Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds Jesus' first words to his disciples about his relationship with the Father and the power of the Trinity.
[Message] We are studying the 5th chapter of the Gospel of John and I’d like for you to turn with me for the Scripture reading to verse 19 and I want to read verse 19 through verse 30.
Now, we’ve had a little bit of a delay and it was two weeks ago that we considered the first eighteen verses and the healing of the impotent man. What follows now is our Lord’s sermon, his interpretation of the significance of the sign of the impotent man. So, let’s read beginning with verse 19. And remember this, as a result of what had happened he healed the impotent man, told him to rise, take up his bed and walk. And as he was carrying his bed away he met some Jews on the way home and they saw him carrying his bed and they in effect said, “You’re breaking the Sabbath because you’re not supposed to carry a bed on the Sabbath day.” And he said, “Well, the person who healed me told me to do this.” And our Lord found him in the temple afterwards and he said, “You’ve been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto you.” So he went immediately to the Jewish leaders and told them it was Jesus who had made him well. And therefore, they persecuted our Lord and sought to slay him. Our Lord’s response to them was, “My Father is worketh hitherto, and I work.” And they, when he said, “My Father,” thought the more that they wish to kill him because by saying, “My Father,” he was in effect making himself equal with God. So, we read in verse 19,
“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for whatever things he doeth, these also doeth the Son in the same manner. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that he himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. (There is a very interesting variation in words, this is not the only time that this happens, but in verse 20 when we read “the Father loveth the Son,” he uses the term phileo in Greek, which means not simply to love in the sense of an expression of the will toward a person that might include some sacrifice, but the love of affection and also a love that expresses a common delight in the same things. And that’s very fitting because the passage has to do with the unity between the Father and the Son). So the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that he himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and giveth them life; even so the Son giveth life to whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father who hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth (Now my text has “on him,” but that little word “on” is not here. This is not so much believing on and trusting, but just accepting the truthfulness of the word. So), believeth him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (That expression is probably to be rendered “the Son of man” even though there are no articles in the Greek text. It’s really something like “for he is such a person as the Son of man”). Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And they shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgement. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father who hath sent me.”
This morning after the message, someone asked me a question regarding the 30th verse in the light of the fact that one of the major thrusts of the message this morning will be the full deity of Jesus Christ. How is it then that he can say, “I can of mine own self do nothing”? Well that, of course, is a statement that arises out of his mediatorial position at this time. It is true that while he is here upon the earth carrying out his mediatorial work, he is completely dependent upon the Father, not only for the things that he does, but also for the things that he says. So that’s why he says, “I can do nothing of myself.”
Our subject for today in the exposition of the Gospel of John is “The Dead and the Voice of the Son of God.” What we have in John chapter 5, verse 19 through verse 30 is our Lord’s interpretation of the significance of the sign of the impotent man.
Now, some of you may not have been here when we went over the part of the chapter that had to do with the healing of the impotent man and for the sake of you and perhaps some over the radio who are tuning in now, just previous to the sermon, or the interpretation that was delivered, the Lord Jesus had healed the man who was by the pool of Bethesda and had been there for thirty-eight years, gave him deliverance from his difficulties by telling him rise, take up his bed and walk. And he immediately took up his bed and walked provoking criticism from the Jewish leaders because the Lord Jesus had not only healed the man, but he had done it on the Sabbath day. And one was not supposed to carry anything like a bed on the Sabbath day. As an outgrowth of that, the Lord Jesus made reference to the fact that God in heaven was his own Father, and by so doing brought upon him further condemnation as contending that he was equal with God. And so the Lord Jesus goes on to explain the significance of the fact that he is the Son of the Father.
And further, he said, “Not only should you be not surprised by this, but actually greater works shall be done. He will shew him (that is the Son) greater works than these, that ye may marvel.” He goes on to speak about the fact that through the Son there comes the quickening power of God. He is able to make men alive and not only that, he is able to raise men from the dead in bodily fashion.
W.T.P. Walston, a British Bible teacher who has written a number of books and now is with the Lord has a book of sermons that include one on John chapter 5. And his title for this section is “Eternal Life and How to Get it.” Well, this is a good chapter on that topic.
