When in doubt, make sure you’re looking at the real Jesus.
AUGUST 10, 2020
Zach Van Dyke:
When in doubt, make sure you’re looking at the real Jesus. Let’s talk on Key Life.
You’re listening to Key Life. We’re here to communicate the freeing truth that God’s not mad at his children. Steve Brown invited Zach Van Dyke to do the teaching this week. Zach’s the teaching pastor at Summit Church here in Orlando, Florida. If you’re a struggling believer, you’ve come to the right place.
Zach Van Dyke:
Thank you Matthew. And thank you all for tuning in this week. The old white guy, Steve Brown is taking the week off and, uh, and I’m filling in for him. I’m always so thankful for this opportunity. I’m always so thankful, uh, to spend some time with you. If you were here, uh, last month when I was, uh, when I was hosting for Steve, we spent a little bit of time and the first part of I John, and I’m titling this kind of series of weeks that I’m here When In Doubt. And we’re going to look at the letter of First John to address some of the doubts that, that we might have as believers, as followers of Christ, that the doubting doesn’t just stop. When you say I trust that Jesus is who he says he is. And so that’s what we’re doing. So I was here last month. We introduced the idea, uh, When In Doubt Part One, this week is When In Doubt Part Two, and then I’ll be back, hopefully, God willing in September to wrap it up with When In Doubt Part Three. Uh, but let’s, let’s jump into this week. His name is Franz Jägerstätter, you probably don’t know his name unless you’ve recently seen the Terrence Malick film, A Hidden Life, which I just watched it y’all and it is, it is one of the most beautifully shot, but gut wrenching films that I’ve ever seen, it tells the story, a true story of an Australian, not an Australian, an Austrian farmer who lived during World War II. He was a devoted husband. He was a doting father to three little girls, and he was also a devout Catholic. So when the, when the Nazi army came and said he needed to serve in that army, he really struggled with what to do. How could a man who has devoted his whole life to Jesus and to following Jesus, how could he serve such an evil purpose and still claim to be a follower of Christ? But he also knew, if he refused to go into the army, he would leave his three little girls fatherless and his wife all alone. You all, it’s a three hour movie. And most of the movie is just him wrestling with what he should do, because if you refuse to swear allegiance to Hitler and was killed because of it, would his life then matter, would that stop the Nazi army? Would that save the lives of the Jews? Would anyone even know what he had done, but his family and a few of Hitler’s followers. There’s a scene where he enters a church and there’s an artist there and he’s painting murals of Christ all over the walls and ceilings. And the artist, this was, oh man when this moment happened, it just like hit me so hard. This artist turns and says to him, I paint their comfortable Christ with a halo on his head, but someday I’ll paint the true Christ. Those words have haunted me, ever since I saw the movie. Has this pandemic… You know, we’ve been in months of just a crazy upheaval of everything that we relied on. Has this pandemic exposed us. Have we realized during this time, when so much is uncertain, that we have settled for a comfortable Christ instead of the true Christ. I mean, we’re, we’re in a time right now where a comfortable existence has been stripped away day by day. And it seems like it changes all the time. So, so maybe during this time, some of our hidden addictions have exposed themselves. Maybe some of us who felt like, well, I’m not an addict, cause I don’t, you know, I’m not a drug addict or an alcoholic, but, but maybe we’ve seen that the coping coping mechanisms that, that have gotten us through most of our life, all of a sudden we’re seeing them for what they are, that are need to be needed by people, our need to be important, our need to have a job that that is worthy, or to be able to get a lot done, to be very productive. Like all of that has kind of been exposed. I haven’t met anyone except maybe the medical profession and grocery store workers, who hasn’t realized that they can get most of their work done in a lot less time than it’s been taking them. I think a lot of people have realized, man, there’s a lot of stuff that I’ve done in the past that it just really didn’t matter and it actually wasn’t needed. And so as that as being exposed in us, like, what’s it doing? Like what, how are we responding to that? My hope is this week, as we kind of delve in to First John and we continue to look at what we do when we have doubts, my hope is we’ll see the true Christ. And, and maybe even for some of us realize that we’ve settled for a comfortable Christ, we’ve settled for a Christ that just makes us feel better. That just, uh, doesn’t challenge us, doesn’t disrupt anything in us. And maybe, I mean, I’m guessing if you’re listening to Christian radio, you probably are a follower of Jesus. And you’ve probably been a follower of Jesus for a