Not the End of the Story-Journey to the Cross

This good Friday message is the greatest love story ever.

James Greer
Apr 5, 2020    33m
Jesus' journey to the cross was one of suffering that brought forth great healing for the world. Our plans in life are only temporal, but God's plans are eternal. Discover the hope that is alive today because of Good Friday a few thousand years ago. Message by Pastor James. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer (00:00):
Wow! Morning Journey Church. We want to continue to pray for Kurt and Claudia, and their family. You couldn't read part of that which was highlighted down there. It said, we believe we're going to see her again one day. The title of our message is this is not the end of the story, and it's not the end of the story for them. They believe with all their heart that there'll be united again in heaven, and I believe they will too. However, they said the battle is not over. They said first, each person if you would to seek God to become closer in a relationship with him. They said, second, continue to pray for those that are still affected by the virus and we continue to lift them up.

James Greer (00:47):
And then they have a message to us. They said, Claudia and I and our family would like to thank each every person who poured out their outreach to us in this difficult time in life. We'll never be able to express our love and our gratitude to everyone. Your love to us has helped more tremendous than you'll ever know. We've placed Clara's body in her final resting place today. It was the most difficult thing in our life. Our family is strengthened by the knowledge of you all love, but it's solidified by knowing that her faith in Jesus Christ. She's experiencing God's glory right now. A good friend of mine told me, hang on to these words as you experience your grief, think about Claire, what she seeing and what she's feeling at this very moment. Hang on to the belief of salvation in Jesus Christ. If Clara could talk right now, she'd say, believe Jesus Christ is real. Salvation is here. It's unbelievable what I'm experiencing it's lovely, it's beautiful, it's greater than the solar system, the salvation, the sacrifices are worth it. Except Christ as your Savior. Don't wait another second. Ask for forgiveness. There's nothing too far, nothing too low that God can't reach down and pull you out. It's free. Salvation cannot be earned. No, we don't deserve it. If only you could lift the very edge or the very edge of the curtain of heaven and we could peek in it, we would be so amazed. We would be astonished at the awe of heaven. God longs to seek us, yet he allows us a free choice of free will. We want to thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts. Love Claudia, Kurt and our entire family.

James Greer (02:38):
I normally always tell people if they don't know Jesus Christ at the end, I give them an opportunity. But if there's one thing that Kurt and Claudia and Clara would tell you right now, maybe during this time in this crisis, you're having this unbelievable longing that you're just not sure, and maybe you're not sure if something happened to you that that you would go to heaven. And I want to take a moment even before we get into the message and give you that great opportunity. And that opportunity just means how you know there's something missing in your life. And did she know that you sinned. And this blank maybe represents sin in your life. And that you've come to the point in your life that you believe that Jesus died for your sins. And you're at the point that you'd like to invite Jesus Christ into your heart to forgive your sins and wash them all away. And one day, you know, you two would go to heaven and that you too should keep growing.

James Greer (03:48):
If you'd like to do that, I'd like to do that with you right now. Before we even get started, just say something like this. Just say, dear Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner. I'd like for you to forgive me of my sins. Come into my heart, be the Lord of my life. In Jesus name. Amen. See, if you've done that, let somebody online know, and we'll send you some information and follow up and help you to continue to grow. I've often said that spiritual growth is the only thing that guarantees your life would get better. And so I want to encourage you to keep growing and learning. I say this, if you're growing, you're learning, unlearning and relearning. And man, if there's ever a time that I'm having to learn, unlearn and relearn, it's right now.
James Greer (04:37):

But, I'm also so thankful for the digital media. I was driving to church this morning. It was unbelievable how few car or on the road. It was almost silent. It was almost eerie in a way. And then I thought, how blessed I am. I saw the beauty of God. I thought when I'm home and in isolation, I have on wife, we can spend time together. I thought we're really, really blessed with the media. Uh, though I miss our staff so bad, and we're isolated from it, but yet we Zoom once or twice a week. And at least we get to see each other face to face. And you have to learn and relearn. I'm thankful that this Wednesday night at six o'clock, as we prepare for Easter, that we're going to have the Lord's supper live, and we want you to be on that with us. We want you to come and enjoy preparing for Easter. The Lord's supper this Wednesday night at six o'clock and you just get around a table with your family. You can have bread and you can have juice. A few of you all can have wine, but most of you all can't. We're going to remember what Jesus did for us and celebrate that time.

