“WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?”
Text: John 16:23-33
Sunday May 22, 2022 – Easter 6
Trinity – Creston/Mt. Ayr
Grace, mercy, and peace is yours from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Our text for this Sixth Sunday of Easter is from John 16.
Let Us Pray: Dearest Jesus, send your Holy Spirit to remind us that you we can come to you in prayer at any time with your name that you have given each of us to approach you on confidence. You are the one thing needful in this fallen world. Amen.
Dear Fellow Redeemed in Christ:
What’s the world coming to? Have you found yourself wondering that lately? As you watch the news or open your newspaper or log on to an Internet news site, it often seems like the world is falling apart. (Covid, War in Ukraine, Inflation, politics, the issue of gender, the issue life and unplanned pregnancy)
What’s the world coming to? And not just the world, but our own country. What are Christians to do, scattered throughout a pagan world that seems to thrive on hatred, violence, and oppression?
What are Christians to do when we feel we are a minority, out of place, out of step, out of time? With the world falling apart all around us, or are accused of being bigoted or hateful for defending God’s Word on these issues. What are scattered Christians to do? Pray!
We Can Always Pray with Confidence Because We Come in the Name of Him
Who Has Overcome the World.
I. Christ offers us confidence that he has overcome our troubled world.
A. Jesus speaks his farewell discourse to the disciples.
1. He has told them many things using figures of speech (v 25).
2. He is building them up to endure the future.
3. All too soon, they will be scattered, for soon he will be betrayed (v 32).
B. The disciples could not imagine living in a world without Jesus, yet in a few hours that is just what they will experience.
1. They will watch Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, and death.
2. They could then truly ask, “What is the world coming to?”
C. In this uncertainty, Christ reassures them.
1. Christ assures them of his victory: “But take heart; I have overcome the world” (v 33).
2. Though Christ had yet to endure his Passion, the outcome was assured.
a. It was as good as completed (Lk 9:51).
b. Christ would accomplish the task set out before him by the Father.
3. If Christ has overcome the world, we can be confident about our futures.
II. Yet we often still feel less confident about our futures in this world.
Illustration: I remember several years ago during the NFL playoffs, the Green Bay Packers were playing the Seattle Seahawks at home in Green Bay. The game went into overtime.
When Seattle won the coin toss to start the overtime period, their quarterback said the infamous words: “We want the ball and we’re gonna score!” Well, history tells us they didn’t score, and Green Bay won the game.
Other professional athletes have made such claims, guaranteeing a win, only to have their teams lose. But these kinds of predictions are not relegated to just the stadium or arena.
How many polls during an election season have claimed one particular candidate would win a race, only to have the actual vote go the other way? That’s the problem with making guesses about the future, even with the most reliable information—predictions often end up being wrong.
How many false prophets and religious leaders have predicted that they now the end of the world and take advantage of the fears of many with these predictions?
A. Surely we’d have to be uncertain about the future if we’re predicting the future without remembering Christ’s words.
1. We ask, “What’s the world coming to?”
a. We agonize about the future.
b. We worry about the world.
c. We wrestle with our country’s problems.
2. We forget what Christ tells us: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace” (v 33).
a. We overlook the cross and resurrection; by them Jesus is able to say, “Take heart; I have overcome the world” (v 33).
b. We neglect the future: “Now I am leaving the world and going to the Father” (v 28; cf. Acts 1:11).
B. What are Christians to do?
1. What are Christian to do, scattered throughout a pagan world that seems to thrive on hatred, violence, and oppression?
2. Pray with confidence in the name of Jesus.
III. For life in this uncertain world, Christ assures us that we can pray with confidence—in his name.
A. Whatever you ask the Father in Jesus’ name, “he will give it to you” (v 23).
B. The disciples had not asked anything in Jesus’ name, but now Jesus tells them that the time is coming to pray in his name.
1. “Until now you have asked nothing in my name” (v 24).
2. “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (v 24).
C. Through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus has given us direct access to the Father.
D. Jesus has given us the Father’s ear: “For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God” (v 27).
Conclusion: As a Christian, we have no need to ask, “What’s the world coming to?” Instead, we ask whatever we need—in the name of Christ, who has overcome it.
Now may the peace of God which surpasses all human understanding, guard and keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior . Amen.