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Christ’s Cure For Troubled Hearts

John 13:36-14:3 • September 23, 2020 • w1304

Pastor John Miller continues our study through the gospel of John with a message through John 13:36-14:3 titled, “Christ’s Cure For Troubled Hearts.”

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Pastor John Miller

September 23, 2020

Sermon Scripture Reference

We’re going to read John 13:36-John 14:3. “Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. 37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. 38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily,” truly, truly, “I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice. 1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

There are often times in the Christian life when our hearts become troubled. Somehow we feel like there are Christian fallout shelters that we can run to and never experience the storms or adversity of life, but such is not the case. Even God’s children, many times, have troubled hearts. Someone said, “God has only one Son without sin, but none without sorrow.” Even Jesus Christ was acquainted with grief and a Man of Sorrows. In 2 Corinthians 7:5, Paul said, “…but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.” Paul knew what it was to go through trials, trouble, difficulty, and to be troubled in his spirit. The great prince of preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, once said to his large congregation at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, “I am the subject of depressions of spirit so fearful that I hope none of you ever gets to such extremes of wretchedness as I go.” Spurgeon, the great preacher, many times would have to take months off from his preaching and go away to France to recoup. Many times he was discouraged, despondent, and filled with a heavy heart. Even God’s children of light will often find themselves walking in darkness.

In 2 Corinthians 7:6, Paul said, “Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down,” I love that statement. There’s a God in heaven who comes to us and actually comforts us when we’re cast down. One of the words for the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is the word “parakletos,” which literally means comforter, one who comes alongside us to encourage, comfort, and strengthen us. The Holy Spirit is given by the Lord to be our comforter, to be our helper, to be our strength. We’re never alone, and He’s our strength in times of darkness. There may be a time when you’re going through the darkness and your heart is filled with despair, but God comforts those that are cast down.

I want you to notice in John 14:1, Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled.” The word “troubled” there means to shutter or shake. He’s actually saying, “Don’t be shaken up. Don’t be upset. Don’t be shuttering. Don’t be freaking out,” we might say in the modern vernacular. Now, Jesus would never have said this to these disciples, and He’s alone in the upper room with His disciples, if they weren’t troubled. He knows us, He knew them, He knows all things. When Jesus says, “Stop letting your heart be troubled,” then it’s evident that they were indeed troubled. The question is: Why were the disciples troubled here in John 14? Let me give you three quick reasons why their hearts were troubled. First, Jesus said in John 13:21, “…one of you shall betray me.” There are twelve disciples, and Jesus turns to them at the supper table and says, “One of you is going to betray Me.” We know that they went around the table saying, “Lord, is it I?” “Lord, is it I?” They weren’t sure of their own hearts, and they weren’t sure if they would betray Him.

The second reason their hearts were troubled was, John 13:33, Jesus said He was going away. Now, that would trouble your heart. They’d been watching Him feed the hungry, cleanse the lepers, give sight to the blind, calm the storm, raise the dead, and all of His marvelous teaching and now says, “Guess what, guys? I’m going away.” It’s always hard to see somebody you love depart. It’s always hard to say goodbye to someone you love, and their hearts were heavy, and their hearts were broken. Maybe you’ve had to say goodbye to someone that you loved and/or love and your heart is broken.

The third reason that their hearts were troubled was that Peter would deny Him three times. Peter was their big leader. He was their spokesman. He was kind of the leader of the gang, and the thought that someone’s going to betray Him, Jesus is going to leave, and Peter is going to deny that he knows the Lord three times, their hearts were filled with trouble and sorrow. Let me point that out. Go back with me to John 13, which is picking it up right where we left off last Wednesday night, “Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou?” There’s a series of questions that Peter asks here in these closing verses of John 13. The first question he asks is, “Where are You going?” Now, that seems like a pretty legitimate question, but it came right after Jesus had said, “A new commandment,” by the way, I didn’t mention it last Wednesday night, but that new commandment some have viewed as the eleventh commandment.

