Jesus Makes a Promise | Famous Last Words | Week 2

Jesus Makes a Promise | Famous Last Words | Week 2

(audience applauds) – I wanna take my shirt
off and fight someone, that’s what I wanna do. (audience laughs) So good, just when you think it’s over, there’s another guitar solo, it’s just ah. So good. Now that’s how you have church, all right? (audience cheers) Right, we just close and go on home. So, so, for everybody
who was born under a rock and didn’t know that song, that song was “Carry On My Wayward Son,”
by a group called Kansas. The band is much better than the state. We all agree. (audience laughs) This is true, all right, which brings up of course, I know, I wanna welcome
all of our visitors and online and across the world, in Limon, all of our brothers out there, listen. But a lot of us, especially if you grew up in church,
and you left church, or you just don’t really
know what’s going on here, you’re asking yourself this question. Why are you playing a rock and roll song from 1976 in the house of the Lord, why? Why are you doing that? And two reasons. One is we just want to, it’s our church. We can do what we want. And we dig it, it’s really good music. And the other, the real answer though, is because that song is the 1976 version of one of the most famous
stories that you can find in the entire Bible. And we’re gonna look at it
today, it’s the story of, called “The Prodigal Son,”
if you’ve ever heard of that. And some literary experts, Christian and non-Christian, they regard the story about the prodigal son as the best short story
ever written, right. Whether you believe in God or not. It’s just the best story ever written. And we’ll get to that in just a minute, so just hang onto that, all right? So last week if you weren’t here, Ben kicked off this brand new series, it’s gonna go all the
way to Easter called, “Famous Last Words,” where we are looking into the last words, last
phrases that Jesus uttered while He was hanging on the cross. While He was being crucified on the cross. Which He claimed, the reason
He was gonna be crucified on the cross, He says if
I do that, it will pay for the price, or the
wage, or the penalty, for all sin, all mistakes, for all time, for all people who have just a little bit of faith. What do you mean by a little bit of faith? Have a little bit of concept of the idea that Jesus is who He says He is, and can keep every promise He’s ever made. You put your faith in me, and I’ll take away all your condemnation. Which is a pretty bold statement. I mean, really really. And the only reason to believe
like such an outrageous claim if He was able to actually
keep another promise like, I don’t know, nail me to a
cross, stick me in a hole, and three days later,
I’ll rise from the dead. If He can keep that promise,
maybe we should pay attention to all the other stuff
He said as well, right? But, where we’re looking at today, that hadn’t happened yet. He hasn’t been buried, He hasn’t
resurrected from the dead. We’re gonna pick up
right where He is nailed to a wooden cross, and
He’s just a few minutes from death, and the
reason that we’re paying so much attention to
those famous last words, leading up to Easter, which is
about a month from now, right is that we believe that if
we listen to what Jesus says up there on the cross, we can see and hear from Jesus what
kind of God we have. What kind of God would
do something like that. For people like us. And so again, last week Ben
looked at the first statement to come out of His mouth,
right after they nailed Him to the cross, He looked down
and this is what He said, “Father,” so He’s praying,
“Father, forgive them, “they don’t know what they’re doing.” Right? And the description of the
kind of God that we have is the kind of God who
kind of looks and says, okay, this needs to be
done, this is necessary and has to be done now, right? While we’re still lost,
while we’re still confused, before anything changes in our life. Jesus says, I need to do something now, so that later, everything is ready and
in place when you need it. That’s the kind of God we have. So the kind of God we have,
this is a phrase we kind of landed on last week,
our God leads with grace. And this is what I mean by grace. He offers, as a free gift, forgiveness. Permanent forgiveness,
ongoing forgiveness. Not just for your past, but
your screw-ups tomorrow. They’re already pre-forgiven. That’s called grace, it’s ongoing. So He starts, He always leads with grace, and then He follows with truth. And it’s not all at once. He doesn’t give you all
the truth, all at once. It’s progressive, it’s
just too much all right? But it’s lifelong truth,
it’s life changing truth, and it comes a little bit at a time. And it’s not one or the
other, pick, grace or truth. ‘Cause here’s the truth, right? Grace without truth
doesn’t change anything. Just grace and forgiveness,
and everybody love everybody, and hold hands, sing “Kumbaya,” that sounds nice, it just
doesn’t change anybody. Right? But truth without grace is just mean. Right? We’ve been hammered with truth. We’ve been beaten up with
God’s word, a lot of us, right? It just doesn’t do any good, you have to have both. But grace always comes first,
or you can’t hear the truth. Grace always precedes truth. So we’re gonna pick up right
where we left off last week, after Jesus has said, “Father, forgive them, they
don’t know what they’re doing,” and He offers this amazing gift
to all those people around, I gotta forgive everything,
just trust me a little bit. And you would think that all
the people listening to Him would look up at Jesus and go,
well we were wrong about Him, He’s really good, we should
really pay attention to Him. That’s not the response. Not quite, anyway. So we’re gonna pick up in the
very next verse, all right. So there are four like,
they call them the Gospels, or the biographies of Jesus,
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We’re gonna be in Luke,
we’re gonna be in chapter 23, and this is right after