The argument is very simple in the section that we are looking at. The Lord Jesus gives a statement of the unity that he possesses with the Father and of the greater works that one may expect him to do. Then he gives, in verse 21 through verse 23, a general expression of his authority. And then in the remainder of the section, deals in some detail with the more specific meaning of the general identification of his authority. So it is a passage that has to do primarily with the unity of the Son with the Father and the consequent authority of the Son of God.
Now we’ve just read in verse 18, “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his own Father, making himself equal with God.”
Now, Jesus will point out that it is no blasphemy for him to say that God is his own Father. In fact, it is no blasphemy for him to say that he is equal with the Father, though he does not specifically say that right here. What he is doing is really giving a testimony to his own unity with the Father. And it is an absolute unity, something that could only transpire in the life of an individual who was equal with the Father. He speaks about the fact that “He can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing for whatever things he does these also doeth the Son in the same manner.” That’s an expression of absolute unity. Later on he will say further, “I and the Father are one. Not simply one in will, but I and the Father are one in essence.” One thing literally is what he says. So he’s talking about absolute unity only possible for those who are truly possessed of the same natures.
Now, this is a tremendous testimony on the part of our Lord and we do not really understand this as well as we ought unless we realize that this is a very vital testimony for the Lord as the Son of God. All of us sooner or later have to give a testimony to our faith.
Now that may take place in your home with your parents, that may take place in your business with your business friends, it may take place at the grocery store; it may take place almost anywhere. But sooner or later those of us who profess that we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are required to give a testimony for our faith. And required to give a testimony at a point of time where it really costs us something to do it. Some of the young people in this audience, some of the children even, among your friends, you will have to give a testimony for Jesus Christ.
We think of the great experiences of the saints down through the years and we remember some of the outstanding testimonies that have been given by them. One of the most outstanding of those who were not apostles is the testimony of Martin Luther. After Luther had come to an understanding of the grace of God and things were boiling within the established church of his day, it was necessary for him finally to give his great testimony which he did at the Diet at Worms in Germany. He was required by the Diet to answer two questions. His books were on a table in front of the religious leaders and the first question was, “Are these books yours?” And then the next question was, “Do you renounce them?” But Luther had not expected that second question. He had thought that he had come to the Diet at Worms in order to give an explanation of what he believed. But the question “Do you renounce them or recant,” was one that he really didn’t feel that he ought to answer at that first session. So he said that after all he was just a simple Monk. That he would like a little time to frame his answer.
Now in those days when you gave your answer and if it was not the right answer, you frequently wound up on a fire or hanging from a scaffold and so one had to be a bit careful in what he said. And Luther had not anticipated that he would be asked, “Do you recant?” So he was given twenty-four hours. And the next day he came in before the Diet, he was asked again the two questions, “Are these books yours?” His lawyer who was with him as adviser said, “You better not answer until you’ve examined all of the books on the table because they may have inserted one among the books which was an heretical book and then you would lose your life because of that heretical book that was on the table.” So he said, “Tell me what the books are.” And they called off the name of the books and they had not inserted any heretical books among them. And so therefore he said, “Yes, they’re all mine.” And then he was asked to recant or, “Do you renounce them?” And Luther gave his famous answer. He said afterwards as he explained it, it was an answer with neither horns nor teeth. Apparently, he meant by that that it was not one that would put them on the horns of a dilemma nor was it an attack on them in reply. But in essence he said, “Unless I am proved wrong on the basis of Scripture and sound reason for popes and counsels have erred and might err again.” He was bound fast by his conscious to the word of God and he could not and he would not retract.
Now when you read about Luther’s appearance before the Diet at Worms – someone has said a Diet of Worms, what a diet – but anyway, at the Diet of Worms in Germany that Luther is supposed to have said, “I can do no other. Here I stand. God help me. Amen.”
Now that is a famous statement. But unfortunately, the documentary evidence that Luther said that is lacking and it’s likely that all that he said was, “May God help me. Amen.” And he said that in German. But in essence what he said was in that statement, “I can do no other. Here I stand. May God help me. Amen.”
The great 1546 addition of Luther’s works published immediately after his death does not include the words. And therefore, they probably are not words that he actually spoke. But he did utter, “May God help me.” And that is exactly what he had done. He had given his testimony before the highest religious tribunal of the day and had affirmed his faith in the things that he had written in those books.
