14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Well it’s time to bring this series to a close. For the last month we have declared our declaration of Dependence. Because everyday is our Dependence day because every day we depend on God. Our guiding scripture has been John 15:5 where Jesus tells the disciples, I am the vine. You are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing. Does anyone believe that this morning? That apart from Jesus you can do nothing. Yeah yeah yeah, I know what your thinking I’ve done a lot of things without God. And my rebuttal to that is, did you really? Because I believe that even when we were out there doing our own thing, God was still looking out for us. Why else would the Bible say that while we were yet sinners he sent Jesus to die for us? But nonetheless we depend on God.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t make it without him.
You can’t make me doubt him.
I know too much about him.
So the first week we learned that we depend on God for his forgiveness. His forgiveness gives us freedom, a fresh start, and a fruitful ministry. Then we learned that we depend on his faithfulness. His faithfulness keeps us factual, firm, and in fellowship with him. And last week we learned that we depend on God for his favor. And we see God’s favor in our finances, our fitness, and our family. And I am so excited to share the last thing we depend on God for. This is a very exciting thing to depend on God for. It is one of the main reasons we do what we do in the first place. Why we are saved. Why we live this Christian life. We depend on God for our future. I’m not talking about our physical and literal future here on earth. I am talking about our eternal future with God. The fact that we are characters in a never ending story. We do not have to worry about a happily ever after fairy tale ending because our story never ends. We depend on God for our future with him.
Shall we look at the text. This is one of my favorite passages of scriptures, and it is often read at funerals to comfort and console bereaved families.
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
In this passage of scripture Jesus is comforting his disciples because he has just told them the plan. He just explained to them his purpose for coming to earth in the first place. He just let them know that although they were on their way to Jerusalem, it would be just a one way trip for him. Because once they got there, he would be arrested, tried, beaten, ridiculed, spat upon, punched, and hung on an old rugged cross. He just told them that he was about to die. On top of that He had also told them that they would all forsake Him, Peter would deny him, and one of the twelve would betray Him. There heads were spinning, and they could not handle it. They were falling apart. They were losing control so he had to comfort them. And he told them. Don’t worry. You believe in my father, now believe in me. In my father’s house are many rooms. The king James (and I’m not talking about LeBron) says in my fathers house are many mansions. In other words his fathers house is huge. It is ginormous. I showed you this illustration before with my amazing artistic skills a few months ago… He said if this was not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. I am going to hook up your spot. I am going to fix up a place for you and then I am going to come back and get you and take you to the place I fixed for you. So you will be where I am. You know the way. And Thomas say, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way? Jesus responds I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the father except by me. Can it get any clearer than that.? Can it get any better than that? Jesus, himself is preparing a place for you and you and you. And Jesus is the only way to this place! We depend on God for our future with him because of three reasons. I will share these three reasons with you and then I will bid you good day.
First of all my future with God is for sure. Because I accepted the Lord into my heart. Because we are saved. Because our names have been written in the lambs book of life our future with God is for sure. Because we know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. We don’t have to worry about it. We don’t have to double check. We do not have to check on our reservation. We officially submitted our RSVP when we gave our lives to the Lord. There ain’t no doubt about it! And here are three reasons why.
First my future with God if for sure because it has been funded by Jesus. Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain and he washed it white as snow. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. He paid our debt with His son’s life. Our sin earned us a death sentence, but Jesus paid our debt for sin. He gave us a stay of execution. Is anybody excited about the fact that He paid our sin debt. Has anyone ever had a debt forgiven or paid off? There is nothing like the weight of debt being lifted off of you. This is what Jesus has done for us. Our future with God is for sure because it is funded by Jesus.
Not only is our future for sure because its funded by Jesus, our future is for sure because it is fueled by blood. The currency that was used to pay our sin debt was the blood. The Bible says that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and his blood covers a multitude of sins. Look at your neighbor and say I know it was the blood. It reaches…. Only the blood of Jesus was sufficient enough to pay our sin debt.
So our future with God is for sure because it was funded by Jesus. Our future with God is for sure because it is fueled by the blood. And our future with God is for sure because it is fashioned in the word. What are you saying? I’m saying that God said it so I believe it. The plan is clearly written in the word of God. It is like a contract of faith! And it is legally binding by the blood of Jesus. Our future is for sure because it is fashioned in the word, fueled by the blood, and funded by Jesus. What more do we need? In essence I just told you that Jesus has vouched for us. We are in, because God has invited us Himself. We are on the list!
First my future with God is for sure. Secondly, my future with God is for real. Simply put since God is real my future with him is real as well. Is there anyone in the room this morning that knows that God is real. Remember that song we use to sing John P. Key? Jesus is real, I know the Lord is real to me… Here are three ways that we know that our future with God is for real.
The forces of evil are defeated. If our future with God was not for real why would He bother defeating our enemies. He said that he would make our enemies our footstool. He said that He prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies. He went into hell and took the keys to the kingdom, defeating death on a cross, and rose from the grave with all power in his hands. Our future is for real because the forces of evil are defeated!
Not only is my future with God for real because the forces of evil are defeated. My future with God is for real because I can face any challenge that comes my way. I quote this scripture quite, and that’s because I truly believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I don’t worry because I know with Jesus on my side there is no challenge that I cannot overcome. Paul tells the church in Philippi, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6. And when we do this He will help us face any challenge that comes our way. He will come to our aid. In the words of Marvin Gaye “ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough ain’t no river wide enough to keep Him from getting to you.” And if He can get to you there is nothing that you can’t face. Your future is for real!
