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If You Believe in Jesus, You Will Never Die

(John 11:1-46)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
Weve seen:
Jesus is the only door to Gods Kingdom
He is a one-way door,
Once we enter through Him by faith,
We will never have to leave.
He is our Good and Faithful Shepherd
The One who is able to provide for us here and hereafter,
The One who can protect us from what threatens the most: death.
Jesus said to us when we came to Him,
I give you eternal life and you will never perish.

But how can we know this is true?


How do we know He is able to keep us safe even after we die?
What would He have to do to prove it?
Thats what He shows us now
By actually raising someone from the dead.

B. Preview.
John includes this account in his Gospel
To show us that Jesus is the resurrection and the life

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That He has the authority
To give life to our dead souls
That He can and will save us,
If we will only trust Him
And that He has the power to raise our bodies to life
After we die.
By raising Lazarus from the dead
He proves that we will live, even if we die,
And that if we live and believe in Him, we will never die.

This is the main thing John wants us to see,


But there are a few other things along the way
That are also very encouraging.

II. Sermon.
A. First, John wants us to see that Jesus loves and cares for us.
We just read that Martha and Mary,
When their brother Lazarus was sick and dying,
Sent word to Jesus. Why?
Because they knew He could do something about it
He was the Messiah,
The Son of God, the Savior of the world,
He could heal Lazarus
But more importantly,
They knew He would do something about it

Because they were His sheep,


And He cared about them.

They knew Jesus loved them.


Jesus didnt keep His feelings to Himself.
When He needed to teach and correct,
He did so openly,
And when He felt love for someone,
He shared that love openly as well.
They knew Jesus loved Lazarus:
They said, Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick (v. 3).
They knew Jesus also loved them:
John knew this, which is why he writes in verse 5,
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
Jesus even cared about those
That didnt love Him.
When He comes a few days later,
And Mary falls at His feet weeping,
And He sees the Jews weeping because of Lazarus,
He is deeply moved,
And begins to weep
Hes grieved that death has brought this
To this family He loves;

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Hes grieved that many of these Jews
Still didnt believe and were in danger of hell.
Jesus had a tender heart.
It was so obvious Jesus cared
That the Jews who saw Him remarked, See how He loved him! (v. 36).

Sometimes we tend to see Jesus


Only in His role as Lord and Judge,
And wonder why He doesnt strike us down for our sins.
We forget that He is also our elder brother who cares for us,
Our Savior who died for us,
Our husband who loves us as He loves Himself,
Our Shepherd who cares for us, protects us,
And lays down His life for us.
This is His heart towards us,
If we have stopped fighting Him,
And have willingly given ourselves to Him.

Jesus also cares about those who arent His sheep.


In His encounter with the rich young ruler,
After Jesus told the young man
What God required of him to inherit eternal life,
And the man said he had done these things his whole life,
Mark records, Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him (10:21).

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His heart was moved; it went out to Him
Not because he was one of His sheep,
But because he was a man made in the image of God.
God says, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked
turn from his way and live (Ez. 33:11).
Jesus wept over Jerusalem because of the judgment
That He would execute on her for her unfaithfulness to Him (Luke 19:41).
We need to be careful when we communicate this to others,
That they dont understand it
As Gods loving and approving of them
While they still refuse to obey Him
But they do need to understand
That He does care what happens to them:
He isnt willing that any perish,
But that all come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9).
Thats why He sends us to preach the Gospel to all creation.

B. The second thing we see is Jesus love for us doesnt mean we wont have to face
difficulties even death.
When Jesus heard about Lazarus,
He knew it was part of His Fathers plan
To bring glory to Himself by glorifying His Son (v. 4),
So He stayed where He was two days longer (v. 5)
Until Lazarus had died.
If Jesus had left right away,

He might have been able to get to him before that happened.


He could also have simply spoken the word,
And Lazarus would have been healed.
But He didnt.
Lazarus not only had to endure that sickness,
But that sickness took his life
So that Jesus might raise him.

When you think about it,


The fact that He did raise him
Seems like a mixed blessing:
Its one thing to be saved from death,
But another to die, and be raised, only to have to die again
Especially when you consider
That Lazarus was enjoying heaven for those four days.
But of course, having been there,
He undoubtedly had the blessing
Of knowing he would go there again one day
He no longer had to struggle with assurance.

The fact that the Lord plans difficulties in our life


Doesnt mean that He doesnt love us
He loved Lazarus, but Lazarus had to face difficulties.
He went through these things

And would gladly have gone through them again


Because he loved His Lord.

John actually gives us another example


Of one who was willing to die for his Lord in this passage.
When the disciples see that Jesus is intent on going back to Judea,
We read, Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
Let us also go, so that we may die with Him (v. 16),

This is the kind of devotion


The Lord wants us to have:
The willingness to follow Him
No matter what the cost.
Until we can find it by His grace,
Were not going to be as effective
As we might otherwise be for His glory.

