‘The Hour is Come’! John 12:23-26

Text:  “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness; when your fathers tempted (provoked) Me, proved (tested) Me, and saw My works forty years.  Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known My ways.  So I sware in My wrath, They shall not enter into My rest.”
Hebrews 3:7-11.

Good morning, prioritized Christian!  Having been saved by God’s free grace, you have become a willing bond-slave of King Jesus.  Having got this Eternal priority right - you now seek to prudently prioritize your life in service to your Sovereign Lord.  You do well, wise Christian, you do very well, beloved friend.  Thank God for clear priorities in our Christian lives!

“But seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  (Matthew 6:33)

So many today in the Western World - nations that have had the glorious Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ open to us for hundreds of years - have taken God’s offer of Eternal life for granted; spurned His gracious offer; and gone off in the way of the world, the flesh, and the Devil.  How tragic!

Yet, as we see in today’s selected Bible reading, the Spirit of God is still patiently crying out to sinners from God’s Word, “The hour is come…”

Today IF you will hear His voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness…”  (Psalm 95:7-8)

At the time in question, Christ Jesus was openly informing His disciples, and all that would hear, that He was about to be offered up as a Sacrifice to pay for the sins of ‘His people…’  He was about to be arrested; cruelly scourged; nailed to a Roman Cross; hung up and horribly Crucified for us. 

His most important hour in all Eternity was come.  The most vital hour in all of the history of mankind’s creation was at hand.  God was about to open the way to Heaven for repentant sinners, thus glorifying His Son, Christ Jesus, as the only way of Salvation.  Wow!  What an hour that would be!  Hallelujah!

“Neither is there Salvation in any other; for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)

“And she (Mary) shall bring forth a Son, and thou (Joseph) shalt call His Name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins.”  (Matthew 1:21)

In that Eternally definitive hour, Christ Jesus suffered and died on the Cross to redeem the precious souls of all that God His Father had given Him.

“All that the Father giveth (gave, gives, and continues to give) Me shall come to Me, and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”  (John 6:37)

We have our Eternal priorities correct when we hear God’s call to repentance; come to Jesus; and receive His promised Salvation.  That’s a fact of faith.

Like the ‘…corn of wheat…’ that was sowed into the ground - Christ Jesus tasted death for all of us who would heed the Gospel call and present ourselves in submission at His nail-pierced feet.  Christ, since that eventful hour, has most certainly brought ‘…forth much fruit…’ for His Kingdom.

However, having got that Eternal priority correct, we who are saved by Christ must now prioritize our lives in service to Him.

By seeking to militantly serve the risen Jesus, and be like Him, we necessarily ‘…lose…’ many other characteristics of our natural lives.  We deny our own fleshy tendencies; we desist from joining the world in many activities; we resist the Devil so that, for a season at least, he flees from us.  In this sense we, ’…hateth our lives in this world yet keep them unto life Eternal…  (V.25) 

Self-denial is a major priority in every sincere Christians’ daily life.  Is it yours?

Verse 26 of our Bible passage informs us of our necessity to ‘…follow Him…’; and to continually seek to be in close fellowship with Christ Jesus.

Let us ask ourselves then, do we delight to serve Christ?  Do we continually seek to be in close fellowship with Him in prayer?  The hour is come…to evaluate our priorities and recommit our ways unto Christ.  Let’s do it now!

Thought:  Put Jesus as FIRST priority - all else necessary will fall into place. (2 Chronicles 7:14-15)

Gossiping the Gospel John 12:20-22

Text:  “And there were certain Greeks among them that come up to worship at the feast; the same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying Sir, we would see Jesus.  Philip cometh and telleth (told and continued to tell) Andrew; and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.”
John 12:20-22.

Good morning, Gospel-gossiping Christian!  You KNOW what a terrible sin gossiping is in the sight of our Holy Lord God - yet you continually seek to engage in a form of gossiping!  What’s more, I am encouraging you to continue to faithfully do so, my friend.  Just as long as it’s the Gospel of Christ, and Him Crucified for sinners that is the content of your gossip!  Hallelujah!  Praise God for Gospel-gossiping Christians!

“Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables.”  (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

Unchristian Gossip:

In the proper sense of the concept, there is nothing worse than a gossip!

“Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out; so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.  As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.  The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”  (Proverbs 26:20-22)

“A lie can travel halfway across the country before truth has a chance to put its boots on.  It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart; the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.”       (Mark Twain)

“Be careful what you tell a gossiper because everyone will eventually know about it. Let me tell you friend, there is a form of communication faster than the telephone! There is a form of communication faster than the television! There is a form of communication faster than the telegram! It is the tell-a-woman! I'm being facetious here of course, men are just as guilty about gossiping as woman are. God HATES hate gossip because it destroys people's lives, ministries, homes, marriages, businesses, churches... you name it!

"He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips." — Proverb 20:19.

“BEWARE! Stay away from gossiping people, meddle not with them. One of the hallmark qualities of a true friend is someone who refuses to gossip about you behind your back.  As a matter of fact, we should never listen to or gossip about anyone! Proverb 11:13 reads, "A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter."  Do you have a faithful spirit?  Or are you a troublemaker who enjoys hurting others with your slimy vomiting mouth—set on fire of Hell as James 3:6 warns?”  (God's "Get Character Quick" Plan (by Pastor Jack Hyles, internet source)

Christian Gossip:

God loves Christians who seek to continually ‘gossip the Gospel’ to others!

“O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth (endures and continues to endure) forever.  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”  (Psalm 107:1-2)

“The Lord hath made known His Salvation; His righteousness hath He openly showed in the sight of the heathen…Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth; make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.”  (Psalm 98:2-4)

It is not enough for us to be personally saved.  We must seek to share this great Salvation in Christ Jesus with other lost souls.  We must ’gossip the Gospel message continually!

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  (Romans 10:17)

“How then shall they call on Him (Christ) in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher (witness)?”  (Romans 10:14)

Thought:  Go forth and gossip the Gospel today, faithful Christian! 

‘Hosanna’ - Please Save Now! John 12:12-19

Text:  Save now, I beseech Thee, O Lord; O Lord, I beseech Thee, send now prosperity.  Blessed be He that cometh in the Name of the Lord; we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.  God is the Lord, which hath showed us His light; bind the Sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
Psalm 118:25-27.

Good morning, saved and secure Christian!  Not only has the Living Lord God granted you and I Salvation - in His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus, and in His Cross Sacrifice alone - He has also given us Eternal security through Him.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!  In Christ we have full Atonement!

Neither by the blood of bulls and goats and calves, but by His own Blood He (Christ Jesus) entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained Eternal redemption for usHow much more shall the Blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God?  (Hebrews 9:12-14)

When people heard that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, and was coming into Jerusalem - they, as people will, hungered after the Eternal Salvation that is found exclusively in Him.  They cried out Hosanna: blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the Name of the Lord.

The souls of the multitude wanted Christ to save them, and to save them immediately!  Only He could do so.  But He would do it His own God-ordained way.  Not politically, not socially, not religiously - but Spiritually. 

Definition of Hosanna:

"Hosanna" (Greek transcription: σαννά, hōsanna) is the cry of praise or adoration shouted in recognition of the Messiahship of Jesus on his entry into Jerusalem Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! It is used in the same way in Christian praise.

Overall, it seems that, "Hosanna," is a cry for salvation, while at the same time is a declaration of praise. Therefore, it may be derived that this plea for help is out of an agreeably positive connotation.

The old interpretation "Save, now!" which may be a popular etymology, is based on Psalm118:25 Hebrew: הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא hOshEeah-nna) (Possibly "Saviour").” (From Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia)

The day before, the Lord Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead; the chief priests of Judaism had ‘…consulted…’ together in opposition, desiring to put Christ to death, and the risen Lazarus with Him!  However, when the Jewish multitude witnessed the raising of Lazarus from the grave, ’…many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.’  (V.11)

These new believers, and many many others who had gathered in Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, ’…took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried ’Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the Name of the Lord.’  (V.13)  They were crying out for their long-awaited National Salvation!

“In the Psalmist’s days, He (Christ Jesus) was the Coming One, and He is still the Coming One, though He hath already come.  We are ready with our hosannas both for His first and second advent; our inmost souls thankfully adore and bless Him and invoke upon His head unspeakable joy.” (C.H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, M.I. 49501, page 508)

The multitude of common Jewish people thronged Christ Jesus and cried out their ’hosannas’ for His Salvation.  But just look at how the self-righteous Pharisees reacted to His coming: 

“The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing?  Behold, the world is gone after Him.”  (V.19)

Yes, beloved Christian friend, all God’s elect throughout the world will indeed go after the Lord Jesus and receive His Eternal Salvation - if only you and I are bold enough to unashamedly proclaim the Gospel message.  ‘Hosanna!  Save now, Lord Jesus!  Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna!’ Amen.

Thought:  “…Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”  (Romans 10:13)  Call upon Christ today!