You know the Lord Jesus Christ gave his testimony before Pontius Pilate. But this testimony here is part of the testimony that he gave. And sooner or later you or I have to give our testimony too. The things that Jesus Christ said could only come from a God. It’s been often pointed out that when men say the things that Jesus said it sounds so strange, arrogant or blinded when we say them. If you think of the great philosophers and saints and particularly the great religious leaders who affirm that they can correct things that the Lord Jesus Christ said. It’s amazing when you think of the things that Jesus said. Just think of the things that Jesus said. He said, “Follow me.”
Now we might say that if we’re playing a game. But who would say, “Follow me”? Most of us might say, “Don’t follow me, but follow the Lord.” Or perhaps we might say, “Don’t follow the things that I do, but follow the words that I say.” But he said, “Follow me.” He said, “Be worthy of me.” He said, “I am the light of the world.” He said, “Behold a greater than Solomon is here.” Suppose I should say that to you. [Laughter] That’s ridiculous, isn’t it? “A greater than Solomon is here.” Suppose I should say this. “You are from beneath; I am from above.” That’s what our Lord said.
Now, there are people who do say that Jesus was a great teacher. But can he be a great teacher and say things like this? I like what Horace Bushnell said. He said, “There are a lot of people who rejoice in their power to rectify the mistakes and errors in the words of Jesus.” If you go to the theological seminaries today and almost all of our theological seminaries across the land except for a relatively few conservative theological seminaries, most of them correct the words of our Lord. They follow principles in interpretation which demand that they correct the things that we have in Scripture as coming from our Lord. And then many of them, of course, affirm that he was not God, but only a good or great man, or sometimes a great teacher. If that’s true, why don’t they give us words like our Lord Jesus Christ? I always feel like challenging them. “If you say that the words of our Lord are simply the words of a man, you are a man, will you not give us some words like the words of Jesus?” No one has ever been able to do that. And if they should ever make the experiment, most of them realize it’s ridiculous to make the experiment. But if you should ever experiment, then it would prove a thing to you that is of significant truth. And that is that you’re a man and that Jesus Christ is God.
There is an old statement that C.S. Lewis made that puts it very tersely. Many of you’ve heard it in this room, I know, but I’m going to repeat it again because there perhaps are some who haven’t. Mr. Lewis is talking about something along the same line of people who say Jesus was a great teacher. You’ll find that often. You’ll see it in the newspapers. “I’m trying to prevent anyone from saying the really silly thing that people often say about him,” Mr. Lewis says. “‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That’s the one thing we mustn’t say,”’ Lewis says. “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn’t be a great moral teacher. He’d either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he’s a poached egg – or else he’d be the devil of hell.” J.B. Phillips saying something of the same thing said, “He would be a man afflicted with folie de grandeur.” “You must take your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let don’t let us come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He hasn’t left that open to us.”
That’s right. We cannot call him simply a teacher. For he may these fantastic statements as a teacher that demand that we must either decide he is the Son of God, equal with the Father, or else a madman or something along that line.
Now, listen to what our Lord says.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for whatever things he doeth, these also doeth the Son in the same manner. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that he himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.”
And then the 30th verse also is a verse on this unity. He says, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father who hath sent me.” As the mediator he has for a time submitted himself to the Father to perform the things that the Father desires for him to perform as the God-man.
But now he goes on to explain what he means by greater works. In verse 21 through verse 23 he turns to discuss his authority and he has the general authority to give life, verse 21, and he has the general authority to judge, verse 22 and verse 23. Let’s look at verse 21 for just a moment. “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and giveth them life; even so the Son giveth life to whom he will.” It’s the prerogative of God to give life.
