7 32-39 Tomorrow May Be Too Late
liberty bible church 8/10/08 a.M.
By Tom Zobrist
“tomorrow may be too late”
Illus. of “Late For Work” A new employee had been caught coming in late for work three times and the fourth morning the foreman decided to read him the riot act. “Look here,” he snapped, “don’t you know what time we start work around here?” “No, sir,” said the man, “they’re always working when I get here.” Many of you may work with people like that. I hope you aren’t one of them. In a rural setting, church is sometimes that way. We’ve had missionaries here who are worried when 5 people are here at 6:25 on a Sunday night. I tell them, “Don’t worry, most of our people haven’t even left home yet…and if they hit the stop light uptown, they might be even later.” In Brazil, activities start when the people get there. It might be hours later. That’s well and good when it comes to man-made schedules…but it very dangerous when you are dealing with a relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s always amazed me how we’ll sit in line for concert tickets, ballgames, or early Christmas shopping deals, but we struggle to meet the God of the universe on time. Worse yet, there are many who put off even considering His offer of salvation for decades, thereby endangering their eternal destinies. Why is this so dangerous? Why is it dangerous to wait until tomorrow when dealing with God, whether it’s for salvation or dealing with any issue?
OPEN to the passage.
Prop. In this passage, we see why tomorrow may be too late when dealing with issues with God.
Open in PRAYER.
PREVIEW the passage. Once again, is at the Feast Tabernacles. He has just had a confrontation with the religious leaders that results in big trouble. Cf. 7:25-31 The next events enable the Lord to reveal some startling revelations to the religious leaders. The first is this.
i. god does have a deadline vs. 32-36
Illus. of you can come into church whenever you want. You can be early or late. We accept all comers. That idea perhaps has lead the world to believe that God will accept us whenever. That’s only partially true because God does have a deadline. What keeps people waiting to accept God’s plan of salvation?
a. Peer pressure keeps people from god
V 32a 1. The religious leaders among the people heard them talking. What were they saying? Cf. 7:25-27; 30-31 Their direction was being questioned. Their authority was being questioned. Something must be done. SO what do they do? The wrong thing.
V 32b 2. With many starting to believe He might be the Messiah, the religious leaders decide that it would be best to arrest Him. Rather that searching the Scriptures and following God’s leading, the react like politicians and do what they think will protect their power and please most of the people. That’s fine for politicians, but not for men who are supposed to be representing God. A second thing we see here that keeps people from trusting God:
b. a proper understanding of god’s word
V 33 1. As the plot unfolds to arrest Him, Jesus continued to teach the people. They were on a short clock. His time on this earth was quickly coming to a close and their opportunity to accept Him was growing shorter. Soon, He would be returning to the Father and then it will be too late. Now was the time for the nation to accept Him.
V 34a 2. This is a reference to a prophetic statement. At some point, the Jewish nation will long for her Messiah and not realize that Jesus is He. Later, they will weep for Him. Cf. Zech. 12:10-13; Rev. 1:7 Now is the time to accept Him. They should not wait until He is revealed at His Second Coming.
V 34b 3. At His ascension, Jesus went bodily to Heaven and unbelievers are not allowed there. These people had a unique chance to have Jesus speak to them face to face. They should not wait. Now was the time to receive Him.
V 35a 4. The religious leaders don’t get it. Where was He going to hide from them. They were thinking only from an temporal or earthly perspective. They had no concept of Heaven.
V 35b 5. There were Jews scattered in other parts of the empire, living among the pagans. They wondered if Jesus was planning on teaching the pagans. Actually He was, but it would be after the ascension, so this was a prophetic statement of sorts.
V 36 6. Once again, this just reiterates the fact that they didn’t understand His Words. They’re just repeating the questions. Not understanding God’s Word and peer pressure keep people from trusting Jesus as their Savior.
Trans. They think they can put off their decision about Jesus until tomorrow because trusting Him would be such a radical change in their thinking and this is a big mistake because GOD DOES HAVE A DEADLINE. There is good news here:
ii. god does have directions vs. 37-39
Illus. of GPS’s. They tell you where to go. On a golf course, they tell you how far you are from the hole. They’re not always real reliable. Illus. of being in Jacksonville and it was totally off. God’s directions for His way of salvation will never lead anyone astray. The first thing we need to understand is that…
a. true satisfaction only comes from following god’s directions
V 37 1. This festival had certain rituals that were followed each day. There was a procession each day from the Temple to the Gihon Spring. The priest filled a gold pitcher with water while a choir sand Isaiah 12:3. READ Then he returned to the alter and poured out the water representing the water from the rock during the wilderness wanderings. It also spoke of the coming of Messiah. This being the last day would have been the greatest day! Unlike the rabbis who sat, Jesus stood to make this solemn announcement to the nation. This was an obvious announcement of salvation. Jesus then makes clear how this His water can be accessed.
V 38 2. Salvation can only be accessed by believing in Jesus; exercising life-changing faith in His finished work on the cross. The natural result of that will be that rivers of living water will flow out of us. We will have our satisfaction spiritually in Jesus and have enough to share with others. Only Jesus can supply what we truly long for.
b. true satisfaction can be had today
V 39a 1. We are satisfied by God’s Spirit. Not by our desires or the acquiring of things. Only by God’s Spirit. Everyone who believes receives that Spirit. Cf. 1 Cor. 12:13; Rom. 8:9
V 39b 2. This promise was yet future for these people. The HS would come until the Day of Pentecost. Jesus promised it but it was not yet here. Cf. John 15:26; 16:7 Through trust in Christ and the indwelling Spirit is the only way we will be totally satisfied.
The nation of Israel didn’t realize that GOD HAS A DEADLINE in relation to accepting the Messiah and GOD HAS DIRECTIONS in relation to accepting Him. For Israel at that time, it was a corporate decision as to whether or not accept Jesus. After He died and rose again, it became an individual decision. But the same truths hold.
1. God has a deadline. We have until we die.
2. God has given clear directions. GOSPEL
3. We are voice of Jesus today. We need to call out at Jesus did at the Feast so that others can be prepared. God has a deadline!
Illus. of “Tardiness” A factory manager found that production was being hampered by the tardiness of his people returning from the lunch hour. When the whistle blew few were at their machines. He posted a sign by the suggestion box offering a cash award for the best answer to this question: “What should we do to ensure that every man will be inside the factory when the whistle blows?” Many suggestions were submitted, and the one that was selected solved the problem. But the manager, a man with a sense of humor, liked this one best, though he could not use it: “Let the last man in blow the whistle.”
Many believe that something similar will happen with God. It’s not God that blows the whistle; each man or woman can blow the whistle when they want. They can decide when it’s too late or what they need to believe. This just isn’t so. God blows the whistle and tomorrow may be too late, if we are called to eternity today. Don’t wait. Receive Jesus today and tell others about Him. There is a deadline, but God gives direction through Jesus Christ.
“tomorrow may be too late”
Why is it dangerous to wait until tomorrow when dealing with God?
i. god does have a vs. 32-36
a. __________ ______________ keeps people from god
Cf. John 7:25-27; 30-31
b. a proper understanding of ________ __________
Cf. Zech. 12:10-13; Rev. 1:7
ii. god does have vs. 37-39
a. true satisfaction only comes from…
Cf. Isaiah 12:3
b. true satisfaction can be…
Cf. 1 Cor. 12:13; Rom. 8:9; John 15:26; 16:7
The same truths hold today: