Download .pdf

Christ Is Savior in Time and in Eternity

John 6:1–15 (CSB)

6 After this, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). A huge crowd was following him because they saw the signs that he was performing by healing the sick. Jesus went up a mountain and sat down there with his disciples.
Now the Passover, a Jewish festival, was near. So when Jesus looked up and noticed a huge crowd coming toward him, he asked Philip, “Where will we buy bread so that these people can eat?” He asked this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii, worth of bread wouldn’t be enough for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish—but what are they for so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”
There was plenty of grass in that place; so they sat down. The men numbered about five thousand. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks he distributed them to those who were seated—so also with the fish, as much as they wanted.
12 When they were full, he told his disciples, “Collect the leftovers so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they collected them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces from the five barley loaves that were left over by those who had eaten.
14 When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This truly is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Therefore, when Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

Dear fellow redeemed: Of the many signs and miracles that Jesus performed during His ministry, this is the fourth one that John pulls out and points to for its special sign-ificance (see what I did there?). With this sign we see Jesus as the greater-than-Moses. Where Moses called upon God in their need, Jesus Himself, as the Lord God, fed the Children of Israel with manna. Now He blessed the five rolls and the two fish and distributed them to the thousands seated on the grassy hill. We see Him as the Creator, Who created seed-time and harvest to feed His creatures. But John show Him as Savior from more than an empty tummy. He is our Lord and Helper IN this world, and our Savior FROM this world. Jesus is…

SAVIOR IN TIME AND IN ETERNITY

  1. In Time – From the Perils to the Body
  2. In Eternity – From the Perils to the Soul
  1. In Time – From the Perils to the Body

John also highlights the situation in which the people found themselves so far from any village and without food.

, “Where will we buy bread so that these people can eat?” He asked this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii, worth of bread wouldn’t be enough for each of them to have a little.”

Helping them was beyond any one person’s means. It would take about 8 months pay to give everyone just a bite.

But “The Christ, the Son of the Living God,” as this shows Him to be, provided for them in abundance. 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”

There was plenty of grass in that place; so they sat down. The men numbered about five thousand. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks he distributed them to those who were seated—so also with the fish, as much as they wanted.

The application for us today is very obvious. We are In trouble in our world. We can rest assured that our Savior has the power and compassion to hold us up through this affliction.

Our Lord is our Creator and Preserver. Even after the fall into sin, God continues to provide for us, body and soul. (We call it “God’s providence.”) “In past generations he allowed all the nations to go their own way, although he did not leave himself without a witness, since he did what is good by giving you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons and filling you with food and your hearts with joy.”” (Acts 14:16–17, CSB) Good things happen to bad, sinful, people.

So, if there is any good thing in your life, it is a gift from Him, and a foretaste of things to come in heaven. If there is any beauty here, it is a hint of heaven’s beauty; if there is any joy, it is a hint of heaven’s joy; if there is any gladness, it is a hint of our eternal gladness in the resurrection, and so on.

But the skeptics, the atheists, the materialists and sinners (unbelievers) in general reply, “But it must just be coincidence, just an accident, because bad things happen to good people.” That’s the devil’s lie. Actually, the amazing thing is that God is so merciful that good things happen to bad people. None of us deserve His goodness.

Jesus dealt with this very succinctly in Luke 13. “At that time, some people came and reported to him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And he responded to them, “Do you think that these Galileans were more sinful than all the other Galileans because they suffered these things? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well.” (Luke 13:1–3, CSB) The calamities in this world are because of sin. Death is because of sin. Humanity is to blame for the troubles in this life, including the coronavirus, so as much as we want to blame somebody else, you and I need to repent.

These calamities happen to people who are sinful and under the curse of God for it, as are we all. This is why trouble and death are in the world, “And he said to the man, You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust.”” (Genesis 3:17–19, CSB)

And yet, even in this, God is doing us good. He teaches us, “As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be zealous and repent.” (Revelation 3:19, CSB)

So if you haven’t gotten the message by now, the real problem in this world is that mankind’s sin, humanity’s sin, OUR sin, has alienated us from God, made Him angry with us, and prompted His judgment.