James Greer (06:14):
I sent out a couple of emails this week and one was how to pray for protection. One was how to pray for peace. If there's anything that I want for Journey Church, and I want for our people, I want for everybody. I want you to know how to pray for protection. I want you to know how to pray for peace. If you didn't get those emails, just add your email today and they'll see that you get those prayers and know how to pray, and how to fill in the blank, and how to personalize and how to pray for protection, and how to pray for peace, and we want you to know how to do that. Every week I've given you a verse. This is the fourth week. That means there's four weeks that I've been without preaching to a group of people. And man, when we get to preach to the people. Man, I'm going to just go, wild.

James Greer (07:05):
Every week I've given you a verse. This is the fourth week. That means there's four weeks that I've been without preaching to a group of people. And man, when we get to preach to the people. Man, I'm going to just go, wild. And it's coming. This is not the end of the story. This isn't the last time that I'm going to just preach to a camera and just to a few people. It's going to come back and I'm going to scream. I'm going to go down the halls. I'm going to hug and I'm going to love. It's coming. Amen? Psalms. The reason I know it's the fourth week, is because it's the fourth verse. This week's verse is Psalms 121:7,8 and I'm going to use the New Century version. The Lord will protect you from all dangers. He'll guard your life. The Lord regards you as you come and you go both now and forever. So, I want you to write down your verse week is Psalms 121:7,8. And as your texting and as you're checking on people, I want to encourage you, check on at least three or four or five people a day, or at least a week, and maybe attach that verse and let them know that you're praying for them. That's the intro.

James Greer (08:05):
The title of the message is, this is not the end of the story. It wasn't the end of the story for Clara. The truth is it was only the beginning of the story for her. By the way, the Corona virus in the way we're living, that's not the end of the story. Anytime God ends a story is for our good in his glory. You could almost say it like this, you ready? Until it's good, God is not done. Romans 8:28 until it's good, God is not done. Amen? In fact, even though we don't understand it, while God's writing this story, it's still for our good and it's for his glory. The message today will actually prove how much God loves us. It proves, and he never allow anything to change the story that was going to be for our good and his glory. He will not change anything including the death of his own son. If it's not good, God is not done.

James Greer (09:37):
Number one, God never panics because God always has a plan. If there's ever going to be a day or a time in history that God was going to panic, it wouldn't be over the Corona virus. It would have been a time when God's son, Jesus Christ was begging and pleading that this cup might pass from him, that he might not have to go to the cross, but it didn't pass. As we pick it up in Mark chapter 14 verse 32 it says, and they came to a place. And every time I say that they came to a place, it reminds me that me and you and everybody needs a place. We all need a place that we can go and be alone with Jesus Christ. It's those times that we go and we're alone with Jesus Christ, that we find the security and the peace that we need. If you don't have a place, get a place. It was called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, sit here while I pray.

James Greer (11:19):
Now, I was so blessed a year or two ago that me and the Floyd's got to go to that very place. I got to see, you see me sitting on the camel. That has nothing to do with the story. I just thought everything was so serious that you need to see us. That was Kojak and we rode the camel. This was serious. This was the garden of Gethsemane and we got to go. We got to see the very place that Jesus wept and he cried out. In fact, I got to read right there. And he went away a second time. And he prayed. He said, my father, if it possible for this cup to be taken away, unless I drink of it, that your will be done. So, for a short time, we got to stand there and we got to imagine that Jesus was in that very place. Everyone needs a place like that.

James Greer (11:47):
And he took James and Peter and John with him and he began to be troubled and was deeply distressed. This trouble and distress. We can't even imagine. I think this week. And sometimes people are saying, well, I'm so stressed. I've had to stay in for two weeks, three weeks and I'm not making fun of that. I know that can be stressful. I know the mothers that are having to stay home with the kids, it's got to be stressful. I know wives that have to stay home with husbands like me. It's got to be stressful. Sometimes we don't know how good we've got it until we see what others are going through. When you see what Kurt and Claudia just went through, you see how good you got it. When you see Tony and Janet struggling with cancer, you kind of see how good we got it. Fred and Ashley's struggling with cancer. Our two weeks in is not really that bad, is it?