So my future with God is for real because the forces of evil are defeated. Our future with God is for real because we can face any challenge that comes our way. And our future with God is for real because we’ve come to far to turn back now. Look at where you were and look at where you are right now. That is the problem we sometime face on the journey. We get so caught up in the destination that we don’t take time to enjoy the ride and/or experience the journey, and we forget or don’t realize how far we’ve come. There is no way that you can turn back now. There is no way that we can go back to the way things used to be.
We can’t go back to the way we used to live.
We can’t go back to the the lying.
We can’t go back to the cheating.
We can’t go back to the stealing.
We can’t go back to the using.
We can’t go back to laying around.
We can’t go back to thinking we’re better than everyone else.
We can’t go back to stinking thinking.
We can’t go back to doubting.
We can’t go back to that situation.
We can’t go back to that circumstance.
We’ve come this far by faith…
Somebody look up to the the heavens and tell God, You’ve brought me from a mighty long way…
We’ve come too far to turn back now.
First, my future with God is for sure. Secondly, my future with God is for real. Last but definitely not least, my future with God is forever. In the words of that great theologian Buzz Light Year from Toy Story our future with God is to infinity and beyond! It lasts forever. It never ends. You know that saying, funny how time flies when you’re having fun. That statement does not apply to forever. Because that state implies that the fun times, the good times are coming to an end, but out time with God is eternal. Our future with God is forever. And here are three reasons why.
Our future with God is forever because the foundation is set. When Jesus asked the disciples who do you say I am. Peter said, you are the Messiah, the son of the living God. And Jesus replies, blessed are your son of Jonah. For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but my father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand! The whole reason that we have been able to make a declaration of dependence is because of whom we depend on. We depend of Jesus and what better foundation is there than Jesus the Christ. Our future is forever because of the fact that the foundation is set and that foundation is Jesus!
Not only is our future forever because the foundation set. Our future is forever because it’s founded in love. God so loved the world…. God is love! And he loves you no matter what. His love is a forever love. God does not fall in and out of love like we do. He has loved us from the beginning and he will continue to love us throughout all eternity.
So our future with God is forever because the foundation is set. Our future with God is forever because it is founded in love. And our future with God is forever because the founder is God! How can our future with God not be forever when the founder is God? The founder is He who was, He who is, and He who is to come.
The founder is He who forever will be.
The founder is the beginning and the end.
The founder is the alpha and omega.
The founder is the author and finisher.
The founder is the bright and morning star.
The founder is the lily of the valley.
The founder is the balm of Gilead.
The founder is the rose of Sharon.
The founder is the creator of heaven and earth.
The founder is the will in the middle of a wheel.
The founder is the way maker.
The founder is the promise keeper.
The founder is the healer!
The founder is the deliverer!
The founder is my all and all!
The founder is the great I am that I am!
We depend on God for our future.
That future is for sure.
That future is for real.
That future is forever!
It reminds of a story I once read about Tom Brady. We all know who Tom Brady is. Well good old Tom passes away and makes it into heaven. Upon his arrival God is showing him around. They come to a modest little house with a faded patriots flag in the window. And God says this is your house for all eternity. Tom said, this is special, very special not everyone gets a house up here. Tom felt special indeed. And walked up to his house. On the way up the porch he noticed another house just around the corner. It was a three story mansion with a green, silver, and black sidewalk. There was a 50 foot flag pole in the front yard with a huge Philadelphia Eagles flag floating in the air. It was magnificent. Tom looked at God and said, I’m not trying too be ungrateful, but I have a question. I was an all pro quarterback. I won 5 Super Bowls. I was in the hall of fame. God said, so what do you want to know Tom? Well why does Donovan McNabb have a better house than me. He never one a super bowl. As a matter of fact, I beat him in a super bowl. God chuckled and said, Tom that’s not Donovan McNabb’s house, its mine!
But on a serious note we depend on God for our future, and the future is to spend eternity with God. So let me give you the directions…
Make a right on Believeth Blvd.
Keep straight and go through the green light, which is Jesus Christ.
There, you must turn onto the Bridge of Faith, which is over troubled water.
When you get off the bridge, make a right turn and keep straight.
You are on the King’s Highway, heaven bound.
Keep going for three miles.
One for the the father.
One for the son.
And one for the Holy Spirit.
Then exit on Grace Blvd.
From there, make a right turn on Gospel Lane.
Keep straight and then make another right on Prayer Road.
As you go on your way, yield not to the traffic on Temptation Ave.
Also, avoid Sin Street because it is a dead end.
Pass up Envy Drive and Hate Avenue.
Also, pass Hypocrisy Street, Gossiping Lane, and Backbiting Blvd.
However, you have to go down Long-suffering Lane, Persecution Blvd. and Trials and Tribulations Avenue.
But that’s all right, because Victory Street is straight ahead.
Are you on the right road?
Are you heading the right direction?
Is your navigation system operating correctly?
Oh I want to see Him, look up on his face.
There to sing forever of His saving grace.
On the streets on glory let me lift my voice.
Cares all past, home at last, ever to rejoice.
Some glad morning when this life is o’er, (I’ll fly away)
I’ll fly away, Oh Glory.
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).
Oh when we all get to heaven.
What a day of rejoicing it will be.
When we all see Jesus.
We’ll sing and shout.
We’ll shout and sing.
This is our Declaration of Dependence
We depend on God for His forgiveness.
We depend on God for His faithfulness.
We depend on God for His favor.
We depend on God for our future.