Jesus has just said what He said last week, so
this is what’s happening. “The people stood watching,” big crowd, “and the rulers even
sneered at Him,” at Jesus. “They said, He saved
others, let Him save Himself “if He is the Christ of God,
the Chosen One,” all right. So those are the guys
who kind of orchestrated the whole thing, and then
the soldiers who nailed Him to the cross, they get
in on it, all right. “The soldiers also came
up and they mocked Him. “They offered Him wine vinegar and said, “if you’re the king of the Jews, “save yourself.” And then “There was this written
notice nailed above His head,” which read this, you gotta
read the sarcasm in it. “This? “This is the king of the Jews.” Now, I have a confession to make, okay? I thought long and hard about this, I’m gonna break your hearts, okay? I have decided that I think Jesus is a better person than me. (audience laughs) I know, some of you are going, no Jim. Yes. Yes, He’s a better. Because I’m telling you, if
I was up there on that cross at that day, at that moment,
and I’m watching all these people do what they’re doing,
I would come off that cross, and somebody’s gonna
get their butt kicked. I promise, all right? I’m coming off the cross, I’m going, who’s king now, baby? Right? (audience laughs) I’m not a good person, all right? At least I’d have thought, maybe I should invent nuclear weapons now. Boom, all right? That’s just me, pray for me. I have a hard heart. (audience laughs) Jesus is better than me, all right. So, but here’s what I’ll say. I think it’s really really important to know the level of hostility that’s being thrown at
Jesus at this moment. Why? I mean, all He has offered
to do is forgive everything. Give love, and grace, and forgiveness, and unlimited access to God, right? That’s all He’s done, right? Something else is going
on to get this much anger and hostility aimed at a
guy who says, let’s just all love one another, and be together. This is more than a political or even a theological difference. This is like the ultimate
showdown between good and evil. It really is, this is the moment. This is not, well Satan
thinks, this is my moment. Again, I don’t know
how much you know about you know, the spiritual
realms and stuff like that, but Satan’s like, I hate God, I can’t get to God, I tried that once, that didn’t work out well for me. So I know, I will destroy the
thing that God loves the most. What’s God love the most? People that are made in
His image, He loves us. People that are made in his likeness. I can’t destroy God, I’ll
destroy the next best thing, and then here comes this Jesus guy, who thinks He can ruin my plan. We’ll see. See this is really, really,
really important, okay. Again, I don’t know how much you know about the spiritual realms,
but Satan knew, still does, he knew who Jesus was, they had met. They had spoken, right. And Satan knew what Jesus
claimed and promised to be able to do, right. But it hadn’t happened yet. And here’s the other thing,
Satan is not the opposite of God, he’s not all powerful,
but on the evil side. He’s not all knowing,
but on the evil side. He’s not all present,
but on the evil side. No, no, no, no. He thinks he knows what’s about to happen, but he doesn’t know for sure
if Jesus can pull it off. So this is like the final
seconds of the big game, and Satan comes at Jesus with everything. I mean, it’s already been a bad day. Jesus has already been
stripped naked in front of the entire city, He’s
had all the flesh ripped off His back with a
whip, He’s been marched through the streets of
Jerusalem, as people punched Him and spit on Him, and
then on a garbage pile outside of Jerusalem, He has
a spike through each wrist, and then one that goes through His feet. But that’s not enough. Now, it’s time to gloat. Hey Jesus, you lose. You lose. This, this is your king of the Jews? If you call this a king? This is, okay, all you people of God, this is what you’ve been
waiting on from God, this is your Savior? Some son of God. Hey, son of God, save yourself. Save the human garbage
nail on every side of you. So let me clear something else, see, a lot of people, when they
read the Bible, you think that Jesus was the only person crucified. And the truth is, when
Rome, this is history, when Rome invaded any part of the world, they nailed anybody who
disagreed with them to a cross. They lined the roads with crosses. And that day, I don’t
know how many there were, but there’s Jesus, and
He had a criminal nailed on each side of Him. One of those criminals
looks at Him and he sees what’s going on, and says,
I’m getting in on this. So here’s what happens next. “One of the criminals who hung there, “hurled insults at Jesus. “Aren’t you the Christ? “Save yourself and save us.” Now, don’t give this guy
too much credit, all right. This is not a confession of faith. This is not, are you the Christ? Will you be my Lord? No, no, no, no, no. This is a selfish, self-serving insult. Hey Christ, or whatever you are, do something. Work some magic, do some spiritual voodoo and get me out of this. This is not faith, this is not humble, this is not an ask for
grace or forgiveness. This is simply, hey, I’m not sorry for anything, I just need you to bail me out of this and get me off this cross so I can go back to what I was doing before. Right? That’s all I want, just bail me out. I don’t want anything to change. But there’s another criminal, all right. He’s paying attention, he
sees something different. “The other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God, he said, “since you’re under the same sentence?” I don’t know how it worked. Maybe he looked down the line of crosses and went dude, shut up. (audience laughs) It’s not a good time, man. I mean, hey, you’re about to die. Think about this, the stakes
are really high right now. You might want to rethink all your pride, rather than just die in your arrogance. And here’s why, see, “We are getting punished justly.” We have this coming. “For we are getting
what our deeds deserve.” We broke the law, we
knew what the law said, we knew this could happen. We did it, we’re guilty. “But this man,” Jesus, “has done nothing wrong.” And now we’re getting close to faith. Basically, this guy’s doing
math in his head and goes, you know, I have enough faith to realize, Jesus, that
you are something else. You’re something different,
you’re something more. You’re connected to
something more, and I’m not. But I want to be. I want to be connected to you, so because of that, I don’t have a lot of faith,
I have this little bitty five minute old understanding of watching and listening to you. So I have a question,
hanging up here beside you. He goes like this, “Then he said, Jesus, remember me “when you come into your kingdom.” Hey Jesus, when all this plays out, and I think I know how this ends, about an hour from now
I’m just gonna be dead. Rather than get what
I know that I deserve, I have a big ask here,
could I be with you instead? Wherever you’re going, I
don’t know, the kingdom thing, well I heard about that, right. I don’t know what that means,
but can I just be with you? Right? And look at the response. “Jesus answered him,
I tell you the truth,” which is Bible for, I promise man, “today you will be with me in paradise.” Think about that. See, what Jesus says to the
criminal nailed beside of Him is this, today, after you die, later today, because you have a little bit of faith, it’s only like five minutes old, I’ll give you my word, I promise, you’re gonna be with me. You notice what He didn’t say? He didn’t say, let me think about it. (audience laughs) Okay, well, if you promise to live better, and stop stealing from now on, right. There is no from now on. From now on is about an hour. And then they’re gonna
put him in a hole, right. There’s no “I’ll try to be
a better person, I promise, and I’m really sorry,
and I’ll make it up.” No you won’t, you know you won’t. How are you gonna make it up? You’re nailed to a cross. He simply says this, Jesus, I’m a guilty criminal,
I know what I deserve, I deserve what’s coming to me. I’m just asking with
a little bit of faith, instead, could I just be with you? And Jesus responds, uh huh. Yes, absolutely, I promise. You just gotta get through
the next couple of hours, and then you will be with me in paradise. This man looks at a hopeless situation, and saw his options, and I would say, and hang onto this phrase,
we’re gonna come back to it, came to his senses. And he didn’t know how
this was gonna work out, when he looked over at Jesus and said, can I be with you, right? Probably assuming the
answer from Jesus would be, nice try buddy, nice try. A little late, should
have thought about that before they got you nailed up here, right? But no, no, no. Hey, I deserve punishment,
can I be with you? Absolutely, yes. And the criminal died. Don’t know his name, don’t
know where he’s from. But if Jesus really does keep His promise, here’s what we can assume. That criminal is with Jesus,
in paradise, right now, he’s totally forgiven, and
he’s in good standing with God. Now you know what? When I say stuff like that, you know what happens? It’s happened to some of you
listening to my voice right now especially if you’re religious. Religious people lose their minds. They’re like, I don’t know if I like that. I don’t know if I like that. That’s not fair. Which I agree. Really thankful, too. Here’s church language, all right? Jim, that’s cheap grace. If you go around saying stuff
like that, that Jesus accepts and forgives people just as they are, while they’re still sinning,
before they change anything in their life, people will
take advantage of that, and they’ll just start
saying that they believe, but they really won’t believe,
and they won’t change, they’ll just use Jesus as a
get out of hell free card. They’ll give them
permission to keep on doing whatever they want, and
doing the same old stuff. But they’re not really really sincere. What they’re saying, what a
lot of us have said in the past is Jesus shouldn’t
forgive people like that, until they prove that they’re
really serious about it. They’re proven serious
about what they believe, and therefore, proved
that they’re worth saving. What makes religious people mad, is this. And I’m gonna put a big
paragraph on the screen behind me in a second,
and I would like to say, this is what some of
you religious people do. But you know what? I know I’m guilty of this in my past. See if you’ve ever thought
or said something like this. “I may not be perfect,
but I have been following “and serving Jesus for years and then, “some sinner asks for
forgiveness five minutes “before they die, and you say “that we both get the same
forgiveness and reward?” You ever thought about that? And here’s a response,
you don’t say it out loud, you look like a jerk. Here’s what you’re thinking in your head. That’s not fair. It’s not, and I agree with you. Does anybody want fair? I couldn’t handle fair. ‘Cause I know what’s coming to me. So let me jump to the
favorite, my favorite, so probably one of the most famous, my favorite chapter,
maybe in the whole Bible, are these three stories that
Jesus tells, back to back. They all have in common,
where something gets lost, and somebody goes and looks
for it, and when they find it, they pick it up and they
bring it home, all right? Now I have taught Luke chapter 15, those three stories, I’ve taught them, I don’t know how many
times, I’ve taught them all over the world, but the thing
is that I’ve missed most of my life, I’ve just jumped over it to get to the three stories, is this, and it’s found in the
first two verses is that, why did Jesus tell these
stories in the first place? Why did Jesus tell these stories? And you’re gonna get
some obvious parallels, about what Jesus has done and still does for people like us, but the
reason Jesus tells these stories is in response to a
bunch of religious people complaining about the people that Jesus doesn’t just call friends,
but calls close friends. Like hangout friends, go to party friends. Eat dinner friends, or it
says, have sleepover friends. But that felt weird. But, these are my best
friends, and religious people are looking, going, whoa, whoa, whoa. We don’t like that. So Luke chapter 15, I’m
gonna read the whole chapter, and this is a lot of Bible verses, right? And I’m gonna do my very best, I’m trying to do this
with a straight face, but just read it straight
without any commentary. But, I haven’t done well so far. (audience laughs) But, I’m gonna do my best, all right? If you could read this
when you get home, but. It says, okay we’re gonna go, here. “Now the tax collectors,” and
I do have to stop right there. (audience laughs) Don’t judge me, all
right, this is important. So when you read the Bible a
lot, you’ll see that phrase, tax collectors in there a
lot, like, what’s that mean? Like, I.R.S.? No, worse, worse. So, and here’s what I mean by that, so. When the Roman empire, this is history, when the Roman empire would
move in and invade a country, they would hire local people, and so that’s what
happened in Israel, right? So the tax collectors are Jewish people that turn their backs on their people, on their faith, on their
religion, on their family, and they went and worked
for Rome, and they taxed and overtaxed their own people, and exploited their own people for Rome. Okay? They were the most hated people in town. They betrayed everything. Family, faith, country, everything. They were hated. And Jesus is eating dinner with them. Okay? So. “Now the tax collectors and sinners,” and I have to stop there
too, but we’re gonna roll after this, I promise. So any time, you’re so judgemental. (audience laughs) So, any time, especially
in the Matthew, Mark, Luke, John part of the Bible, whenever
you see the word sinners, most of the time, not every
time, but most of the time, that’s referring to sexual sin. Sexual failure, and if you read it going, a sinner came and threw
herself at His feet, or whatever that is, usually that morally, they’ve just fallen apart, and so, the people that are coming
around Jesus are people that have betrayed
everything important to them, and people that are
really sexually broken. They’re just trying to look
for Jesus, all right, so. “Now the tax collectors and
sinners were all gathering “around to hear Jesus, but
the Pharisees and teachers “of the law,” religious people, “they muttered, this man,
Jesus, welcomes sinners, “and eats with them.” And Jesus can hear you. Write that down, it’s
like oh, He’s listening. So. “Then Jesus told them,”
the religious people, “this parable.” And the parable, this
is the definition I got when I was a little kid in Sunday school, a parable is an “earthly story,” so we’re gonna look at stuff,
sheep and stuff like that, but it actually has a spiritual meaning. This is what Jesus does all the time. You don’t understand the spiritual stuff, let me compare it to some every day thing, and then you connect the dots. Okay, right, so. So here’s the story, story number one. “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep “and loses one of them,”
what would you do? “Does he not leave the
99 in the open country “and go after the lost
sheep until he finds it?” Of course. “And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it “on his shoulders and goes home. “Then he calls his friends
and neighbors together, “and says, rejoice with me,
I have found my lost sheep.” Here we go. “I tell you that in the same way,” so I’m not really talking about sheep. I’m talking about people, right? “But in the same way as sheep,
there will be more rejoicing “in heaven over one,”
sexually broken person who’s betrayed everything
important to them, that kind of person, “who repents,” rethinks
what they want their life to be about, “than over
99 righteous persons “who do not need to repent.” And just so you know, at
the end of the service, we’re gonna sing a song that
talks about Jesus leaving the 99 to go find the
one, and it’s because He has this reckless love,
and every time we sing “Reckless Love,” religious
people email me and say, I think it’s irresponsible
to call God reckless. Shut up, all right? (audience laughs) Please, all right? (audience applauds) There’s more important, never mind. All right, so. With story number two, I’m
gonna get emails about that, and I don’t care, so. “Suppose,” here’s the story number two. “Suppose a woman has 10
silver coins and loses one.” So this is a woman, she
had 10, I don’t know what the currency is, she had 10 of them, and she had one lost, so she
had a 10th of her income. “Does she not light a
lamp, sweep the house, “and search carefully until she finds it?” Of course she does. “And when she finds it, she
calls her friends and neighbors “together and says, rejoice with me, “I have found my lost coin.” Here it is. “In the same way,” I’m
not talking about coins, “I tell you, there is
rejoicing in the presence “of the angels of God over one sinner “who repents,” I gotta rethink my life. I’m not talking about coins,
I’m talking about people. Okay? Story number three, in case
those two didn’t land with you. “Jesus continued, there was
a man who had two sons.” This is a great story. “The younger one said to his father, “Father, give me my share of the estate, “so he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the
younger son got together “all he had, set off to a distant country, “and there squandered his
wealth,” and I wanna look at this, “in wild living,” and in the Greek there, it means he lost his mind. He took everything he had, and
went as far as he could go, with no limits. He had no boundaries, he did things that he never thought he would do. He went as deep as he could
afford, and then some more. All right, and some of us are going, I’ve been on that trip, right. So, he blew it out. Lost his mind. No regard for any consequences, all right? Some of us have been there. So. “After,” this is a game changer. “After he had spent
everything,” I’m broke, “there was a severe famine
in that whole country, “and he began to be in need. “So, he went and hired
himself out to a citizen “of that country, who sent him
to his fields to feed pigs.” Context, you got a
Jewish kid, in a pig pen. I don’t know if you know
much about the Jewish faith, but he’s at rock bottom. Because he’s even associated
with this kind of slime, he’s disqualified from
God, he’s disqualified from country, he’s
disqualified from family. He’s dirty, and he knows it. And he’s hungry, look at this. “He longed to fill his
stomach with the pods “that the pigs were
eating,” so if anything fell out of the pigs’ mouth, into the manure, he was gonna try to eat it, “but no one gave him anything.” Now, I gotta tell you this, right? This next verse, favorite verse in the Bible because of that phrase right there. It says this, “When he came to his senses.” It literally translates to this. “When he remembered who he was.” Have you ever forgotten who you are? Ever gotten so lost, I
don’t know who I am anymore? And you’re just in a pig pen? So, “He came to his senses,”
I gotta think different, “he said,” and he said to himself, because nobody’s there
except pigs, all right? So he’s having an internal conversation. You ever have internal
conversations in your head, where you go, I can do this,
I can do this, I can do this, right, right, right? And I’m a mess, and I still do
this all the time, all right? He’s having an internal
conversation in a pig pen, here’s what he’s saying
to himself, all right. He says, “How many of my father’s
hired men have food to spare, “and here I am, starving to death.” I need a plan. “I will set out and go back to my father, “and I’ll say to him,”
and this is the rehearsal, “Father, I have sinned against
heaven and against you, “I am no longer worthy
to be called your son.” I’ve screwed up so bad,
I can never be your son. Maybe I can be like,
one of your hired men. Maybe I could be a slave. “So he got up and went to his father.” Now time out, here. At this point in the story, all right, the only thing that has
changed in the universe right, is this son, this boy, he has changed his mind,
I gotta think different, and he changed the direction of his face. Nothing else has changed. Right, nothing has changed. He’s still literally covered
in pig crap, all right? And in my notes, I had a
different word in there, and my wife said, you
can’t say that in church, but I’m thinking it. (audience laughs) ‘Cause my grandpa used to have a hog farm, and crap doesn’t really
do it justice, all right? So, he’s covered in pig crap, and he’s still hungry,
he’s starving to death, and he’s still broke,
and he’s still guilty of everything he’s done
wrong, and he still knows what he deserves, and
what he doesn’t deserve. I can never be a son again,
maybe I can be a slave, but I have no idea. See, the only thing that
has changed is his mind, and the direction of where he’s gonna look to maybe stay alive. And here’s the other aha
moment with this story I never really thought about. He has no idea if it’s gonna work. Think about it. He has no idea what’s gonna
happen when he gets home. If there’s gonna be a
reception or not, right. All he knows, he thinks
he knows, he’s trying to remember is, I have,
or at least I used to have a really good father, he’s the kind of father
who would at least maybe, maybe let me live in the
barn with the animals. That’s the most I’m even hoping for. Right, so pick it up. “But while he was still a long way off,” ’cause nothing’s changed. He’s still dirty, and he’s
not even home yet, all right. “While he was still a long way off, “his father saw him,” because
he was looking for him, “and was filled with compassion for him. “He ran,” whew, “he ran to
his son, and thew his arms “around him, and he kissed him.” “His son said,” here
comes the speech, right? “Father I have sinned against
heaven and against you, “I’m no longer worthy
to be called your son. “But the father,” and that’s
a good phrase, isn’t it? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. “But the father said
to his servants, quick, “bring the best robe and put it on him. “Put a ring on his finger
and sandals on his feet. “Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a barbecue, “let’s
have a feast and celebrate.” Why? “For this son of,” what’s the next word? This is my son. And he never stopped being
my son, even when he was in the pig pen, still my kid. “For this son of mine was
dead and is alive again. “He was lost and is found. “So they began to celebrate.” Isn’t that a great story? That’s a great story, except, you gotta remember, why
did Jesus tell this story in the first place? And the answer is, it’s
because religious people are angry with Jesus about
His friendship with that boy. With boys like that. With sinners, with dirty people. And Jesus, I’m really
angry with you, Jesus, you’re way too generous
with grace and forgiveness. That’s what’s going on here. So here’s the rest of the story. It’d be great if it ended
there, but it just doesn’t. “Meanwhile,” duh duh duh, “the older son was in the field.” Remember, two sons. “When he came near the house,
he heard music and dancing. “So he called one of the servants, “and asked what’s going on. “Your brother has come, he
replied, and your father “Has killed the fattened calf “because he has him back safe and sound.” Here’s a good response. “The older brother became angry, “and refused to go in. “So his father went out
and pleaded with him. “But he answered,” the
son answered, “his father, “look, all these years
I’ve been slaving for you.” You can do the math here. I got one son who says
I’ve screwed up so bad, I can’t be his son,
maybe I can be a slave, I got another son going,
I have slaved so hard, I deserve to be a son. They’re both wrong. The only way either one of
them gets to be his son is, they have a good father, right? “I’ve never disobeyed your orders, “yet you never gave me even a young goat “so I could celebrate with my friends. “But when this son of yours who
has squandered your property “with prostitutes,” that’s
what kind of son you have, “when he comes home, you kill
the fattened calf for him.” This isn’t in the Bible, I just put it in. Not fair. (audience laughs) You can just write that down in the margin of your Bible, it’s okay, all right? The response from the father. “My son, the father said,
you’re always with me, “and everything I have is yours. “But we had to celebrate and be glad, “because this brother
of,” what’s the next word? This is your brother. He’s a mess, he’s still your brother. “He was dead, and he is alive again. “He was lost, and is found.” And the story ends there. And we never know if
the older brother went in the house and said, come
here bro, I am glad you’re home. No, no, no. No bow on the end of this at all. Jesus just ends the story
right there, and I think He makes long extended
really, really, really, uncomfortable eye contact
with the religious people. (audience laughs) Then there’s a mic drop
and He goes, peace out, and He just walks out of the room. That’s not in the Bible, but it should be. All right, so. And then He goes back to the people who actually want to learn from Him. Now, there are a lot of
lessons and applications you can pull out of those four stories. Thief on the cross, a lost
sheep, a lost coin, a lost son. And I’ll be honest with you,
maybe one of them hit you. And you’re going, that’s me. It’s not that one, but that one is me. And I believe in the kind
of God that can arrange the universe for you to hear that. And that may be what’s
happening right now, so let’s lean into it. So I carved out like three
or four takeaways for this, and then we’re gonna sing
that song about leaving the 99 in, and then we’re gonna
get out of here, all right? So this is deep, this is philosophy. You’re gonna be sitting
like, go sensei, speak more. (audience laughs) This is really, really
deep stuff about sheep. Watch this, all right? So, “lesson number one,
sheep get lost and stay lost “until somebody cares
enough to go and find them.” That’s just true. Sheep, they just get lost. If anybody comes up and
goes dude, you are smart as a sheep, not a compliment. (audience laughs) Right? You’re like, a lamb, wow, thanks. No, no, they just get
lost and they stay lost, unless somebody goes and gets
them and brings them home. And Jesus says this, I’m looking for you. And take out you there
and insert your name. I’ve been looking for
you, and when I find you, my goal is not to punish you. All right? My job is not to lecture you about how you made a dumb sheep decision. Right? No, no, no. I’ve been looking for
you, and when I find you, I want to joyfully carry you
back to where you are safe. And here’s what Jesus says
happens when he does that, and when you do that,
and when you all meet, all of heaven has a party
because you’re safe. That’s what the Bible says. And we’re not talking about sheep. According to Jesus, it’s true for you. You turn your face towards Jesus, and heaven has a party. “Lesson number two,”
again, deep philosophy, “coins don’t lose themselves.” Ah yeah, that’s true, right, right? I mean, no coins got up one day and go, I’m going under the couch cushion. That didn’t happen, all right? Coins get lost because somebody
wasn’t taking good care of the coin, and either dropped
it, and forgot about it, and it rolled out of
sight, and nobody knows where it is anymore, that’s
just what happens, right? The other part of that, flip side of that, is coins don’t un-lose themselves. That’s deep stuff, isn’t it? Somebody has to go and do the hard work, like what do you mean? Like, sweep the whole house? Yeah, if that’s what it takes to find it. And when they do find it, we’re not talking about coins anymore, when Jesus finds you, and you’re back with
Jesus where He wants you, this is what it says,
is God throws a party. The angels of God throw a party. I used to think heaven was a bunch of harp music and clouds, ah. Not a fan, I’m really not. But apparently, it’s the
greatest part of the universe, and I wanna go to that. ‘Cause that’s what’s waiting on us. I like that kind of heaven. So, you following me? So, let me just kind of
sum this up, all right? It’s again… “Sometimes you get lost
because you didn’t know “what you were doing.” That’s a lot of our stories. Kind of like a sheep, I don’t know, I was just going over there,
I thought it was okay, it’s no big deal. Then I turn around, I
don’t know where I am, and I don’t know how to get home. That’s some of our stories. I’m not throwing stones
at anybody, we got lost. “Sometimes you get lost because
somebody else didn’t know “what they were doing.” Somebody was supposed to take
care of you and protect you and keep you close, and they
didn’t, they dropped you. Right? And you got forgotten, and
the whole world landed on you. And now you’re like, well like it or not, I am broken and lost. Yeah. Again, not throwing stones
at anybody, that happens. “Either way, Jesus has
been looking for you “to joyfully bring you back to safety.” Maybe that’s why you’re here today. Listen to my voice. Lesson number three goes like this, this is gonna make some of you mad, and it’s what I do, but. “Sometimes you get lost
because you decided “to do something stupid.” All right? So well Jim, that’s not
politically correct. You hurt my feelings by calling me stupid. I didn’t call you stupid, I
said you did something stupid. Right? It’s just true, it’s stupid. And you look at it going,
yeah, it’s kind of dumb. Right, right? See listen, there is no argument that the son made a dumb decision. Right? He should have known better,
or that he really blew it. If you want to build an argument about how the son was wrong and stupid, you win. (claps hands) You win, all right? But at a critical moment, when
this kid’s changing his mind, and says, I want something
different, and I want to go home, in that moment, what does he need most? He might need a lot of things, what does he need most in that moment? And the answer is, he needs to hear, yes, it’s not too late to come home. That’s what he needs to hear. He needs to hear stuff like, welcome home. I’m glad you’re back. He needs to experience
grace and forgiveness. It’ll be followed by truth,
because the truth will uncover what’s broken in his
life that made him choose to leave in the first place. ‘Cause we all have a reason why we left. We all have a reason, Jesus
isn’t even beating you up for that, He’s just saying
yeah, you have your reasons, it just didn’t work out. So just come on back to me. Truth will come later. But you’re not gonna even understand truth unless you get a little grace
and forgiveness right now. Welcome home, isn’t that what you need? From God? And from the people
around you in your life? I do. You know what nobody needs? Nobody. That kid, or anybody listening
to my voice right now. You know what none of us
need, and none of us came to church for this, we didn’t
come here to get lectured. I’ve been in that church. I didn’t come to have a
finger put in my chest, and rehash all the stuff
that I have done wrong. And how Jim, you should have known better. I know. Guilty. Right? I was talking to the staff
down at 180 Ministries, I was talking about, I was
gonna speak at their banquet, and I did that Friday, so I
hung out with them last week, and they deal with men that
are battling with coming out of substance addiction, everything from booze
to heroin, all right? And I love how Kyle, one of their pastors, how he put this, I was
talking to him and he says, hey Jim, when men show up at our center looking for help, it’s not
our job, it’s not our desire to make them feel like
they’re a piece of crap. And I don’t mean crap, but my wife, right. (audience laughs) You know why you don’t need to tell them they’re a piece of crap? They already know it. I know. Our job is to show them that
even though they’ve done some crappy things, you
see the difference in that? I’m not a piece of crap,
I’m an image-bearer of God whose done some crappy things. Very different thing. But no matter what I’ve done,
I have a Father who loves me right now, as I am,
before anything changes, and wants me to have a
better life with Him, from now on, forever and in
paradise, and for all eternity. So really, lesson number
three goes more like this. This’ll be a good screensaver, right here. “If you are lost,” and that’s
the first song we sang today. He’s a way-maker, right? “If you’re lost and you’re
tired of living in a pig pen,” what am I gonna do? “Change your mind.” Nothing changes until you
change your mind, and then “turn your heart and
your face towards Jesus, “because He’s been looking
for you, He’s waiting for you “right now, and He wants you back today.” I believe that’s why
God brought a lot of you to hear this talk today. ‘Cause you forgot. And you thought He was mad at you. And you thought He was done with you. Because people told you that
He was, and they’re wrong. They lied to you. Jesus is saying, I want you back. I want you back. So let’s get to lesson number four, it’s the reason that Jesus
told these three stories, and then we’ll get out of here. And the reason that He was being mocked while He hung there on the cross, right, and it’s this. Self-righteous religious people. Time out here. If anything I say applies to your life, and you go, well that kind of
makes me feel uncomfortable? Good, please lean in. If I’m talking to you. Self-righteous religious people think that they’re better than sinners. And Jesus doesn’t. Self-righteous religious people forget that we are all 100% saved by grace, through faith, and not by
anything that we have done right, or anything that we stopped doing wrong. It’s all Jesus. It’s from Jesus, it’s by Jesus,
and we don’t earn any of it. It is a gift. Self-righteous people don’t like that. Self-righteous religious people, they don’t even like sinners. Jesus loves them. The sinnier the better. (audience laughs) I mean, He just digs sinful people, right. Self-righteous religious
people, they don’t think about, they don’t care, you know why? You go to church enough, eventually, you don’t even think you know any. Right, any sinners. Jesus does, thinks about us all the time. Self-righteous religious people think that this church is primarily
for them, and it’s not. Heads up. It’s not your church. It’s not mine either. See, self-righteous religious
people don’t want people, sinners, in their church Jesus does. As a matter of fact, He says
that the reason I started my church was for the purpose,
the only reason a church, and I’m not even responsible
for all the churches. I’m just responsible for this one. The purpose of this church
is seeking and saving. Going and searching, and
sweeping and finding, waiting and watching for
the lost, the very lost, the lost sheep, the
lost coin, the lost son, and the convicted criminal
hanging on a cross, and he doesn’t have time to change. (audience cheers) This is who we are. (audience applauds) And the reason He did everything
there, is so that one day, He could say to each of
them, and each one of us, I promise, I promise, you can be with me. I promise today, and
from now on, in paradise. I want to clear something up real quick. And I have to do this
every couple of years, and it’s not real politically correct, and I want to be sensitive, but let me clarify something, all right? For years, before we were
like six campuses and online and all this crazy stuff, right? We just had this one little
campus in a feed store, all right, and we only had
one thing in our lobby, it was a black shirt
that said “me too” on it. Now listen, I know that in today’s world, that statement has taken
on a whole new meaning, and I in no way, I don’t want
to be insensitive to that, I don’t want to be
dismissive of all the pain and injustice that is
rooted in that phrase. I honor it. I honor it. Personally, I can relate to it. But here’s what it’s
always meant at Flatirons. The way I always explain
this “me too” thing is that, I make this up, but I think I’m close, I think when you get to heaven,
in those first five minutes, all of us are gonna experience
very, very similar things. First of all, when you get to heaven, there’s gonna be a long
line of people like, from high school going, are you serious? You made it, wow. (audience laughs) Now I get it all the time on Facebook. Dude, you’re a pastor? I thought you were dead. I don’t know. (audience laughs) Right, some of you are going,
yeah, yeah, and college. (audience laughs) So that’ll pass. And then, I think this is gonna happen. Somebody’s gonna look at you and go, hey, how’d you get here? How did you get here? And here’s the only answer
that’s really truthful. I was lost, Jesus came looking for me, He cut me a sweet deal, and He invited me to come and be with Him, to
which the only rational response is to look back at him
and go, yeah, me too. And that’s where that comes from. At Flatirons, listen. Every once in a while, Jesus
would look out and clean house and go, maybe this isn’t
the right church for you. So I want to make some
things really, really clear. The moment that we ever
forget that the only way any of us gets to be
with Jesus is not because we became religious, please don’t. Not because we started
doing more good things to offset something bad. The only way that we get to be as God, and with just a little bit of faith, and I’m not in charge of how much that is, and neither are you,
apparently it’s a little bit of five minute, nailed
to a cross kind of faith, doesn’t really take a
lot, but we just ask Him, instead of getting what I deserve, Jesus, could I be with you,
and will you be with me? And His response is, I promise, right now, you can be with me from now
on, all the way into paradise. And the moment we forget
that, then we have forgotten the most important thing,
and we have nothing to offer to the world anymore, we
ought to close our doors. But I’m saying, this is where we’re going. And sometimes when the church, you know, we grown and grow, and we
get really comfortable, we forget about why we exist. And I’m back on target. And I have a sheep, and a coin, and a son in my head, in my heart. Do you? And they need to know that
God doesn’t hate them? Listen, I’m off notes now,
I’m just going, right, right? Is there somebody in
your life who’s going, hey listen, I have an aha, this is just so religious, listen to this. Heaven and hell are real places, and everybody’s gotta spend
eternity in one or the other based on what they did with
Jesus and if we have the truth, we gotta share it. Not because they’re bad,
because Jesus is good. Right? So I’m gonna close with some
statements, and if you agree with me, at all of our
campuses, our buddies at Limon I want everybody to stand
up right now, all right. And I’m gonna make some statements and if you agree with me on
that, if you can relate to me with any of those, and if you want this to be your mission, too, all I want you to say
back to me, is me too. Right? So I’ll go first. Sometimes I get lost. – [Audience Members] Me too. – And sometimes I feel very forgotten. – [Audience Members] Me too. – And sometimes I feel very
dirty, ashamed, and stupid. – [Audience Members] Me too. – Then Jesus came looking for me. Yeah, He did. And Jesus always remembered me. – [Audience Members] Me too. – Yeah, He did. And Jesus ran towards
me and welcomed me home. – [Audience Members] Me too. – And Jesus cut me a sweet
deal of grace and forgiveness. – [Audience Members] Me too. – It’s the only way I got in. Jesus promised me, today, I
can be with Him in paradise. – [Audience Members] Me too. – Yes He did, you know
what He called that? The good news. Good news that can change the
world, can change families. Change hearts, change marriages, change kids, change addiction. And I wanna go there. So God, in this moment right
now, we have a whole bunch of internal conversations
because some of us are sitting in pig pens right now, and
we’re arguing with you, saying stuff like this,
but what about this, and what about that, and I
did this, and I’m so far gone, and I’ve done this, and I’m so horrible, and I think I’m beyond
saving, and then you wade into the mess with us and
you say, I’m right here. I’ve been looking for you for a long time. I don’t want to hurt you,
I don’t want to punish you, I’d actually like to pick you
up and carry you back home with me, where you’re
safe, not just in heaven after I die, but right
now, starting right now. Paradise can come to us right now through your son, Jesus Christ. Who does that? Who leaves the 99 and goes
after someone like us? And the answer is, a reckless God. A God who throws all caution to the wind, and all the you shoulds, and you oughts, and they’re not worthys,
you throw that out, and say, I love him, I love her. And I’ve already done everything necessary to pull them out of
whatever pig pen they are, bring them home, and call
them my son and daughter. And because of that, because
of that reckless kind of love, we’ll worship you for
the rest of our lives. And we’ll take this message
that nobody’s too far gone, nobody’s too bad, and
nobody’s beyond grace, because of your son, Jesus. And it’s in His name I pray. Amen. – [Audience Members] Amen.

2 thoughts on “Jesus Makes a Promise | Famous Last Words | Week 2”

  1. 22:00 – Message
    00:20 – ”Chain Breaker" by Zach Williams
    04:05 – ”O Praise the Name (Anástasis)" by Hillsong Worship
    16:16 – ”Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas
    01:04:36 – ”Reckless Love" by Passion

  2. Out of curiosity, have either Jim/Ben seen the documentary "American Gospel: Christ Alone"? I'd like to hear their thoughts on it. I found it extremely eye-opening and changed the way I view Hillsong/Bethel/Passion/Jesus Culture music. Seems like the true gospel has gotten buried over time. I'm curious to know what Flatirons has to say about it!

Leave a Reply