Vintage Message: John 5:1-15

Vintage message from July 29, 2001.

We say, “I won’t believe until Jesus touches me and proves Himself to me,” but Jesus doesn’t have to abide by our whims and our desires. He knows us intimately, and He knows what we need, and He tells this man, “Go and trust.” Are we willing to go and trust?… The man took Jesus at His Word and departed — the hardest thing, I believe, for men in society to day to do. Especially within the society that we live in here in America. We are so comfortable. We have everything we need. We’re hardly challenged in our faith, but yet, we find ourselves always empty inside. Lacking. Desiring to know God more. Are we willing to take Jesus at His Word and simply step out, as this man did, and depart, knowing that Jesus said He’s going to do it. Okay, I’ll believe it… Do you realize, we can take Jesus at His Word…

I hear so many people say, “How do we know what God’s will is? I never hear Him speak to me.” Well, He’s given us His Word right here in black and white. Even if we don’t hear Him speak to us [audibly], He has spoken clearly and plainly through the written Word. All we need do is study it. Do you believe it? Are you going to take Him at His Word? Are you going to accept the fact that He knows you, He knows your need, and He can, in fact, meet your need in every single situation or circumstance you find yourself in? We need only to take Him at His Word. He tells us, even if we don’t hear Him clearly, we can turn to His Word, and if what we believe we’re hearing lines up with Scripture, let me tell you, you can trust it…

This is a problem I also find within Christianity: we spend a lot of time focusing on what does not matter. We judge people around us, the things going on in their life, the things that God will deal with. We focus there, on the things that do not matter, rather than loving people and encouraging people and building them up in Jesus and telling them that they can trust Jesus. We find occasion to tear them down. We see them “carrying their mat” and say. “I don’t care miracle happened in your life! You’re not supposed to be doing that…” We, too often, want to look at those things that God has not yet changed in someone’s life and focus on that. We try to focus on the bad rather than seeing the good, rather than seeing the miracle and rejoicing with our brothers and sisters around us. And we bring ourselves to a place of judging just as the Pharisees did…

It’s not about the sin issues in their life. It is about the love and the forgiveness that God has for mankind. That we’ve already been told in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His Son,” Jesus. He allowed for Him to leave the halls of heaven to come to be with you and I, to heal the issues of sin within us, and to call us to a place of having compassion and showing pity on and praying for those that are around us that also have issues of sin. And if we’re not willing to pray for those who have issues of sin, then guess what? We should not even be praying for ourselves because there’s also not a single person in this room who can say, “I have arrived. I am now perfect. I am without sin.” If you are saying that to yourself today, let me tell you, you are deceived. We each have buried within our hearts, even if we’ve known Jesus for many years, issues that He has yet to deal with. We are still in the flesh, and He is still overcoming that flesh, and because of that, we need to show pity on, have compassion for those who are around us…

If you don’t want your toes stepped on by Jesus, don’t judge your brother. Don’t condemn him for the work that Jesus is doing in him, and even if we don’t see a lot of change happening in our brothers and sisters around us, if they have some bad habits, so what? Let Jesus deal with them. You know what? I’m not telling you to accept people for their issues of sin. I’m not telling you to stop calling sin ‘sin.’ I’m not going to tell you that there aren’t things in this world that need to change. But I am telling you that I don’t care what the issue of sin is, we need to love. We can call sin ‘sin,’ and we can let people know when they are living within certain issues of sin and still love them and be part of the healing that Jesus wants to do in them.

Pastor Dave Elkins