The Living Lighthouse
Text: John 12:44 through John 12:50 (NASB)
I. Jesus is a beacon of danger
44And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45“He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. 46“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.
The lighthouse serves to warn of known danger. It reveals the rocks of destruction.
A. A study in retrospect (I was blind but now I see)
-I can see my miserable condition better once I have removed myself from it.
B. To reject the light is to reject God.
-we miss out on the revelation of God himself if we miss seeing the light
* The Latin root of "authority" and "authentic" means "that which allows growth and life." Our resentment of the authority of God in Christ is, therefore, foolish.
-- Diogenes Allen in Quest: The Search for Meaning through Christ. Christianity Today, Vol. 40, no. 7.
C. To reject the light is to reject fellowship.
-we miss out on fellowship if we reject the light
D. To reject the light is to remain in darkness ("will not remain")
-we must perform a final separation in repentance. Our determination to accept Christ and reject sin must be a final separation- no double mindedness
*Two Indians who had been watching a lighthouse go up came over to see the thing open on the big day. It was all set up with the lights and the bell and the horn; but the day it was due to open, the worst fog of all fogs came in. One Indian said to the other, "Light shine, bell ring, horn blow, but fog come in just the same." We've never had more lights shining, and bells ringing, and horns blowing in the church than we have today. We've never had more fog.
-- Vance Havner in On This Rock I Stand. Christianity Today, Vol. 30, no. 10.
II. Jesus is a beacon of salvation
47“If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.
The lighthouse has a mission that has our salvation in mind.
A. Allowed a time of probation
-not judged yet, but given time to respond to God's salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 (NASB) 2for He says,
“At the acceptable time I listened to you,
And on the day of salvation I helped you.”
Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”—
B. The mission is one of mercy
-we do not receive justice, but grace
*What an immense grace God is giving me! But how did I come to deserve it after so many sins? Truly our God is a God of mercy! He loads you with gifts at the very time you're giving Him no thought, or worse, betraying him.
-- Carlo Caretto in Letters to Dolcidia. Christianity Today, Vol. 36, no. 7.
C. A universal mercy for a universal need
-no one need fall through the cracks
*When elderly Adele Gaboury turned up missing four years ago, concerned neighbors in Worcester, Massachusetts, informed the police. A brother told police she had gone into a nursing home. Satisfied with that information, Gaboury's neighbors began watching her property. Michael Crowley noticed her mail, delivered through a slot in the door, piling high.
When he opened the door, hundreds of pieces of mail drifted out. He notified police, and the deliveries were stopped. Gaboury's next-door neighbor, Eileen Dugan, started paying her grandson $10 twice a month to mow Gaboury's lawn. Later Dugan's son noticed Gaboury's pipes had frozen, spilling water out the door. The utility company was called to shut off the water.
What no one guessed was that while they'd been trying to help, Gaboury had been inside her home. When police finally investigated the house as a health hazard, they were shocked to find her body. The Washington Post (102793) reported that police now believe Gaboury died of natural causes four years ago.
The respectable, external appearance of Gaboury's house had hidden the reality of what was on the inside. Something similar can happen to people: We may appear outwardly proper while spiritually dead. All sorts of religious activity may be happening outside, while the real problem is missed: spiritual death on the inside. We need life, not a tidy facade.
-- Vialo Weis, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Leadership, Vol. 15, no. 3.
See: Mt 23:27; Ro 8:6; Jas 1:15.
III. Jesus is a beacon of judgement
48“He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. 49“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. 50“I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”
Failure to heed the warning of the lighthouse results in shipwreck. Heed the warning and you shall live.
A. The authoritative voice of the light is unimpeachable
-Jesus speaks with the voice of God and cannot be voted down. God is always the majority. Heaven is not a democracy, but a monarchy. God does not bow to the wishes of the multitudes, but the multitudes will bow to him. (every knee)
B. The eternal implications of the light are inescapable
-to deny the eternal word of life is to fall into everlasting condemnation and separation.
*Many electronic fire alarms have an internal switch triggered by a beam of light. As long as light is received unbroken by the photo-sensitive receiver, the detector is quiet. But if smoke or moisture or an insect obstructs the beam for even a split second, the alarm sounds. Our conscience resembles such an alarm. When sin obstructs our connection with the light of God's Spirit, the conscience signals us that there's life-threatening danger.
-- A.D. Sterner, Akron, Colorado. Leadership, Vol. 16, no. 4.
See: Isa 59:2; Ac 24:16; 1 Ti 1:19; 1 Pe 3:16.
C. The reign of judgement of the light is unappealable
-there is no higher court, or second chances.
*We are a nation with our fill of the legal system. We take everything to court and if it does not go our way, the cry goes up for an appeal. Jesus is both the beginning and the end of the appeal process. We may appeal to him now for mercy, or we may lose our case at the seat of his final judgement.
*Now is the time for second chances. James Gardner says that to sensible men, every day is a day of reckoning. If we wait to take our second chance later, the chances may have run out. At the judgement seat of Christ it is too late for second chances.