You know, we know the Ten Commandments, the Decalogue, so called, of the Old Testament, but this an eleventh commandment, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you,” Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” No sooner had He uttered those words that Peter kind of went another direction with the subject and, “Where are You going?” “Wait a minute, Peter, I just gave you a commandment to love one another,” and it was kind of evident that Peter maybe wasn’t wanting to go that direction. He wasn’t wanting to talk about loving others, but he really wanted to know where Jesus was going and so asks this question. Jesus said, “Where I’m going, you cannot follow Me now,” not can’t follow Me, just right now. There would be a time when Peter would be taken to heaven and be with the Lord. “…thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards,” you can’t go now, but you can go later. Jesus is going back to the Father. That’s what will lead to His statement in John 14, “I go to prepare a place for you.”

Peter asks the question in John 13:36, “Where are You going?” Jesus will answer it in John 14, to “…my Father’s house,” but “…I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Peter asks another question. He said, “Lord, why cannot I follow thee now?” At this point, if I were the Lord, it’s kind of like having a 5-year-old asking you questions all the time. “Why not? Why? Why? Why?”

Believe it or not, I didn’t get it all done today, but I go back sometimes on Wednesdays and listen to my preaching of this text ten years ago, twenty years ago, thirty years ago, forty years ago. I listened to a sermon that I did back in ’79 today. I was talking about my son, who is now 27-28 year’s old, and at five years old he was constantly asking questions. Hearing that story just brought back those memories. One day we were out on the back porch. It had rained, so all these worms had come onto the concrete patio. He looked at me and said, “Dad, do worms have brains?” I’m like, “I don’t know? I would assume they do, but it would be a little tiny worm brain,” and then, “Do dogs go to heaven,” and “I hope my dog goes to heaven,” just that constant barrage of questions.

That’s kind of the way Peter was here, you know, “Where are You going? Why can’t I go? Why can’t I go now?” Jesus was like, “Calm down, Peter.” He’s with them right now telling them very important things. Peter’s all hyped up and wants to know, “Lord, why cannot I follow thee now?” Then he makes the statement in verse 37, “I will lay down my life for thy sake.” This is one of the first steps in Peter’s denial. It’s called self-confidence. The Bible says, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Whenever I have a young Christian come to me, “Oh, Pastor Miller, I’m really strong in the Lord, and I’m growing in the Lord. I’ve got my act together, and I can resist the devil.” I want to cover my eyes and say, “I don’t want to watch.” Then, after I hear the crash, “Ohhh, help.” Pride comes before a fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction. Those who humble themselves, God will lift up. I’m not saying you should go around worrying and fear, but you should realize that if it weren’t for the grace of God, there go I. “God, I need Your help. Lord, I need Your strength. If You don’t go with me, if You don’t help me, I certainly will stumble. I certainly will fall.” You need to depend upon God and not on your own self.

Jesus turns to Peter again, verse 38, and said, “Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake?” This time Jesus responds with a question to Peter’s question. “Verily, verily,” truly, truly, “I say unto thee, The cock,” or the rooster, “shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.” Jesus knows our weakness. Jesus knows your weakness, and He understands how much we need Him. Jesus said, “Peter, I prayed for you, and when you’re converted, I want you to strengthen your brothers,” but it’s really a dangerous thing to be self-confident. Jesus actually made clear to Peter that before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, by that night He would be arrested in the garden and tried, and early in the morning outside the court of Caiaphas, by the fire, Peter would deny three times that he even knew his Lord. How sad that is.

Without even a break in the passage, I actually believe, I’m not by any means a manuscript scholar, but I would put the beginning of John 14 at John 13:36. I think John 14 should start with verse 36 of John 13 because there’s really no break between the end of John 13 and John 14, “Let not your heart be troubled.” He just told Peter, “You’re going to deny Me three times. Before you hear the rooster crow in the morning, early, early morning, you’re going to deny Me three times.” Peter thought, Wow! Can you imagine how shook up he would be? Then, immediately Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled.” Jesus turns to them and seeks to cure their troubled hearts.