Remember the story of Naaman? Naaman was a general in the Syrian army, a very good man, a mighty man of Valla. Syria and Samaria were not getting along too well. Naaman was there, a mighty man of Valla, the text of Scripture says he was a mighty man of Valla, but there was one great serious problem with Naaman. He was a leper. And so naturally the king was interested in him recovering because he had delivered Syria at an important battle. And in the course of their struggles with Samaria, they had taken captive a little girl. And this little girl was the maid of the wife of Naaman. And so one day she said, “Would God that Naaman would visit the prophet in Samaria because he would recover him of his leprosy.” Well somehow the word came to the King of Syria and he regarded Naaman, so how they wanted him healed he determined to send Naaman with some gifts to the prophet in Samaria in order that there he might be healed. So he sent ten talents of silver and six thousand talents of something else and various other things and Naaman went with all of this booty down to the King of Samaria and there was a letter written that said that he desired that Naaman should be healed of leprosy. Well evidently the king didn’t know anything about Elijah or else he didn’t realize that Elijah could heal because the first thing he did was to interpret this as a cause in order that Syria might have something against Samaria and come down and fight and take them. “So he tore his clothes in mourning and said, ‘Am I God to slay or to make alive?’” You see, to make alive is a prerogative of God. And yet, we read here, “The Father raiseth the dead, giveth them life; even so the Son giveth life to whom he will.” He has the prerogative of God.
Now furthermore, he has the general authority to judge all men. Listen. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father who hath sent him.” This quickening, this making alive, is within the orbit of judging.
Now this is a tremendous claim on the part of our Lord. He has been committed with, he’s been given the right to execute all judgement. How can you make too much of the Son in the light of the statement “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” Do you know what that means? That means that when we honor the Son, we give him the honor that we give the Father. There are individuals who think of three levels. There are men who are sinners and then there is the Lord Jesus Christ who’s a kind of superman, he’s God’s plenipotentiary, but he’s not really God, and then there is God. But there is no such.
About a year and a half or two years ago there was a minister of a well-known denomination who was asked because he had denied apparently the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, he was asked in official session before the church court, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is God?” He said, “Jesus Christ is the Son of God. God is God.” They asked him to define his words. He refused to define them further. They went ahead and ordained him. Well, others who were conservative and orthodox in their theology were upset by that. You can deny a lot of things in our churches and get by with it, unfortunately. But this was the ultimate denial for a Christian church, Trinitarian church, destructive of the whole confession of faith. And so he was again brought before judicial counsel for examination. He again replied, “Jesus Christ is the Son of God. God is God.”
Now, the Son of God said this. “The Father raiseth up the dead, and giveth them life; even so the Son giveth life to whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” There is no way in which we can say, “God the Father is God, Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” if we mean by that that we are not giving him the same honor and majesty that we give the Father. Men are required by the Lord Jesus Christ, who was a good teacher, to honor the Son as they honor the Father. Furthermore, notice the negative. “He that honoureth not the Son does not honour the Father who sent him.” So, when the person says Jesus Christ is not very God of very God, he’s not only not honoring the Son, but he’s dishonoring the Father.
Now that’s a serious thing. So when a man says, “God is God. Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” denying him the honor of God, he’s not only not honoring Christ; he’s dishonoring God the Father. Those are important words. Can he be a good teacher and be wrong there? All judgement committed into his hand.
Some years ago there was a well-known religious teacher who has written a number of books, he’s now dead, professor in one of the leading theological institutions of one of our denominations, Christian denomination. He wrote a book called The Sun and the Umbrella. And in this book he likened the relationship that we have to the Father and to Christ to the sun and the umbrella. He likened God the Father to the sun and God the Son as the umbrella. And when we walk out under the sun with the umbrella over us, we’re not able to see the sun. So that actually the sun cannot be seen if we have the umbrella over us and so likewise, if we are seeking to see the Father, by looking at the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and affirming of him things that orthodox Christians affirm, we are obscuring the view of the sun, God the Father. So, in other words, like the umbrella prevents the rays of the sun from coming to us, so the Lord Jesus Christ and worship of him prevents us from enjoying God the Father.
Why that man not only did not honor the Son, he dishonored the Father. It’s the Father who said that “the Son is to be honored as the Father.” Jesus Christ is no umbrella preventing the rays of God the Father from reaching us; he’s the means by which we enjoy the saving rays of God the Father in heaven.
Well, there is further definition on the part of our Lord. He specifically defines and identifies his authority. He says his authority is historically realized in two works. He has authority to quicken the spirit, verse 24 through verse 27. Listen to what he says. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement; but is passed from death unto life.”
