John the Baptist speaking…..“He
that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the
Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him“….John 3:36
I want to start the sermon
by first giving you a lesson in History…One of my favorite subjects in school.
Not bragging on myself, but in school I got an award for my knowledge of
History. I was good at it!
In the early 1500s there was
a Spanish explorer named, Ponce de Leon. He conquered the island of Porto Rica;
and became their governor. While he was governor of Porto Rica, he heard the
legend of a mysterious island where a fountain of youth flowed, having water
that would give back your youth. Ponce de Leon was about 52 years of age and
was intrigued at the possibility of being young again. His thoughts were, "If I
can find that fountain and drink the water, I will never get old and never
die." He went to Spain and asked for permission from the King to seek out this
island. The King gave him permission. It was during that voyage Ponce de Leon
discovered Florida. In trying to colonize Florida, he was attacked by Indians
and severely wounded. They took him back to Cuba, where he died from those
I said all that to say
this…Here was a man that was seeking everlasting life and died in the process.
If he had not been looking for that fountain, he would not have discovered
Florida. If he had not been trying to colonize Florida, Indians probably would
not have attacked him. If he had not been wounded in that attack, his life may
have been extended. Ironically, in his search for everlasting life, he suffered
a premature death.
Throughout history people
have been searching for a “Fountain of Youth.” They have tried to find it in
magic, in false gods to worship, in nature, and thousands of dollars have been
spent in medicines to bring back youth again. Guess what! Every single one of
them has failed. Do you know what the mortality rate is today? It is an
absolute fact, unless Jesus comes back in our lifetime, 100% of everyone sitting
in this building is going to die. However, there is eternal life. People are
just looking in the wrong places.
John knew, even before he looked upon His face, that Jesus was God-sent. He
saw Jesus coming from a distance and spoke these words…”Behold, there
comes the Lamb of God.” Then John spoke these words, “He that
believeth on the Son, has everlasting life, but those who do not, the wrath of
God abides within them.”
There is a distinguishing
feature here -- those who have put their trust in the Lord will have everlasting
life. Now one thing for sure -- while we are here some of us will get “gray
hair” and some “no hair,” but, that’s okay. We are all aging in this body
of flesh and there is no earthly fountain of water to stop that process.
However, one day we can have a brand new body and it will be everlasting. It
will never wear out and never get old.
Jesus announces the very
same thing that John promised. In John 3: 14-16. As Moses lifted
up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.
That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
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.
What is this eternal life?
Eternal life is not eternal existence…Let me explain it like this. What if you
could live forever locked up in a prison? Is that life? No, it is only an
existence. I have heard it said that some people believe you can freeze a body
and it will stay frozen for hundreds of years. I have one question! What if
the electrical power goes off! I surely would not want my frozen body to be
stored out in California where they have those frequent blackouts. They may be
freezing people, but they have not revived even one of them. Even if it is
possible to freeze someone… is that life? John the Baptist is not speaking
of an "existence" type of life, rather of an abundant life…Life
everlasting -- life that comes when our sins have been covered over by the blood
of Jesus Christ.
In the physical sense, life
begins at conception but the abundant life comes the moment we ask God into our
heart and we start to trust Him completely. Knowing I am a “Child of the King”
has helped me through many hardships. I have had plenty, as I am sure you have,
also; but the abundant life that is a promise from Jesus lets me know that one
day I will have “Joy Unspeakable.” Ask 90% of the people on the street if there
is a God and most of them will tell you, “Yes, I believe there is a God and
Heaven.” But it takes more than just the belief that God exists to get you into
the Kingdom. Scripture tells us that even the devil and all his demons believe
that God does exist.
To earn everlasting life and
a place in Heaven, we must totally commit our life to God and rely on Him for
the power to change us -- not only save us but to transform us into vessels of
Now, what if there were a
fountain of youth? What if by drinking from the fountain you could stay young
forever? What would you really have trapped in a fallen world forever, trapped
in a world of suffering and pain? I don’t want that. I know there is more than
what this world has to offer.
Revelations 21:4 describes
not so much what will be there, but what won’t be there. What won’t be there
are tears. What won’t be there is death; what won’t be there is sorrow; and what
won’t be there is pain. In that place, there is no more diabetes, no more
arthritis, no more cancer and no more loneliness. All former things are passed
Christians, as good as our
life is now this is just a taste of what heaven will be like. John reminds us if
we do not believe on the Son, we will not see Him in the life to come. May I
remind you...whether you are on the road to Heaven, or not, you are eternal.
You WILL spend eternity somewhere. I have been to three funerals this week.
The youngest one to die was only twenty-eight years old, and the oldest was
ninety-four. Each one was a reminder that death is coming to us all….then the
God has provided us with a
payment plan. It is up to us what plan we choose. Some may believe that a
loving God will not send anybody to Hell and I agree with you. God does not
send anybody to Hell. That is the plan they have chosen by their own actions.
Those who do not believe on the Son will not see eternal life. God’s wrath
because of His holiness must be satisfied. It is recorded in the book of
Revelations 20: 11-15 -- .And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat
on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found
no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God:
and the books were opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged
out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up
the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to his
works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second
death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast
into the lake of fire.
Pastor Earnest Fields, Jr.
June 29, 2008