James Greer (12:48):
Wait until you see the picture of what Jesus had to go through and the agony that he poured out in the garden of Gethsemane and we'll see how good we have it. Sometimes we have to look at what other people are going through and have gone through, where we can enjoy where we're at. When it said he was deeply in stress and greatly distressed, do you all know what that means? It means Jesus was filled with horror. Horror and dread concerning about what was about to take place, while Jesus' physical body was going to hang on the cross. God the father was going to have to pour out his wrath and judgment on his son. All the wrath and judgment stored up because of me and you and our sins and our past.

James Greer (13:33):
Then on top of that, Jesus was going to be on the cross and he was going to be separated for the first time from his father. And he's going to cry out and he's going to say, why have you forsaken me? Jesus is filled with horror. He knows he's going to be beaten. He's going to be nailed to a cross and he's going to ask if this cup pass from me and I'll tell you, God never panics. If he panicked and didn't have a plan, this would be the time. He's not panicking because some Corona virus, I can tell you, God has a plan. Verse 34 then he said to them, my soul is exceedingly sorrowful even to death. Stay here and watch. God the father hears his son, he still doesn't panic. I would panic. You would panic. God never panics. God's doesn't panic because God sees the beginning and God sees the end, and God always has a plan.

James Greer (14:08):
Our sorrows and our plan is not necessarily going to change God's plans for an eternal purpose. Let me give you some insights about eternal purpose. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, therefore don't lose heart. In other words, there are going to come things in our life if we're not careful, they're going to discourage us. Don't let it defeat you. Even though our outward man is perishing. In other words, I'm getting older and my body's wearing out. Yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. Even though you're getting older on the outside, you can get more excited on the inside. You can come closer and closer to God. And one day you can just step out of this body and be with God. And it goes on it says, for our light afflictions, and some people say, my afflictions aren't light. Some people think their afflictions are great right now and they are temporarily. He says, what's for our moment compared to eternity? Ha ha, it's working.

James Greer (15:17):
Something's going on that you can't see. It's working for us more exceedingly than you can imagine. It's an eternal wait for glory. It's an eternal purpose. While we don't look at things which are seen. That's what we do. We look at things that are seen, but if things which are not seen. We need to quit looking at the things that we can see and start thinking about the thing that we cannot see. We cannot see the Corona virus. But, if you're not careful, you'll focus on that. And God said, quit focused on that and start focusing on the godly things that you cannot see. For the things which are seen, they're just temporal. But the things which are not seen, they are eternal. And God said, there's going to be some temporal things. They're just going to pass and there's some eternal things that are going to last.

James Greer (16:36):
Let me give you some things. Our plans and purpose most often are temporal. God's plans and purpose are always eternal. We mostly see our pain and our suffering from a temporary view. God sees our pain and suffering from an eternal view. Most of the time our temporal pain and suffering will not change God's plans for his eternal purpose. For us, we see temporal pain. God sees an eternal purpose. God will never waste the temporal pain without giving it eternal purpose. We want comfort. God says, I'm going to build character.

James Greer (18:02):
Second of all, all things are possible for God, but all things are not permissible for God. Verse 35 it said, then Jesus went a little further and he fell on the ground, and he prayed that if it is possible that the hour may pass from him. He's just saying. Then he said, Abba Father, do you understand that he's going to the father and he said, daddy, daddy, daddy. He is like, you're going in to your father with the greatest plea that you can imagine. Oh daddy, please, please, please can this pass. He goes to him in the call of a father, but as a daddy, and he says, all things are possible with you. Take this cup away from me. Daddy, you can do it.

James Greer (18:58):
Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will. Wow! has to be something Jesus saying, God the father, my daddy, I know you have the power to do this, but you might not have the will to do it. God, I know you had the power to do anything in the world. I just don't know if you have the will to do it. God has all power. There's absolutely nothing too hard for God to do, but not all things are permissible because they're outside the will of God.

James Greer (19:40):
Then he came, he found them sleeping. He said to Peter Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch and wait an hour? And he goes on and he said, watch and pray less you enter into temptation, the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak. You know? He's also given us a key there. He's given us a key to have a few more spiritual victories. He said, watch. Let Jesus Christ be our example. Whatever Jesus does is a great example for us to learn from. Have a place to pray and be alone with God. He said that if Jesus will be our example. If they'll watch and pray, find a place along. We can have more victory.