John Wesley said, “Wherever salvation by faith in Jesus Christ is preached, revival comes.” The word revival, as you know, means the coming of life again. Well, wherever salvation by faith in Jesus Christ is preached, vival comes, life comes. So, “He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath everlasting life.” “Believing him that sent me.” “The one who says honour the Son as you honour the Father,” rest in him.
Further, he says in verse 24 that the man who believes “shall not come into judgment; but is passed from death unto life.” There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. If you have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, you do not have any condemnation from God in heaven. Resting upon the Lord Jesus Christ brings eternal salvation. And when we hear him and believe the word of the one who sent him concerning everlasting life, that’s what we have, and we pass from death, spiritual death, into spiritual life.
Now verse 25 is a pictorial view of verse 24. He says,
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is (By the way, that statement has been made previously in the 4th chapter when the Lord said ‘The hour is coming, and now is, when men shall worship him in spirit and in truth.’ Now what he meant by that was the time is coming in the new age after I have died on the cross and after I’ve been resurrected and men will not go to God through the Levitical system anymore, they will worship God in spirit and in truth. I assume the same meaning of that expression is to be found here. The hour is coming, and now is. We are in that hour ourselves). The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”
That’s the pictorial view of verse 24. For the word of God goes out and there are dead people. There may be some in this audience; you look very much alive, very nice. This is Sunday morning. You look that you’re alive, but you’re really dead, spiritually dead, blinded to the things of the word of God, rebellious against the teaching of holy Scripture, dead. And then the voice of the Son of God comes and in sovereign grace the Holy Spirit brings you an understanding of what you really are. And as you reflect upon what you really are and you affirm the truthfulness of Scripture that we are sinners and we need a savior, the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ is the one who hung upon that cross at Calvary and shed his blood for sinners comes home to you and there is hope offered to you and you flee to the cross and rest upon him at that moment you pass from death into life, and from death, no more judgement, no more condemnation. “The dead hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live,” he says. “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” He speaks about the eternal generation of the Son by the Father and of the fact that he is too self existent like the Father. His life proceeds from himself.
Nobody else is like that. You look down at people here sitting in the audience; your life does to proceed from yourself. For you’ll lose your life. Your life is not a self existent life. There is only one individual in this universe who is self existent, whose life is from himself eternally, who has no fear of death. That’s God in heaven. He is self existent.
You know you teach a little kid every effect has a cause, every effect has a cause. And you get back finally and you hear that question, it comes from the kid as a theologian, maybe there’s one of them sitting over there in about the fifth row who’s going to be a theologian one day and he’s thinking, “Where does God come from?” And you reply, being in Believers Chapel haveth knowing the ultimate footnote to every text in the New Testament, then you say, “God is self existent. His life comes from himself. He does not come from anyone but himself. He’s the only individual in this universe whose life is from himself, the triune God, Father, Son and Spirit.
Now they convey life to us, but our life is always dependent life, always. Even in the new heavens and the new earth. In order to picture that we are told about a tree of life which bears fruits which we participate to teach us that our life is always dependent life. After one million years in heaven, we’ll still be learning about the infinite God. He’s like the dark side of the moon, which we’ll never discover. There are things about God that we will learn one million years from now. And that’s just the beginning. His existence is self existence. It’s Greek text. In fact, we could render it, “For as the Father has self existence, so hath he given to the Son to have self existence through eternal generation.”
Now, in verse 28 and verse 29 he talks about the fact that he has authority to quicken the body. Listen. “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice.”
Now, above he’s talked about people who hear his voice, but here he talks about everybody who hears his voice. “All who are in the graves shall hear his voice.” And furthermore, they shall come forth. Everybody shall have a resurrection. But there are two kinds of resurrection. He says, “They that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judging.”
Now there is a time between those judgings, but we don’t need to talk about that now. The Lord Jesus has power to give life, given him by the Father. He has power to give life to our bodies. And so, to the believers he will give a body like unto his own glorious body with which we’re able to praise God and grow in grace throughout the ages of eternity forever. But for the wicked, he also gives a body, a body suitable for experiencing the pangs of eternal judgement.
