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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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Following After Christ

John 14:1-6

A long time ago the biblical psalmist cried, “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end” (Psalm 39:4). That is a good prayer for our times. For a person to make life’s journey meaningful and worthwhile he must have at least two things in sight: a destination, somewhere to go; and a direction, a way to get there. Jesus speaks of both in our text.

I. The Destination—“to the Father.”
A. Any journey that is worthwhile must have a destination.
1. To depart without a destination is to doom oneself to aimless wandering.
2. One of the great tragedies of our times is that we do not know where we are going. When we move into the future, we leave no forwarding address.
3. We would do well to heed the words of Moses to a people wandering aimlessly in the wilderness, “If only they were wise and would … discern what their end will be!” (Deuteronomy 32:29) “O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!”
B. A journey that is worthwhile must have the right destination.
1. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12).
2. Not all goals we pursue in life are the right ones. Many of the things we seek most really are not worth the effort.
3. Such, Jesus said, is the case with the man who lays up treasures on earth (Luke 12:13-21).
4. According to Jesus there is only one destination that is truly worthwhile—the Father’s house.

II. The Direction—“no one comes to the Father except through me.”
A. Some people who have the Father’s house in their sights never get there because they get lost on some side street.
1. Some people try to get there by living the “good, moral life.”
2. Some people try to get there by following their own “gospel.”
3. Some people try to get there by being “religious.”
B. But, according to Jesus, there is only one way to the Father’s house.
1. In our pluralistic society we do not like exclusiveness. We like inclusiveness. We like to treat every religion as good, every philosophy as worthwhile.
2. For us the ultimate virtue is toleration. We are quick to brand those who preach the “one way” as bigoted and intolerant.
3. Yet we have these words of Jesus, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
C. The exclusiveness of Christianity comes from its founder.
1. It is not our intolerance, it is His. It is not our narrowness, it is His.
2. Just as we have no right to make the way narrower than He does, we have no right to make it broader than he does.
D. It is the exclusiveness of Christianity that makes evangelism an imperative of the church.
1. It is why Christ commissioned His followers to preach the gospel to every creature.
2. It is why Paul was driven to take the gospel to his world.
3. It is why the church still confronts an often indifferent world and boldly preaches that Jesus saves.

If you get where you are going, where will you be?

The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a message: "Alter your course 10 degrees south." Promptly a return message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north."
The captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a second message: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am the captain!" Soon another message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am a seaman third class Jones."
Immediately the captain sent a third message, knowing the fear it would evoke: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am a battleship." Then the reply came: "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am a lighthouse."
In the midst of our dark and foggy times, all sorts of voices are shouting orders into the night, telling us what to do, how to adjust our lives. Out of the darkness, one voice signals something quite opposite to the rest--something almost absurd. But the voice happens to be the Light of the World, and we ignore it at our peril.

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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928