Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene
Sunday, December 12
  • God So Loved
  • Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee (Ode To Joy)
  • Joy To The World (Unspeakable Joy)
  • O Holy Night
  • John 3:16–18 ESV
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
    Last week I said that without Jesus, we have no hope.
    Without Jesus, people put their hope in all kinds of unpredictable and unreliable things and ideologies.
    Muslims put their hope in their own good works. Atheists hope that there is no God that holds us accountable and when we die, that’s it. Agnostics hope that there is someone out there in the universe that will sort it all out eventually. Hindus hope for absorption into the universe. Buddhists and New Agers hope for reincarnation, so that we can try to get it right again and again and hopefully reach nirvana.
    Keep hoping - because none of that is predictable or reliable.
    Without Jesus people put their hope in all kinds of unpredictable and unreliable things and ideologies. People put their hope in things that are temporary, things that ebb and flow with culture and time - like governments, money, careers, social status, popularity, etc. Or we put our hope in people who are imperfect, inconsistent, selfish. We put our hopes in opinions. We could go on, but it's interesting that there is no religion, no ideology, no person, no thing in this world that is fully capable of meeting our deepest needs and hopes. They all fall short. Without Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God humanity is hopeless. Have no reason to hope that this world will get better or that we all get to go to a “better” place.
    God set the stage. From nothing He called the universe into existence. He is the Creator, and
    His main purpose in creation was and is and will always be relationship.
    But sin, which is rebellion and failure to meet God’s standards, equals death. The wages of sin is death and all have died because all have failed to meet God standards.
    What is death?
    Death is separation of relationship. Sin separates us from the God who loves us.
    Sin severs the relationship. So what should God do? Created us for relationship, but we can't have a relationship because of sin. What are His options?
    Option 1) Condone Sin.
    God could say sin doesn’t really matter. But how can a Just and Righteous God condone or dismiss sin? How can He condone that which steals, kills, and destroys life in everything it touches? He can't, lest He no longer be a Just and Righteous God.
    Besides,
    Excusing sin does not restore or reconcile our relationship with God.
    Think about a person who is in an abusive relationship. How is condoning or excusing the abuse okay? It’s not okay! It’s wrong. Making excuses will never fix the problem. Same with sin, condoning sin never fixes the problem of death and separation. Besides, if the wages of sin is death, then death remains even if God condones and there is no life - there’s no hope.
    God cannot condone or excuse sin. So what's another option?
    Option 2) Condemn Humanity.
    God could say, “You’ve all sinned, so you’re all going to hell, so I'm out of here. I quit. You’re on your own. Good luck” - and we all end up spending eternity in the lake of fire. God could do that, but that is not what God desires.
    What does He desire? He desires that all people come to repentance, acknowledge that Jesus Christ is His Son, and that He is Lord of all, that all confess our sins to Him and receive the justice of God - that our sins were paid for on the Cross of Calvary and that anyone who believes in Him would never perish but have everlasting life.
    God could condemn humanity, but condemnation doesn’t restore the relationship between God and humanity. So, what’s another option?
    Before we get to that, we need some background information. The night Jesus was betrayed, He went to an olive grove and prayed - before His crucifixion.
    Luke 22:42 ESV
    saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
    What's this cup? Yes, it's the crucifixion, but it goes way beyond that. Jesus is referring to Jeremiah 25. God revealed to Jeremiah the consequences that would fall upon the nations (the world) for rebelling against God. The consequences is called the cup of wrath.
    Jeremiah 25:15–18 ESV
    Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.” So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and a waste, a hissing and a curse, as at this day;
    Jeremiah 25:27 ESV
    “Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, be drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more, because of the sword that I am sending among you.’
    What does all that mean? Key words: desolation, waste, fall and rise no more - all words that mean death - separation. Another key word: curse. What’s the curse? If you are under the curse, you are under death, destruction, judgment, God’s wrath - all consequences for choosing to reject God. If you are under the curse, you are unable to enter God’s Kingdom.
    1 Corinthians 6:9–10 ESV
    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
    Galatians 5:19–21 ESV
    Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    Revelation 21:8 ESV
    But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
    These are the ones who will drink the cup of God’s wrath, the cup that is the totality of God's judgment, wrath, and punishment poured out on humanity because of sin. And Jesus knew this, so He asked His Father,
    Luke 22:42 ESV
    saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
    God cannot condone sin, and He does not want to condemn humanity - He doesn't want to pour out his wrath upon us - so what other option does God have? The only option that’s left.
    Option 3) Curse Himself.
    Galatians 3:13–14 ESV
    Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
    2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
    For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
    1 John 4:9–10 ESV
    In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
    Romans 8:1–4 ESV
    There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
    So what do we do?
    Only one person can prevent you from having eternal life. You.
    Only One person can give you eternal life. Jesus.
    For those who don’t know Jesus, put your faith and trust in Him - now - today. Without Jesus, you will face the eternal consequences of your choice. For those who know Jesus, go and tell it on the mountain, that …
    John 3:16–18 ESV
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
    Benediction
    Hebrews 13:20–21 ESV
    Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
      • Luke 22:42ESV

      • Jeremiah 25:15–18ESV

      • Jeremiah 25:27ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 6:9–10ESV

      • Galatians 5:19–21NLT

      • Revelation 21:8ESV

      • Luke 22:42ESV

      • Galatians 3:13–14NLT

      • 2 Corinthians 5:21NLT

      • 1 John 4:9–10ESV

      • Romans 8:1–4NLT

      • John 3:16–18ESV

  • In Christ Alone
      • Hebrews 13:20–21NLT

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