But there is hope, both in time and in eternity.

There is every reason for us to pray that this trouble would not come near us here in our earthly life. First, because He is good to His faithful believers, as the recently-much-quoted Psalm 91 says, “He will cover you with his feathers; you will take refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield. You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day, the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon.” (Psalm 91:4–6, CSB)

This doesn’t mean there isn’t trouble in the world, or in your life, because that is the curse of sin. What it means is what I said before, God is merciful. The wonder is really that He is so good to people who are so bad. “For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45, CSB)

And Paul points out that we have often been delivered. “we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” (Romans 5:3–4, KJV 1900) You have had troubles – tribulations – and you have experienced the Lord’s deliverance many times.

As Jesus fed the multitudes, so He is our Savior in the here and now, from the perils of our bodies, and so we have hope. And …

     2. In Eternity – From the Perils to the Soul

This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5, CSB) The fact is that the blessings we receive in this life are not the main thing that we hope for. Though we all experience good things in life, the reality of death and sorrow remains, for sin is in the world and the world is broken as a result. Therefore, understand this, Jesus did not come to save us finally IN this world, but FROM this world.

This is why the hope of the people that He would be their king and physical provider fell far short of Who He actually is, and the salvation He brings. He put it this way: “So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:31–34, CSB)

Whatever happens of sorrow or pain is insignificant compared to the salvation that He brings. When we close our eyes that one last time, we open them the next instant in paradise. In the resurrection we will be given life that has no end, and joy that will not fade.

This is not conjecture or wishful thinking. It is a sure and certain hope, a true looking-forward-to what is assured. I cannot promise you that you won’t get sick from some wretched virus, because there is still sin in this world, But I can promise you life everlasting because there is a perfect righteousness for you from our Savior’s perfect life; and it is yours by faith. There is perfect redemption from all your sins by His perfect death. And your resurrection is guaranteed by His own.

As He said to His disciples in anticipation of his death and resurrection, “In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too.” (John 14:19, CSB)

It is good for this world to question our mortality. The false gods of government and wealth have failed us. The idols of reason and materialism (the belief that there is only the material world) have been found useless. The heroes of popular culture, the celebrities, sports icons, and fashion setters are shown to be irrelevant.

What’s left of value is love and faith and hope. Serving God by serving our neighbor, and doing it truly out of love for Him, and all the while proclaiming the hope of rescue FROM this broken world, the sure and certain hope that is only in the Risen Christ.

AMEN. This is most certainly true.

 

377 – Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me

    1. Why should cross and trial grieve me?

Christ is near
With His cheer;
Never will He leave me.
Who can rob me of the heaven
That God’s Son
For my own
To my faith hath given?

      1. Though a heavy cross I’m bearing

And my heart
Feels the smart,
Shall I be despairing?
God, my Helper, who doth send it,
Well doth know
All my woe
And how best to end it.

      1. God oft gives me days of gladness;

Shall I grieve
If He give
Seasons, too, of sadness?
God is good and tempers ever
All my ill,
And He will
Wholly leave me never.

      1. Hopeful, cheerful, and undaunted

Ev’rywhere
They appear
Who in Christ are planted.
Death itself cannot appal them,
They rejoice
When the voice
Of their Lord doth call them.

      1. Death cannot destroy forever;

From our fears,
Cares, and tears
It will us deliver.
It will close life’s mournful story,
Make a way
That we may
Enter heav’nly glory.

      1. What is all this life possesses?

But a hand
Full of sand
That the heart distresses.
Noble gifts that pall me never
Christ, our Lord,
Will accord
To His saints forever.

      1. Lord, my Shepherd, take me to Thee.

Thou art mine;
I was Thine,
Even e’er I knew Thee.
I am Thine, for Thou hast bought me;
Lost I stood,
But Thy blood
Free salvation brought me.

      1. Thou art mine; I love and own Thee.

Light of Joy,
Ne’er shall I
From my heart dethrone Thee.
Savior, let me soon behold Thee
Face to face;
May Thy grace
Evermore enfold me!

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]