James Greer (20:03):
He's also warning that there's always going to be a fight. There's going to be a fight between the flesh and the spirit. That's why it's so important to feed the spirit of God. That's why when we get this fruit of the spirit, the love and the joy and the peace that comes from God, it comes when we feed the flesh and the opposite of love is hatred. We know Christians that act in hatred against each other. They've not fed the spirit. Joy comes from feeding the spirit. When you don't have joy, you have sadness. It's time to feed your spirit. Peace comes from feeding the spirit. Jesus was saying, Hey, watch me get alone with God. Feed the spirit. Love, joy, peace, peace comes from God. It's a gift from God. If you don't have peace, you have panic. Faith comes from God. If you don't have faith, you have fear. God's saying you need to be alone with God where you can feed your spirit. There's nothing else can do it and be honest with you. Nobody else can do it. There's going to be times that nobody else will be with you. Even Jesus Christ, the disciples who he loved, they fell asleep and he had to go through this all by themselves. And there's many people that are alone, but Jesus will never leave you or forsake you.

James Greer (20:55):
Verse 39, again he went away and he prayed and he spoke the same words and when he returned, he found them asleep again. Like I told you there's going to be things you're going to go through, you'd have to go through them alone. For eyes were heavy and they didn't know what to answer him. And he came a third time and he said to them, are you still sleeping and resting? That's enough. The hours come, behold the son of man, is going to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. He was by himself, went through the toughest times in his life by himself. Some of you feel alone. Jesus knows what it's like. And he said, you might be alone, but you don't have to be lonely. I know what it's like. I'll never leave you and I'll always be with you.

James Greer (22:28):
I want to give you some insights to kind of start getting ready to close. And the first one, first sign, the first sign of a problem of pain and suffering, ask God to remove it. Jesus did. Who knows? It might be God's will to heal. Sometimes it is God's will to heal. We're seeing lots of people healed. We got to see Jessica. Who had the Corona. She's home. We see Deborah Atkinson, she's home. We've seen Susan's home, Michael's home. There's a lot of times, the first time we have a problem, the first thing is ask God to heal, because it might be his will. Amen? I mean the second time I'd ask God to heal. Third time I'd ask God to remove the problem.

James Greer (23:42):
Start to getting a third time. I'd ask, God, I want you to remove it, but God, I need you to give me the peace to go through it. I've never been a time, I've been in 35, 36, maybe 38 years in ministry now. I've never seen a time where God is given the people the power to go through the problem. Did you know that I text Claudine and Kurt and I said, I'm so sorry and praying for you all. And one of the things they said was thank you. And of course they're hurting, but they said we also have peace. They got peace, it's the power of God. I'm telling you, if God does not remove the problem and the pain in your life, ask God to give you the power to go through the problem.

James Greer (24:44):
Next, when you're going through it as God's will be done. That's hard, but it's so helpful. I want to tell you, there's a time I went through, I don't want to get into the story, but I wouldn't want to pray that God's will be done in a certain situation. I just prayed, God, you heal this particular person and I wouldn't pray. God's will be done, and it was not. It was God's will that that person was not healed. Because I didn't say God's will be done. It was so hurtful, almost dropped out of the ministry. It's not always God's will to heal the hurt. It is always God's will to give you the power to go through the hurt. God's will be done. It's hard, but it's helpful. Fifth, remember this. Most of the time, God doesn't remove the pain. Sometimes he does. Most of the time he doesn't. He gives us the power to go through it. It's called grace. Six, no matter what you're going through, God sees past your problem to a purpose. He never wastes the pain because he always has a plan and that plan is for your good.

James Greer (26:06):
Seventh, remember, we most often see from a temporal view. What God sees from an eternal purpose and it's for my good and your good and his glory. This is not the end of the story. This is temporal, won't last. Eternal things will never pass. God will win. We're going to have victory. I got a note. If Clara was here and she could speak, this is what she would say is, it's 1 Corinthians 2:9 and she'd say, I'm writing you a note, and she was saying, eyes have not seen, ears have not heard nor even entered in the hearts of men and women, boys and girls. The things with God has prepared for those that love. beyond our imagination what God has in store for us and I believe we can have some of it now we can have it all when we get to heaven. You can only have peace and not panic when you understand that God has a purpose and a plan and you're part of it. You can only have peace and not plan. When you allow God to guard your heart.