I want to make this as simple as I can—not simplistic, but simple—and I want to give you three cures for the troubled heart that we all ought to remember when our hearts become filled with fear and trouble. Write them down. First, Jesus gave them a command. He gives them three things. The first thing He gives them is a command in verse 1, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” There are actually two commands, but I mentioned in the point I make as just being a command, but there’s two commands. The first is negative, and the second one is positive. Here’s the first command: Stop letting your heart be troubled. That would be a closer translation, perhaps, to the Greek. Jesus was actually commanding them to stop doing something they were doing. He’s actually saying, “Stop letting your hearts be troubled.” He’s not saying, “Let not your heart be troubled,” in that it might happen in the future, it was happening right then, so “Stop letting your hearts be troubled.” As I said, He’s giving them a command. You need to understand what the heart is. What is the heart? The heart is the mind, the emotion, the will, and the entire inner person. It’s the real you. That’s your heart. Their emotions, their thoughts, and their feelings were going crazy, and they were just all shaken. He actually commands them, “Stop letting your hearts be troubled.”

Write this down, it’s important to remember, whatever Christ commands, Christ enables. God never commands us to do something that He doesn’t enable us to do. I often remind married couples of this. When the Bible says, “Husbands love your wives,” and guys say, “Well, you know, that was written before my wife was born. If she’d been around when that was written, it might not be in the Bible,” or something like that. God gives you that ability. If you’re married, God will give you the ability to love your wife, and vice versa. “Wives, submit to your husbands.” “Well, if you knew my husband, you wouldn’t quote that verse.” God will give you that ability. The Bible says, “God will not allow you to be tempted above what is able, but will, with the temptation, make the way to escape, that you may be able to endure it.” God provides, we just need to yield to His power, be obedient to His Word, trust Him, look to Him, and, I promise you, God will never disappoint you. If you’re in a battle right now, you’re facing some difficult thing right now, God will never disappoint you. That might be some of you, “Well, yeah, but you don’t know my story. You don’t know what happened to me. You don’t know…” No, I don’t, but I believe God’s Word, and I believe that God has all power, loves you, and will help you, if you really look to Him. The whole tenure of this passage of, “Let not your heart be troubled,” is looking to God, trusting in God, and hoping in God.

How does God enable us not to let our hearts be troubled? The second command in verse 1, “ye believe in God, believe also in me.” Again, if I were doing a John Miller translation, this is how it would read: Stop letting your hearts be troubled or shaken. You do believe in God, you’re trusting God, now put the same faith and trust in Me. That’s what Jesus is saying. “You’re trusting in God, trust also in Me.” Now, in a footnote, I’d like to point out that this is a clear indication that Jesus Christ is God. For Him to say, “…ye believe in God, believe also in me,” it would be blasphemy if He were not God. It would be foolish or blasphemy, for sure, for me to do that, to say, “You trust God, trust me.” No. Trust God, and pray for me is what I would say. Jesus says, “Look, that same trust that you’re putting in God, I want you to place and center now in Me.” Here it is: The cure for a troubled heart is simply faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

I can’t tell you how often people come to me with their problems, “Oh, Pastor Miller, I’m going through this. Please, what should I do?” My answer is always the same, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him,” which is another way of saying, “Look at Him, trust in Him,” “…and he shall direct thy paths,” or make your path straight. I love that. So many times we’re looking here, looking there, we’re looking around, but we’re not looking at Jesus. We’re looking at our problem and we’re freaking out. We need to set our minds and hearts on Jesus Christ.

The great Bible scholar, J.C. Ryle of years past, who wrote his excellent exposition on the gospels said, “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only sure medicine for troubled hearts.” I love that! “To believe more thoroughly, trust more entirely, rest more unreservedly, lay hold more firmly, lean back more completely. This is the prescription which our Master urges on the attention of all His disciples.” I love that. It’s so important that we look to Jesus, and that we lay on Him and we turn to Him. I love it. He says actually that, “… we believe more thoroughly, that we actually trust more entirely, that we are resting more unreservedly, and firmly, and leaning back on Him more completely.” Oh to learn to trust in Jesus.

