Hello and welcome to Hope for Today. The program you’re listening to is produced by Heralds of Hope. We’re an international Gospel media ministry. Each week our Bible teaching broadcasts circle the globe in English and 22 other languages. We are honored the be here with you today, and thanks for joining us. We will continue our study from the book of John in just a bit; before we do that, I’d like to share a few things with you.
You know as well as I do that we can’t rely on the words of men because men change. Think of all the unkept promises people make, maybe even specific promises to you personally. But God is unchanging; He keeps His promises. The Psalmist, David, said in Psalm 119:89, “Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in Heaven.” You and I can depend on God’s Word.
Because God’s Word is unchanging and reliable, we share His teaching with as many people as possible. Our ministry focuses on radio teaching and Bible distribution, and we love hearing testimonies of lives that have been touched by the Gospel.
For example, Isaac from Ghana writes, “I don’t know how to thank you for your inspirational messages, you have really helped me spiritually, and I will continue to listen for spiritual growth.” If you are touched by this program, we’d love to hear from you. Stay tuned, and I’ll give you our contact information at the end of the program.
During today’s teaching, we will be finishing John 16, and we will look closely at three statements Jesus made. These statements a very clear and understandable. Now, let’s hear from Bible Teacher J Mark as he tells us about Plain Speech.
For the disciples, Jesus’ words were often above their understanding. They puzzled over them. There are people today who still puzzle over the words of Jesus. They are unsure as to what they mean.
Well, we all want PLAIN SPEECH. We say, make it simple; take it out of the complex and make it simple. That’s what I try to do when I come to you each week; I try to make it simple. It is more important to be understood by people than to baffle them.
We learn from the Gospel records that the common people in Jesus’ day heard Him gladly, and it is amazing how simple many of His teachings were. Let’s see once what happens in John 16:28-33, where we have the disciples saying, “He now speaks plainly.”
28. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
29. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
30. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
31. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
32. Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Fat her is with me.
33. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
In this talk, Jesus made several STATEMENTS which the disciples could understand. Let’s talk about this plain speech.
His first statement: “I Leave the World.”
I have often been impressed how Jesus lived with a sense of purpose. He lived with the end in view. He knew why He was here. He knew where He was going. So, He could say to the disciples, “I came from the Father, and now I go to the Father; I leave the world.”
His disciples then seemed to understand, and they confessed their faith in Jesus. They said, “Now we know, now we know, now we believe.”
The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world and went back to heaven. He said here to the disciples, “I leave the world, and I go back to the Father.” There is some mystery about this. In some respects, it is difficult, but still, when Jesus made that statement, the disciples said, “Now we understand clearly, and we believe that thou art from God.”
I would like to tell you that this is a very important position to come to: to understand what Jesus meant when He said, “I leave the world, and go to the Father,” because going back to the Father meant that His work was being finished.
His second statement: “I Am Not Alone.”
He said, “You are going to leave me, you are going to run away, you are going to be scattered, you are going to your own homes, but I will not be alone, I am not alone.” In distress, many often desert. The records of history show many people who have turned traitor at the most difficult moment. Jesus predicted that the disciples would run away and leave Him. And they did. Yes, they did. But He said God would not leave Him. He said, “I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”
God never forsakes the trusting soul. Jesus expressed His assurance that God would not leave Him, even though everybody else would leave Him. That comes to me as a great comfort. I hope it comes to you as a great comfort. This is what I call plain talking. Jesus said, “I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”
You and I can have a similar experience with Jesus. God will not forsake the trusting soul. This can come to us as a great comfort. I hope you understand this plain speech.
The third statement: “I Have Overcome the World.”
That’s the last sentence in the text which I read. The world is not friendly toward people who believe in God. We all have our oppositions. It seems that there’s always somebody to stand in our way, to make it hard for us.
Jesus said to His disciples, “I am going to give you peace. I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in me.” Then He added, “I have overcome the world.” I want to make sure you understand that peace in your heart is a gift from Jesus. He said it is a gift, “I give you peace.”
His victory assures us of victory. He said, “I have overcome the world.” So, we can be of good cheer. The opposition has been put down. We no longer have the force of the opposition because Jesus has overcome the world. We can find great hope in His victory. My friend, I want to make sure that you understand the plain speech of Jesus when He said, “I have overcome the world.”
These statements arrest our attention because they tell us Jesus must be more than an ordinary man: He said, “I have overcome the world;” “I am not alone;” and “I leave the world.” These statements tell us of His purpose, His assurance, and His victory. He can encourage you, but He cannot help you until you believe on Him.
Thank you, J. Mark, for this teaching from God’s word. It’s true these statements of Jesus are very clear, and J Mark ended with a statement that is also very clear. Here it is again, “Jesus cannot help you until you believe on Him.” This is worth thinking about, especially the word, believe. Our understanding of this word is crucial, and what we think it means will affect how we act.
We use the word believe in several ways; for example, we might say, “I believe I’ll be done around 3 pm.” Here I mean I might, or I think maybe. We also use “believe” like this, “I have known my neighbor for years, and you can believe him.” Here I am saying my neighbor has good character and what he says is acceptable and true. Neither of these is the “believe” J Mark meant when he said, “we need to believe on Jesus.”
“Believe,” as he used it, requires action; this is not passive knowledge. Here is the crucial part, just because you heard the story of Jesus, and you agree with it and think it’s true does not mean you “believe.” Believing Jesus and knowing about Jesus are not the same thing. Believing on Jesus requires a response on our part. If you believe on Jesus, then you will repent of your sin, trust Him for salvation, and live for Him and with Him.
Believing is not a once-and-done event; it’s continuing action; we are believing on Jesus. If you are not believing on Him, we encourage you, believe, trust Him for your salvation; He alone can save you from Hell.
What do you think? Was today’s teaching helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts with us from today’s program. Or if you’d like to hear it again, just let us know. Here are several ways to contact us.
The quickest way for you to connect with us is to send an email to [email protected] Or you could write to us our address is Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. If you would like today’s teaching, just ask for it by title or by the passage. We would be happy to give you a printed copy or a digital copy; just tell us your preference.
When you contact us, feel free to request our Bible Study Guide, Hope Herald. It follows these radio programs and has questions from today’s teaching so we can better apply it to our lives. All you have to do is ask for a copy of Hope Herald.
Here’s the contact information again. Our email address is [email protected] Or write to Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Or, if you forget this, just go to our website, heraldsofhope.org. There you will find all our information, and our Bible teaching programs are available. Of course, you can access the website whenever and wherever you have internet; again, our website is heraldsofhope.org.
We thank you again for joining us for today’s program. I encourage you to join us again next week as Pastor J. Mark continues teaching from the Gospel of John. We look forward to being with you then and will leave you with these verses from Jude, “now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion, and power, both now and ever. Amen.”