You have Everything You Need for Eternity

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<ul><li><p>8/9/2019 You have Everything You Need for Eternity</p><p> 1/3</p><p>You Have Everything You Need for Eternitya 6th Sunday of Easter a</p><p>John 14:23-29What a terrible feeling we get when we realize that we might have left something undone! Its the feeling we</p><p>get when we leave for work for the day, not completely sure if weve remembered to lock all the doors to the house.</p><p>Its the same feeling we get when we leave for a long trip, and in the back of our minds we know that weve</p><p>forgotten to pack something or to tie up some loose end before leaving. Its very unsettling to think, even for a</p><p>moment, that there is something that we have left undone...which can lead to that very unpleasant moment of panic</p><p>where we are scrambling frantically to remember...okay, did I remember to turn the lights off? Did I remember to</p><p>pack our plane tickets?</p><p>If youve ever experienced that type of panic, then you know first-hand how Jesus disciples felt when he</p><p>revealed to them that he was about to leave on a rather lengthy journey...a journey to return to the Father in heaven,</p><p>going to a place where they could not follow. Imagine the frantic panic in the hearts of the disciples: Have Ilearned all that I need to learn from Jesus? Am I really ready to go and be the teacher and not just the disciple, to</p><p>step out from under the protecting care of Jesus and go it alone? Where am I going to turn when my efforts prove</p><p>challenging? Can I really do this without my Jesus right by my side? Thats a pretty terrifying feeling!</p><p>Be confident today, fellow disciples, that Jesus has left nothing undone. Having accomplished everything</p><p>necessary to achieve eternal salvation for mankind, Jesus has returned to the Father in heaven, but, in the process has</p><p>left his Church some wonderful gifts so that we can be comforted in our afflictions and faithfully continue the work</p><p>of proclaiming his salvation to the ends of the earth. What has he left us? He has left us his Fathers Word, which i</p><p>in our custody, in our grasp, the Holy Scriptures of the Bible which are distinct and unique among all other writings</p><p>that sinful man might consider holy. It reveals a salvation by grace alone through faith in Jesus. He has given us</p><p>His peace, the peace that can only come through innocent sacrifice, a lasting and real peace that the world cannot</p><p>give. And he has given us the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, who continues to work through Word and Sacrament to</p><p>lead us to our eternal home. Today, there is no reason for frantic panic! Jesus has not left you empty-handed when</p><p>he went to the Father. He has given everything you need for eternity.</p><p>I. The Fathers Word is in our custodyIn verse 23, Jesus tells his disciples: If anyone loves me, he will guard my teaching. Now this is one of those</p><p>occasions where the NIV translation of the Bible may be a bit misleading...If anyone loves me, he will obey my</p><p>teaching... The sense here, though, is not so much, Since you love me, you will do what I say. The idea from the</p><p>original text is, If anyone loves me, he is going to guard in his possession the gift of my teaching, my word, my</p><p>Father will show his love to them, and we, the Triune God will dwell with him.</p><p>The emphasis here is not upon the obedience of man, but upon the gift of Gods grace, his Word. What a</p><p>treasure, and Jesus has given it to us! We have it in our possession, in our custody. The Bible is a treasure because it</p><p>is so completely different than any other work that people consider to be holy today, because its message of grace</p><p>is something that mankind would never come up with! Think about it...think about all the various religions of the</p></li><li><p>8/9/2019 You have Everything You Need for Eternity</p><p> 2/3</p><p>world that are not the true Christian faith. It doesnt matter what youre talking about...Islam, Watchtower,</p><p>Mormonism, New Age, modern Judaism, the way that a person gains access to God and access to the place where</p><p>God dwells in a non-Christian religion is always the same through work-righteousness. I do something for God</p><p>and he does something back for me. I prove how holy and good I am and God will reward me accordingly. I</p><p>choose God and he will choose me. Now, I know that seem like over-simplifying because even non-Christian</p><p>religions have very complicated theological systems. But when you pull apart the layers of the onion, the core of</p><p>every non-Christian religion has the same basic salvation system you be good for God and he will be good to youin return.</p><p>How different the Bible is, how utterly unique its message! Instead of making a checklist of things for us to</p><p>do to try and make ourselves holy, to try and make up for our transgressions, God the Father, by his Spirit has</p><p>revealed a different way in the Bible the only way by which we are given access to his holiness and his heaven:</p><p>through the sacrifice of the Son, Jesus Christ. How completely anti-ego! How absolutely and wonderfully illogical,</p><p>contrary to our reasoning. God became man, and made himself nothing, emptying himself of the divine attributes</p><p>of omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence so that, as our brother in the flesh, he may stand in our place</p><p>under the law, live it perfectly, die the death of the laws curse for all sinners, and then conquer death by his glorious</p><p>resurrection granting forgiveness and everlasting life to all who believe in him, all apart from, and completelyindependent of the work and contribution of sinners. Amazingly different. Terrifically unique!