One of my favorite songs is the song, Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to take Him at His Word; Just to rest upon His promise, Just to know, “Thus says the Lord!” The chorus goes like this: Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er, Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more! That’s one of the reasons why we need to sing more hymns around here, amen? What a beautiful song. Do you know that song was written by a woman? Her name was Louisa Stead. Do you know what the circumstances were that that song came out of? She was on Long Island with her husband and her little daughter enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon, and they heard cries from the ocean for help, a man was drowning. Louisa’s husband stood and ran out into the ocean to rescue this drowning swimmer. To her horror, she watched with her daughter, her husband pulled under by the swimmer, and both her husband and the drowning swimmer were drowned and lost. It was out of her why-struggle with God that she wrote that beautiful hymn, Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to take Him at His Word.

So many times our hearts have to be troubled for us to learn to trust Him, to learn to lean upon Him. You know, with what we see going on in the world around us today, it’s so easy to let your heart be troubled, to let it be afraid. But Jesus is saying, “No, you believe God, believe Me. Trust in Me. Look to Me. Hope in Me.” Write down Isaiah 26:3, where the prophet said, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee,” so get your mind off the problem, and get your mind on Jesus, trusting Him.

The second thing Jesus did to cure their troubled heart is in verse 2, He gave them an assurance. First, He gave them a command, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me,” and now He gives them an assurance in verse 2. It’s so beautiful, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” This is the assurance, “…if it were not so, I would have told you.” He’s telling us something to assure our hearts. Now, what is the “Father’s house?” Early in His ministry, He was in the temple and had overthrown the tables of the money changers and made the whip and had driven them out. He said, “You made My Father’s house a den of thieves. It’s to be a house of prayer.” That’s not what Jesus is talking about here. He’s not talking about the Jewish temple. Jesus, here, is clearly talking about heaven. In Matthew 6:9, Jesus actually said in the Lord’s prayer, “Our Father, which art in heaven,” so the “Father’s house” is where the Father is, and that’s in heaven. This is a clear reference to heaven.

Heaven is a real place. It’s our eternal home. Jesus would not have spoken of it, if it wasn’t a real place. He said, “If it were not so, I would have told you.” You know, we all believe in heaven, but do we really? Do we really, really, really believe in heaven? I think heaven needs to be something that really grips ahold of our lives. I think that we need to look at all of life through heaven’s eyes. Do you know the Bible says, “…for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” We need to have an eternal, heavenly perspective.

Now, there’s the old saying that you can become so heavenly minded, you’re no earthly good; and that’s not a real genuine heavenly mindedness, that’s just being spaced out is what that is. A lot of Christians are just weird. I’m surprised there’s not a verse: Don’t be so weird. It’s not putting on a white robe and sitting up on Vail Mountain, you know, waiting for the rapture and just having lofty thoughts and your eyes are always looking up when you talk about the glory of God. You know, it’s not impractical. I think that the person that is truly heavenly minded is of the greatest earthly good. Someone put it like this, “Those who have done the most for this world are ones that think the most of the next world.” I love that quote. The people who do the most in this world are the ones who think the most of the next world.

Those Christians in my life that think about heaven, talk about heaven, sing about heaven, they’re just always filled with joy and excitement. I think we lose our joy, we lose the glory of our Christian life, is when we forget we are bound for heaven. What our salvation starts with is grace, and it ends in glory. We’ve been justified, we’re being sanctified, and we will be glorified. Read Romans 8, that whom God saves, He sanctifies; whom He sanctifies, He glorifies. It’s God’s golden chain. Just the thought that we’re going to heaven—yes things may get difficult, yea, the world may get dark, yes we may get sick, we may lose our job, we may lose a spouse, but we’re going to heaven. Jesus speaks to these troubled hearts, as He speaks to our troubled hearts tonight, and actually encourages them, “Don’t be troubled; I want to assure you, heaven is a real place.” Heaven is our real home. This world is not our home. We’re strangers and pilgrims, so don’t get too attached and too comfortable in this world.