Now, one looking at these texts here might argue or seek to argue, “Well does not this teach that we are saved on the basis of what we do? Does he not say, ‘Shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation’?” No, that would deny everything the Lord has been talking about above. What does he mean then by those that do good and those that do bad and that determines the kind of resurrection? He’s talking about the effects of true faith. Those who do good are those who have genuine faith and it issues in that. Those who do bad or those who do not have faith and it issues in works that are displeasing to God. The lives we live form the test of the faith that we profess. James expatiates upon this in chapter two of his letter. So there is no contradiction. He’s simply saying we are saved by faith, but our faith manifests itself inevitably in a changed life.
Well, I wish it were possible to talk more about this great passage, but let me conclude by making a few comments. Our Lord has made the way of death very plain. He says in verse 29, “Those that have done evil, they shall have a resurrection, but it’s a resurrection of judgement. And those that have done evil or those that believe not. In verse 38 he will say, “And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.” So the need for us is to recognize our sins, that which we perform because of our nature and that which we do in practice. As he says in verse 29, “Those that practice evil.”
Let me illustrate. Here is a little Bengal tiger cub. Isn’t it cute? Have you ever seen one? Well, they are just as harmless as a kitten. While they’re young, it’s attractive, it’s playful and it’s small. You never have any idea that its nature was bloodthirsty. But as it grows, its fierce nature becomes evidenced by its actions and soon it becomes the terror of the jungle. All the crimes that have been committed in the world have been committed by those who were once harmless, attractive, cute, winning little babies. Isn’t it cute? [Laughter] Just look. Isn’t it cute? Adolph is his name, his last name, Hitler. Adolph, oh what a cute baby you are. In particular, that little mustache you have. [Laughter] Why don’t you know that parents fawned over Adolph? They thought he was cute, attractive. Genghis Kahn, what a cute little baby. Stalin, really cute, dimple in his chin, everything. That is a baby, a preacher would say. That is a baby. Strange looking, but cute. [Laughter] All the crimes of the world have been committed by those little babies. They let us know right in the beginning that something is the matter, but we pay no attention to it. Do you know how they come into this world? Hands clinched, feet clinched, crying in rebellion, “Don’t treat me like this.” That’s right. You’ll find gynecologists who have sense will tell you that, that every crime can be seen in a little infant, attractive and cute. That’s our nature. That’s what we are. Look at you now. You prove it. [Laughter]
Some years ago I was taking a little boy home from school when I was doing some pool work for my wife and there was a little boy, a cute little boy, I looked up in the telephone book last night just to see that he was still in town here because he’s probably about twenty-five or thirty years of age now. It was just a little boy in the back of the car and we began to talk about things and when I took him home I said, “Mike, what do you think of salvation. How does a person become a child of God?” He said, “Well, it was by keeping the Ten Commandments.” I said, “By the way Mike, do you ever covet?” He said, “No, I never covet. My sister does though he said.” [Laughter]
Now, I wrote this up because it was so cute. “My sister does though.” I said, “By the way, you ever get angry?” He said, “No, I never get angry except when somebody else gets angry first.” I said, “Ah, but you do get angry then.” “Yes,” he said, “I get angry, but I don’t do it openly.” Then he said, “I just give them the looks.” [Laughter]
The facts are we all are sinners. Our Lord makes the way of life plain. He says its hearing and believing. He talks about hearing his word. He explains in the Gospel of John that believing is coming to him, receiving him, trusting him. Just as I am poor, sinful, lost, I come to Thee Lord Jesus Christ in simple faith I trust in Thee who bore my sins and died for me.
May I warn you, I know it’s five after twelve, but no football game. [Laughter] This text says there are two times that we hear his voice. We may hear his voice now; we may hear his voice then. All of us shall hear his voice then. But some of us also may hear his voice now. And if we hear his voice now, we shall not hear his voice for the first time then, when there is no hope. May God help you to hear his voice now. Come to Christ. Believe in him. He died for sinners and you’re a sinner. Come to Christ. Receive the provision that he’s made for sinners. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
[Prayer] Father, we praise Thee and thank Thee for the Lord Jesus Christ and for the greatness of the Son of God. And we desire to honor him just as we honor Thee. And we do honor Thee, the one who has given thine only begotten son that we might have life. Oh God, by the voice of the Son of God waken those who are in the grave now, spiritually. And bring them to faith and trust in him…
[RECORDING ENDS ABRUPTLY]