knife through butter.

You and your tank _ would be gone before you ever heard the shot.

Tungsten _ is the element which has the highest melting point.

That is why _ it is used as filaments in light bulbs.

So, to answer the deacon’s question is, we don’t know how hot ‘fervent heat’ is; but, _ it is more than 6,192 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now, for those who might say, this is just theory; _ let me say that depleted uranium bullets have been used as armor piercing projectiles since the late 1970s.

Here is a quote from Wikipedia:

Depleted uranium is favored for the penetrator because it is self-sharpening[35] and flammable.[30]

On impact with a hard target, such as an armored vehicle, the nose of the rod fractures in such a way that it remains sharp.[35]

The impact and subsequent release of heat energy causes it to ignite.[30]

When a DU penetrator reaches the interior of an armored vehicle, it catches fire, often igniting ammunition and fuel, killing the crew _ and possibly causing the vehicle to explode.

DU is used by the U.S. Army _ in 120 mm or 105 mm cannons employed on the M1 Abrams tank.

The Russian military has used DU ammunition in tank main gun ammunition since the late 1970s, mostly for the 115 mm guns in the T-62 tank and the 125 mm guns in the T-64, T-72, T-80, and T-90 tanks.

So, _ how hot is fervent heat?

Let’s consider the sun.

According to Space.com:

“The sun is a huge sphere of glowing gases that produce energy and light, which make life on Earth possible.”

“The temperature of the sun varies tremendously, and not in ways you might realize.”

At the core of the sun, gravitational attraction produces immense pressure and temperature, which can reach more than 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.”

How about thermonuclear bombs?

According to Dante’s inferno:

"The temperature at the center of a nuclear explosion depends on the yield of the weapon.

Or whether the weapon is an atom bomb which relies on nuclear fission to detonate or a hydrogen bomb which uses both fusion and fission.

Those are all factors that play a role in the temperature at the center of a nuke but the temperature at the core of the explosion is always between 50 and 150 million degrees Fahrenheit. …... So, the temperature of the center of a nuclear bomb can reach temperatures hotter than the core of our sun."

According to Wikipedia, “as of 2016 there are some 4,000 active nuclear warheads and 10,100 total nuclear warheads in the world.[1"

That is a lot of fervent heat.

How hot is fervent heat?

God knows.

But, here’s what we know.

Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of wars.

The disciples asked Jesus about His return, in: Matthew chapter 24, verses 1-13 (AMP)

1 JESUS DEPARTED from the temple area and was going on His way when His disciples came up to Him to call His attention to the buildings of the temple and point them out to Him.

2 But He answered them, Do you see all these? Truly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.

3 While He was seated on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately and said, Tell us, when will this take place, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end (the completion, the consummation) of the age?

4 Jesus answered them, Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error].
5 For many will come in (on the strength of) My name [appropriating the name which belongs to Me], saying, I am the Christ (the Messiah), and they will lead many astray.

6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened or troubled, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.

7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in place after place;

8 All this is but the beginning [the early pains] of the birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish].

9 Then they will hand you over to suffer affliction and tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.

10 And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred.

11 And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error.

12 And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity,

13 But he who endures to the end will be saved.

There will be many examples of fervent heat before God makes new heavens and a new earth.

Jesus said there would be wars.

WW2 was ended when Harry Truman dropped fervent heat on Nagasaki _ and Hiroshima.

We have no guarantee that we will be raptured before the next thermonuclear war _ comes to America.

There is one thing that will not melt in fervent heat.

A human soul.

A human soul is not an element like tungsten or uranium.

We need to adjust our priorities.

What do we value most?

Stuff or souls?

What does Jesus value most?

Stuff?

Or souls?

Jesus created all the stuff!

Jesus created all the souls!

Jesus did not die for stuff!

Jesus died for souls.

Jesus can create anything out of nothing.

So, stuff means very little to Jesus.

How do we know?

The Bible tells us so.

"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth _ and the works that are in it will be burned up."

This building will be burned up.

If we don’t aggressively bring the good news to the lost people of Mountain View, why are we here?

Life gets messy when Christians really reach out to the lost.

Lost people have many problems; because, they are lost.

When they get saved; _ the Lord starts cleaning them up.

It usually takes the rest of their physical lives to get them anywhere close to being what they are predestined to be.

So, even saved people carry around too much baggage from their past.

What does Jesus value most?

Jesus did not die for stuff!

Jesus died for souls.

We need to keep the main thing the main thing.

Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

_ looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

_ Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which _ righteousness dwells.

_ Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, _ without spot and blameless; ….”

be diligent to be found by Him in peace, _ without spot and blameless; ….”

be diligent to be found by Him in peace, _ without spot and blameless; ….”

These are the FACTS regarding the events of the first Easter Morning, _ and the days that followed.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary took all 4 gospel accounts, the book of Acts and 1st Corinthians _ and they constructed the sequence of events following the resurrection of Jesus.

SUNDAY MORNING:

1. An angel rolled away the stone from Jesus’ tomb before sunrise (Matt. 28:2-4).

2. Women who followed Jesus visited Jesus’ tomb and discovered Him missing (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:1-4; Luke 24:1-3; John 20:1).

3. Mary Magdalene left to tell Peter and John (John 20:1-2).

4. The other women, remaining at the tomb, saw two angels who told them about the Resurrection (Matt. 28:5-7; Mark 16:5-7; Luke 24:4-8).

5. Peter and John visited Jesus’ tomb (Luke 24:12; John 20:3-10).

6. Mary Magdalene returned to the tomb and Jesus appeared to her alone in the garden (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18): His first appearance.

7. Jesus appeared to the other women (Mary, mother of James, Salome, and Joanna) (Matt. 28:8-10): His second appearance.

8. Those who guarded Jesus’ tomb reported to the religious rulers how the angel rolled away the stone. They were then bribed (Matt. 28:11-15).

9. Jesus appeared to Peter (1 Cor. 15:5): His third appearance.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON
10. Jesus appeared to two men on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-32): His fourth appearance.

SUNDAY EVENING
11. The two disciples from Emmaus told others they saw Jesus (Luke 24:33-35).

12. Jesus appeared to 10 apostles, with Thomas absent, in the Upper Room (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25): His fifth appearance.

THE FOLLOWING SUNDAY

13. Jesus appeared to the 11 Apostles, including Thomas, and Thomas believed (John 20:26-28): His sixth appearance.

THE FOLLOWING 32 DAYS

14. Jesus appeared to seven disciples by the Sea of Galilee and performed a miracle of fish (John 21:1-14): His seventh appearance.

15. Jesus appeared to 500 (including the Eleven) at a mountain in Galilee (Matt. 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18; 1 Cor. 15:6): His eighth appearance.

16. Jesus appeared to His half-brother James (1 Cor. 15:7): His ninth appearance.

17. At Jerusalem Jesus appeared again to His disciples (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:3-8): His 10th appearance.

18. On the Mount of Olives Jesus ascended into heaven while the disciples watched (Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-12).

These are the historic facts.

Any argument to the contrary is a ticket to the eternal lake of fire.

Who are you going to believe?

Are you going to believe the speculations of people who were not there in Jerusalem that first Easter Sunday morning?

Or are you going to believe the over 500 eyewitnesses to the greatest event in human history.

Jesus came. He died for you and rose again on the 3rd day. What are you going to do about that?

Who are you going to believe?

Who are you going to trust today?

There is only ONE, _ whom you can trust.

Trust Jesus and be saved forever.

Come to the Light.

Give up trying to hide your sins in the darkness.

Jesus can see everything all the time.

Jesus does not tell you to confess your sins, because He doesn’t already know every one of them.

Jesus tells you to confess your sins, _ because He insists that you acknowledge that you have sinned.

He died so you could be forgiven.

He rose from the grave so you could live with Him forever.

Who will you choose to trust today?

Will you continue to trust yourself?

How is that working out for you?

How will it work out for you in the grave?

How will it work out for you on judgment day?

There is a war going on inside of you.

This is the only war, which you can only win by surrendering.

Jesus gave you a wonderful gift a free will. Surrender your will back to Jesus. Trust Him.

Jesus makes life better; not always easier; but, always better.

A short-sighted life is just that, _ short-sighted.

A child of the moment never considers the consequences of their actions.

Children of the moment are always in trouble; because, they just don’t see far enough into the future.

They are slaves _ to their own impulses.

Jesus became a man to die for mankind and rise again to free us from the penalty of sin and the power of sin.

Time to stop focusing on the temporary.

This life is temporary.

You will die. That is reality.

You can be forgiven by Jesus, today, right now.

He will save you from the penalty of your sins.

He will deliver you from the power of sin in your life.

He will set you free and you will be free indeed.

Who are you going to believe?

Are you going to believe the devil?

Are you going to continue to believe the thoughts of your own confusion?

Who will you trust?

Will you trust the devil?

Who will you trust?

Will you trust your grapefruit sized brain?

You can’t wrap a grapefruit around the universe.

And you can’t wrap it around the God who created the universe.

He had to REVEAL Himself to you and He has in Jesus the Christ.

Who you trust will determine your eternity.

There are only two possibilities:
• New Jerusalem with Jesus
• Fervent Heat

Choose right now who you believe.

Speak to JESUS.

HE will hear you.

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