Let me point out a second thing about heaven. Heaven is a roomy place—not only a real place, but a roomy place. “In my Father’s house are many mansions,” I’m reading from the King James translation, and you’ve heard me say many times that I understand that the Greek word there could be translated “rooms.” It’s the Jewish concept of your Father would build a house, and the males in the home would marry and bring their wives back to the father’s house. The father would add rooms on, and add rooms on, and they would all live together kind of in one house but many rooms or many dwelling places. It’s conveying that concept, but the idea is that there is room for everyone. Did you know there’s room in heaven for you? “…whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” You can go to heaven. Anyone that wants to go to heaven, can go to heaven by believing in Jesus Christ. What a cool thought that God has provided the way, and we’ll see that in verse 6, it’s Jesus Christ, “…the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,” or the Father’s house, “but by me.” It’s not only a real place, it’s a roomy place, and there’s room enough for everyone.

Thirdly, it’s a prepared place. Jesus said, verse 2, “I go to prepare a place for you.” I believe He’s preparing us for heaven, and preparing heaven for us. Think about that. Jesus was a carpenter, right? It’s going to be nice. It’s not going to be leaning, crooked, and doors won’t shut and the windows leak, you know. It’s going to be…that’s why I like the King James, mansions, many mansions. It’s going to be awesome—more than you could ever fathom or comprehend.

There’s another old hymn that I used to love to sing. That’s a song that used to say, My Father is rich in houses and lands, He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands! Of rubies and diamonds, emeralds, and gold, His coffers are full, He has riches untold. I’m a child of the King, A child of the King, With Jesus my Savior, I’m a child of the King. So, tent, cottage, apartment, it doesn’t matter. He’s building a mansion for me over there. Amen? How glorious that’s going to be! It’s a big place. It’s a roomy place. It’s a prepared place, so I believe we need to be heavenly minded.

I love the story of Abraham in the Old Testament. The Bible says that he looked for a city whose maker and builder was God. Abraham was a man of God because he didn’t look to this world as his home. I’ll never forget reading Warren Wiersbe mention in one of his books years ago that there are two things that mark the life of Abraham. The first is the tent, and the other one is the altar. It’s such a great picture of the Christian life—a tent, and an altar, not a permanent dwelling place. It doesn’t mean you can’t live in a house. You don’t have to live in a tent, don’t freak out. It means that you don’t look to this world—a tent or a cottage, why should I care? He was marked by a tent.

A tent symbolized pilgrimage, moving, non-permanence. You don’t lay a big concrete slab to put a tent on it, and you can pull up the stakes on a tent and move it quickly. It speaks of the fact that he never really got too attached to this world. When Abraham was splitting company with his nephew, Lot, God promised Abraham everything, but he gave the first choice to Lot, “You choose.” You know, “God has blessed me. God’s going to take care of me. You can choose.” God blessed Abraham, but he didn’t get attached to and focused on the things of this world. Be careful you don’t become loving the world more than God, that you love mammon and you don’t love God. You love money, you don’t love God—the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life. Don’t be too attached to this world, it will destroy your spiritual life. Spiritually speaking, live in a tent.

The altar speaks of worship. Abraham was a pilgrim who passed through worshiping God. Everywhere he went, the first thing he did was build an altar, which symbolizes worship of God; and we’re to be worshipers of God, a kingdom of priests unto God. I love Colossians 3:2-3 where Paul says, “Set your affection,” mind, “on the things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” We need to remember we’re going to heaven, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” We believe and trust in Jesus, and we live our lives as pilgrims and strangers worshiping God and remembering that heaven is our eternal home.

