Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
March 29, 2019
Our Lord was about to reveal to His disciples the responsibilities that all of them are about to have especially now that they are ready to become apostles with the responsibility of being an apostle.
We are going to see the importance of the character and the integrity that the Apostles need = one of the greatest challenges for all of these apostles and that is going to be the subject of commitments.
One of the major problems that believers need to face head-on and not deny the existence of the vows, the promises, and the commitments that they made to God and before God.
Most believers do not make themselves accountable to the Lord and to one another, and therefore they are classified as "loser believers" who cannot be trusted.
They keep commitments but that is commitment to themselves.
They don't care about what they are thinking!
They don't care about what they are saying!
They simply "Do not care" about anything except themselves.
They lack the motivation that believers should live by because motivation is what gets you started whereas commitment leads to action.
Commitment is defined as a willingness to give your time and energy to something that you believe in and promise to do something that inspires you to be committed to making your dreams a reality.
“Commitment leads to action while action leads to victory and victory leads to the glorification of our Lord and Savior."
We will always have two vital and important choices that we need to understand and apply = our commitments versus our fears.”
Vince Lombardi (Coach of the Green Bay Packers) = "Most people fail not because of a lack of desire but because of a lack of commitment.”
Interested = something special that you do only when it’s convenient. Committed = something you think is very vital for you to accept no excuses for falling into your commitment.
“Commitment is found in the choices that we make every day that lead to the results we are striving for” ie. The glorification of our Lord in our life.
When confronted with a challenge, the “committed believer” will search for a solution or an answer whereas the undecided heart searches for an escape.”
The issue is what decisions do we make when we are faced with the problem of handling our commitments.
We all are given a certain amount of doctrinal answers, and solutions, and guidance and directions concerning the problems we face as we go forward in the Predesigned Plan of God for our life.
This is when our Lord has options for us to choose --- not freedom to do whatever we want to choose, but we have been given a choice to choose between two options.
- The options to choose what the Creature wants.
2. The options to choose what the Creator wants.
It is options not freedom that we are given.
We have the options of choosing the plan of God (PPOG) for our lives or the options of “living in the cosmic system.
“There are really only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in-between” or the life of God in the souls of man; (ladies included).
Commitment = staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the emotions, that you had originally, to motivate you to a place From the Throne Room of God.
They will make vows and commitments and then not keep them and the sad thing is that many believers don't even try to keep them!
We need to remember a few important principles that Judas made a commitment to with Jesus Christ our Lord was sitting on the throne of His heart.
Like the rest of the disciples, Judas left everything to follow our Lord.
By everything = anything that Satan and the Kingdom of darkness will try to use and abuse you as you go forward in the plan of God.
“the twelve” -- Judas who the Lord gave All power-- All authority -- All demons = to cure diseases that He (OUR Lord) sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal to ALL who would listen.
Judas Iscariot was a gospel preacher!
Judas was also a teacher of doctrine.
Judas Iscariot was given the gift of healing for that dispensation which meant a specialize priesthood where only a few could have the power of the Spirit, and the Spirit was not in them but upon them.
Judas exercised authority over demons and in a few days after that the demons were gone, Judas went back to join the twelve.
Prin: Active involvement in ministry is a good and wonderful thing; but it is not, in itself, a guarantee of spiritual life or health.
We will be dealing with our subject of the Vine and the branches but until then --- just go along for the ride and look at what our Lord says in this passage.
I am going to read a few verses here that will reveal to us the principle concerning how Judas was used in the plan of God.
The word many is the Greek adjective polloi which means "the majority."
Prin: We will see the message behind this passage is the fact the minority is going to be used by our Lord in a powerful way while the majority is to busy living for themselves.
One of the verses that I use because of the seriousness of what is said --- MAT 7:14 "For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
Few are those who find it because few are those who look for it.
1SA 16:7 God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
JER 17:9 "The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
They come to you in sheep's clothing because they don't want you to see who they really are inwardly because who they are inwardly is disgusting to the justice and righteousness of our Lord.
Here they are = the sneaky little snakes at work with sheep's clothing because they want to give the impression that they are holy and pure.
He never knew them although they prophesied in His name, and in His name they cast out demons and performed many miracles?'
It is one of the principles that are usually and easily overlooked in the story of Judas.
Judas walked with our Lord for three years.
Judas saw the greatest life ever lived up close and personal.
You can’t have a better model of faith than the Lord Jesus or a better environment for forming faith than Judas had in walking with the Savior.
Judas directly witnessed the miracles.
When Jesus fed the 5,000, Judas was there.
He took the bread and distributed it along with the other disciples.
When our Lord calmed the storm, Judas was there.
Judas also was there when our Lord Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
Judas heard all the teaching of Jesus our Lord, too.
Judas heard the Sermon on the Mount, so he knew there is a narrow road that leads to life and a broad road that leads to destruction.
Judas heard the warnings Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, so he knew there is a hell to reject and a heaven to gain.
Judas heard the parable of the prodigal son, so he knew God is ready to welcome and forgive those who have wasted themselves in many sins…. however, none like Judas.
With Judas’s own eyes, he saw the clearest evidence.
With his own ears, he heard the finest teaching.
With his own feet, he followed the greatest example.
This man still betrayed Jesus, our Lord.
The human heart is beyond understanding; Jer 17:9 and there is something incomprehensible about a person who abandons the faith they once professed.
Judas’s story contains an important lesson for parents, leaders, and friends who grieve over someone they love who has abandoned the faith.
Where did we go wrong?
What more could we have done?
Did we fail in our teaching?
Did we fail in our example?
Judas teaches us that even the best example, the most compelling evidence, and the finest teaching—the ultimate environment for unconditional faith—cannot, in and of themselves, change the human heart.
Satan made a relentless assault on Judas’s soul, as he makes a relentless assault on everyone who chooses to follow Christ.
The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Joh 13:2.
This evaluation overlooks the fact that Judas opened the door to Satan.
Prin: Once we open the door to things that are demonic, then we must be prepared for anything.
Judas had been stealing from the collective money bag, and when he kept this sin secret, Satan entered into him.
Judas made a deal with the chief priests and then sat down at our Lord’s table with known sins that he refused to confess, and Satan entered even further into his life.
Unconfessed sin always opens the door to Satan’s power.
Satan doesn’t gain a foothold in the lives of people who are walking in the light with our Lord Jesus, He only gains access when we open the door.
Judas went out into the darkness he had chosen.
When you get close to our Lord, one of two things will happen: either you will become wholly his, or you will end up more alienated from him.
The story of Judas reminds us that nothing good can come from giving up on Jesus Christ.
Only those who have never known our Lord can remain indifferent to Him.
For those who get close, the only outcomes are full devotion or eventual antagonism; and every day, each of us is heading in one direction or the other.
In an age when many are abandoning the faith they once professed, the story of Judas warns us to guard our hearts, lest we drift away.
The story of Judas also equips us to reach out to those who may be close to walking away from the faith themselves.
Our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to “be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire.”
The story of Judas reminds us that nothing good can come from giving up on Jesus Christ = He is of supreme value, and following Him is worth any cost.