TEXT: John 12:23-26
23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 182.
Henry Morris said, “The man whose priorities are right has such an attitude of love for the things of God that it makes all interest in the affairs of this life appear by comparison as hatred.”
As He continues with what is nearly His last teaching in the Temple, Jesus expands the principle that we looked at yesterday beyond Himself to include His followers as well. Using the metaphor of a plant, Jesus told the people that the hour had come for Him to die, yet by that death, He would be glorified and great fruit would come from His redemptive work.
Now, He explains that the same applies to those who follow Him, saying, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” When Jesus speaks of hating our life, He does not mean that we should disregard it. What He does mean is that we should not value it above the things of God. Just as Jesus did not value His life above God’s plan for the redemption of humanity and willingly laid His life down on the cross, we should not value our existence on this Earth more than anything that God wants us to do.
In the church, we often praise God for the fact that Jesus gave His life for us, but we forget that, one day, we may be asked to give up our lives for Him. Many, many people in the early church were given the choice to deny Christ or die, and thousands chose to be stoned, crucified, burned at the stake, or thrown into an arena with hungry animals rather than deny their Savior. By their actions, we see that they loved God more than they loved their life in this world. Christians today, some who have died and many who are facing the threat of death because of Islamic terrorists who give them the choice to embrace Islam or die, have also shown us what it means to love God more than we love life.
Most people would give up anything to continue living. People have given up money, material possessions, their bodies, their dignity, and their consciences just to stay alive. The thing they don’t realize is that, eventually, they die anyway. Jesus said, “He that loveth his life shall lose it.” People who love their own existence more than they love God will lose their life. You say, ‘What about eternity after they die?’ Their eternity will be what the Bible calls ‘the second death’ — an existence of torment, suffering and pain in Hell. If you love your life, you lose in the end.
On the other hand, Jesus says, he “that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” Notice the words “in this world.” I don’t know about you, but with the terrorism, the violence, the hate, the crime, the pain, the suffering, the disease, and the death we see all around us, life “in this world” isn’t hitting on too much. But Jesus says if you love Him more than you love your life in this world, you won’t lose your life, you’ll keep it unto life eternal. What is life eternal? Life eternal is everlasting life with God and Jesus in Heaven.
Notice the words of this poem by David Edwin Hall:
A lesson God conveys on fruit
Is centered in the seed:
Unless it dies, it won’t take root,
Producing what we need.
It’s not about self-preservation
Or self-exalting strife;
The paradox of our salvation
Is death that brings forth life!
How perfect is this paradox
Of life thus sacrificed!
How vividly the seed unlocks
The treasures found in Christ!
Yet listen as He now extends
That paradox to us,
Since our own fruitfulness depends
On sacrificial trust.
Lord, by this paradox so true,
Your lesson now is plain:
Unless we give our hearts to You,
Our life is lived in vain.
The second death or life eternal? A life lived in vain or a life that never dies? The choice is yours.
If you choose eternal life, allow me to show you how.
First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.
The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.
Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.
Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.
And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at email@example.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.