There’s a third, and last, thing that Jesus did for them. He gave them a promise. In verse 1, He said, “Believe,” trust, “in me. In verse 2, He said, “I go to prepare a place for you,” in heaven. The third thing He did to cure their troubled hearts is made them a promise. He said, “And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again,” now, the way this is constructed in the Greek, they’re linked together, “…if I go to prepare a place…I will come again.” I’m going to leave you, but it’s tied together with not only, “I’m going,” but “I’m coming.” If I go, I will come—I’m not going to go and maybe, I might come back—I’m going to come back. The two are tied together, and He says, verse 3, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Jesus gave them, and gave us, a promise. I want you to notice first of all that Jesus promised to come again—it’s in the Bible. Jesus, with His own lips, said, “I will come again.” The angels, in Acts 1, when He ascended back into heaven, said, “This same Jesus which you’ve seen go, shall come in like manner,” Christ is coming back again. Now, this is the promise of His coming, but make note of this, it is not His Second Coming. I touched on this Sunday in Revelation 4:1 when we talked about the rapture. This is what’s called the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when Christ returns in power and glory. In John 14, what we’re reading here, is not the Second Coming, it is the rapture of the church. They are two separate events. Some say, “One coming, two stages.” Where He comes in the atmosphere above the earth, and then He catches up to meet Him in the air, the church, the true believers. That’s called the rapture. Then, we’re with Him for seven years in heaven and come back, Revelation 19 (we studied Revelation 4:1 Sunday morning), He comes back in power and glory.

There are a lot of contrasts between the two comings, but Jesus in the rapture comes for His saints. Jesus, in the Second Coming, comes with His saints, Revelation 19. He’s not coming back to get them, He’s coming back with them. When He comes to catch the church up to meet Him in the air, in the Second Coming, we come from the air to earth. In the rapture, the church is caught from earth to heaven. In the Second Coming, we come from heaven to earth. In the Second Coming, He comes visibly. Jesus said in Matthew 24, which is called the Olivet Discourse, “Every eye will see Him,” and He says, “If thou be like the lightening that shines from the east unto the west,” it’s a glorious coming of Christ, but when He comes in the rapture, I don’t believe anyone but the church will see Him. The rapture is for believers, and the Second Coming will involve unbelievers as He comes back to judge and to make war.

The rapture is followed by seven years of tribulation. The Second Coming is followed by a thousand years of Christ’s Davidic Kingdom upon the earth. The contrasts could go on and on and on. The rapture is a New Testament mystery, and I talked about that Sunday morning as well, revealed here in John 14 for the first time by Jesus Christ Himself. The Second Coming is in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and it’s not described as a mystery, something in ages past was hid, but is now revealed. The rapture, by the way, just make a footnote of this, I believe is not in Matthew 24 and 25. It is not referred to there. The Second Coming is the focus of Matthew 24 and 25. I do believe the rapture happens before the tribulation because the doctrine of imminency, that nothing has to happen before the rapture, so we’re not waiting for the antichrist’s covenant with Israel for seven years, the abomination of desolation, the moon to turn to blood and the sun to sackcloth of hair, the stars to fall out of heaven, all the cataclysmic things. We’re just looking, looking, looking, for Jesus Christ to come again. I think if we have a proper understanding of Bible prophecy, it should lead us to be living in expectancy that Jesus Christ could come at any moment.

Everything we read here in John 14 speaks of the imminency of Christ coming for His church. Notice He doesn’t mention plagues, famines, pestilence, wars, antichrist, troubles, or tribulation. He just says, “I’m going to prepare a place, I’m going to come again, and I’m going to snatch you up, and you’re going to be with Me,” and that’s going to be awesome! Jesus doesn’t really tell us to look for anything but His imminent return.

I didn’t share this on Sunday, and very rarely do you hear it, but it is a rapture verse. I want to give it to you. Philippians 3:20-21, Paul says, “For our conversation,” the word “conversation” literally means our citizenship. Remember we’re from heaven. Our citizenship is there. That’s our home. “…is in heaven; from whence also we look,” notice that, “for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body,” in the King James Bible, means our bodies of humiliation, our lowly, humble bodies, “that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,” that’s the body Jesus had when He came out of the tomb, “according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Paul mentions the rapture in Philippians in light of that we’re looking for Him to come, we’re not looking for the antichrist or the tribulation, and when He does, He’s going to change our humble bodies, the bodies of our humiliation, “that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,” so we’re going to see Him as He is, and we’re going to be changed, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”

I’m going to point out a few of them, but there are a whole bunch of amazing parallels between John 14 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, which are classic rapture passages. One of them being that “…we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” so Jesus said, “I will come again, and receive,” snatch, “you to myself.” We’re waiting for Him to come.