long time. Maybe even most of your life, like me. I think that there’s an invitation in this unique and pretty awful time, to really seek Christ. They say, I’m going to seek the true Christ no matter what it disrupts in me, no matter the way it disrupts my thinking and my way of life, because right now everything has been disrupted. So it seems like a good time to let the true Christ disrupt us. Now, maybe you’ve never been a church person. Maybe you don’t even know much about Jesus. Maybe you were just changing the channel and you just stopped here for some reason. And I’m so glad you did. And I hope if you come back and if you listen all week, maybe some of the things that you’ve thought about Christ, will be exposed as false. And maybe the things that you’ve rejected about Christ you’ll find out, have anything to do with Christ. So that’s my goal this week, as we embark on our doubts and in wrestling with our doubts in light of what’s written in First John, to really see the true Christ and knowing that seeing the true Christ will disrupt all of us. The last time I was here, when we started this series, I talked a little bit about this Letter of First John, how it’s written to the church, uh, about 50, maybe 60 years after the very first Easter. It’s written by the disciple John, who was there throughout all of Jesus’s ministry. In fact, many people believe that John was a fairly young person when he started following Jesus, maybe 15, 16 years old, which means he was only about 19 years old when Jesus died on the cross. And so he’s been there through all of that. And then he’s been there through the beginning of the church. And in fact, when he writes the letter to the church, he’s an old man. He’s probably 70, 80, 80 years old. And in that time he’s seen all of his other disciples, all the other disciples of Jesus, dead, martyred, many of them, for the sake of Christ. He’s seen the pain that can come with following Jesus. And so essentially he sits down and he writes a letter to these newer believers, those who haven’t been through all that he’s been through. And it’s like, this is what he wants to leave with us. This is, or these are the final words that he wants to leave to impart on us. He knows he’s cramming for finals. He knows that he’s not here for much longer. And so he wants to leave for those who are coming after him, the things that he has found to be most important, John was seeing the church grow and he was seeing a bunch of new believers come to Christ, but he was also saying that these newer Christians wanted a Christianity without tears, that there was already a shift taking place, that they indeed wanted this comfortable Christ. And so he writes them a letter pointing to the true Christ, because he knew the true Christ is the only Christ that actually saves, that actually brings life. So let me read to you the passage that we’re going to be looking at all week. So the last time I was here, we read the first four verses of the letter, First John. Today, we’re going to start in the fifth verse of the first chapter of First John.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you. God is light, in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and we do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, his son purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves. And the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar. And his word is not in us. My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ, the righteous one. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. And not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world.
This is God’s word. Y’all did you hear what I just read? Did you hear that? John makes it very clear to these new believers, to these younger Christians, to those that hadn’t suffered the way he had suffered. He made it clear to us who live 2000 years after the fact, that no matter what, don’t sin, don’t sin. It’s not a good way to live, but if you do sin, we have an advocate with the father. We have one who fights for us, on our behalf, who stands before God as our righteousness. That is the true Christ. That is our righteous. And y’all, it’s all about grace.
Zach, that was pastor Zach Van Dyke, teaching us from First John, about what to do about doubts. You and I both know this is a really relevant topic, so I hope you’ll join us again tomorrow. And for the rest of the week. You know, if you’re hearing this program on a regular basis, then you already know the value of listening to solid Bible teaching. That’s why I think you’ll want to join the Key Life CD family. What is the Key Life CD family? Well, that’s a select group of folks who get two free CDs from Steve each and every year, as funds permit. Now, we do away a lot of CDs featuring content from Key Life and Steve Brown Etc, but these CDs are different. This audio is from talks from various events where Steve speaks throughout the year. It’s great stuff. And again, free, but you do have to call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CDs. By mail, send your request to
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