James Greer (27:21):
Philippians 4 says this, it says, don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With a thankful heart offer up your prayers and your requests to God. In other words, in essence it's saying, stop thinking so much and start thinking and trusting. Stop thinking and thinking and trusting. Every time you start to worry, every time you have anxiety, we all worry some. We all have moments of anxiety and God didn't say we didn't have them. He's trying to tell you what to do with them. He's saying when they come start thanking God, because you say, I thank God that you're in control. You're in control and I will make my request known. He didn't say that we weren't going to them, he's telling you what to do. It's like, I thank you God that you are in control. This is my request.

James Greer (28:24):
Verse seven says, then because you belong to Christ, you've got to remember you've got to belong to Christ, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace. Peace is a blessing from God that no one can completely understand and this piece will control the way that you think and feel. In other words, it's saying, how do you control your emotions? How do you control how you feel? He's telling us how to do it. He's trying to say, peace is a blessing that can only come from God. Your emotions controlled by what you think. If you continue to think about the Corona and you think it's in control, you're going to have worry, you're going to have anxiety, but when you start thinking about God and that God's in control, he says, I'll begin to give you a peace that surpassed all understanding. I'll give you peace. I'll give you courage. God is in control. Amen?

James Greer (29:42):
Then you can only have peace, and you can come to a point that you say, God's will be done. In this situation, overall in the world, God's will be done. And you can only have peace and not panic, when Jesus Christ, he's your Lord and Savior. If you're online and Jesus is not your Lord and savior, I want you to give your heart to him today.

James Greer (29:46):
If you're here today and you're really overwhelmed with worry and anxiety and your panic, I want you to take God at his word, not Pastor James. God and his word. He wants you to start thinking about God. Thank God that God is in control. Thank God that he can bless me because I'm a child of God. As I thank God for being in control and I thank for who he is and what he's going to do and I can ask him to take this away. He said, I'm going to give you a peace that surpasses all understanding. I'm going to take control of your emotions because you're thinking about me. Whatever it is you need God to do, would you let him have his will in his way in your life as we pray?

James Greer (31:52):
God, I just thank you that you are in control. God. I pray for those that may not know you as our Lord and savior, that today, not Sunday today, right now would be the time that they give their heart and life to Jesus Christ, that they just invite him into their life right now. Say, God, there's a pool on my to pull on my heart and God, I just know that I'm a sinner. I want you to come into my heart. I want you to be the Lord of my life. Those that are struggling with anxiety and worry and I want you to read the Philippians 4 over and over and over it says, quit being anxious. Quit being worrying. Pray about everything. Pray thanking God that God's in controls. I just thank you that you're in control. Take away this anxiety. Take away this, worry from me. God, I thank you that peace is a blessing that only comes from you and God. I'm going to think about you and I'm going to give you the honor and the praise. God, I pray for all those that are on front line. The doctors, the nurses, the grocery workers that drivers God, everybody is working in the hospital. God, I pray, God, I pray that hedge of protection around about them. God I pray for those that are sick right now. We know many that have the Corona virus. God, I know you're the great physician. I know that you use doctors and nurses and I pray that you give them the insights to take care of themselves. God, I pray that they could feel your comfort right now, your healing hand to put upon their lives. God, if those that need to join our church, God that they know that they could join today online. Last Sunday we had people join online. You can give your heart to Jesus Christ online. You can give online. God, it's a different time, but God, we might be separated physically God, but we don't have to be separated spiritually draws close together. It's in Christ's name I pray. Amen.

James Greer (32:31):
Hey, on behalf of Pastor James, I'm so glad you joined us today in worship. If you're feeling led to make a decision, I want you to in the comments below, learn about salvation and let pastor walk you through the plan of salvation. If you want someone to pray with you or for you, I'm going to ask you to click Italy in the comments about prayer. We know at Journey Church we can't do life alone and we want you to be a part of one of our online community groups. Click in the comments below online community groups and find out the information and the groups that we have that we want you to be a part of. At Journey our vision is to bring those far from God close to God, and we want you to be a part of that. And being a part of that, all I'm asking you to do is click in the comments give. And give to the ministries of Journey Church, and help us to bring those who are far from God close to God one step at a time. And before we leave, we don't simply just need to come and be the church, but we need to go and be the church. In other words, outside be the church and help us to bring those who are far from God close to God.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360