Have you ever been in an airport at the gate at departure time and the plane is delayed? Oh, yes, what a joy. Sometimes you’re a little relieved, “Oh, I can go to the restroom,” or “I can go get something to eat,” but have you ever actually had it delayed, delayed, delayed and sometimes you ask people, “Well, when will this flight leave?” They answer, “Well, we don’t know, sometime within the next few hours.” Now, you’re stuck. You can’t go very far. Even when they haven’t started boarding yet, you know they’re going to board any minute, but you’re not sure, “Do I have time to get something to eat? Do I have time to get something to drink? Do I have time to run to the restroom?” If you don’t know when the plane’s going to board, what do you have to do? Stay at the gate and watch, right? Jesus says, “Watch, for you don’t know the hour when the Son of Man comes.” We need to be looking and ready and waiting for Him to come. We can’t be off doing some other thing and miss the Lord’s return. We need to be watching and waiting. Jesus promised to come again.

Secondly, Jesus promised to receive us and them to Himself. I believe that these promises apply to us today as well. Notice in verse 3, “I will come again, and receive,” that’s a parallel to the idea of rapture. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 we have the rapture passage, but in verse 17, Paul the Apostle says, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up,” it’s the Greek word harpazo. The word “rapture” is in the Bible. It means to snatch up or to catch up or to take up by force. Jesus said, “I will come again, and receive you,” Paul used the word “rapture” us or snatch us up or to catch us up. He said in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first,” there’s a resurrection of the dead in Christ, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be,” here’s our word, “caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” That is the parallel with the passage in John 14. In John 14, notice that Jesus says that you will be received or caught up to be with Me.

Thirdly, Jesus (verse 3) promised that we would be with Him. There are three promises: First, the promise to come again; second, the promise to receive us to Himself; thirdly, verse 3, He promised that we would be with Him. This is kind of one of those, “Can you dig it?” statements in the Bible. Notice it in verse 3, He says, “…that,” in order that, that’s the reason, “where I am, there ye may be also.” Heaven is heaven because we’re with Jesus. Can you imagine getting to heaven and you can’t find Jesus? Jesus isn’t there, “Awww, bummer! I’ve been waiting a long time!” “…that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Write these verses down. 1 Thessalonians 4:17, “…and so shall we ever be with the Lord,” forever with the Lord. In 1 Thessalonians 4:18, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” I love what F. B. Meyer said. He said, “The charm of heaven will be the Lord’s presence.” That’s what makes heaven, heaven, the Lord’s presence. John, in Revelation 21:3-4, said, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Praise God! John gets to heaven and says that in heaven there’ll be no more tears, no more sorrow, no more death, for all the former things are passed away, and God will actually dwell with us—face to face with Jesus. No longer faith, faith becomes sight and we’re in His presence.

Wrapping this up, three verses, three things to remember when your hearts are troubled: Believe in Jesus, He is God, He can be trusted; believe in heaven, it’s the Father’s house, your real eternal home; believe in His promise, He’s coming again—a person, place, and a promise—and He says, “that where I am, there ye may be also.”

A man by the name of John E. Bode wrote these words, “O Jesus, Thou hast promised, to all who follow Thee, That where Thou art in glory, There shall Thy servant be; And, Jesus, I have promised, To serve Thee to the end; Oh, give me grace to follow; My Master and my Friend.”

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About Pastor John Miller

Pastor John Miller is the Senior Pastor of Revival Christian Fellowship in Menifee, California. He began his pastoral ministry in 1973 by leading a Bible study of six people. God eventually grew that study into Calvary Chapel of San Bernardino, and after pastoring there for 39 years, Pastor John became the Senior Pastor of Revival in June of 2012. Learn more about Pastor John

Sermon Summary

Pastor John Miller continues our study through the gospel of John with a message through John 13:36-14:3 titled, “Christ’s Cure For Troubled Hearts.”

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Pastor John Miller

September 23, 2020