</p><p>What a treasure, this Word which is in our custody! And give thanks that it is in our possession. For many</p><p>have had the Fathers Word, the Saviors gospel promises and have traded it for something a little more logical, a</p><p>little more sensible to the human mind, something that appeals a bit more to the natural inclination to save oneself</p><p>through works of the law. Treasure it by having it in your lives, regularly, every day...because not only will your</p><p>eyes be opened to the great treasures that are housed in the storehouse of the Bible...but also Jesus promises: If</p><p>anyone loves me, he will guard my word, my Father will show love to him and we will come to him and dwell with him!</p><p>II. The Sons peace is in our heartsThere are also two auxiliary gifts that are given to us when we treasure the Word of God that is in our</p><p>possession. Jesus says: Peace I leave behind to you, my peace I continue to give to you. I do not give as the world gives</p><p>to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be full of fear.</p><p>Peace in our hearts through the redemptive work of the Son, one of the blessings the gospel of grace gives to</p><p>us. Now I dont want us to be generic about our use of that word peace as if it doesnt have a lot of meaning, as if</p><p>it were simply a religious buzz word that preachers say to evoke some kind of emotional response from his listeners.</p><p>The concept of peace is specific...</p><p>Think back to the introduction to this sermon. I shared with you some common scenarios where we might</p><p>be prone to panicking, which of course, is the opposite of peace! We left for vacation, but OOPS, we forgot our</p><p>plane tickets, so we cant get on the flight. We left for works and, OOPS, I left a pot burning on the stovetop.</p><p>There are so many scenarios where we have an unsettling feeling, because were not exactly sure if weve tied up all</p><p>the loose ends, because were not quite sure if everything that needed to be done is actually taken care of.</p><p>Peace, in the realm of our spiritual life, is essentially knowing and believing full-well that everything has</p><p>already been taken care of as far as our eternal dwelling. Peace is knowing and believing that all of our sins, past,</p><p>present and future, have been covered in holy and precious blood, that there isnt one sin that is so bad, so atrocious</p></li><li><p>8/9/2019 You have Everything You Need for Eternity</p><p> 3/3</p><p>so maniacal that Jesus was not willing to pay for it. Peace is knowing and believing with absolute conviction that</p><p>there is nothing left that can be done and nothing left that needs to be done. Peace is knowing and believing that</p><p>heaven is our home and that the Lord our God will lead us there through the over-arching guidance of the Spirit.</p><p>The world cannot give that kind of peace. In every other theological system, peace is always a subsequent</p><p>result of mans exhibition of goodness, and therefore will always be imperfect, incomplete. No matter how good a</p><p>person has been in the worlds eyes, no matter how wonderful a person has been in helping others or just by being a</p><p>good citizen, nothing man can do will be able to bring about lasting peace of conscience, because no matter what,there will always be something left undone, which causes the heart trouble and fear.</p><p>Fear not and rejoice this day, Christian friends, because what you could not do for yourselves, Jesus Christ</p><p>has done for you he gave you peace by his suffering and death and by his resurrection from the dead. Know today</p><p>that he left no loose ends for us to tie up when it comes to our eternal existence. Be at peace today! For the Son, by</p><p>his willingness to suffer and die for your sins, has secured for you a place in heaven, and continues to offer the</p><p>genuine peace of that gospel promise through the Word which is in your possession.</p><p>III. The Spirits counsel leads us homeFinally, there is one more auxiliary gift of the Fathers word which blesses us with perpetual peace, the Holy</p><p>Spirit, and the counsel he gives to keep us steadfast on our journey to be with Jesus in heaven. The Savior says,</p><p>These things I am speaking to you while I am with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send</p><p>in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.</p><p>We can all understand how unsettling it must have been for the disciples as they were being prepared by</p><p>Jesus for his passion, his resurrection and his subsequent ascension into heaven. How frightening it would be for</p><p>them that they would be doing the work of gospel ministry without their leader, that they would be openly</p><p>confessing his name to the world without his visible presence. What a task...what a commission.</p><p>And yet, Jesus didnt leave them without guidance. Specifically, he promises them, and to the Christian</p><p>Church, the Counselor, God the Holy Spirit, who both teaches and reminds through the same Word and through</p><p>the sacraments. Think of your time here in Gods house as a counseling session, because here you have an</p><p>opportunity to come to God in prayer and ask him for whatever you need, and you are able to listen and absorb the</p><p>divine counsel that is offered to you through the gospel, which again and again will lead you to the place you need</p><p>to be the most, the foot of the cross, until that most glorious time when the Lord, in his grace, will bring you</p><p>through the valley of the shadow of death to the green pastures of heaven, never again to fear, never again to be</p><p>troubled...only to live in peace and security forever and ever.</p><p>Christian friends, Jesus left nothing undone before he ascended to his place of authority in heaven. Whilewe often will panic because we are unsure if we have taken care of every little thing, be without fear, knowing that</p><p>Jesus, your brother, your Savior, has given you everything...the Fathers Word, his peace and the Spirits counsel so</p><p>that you may be led by grace to glory everlasting. Nothing more needs to be done. Nothing more can be done. You</p><p>have everything you need for eternity. Amen.</p></li></ul>