Lets not forget why


The Lord, in His plan, brings difficulties:
Its so we might honor Him,
That we might fulfill the reason we were born.
Sometimes serving the Lord means we have to suffer;
Sometimes it means we may have to die
But if it does, we need to remember two things:
As Christians we never really die

Lazarus only fell asleep


His body looked like it was sleeping,
While his soul had gone to heaven.
The same will be true for us when we die.
One day Jesus will come again for our bodies,
To raise them from the dead
And then we will be with the Lord in soul and body.

The second is
That the Lord will reward us
For any suffering we might have to endure for Him
And that is the only reward we get to keep forever.

C. Third, knowing that we are eventually going to die, we need to use the time the
Lord has given us wisely.
After He waited two more days (v. 6),
Jesus said to His disciples, Let us go to Judea again (v. 7).
The disciples asked Him why
Considering that the Jews there wanted to kill Him (v. 8).
Jesus answer is very instructive:
Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not
stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the
night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him (vv. 9-10).
Jesus is pointing out again

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What He said earlier in John 9:4-5, We must work the works of Him who sent Me
as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the
world, I am the Light of the world.
What He meant was
That even though they wanted to kill Him,
They wouldnt be able to
Because His time had not yet come
Though it was near.
Since it hadnt come,
He still had work to do.
That work was in Bethany,
So thats where He was going.

The same is true of us


We will not die a minute sooner or later
Than what the Lord has planned;
Until that time comes,
Nothing can take our life away.
But until that time comes,
We need to use what time we have remaining
For the reason He gave it: to serve Him.
We must work the works of Him who made us
As long as it is our day;
Night is coming
Death is coming

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When we will no longer be able to work


When we will finally enter our rest.

D. Now we come to the main point of the passage: Jesus is the resurrection and the
life He now proves this by raising Lazarus.
When Martha heard Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him (v. 20).
Even though Lazarus had been dead for four days (v. 17),
She still knew there was hope.
She said to Him, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
Even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give You (vv. 21-22).

Jesus knew what Martha wanted


That He would raise her brother
But He also wanted this to benefit her
He wanted to prove her faith.
So He puts it to the test:
He tells her that her brother will rise again (v. 23).
She humbly says that she knows he will on the last day
She believed in the resurrection,
And she knew that Lazarus would be part of it (v. 24).

But at the same time, she was hoping


That day would not be so far off for him
Because the One who would raise the dead on that day
Was standing right in front of her.

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Jesus didnt disappoint her:
He said, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if
he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die (vv. 25-26).
He asked whether she believed this (v. 26).
She said she believed He was the Christ, the Son of God (v. 27).
Jesus then called for Mary (v. 28),
And when she had come (v. 29)
Along with the Jews who came from Jerusalem (v. 31)
They went to the tomb (vv. 34-38).

When they arrived, Jesus told them to remove the stone (v. 39).
Martha pointed out that by now there would be a terrible smell,
Since he had been dead for four days (v. 39).
But Jesus said to her, Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the
glory of God? (v. 40).
So they removed the stone.
Jesus then looked towards heaven, and said, Father, I thank you that You heard
Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing
around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me (vv. 41-42).
When He had said this, He cried out with a loud voice: Lazarus, come forth (v.
43).
And Lazarus obeyed:
The spirit of life returned
He stood up and came out of the tomb.
And because he was still bound by the grave clothes,
Jesus told them to remove them and let him go (v. 44).

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Jesus has authority over death.


The fact that He raised Lazarus from the dead proves it.

He is the resurrection and the life.


He says, He who believes in Me will live even if he dies (v. 25).
If we believe in Jesus,
Even though we will still die,
We will live
Our bodies will be raised again when He returns.
Jesus says, Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die (v. 26).
When we die,
Our souls will continue to live with the Lord
Waiting with Him until He returns to raise our bodies.
Jesus has taken the sting out of death for us (1 Cor. 15:55).
Death cant hold us in the grave.
We will not be condemned on Judgment Day
Or perish in hell forever,
But live forever with Him in Paradise.

If you havent trusted the Lord,


The good news is
He will do the same for you,
If you will only trust Him
And turn your life over to Him.

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There are only two possible responses to this offer:


You can either believe and receive Him, or not.
We read in verse 45 that there were many who saw this miracle and believed.
Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done,
believed in Him.
These were now safe.

But there were also those that saw didnt believe.


We read in verse 46, But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the
things which Jesus had done.
If these continued not to believe,
They eventually died and went down into hell.
Which way will you choose this morning?
May the Lord grant that you would choose life. Amen.

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