Vintage Message: John 7:16-52

Vintage message from September 23, 2001.

The one thing most of us fear the most is death. How we’re going to die. When we’re going to die. But you know what? Death isn’t our enemy because Jesus overcame death, and if we are in Christ Jesus, then we don’t face death the way the unsaved do. When the unsaved face death, they’re going into eternity separated from God, but when we face death, we say goodbye to it. We feel death’s sting but only for a moment because we go from this life into the arms of our Father, because Paul tells us, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord…”

Do you know [God]? Have you come to the place of having received Jesus, come from the Father from heaven, for the specific purpose of saving mankind from his sin, to have died on a cross so that you and I, you and I, might have our sins washed away [so] that once we’ve received Him, we now come into a love relationship with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Do you know Him or do you know about Him? Do you know about heaven or do you know about church? You can know about every religion on the face of this planet but that does not mean that the door to heaven is open to you. The door to heaven is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, come to save you and I from our sins. He is the door, and if you’re not going through Him, if He is not where you are looking for your salvation, you are looking in the wrong place…

Guess what? None of us, on our own, with our own knowledge, can go to heaven. It doesn’t work that way. God does not have to save everyone. Not everyone is going to go to heaven, and I know there are people out there who are teaching that. “Well, a God of love wouldn’t send anyone to hell.” And a God of love does not send anyone to hell, but men of hate, men who do not want to know Jesus for Who He was and what He did for us, choose to go to hell. They choose to be separated from the Father. They choose to be separated from that love, and guess what? He’s not going to force that love on us. He’s not going to make us live in relationship with Him. That would be just like if I tried to force any one of you to be in relationship with me. You wouldn’t like it. You would fight. You would scream. You would holler. If you didn’t want to be in that relationship, you would make sure and let me know! Otherwise, you would call it being forced, and God doesn’t force us, and He’s not going to force us to go to heaven…

Part of the problem [of] why there is misunderstanding about Who Jesus is in this world is because we do not study His Word. We hear bits and pieces, or we go to church, and we listen to a pastor a nice, flowery message, and we think we’ve been given all knowledge. But guess what? It is not my responsibility to teach you what’s in this Book. it is my responsibility to encourage you to study what’s in this Book. It is my responsibility, my call, to tell you that there is a God Who loves you, there is a God Who would save you, there is One Who died for you, and guess what? You can read all about Him! I’m just a mouth that God uses. One of many, and I’m proud of it. Yes, I talk a lot, but I would hope most of my conversation is about the person of Jesus Christ and the love that my God has for me and for you. He’s not asking you to believe something or do something or act in a way that He has not given you already in writing what He wants for you. The problem is we don’t study it, or we’re living lifestyles that we know the Bible already speaks against so we reject it, and we start tearing the pages of the Bible out, and we deny what God has given us, and we call God a liar, and then we build our own religion, and our own religion is incapable of saving us. But if you’re thirsty, if you are truly thirsting for the knowledge of Who God is, the love that God has for you, turn to Jesus. Believe in Him as the Scripture has said, and then streams of Living Water will flow from within you…

Pastor Dave Elkins