Are You Mad at God for Telling You the Truth

June 17, 2006

Introduction:
1.  For those of you who may be visiting with us today, Pastor Viars completed a series a few weeks ago on the question: Is God Mad at Us?
- that series was very helpful in a number of ways in answering that important question
2.  But if we’re all honesty, it’s easy for any of us to look at someone else and imply that they are the one that needs to change rather than taking a look at our own life and seeing how WE need to change!
3.  While the question: Is God Mad at Us? is an important question to ask, there is another question equally important that would cause us to look in the mirror and consider our own lives:
- the question is: Are You Mad at God?
- even if you answer, YES, please keep in mind, you’re not the 1st  person to be upset with God?
4.  Three weeks ago, we looked at Genesis 4 and saw how Cain was angry at God because God had accepted the sacrifice of Cain’s brother, Abel
- this resulted in anger that eventually led to Cain killing his brother
- there is a lesson there: * Choices have consequences
> God in His grace will let you choose HOW you respond to a situation, but He will NOT let you control the CONSEQUENCES of your choices!
- there are many warnings and teachings about this subject of choices and consequences, but for some reason (the curse of sin) we tend to neglect to heed those warnings/teaching:
 Deuteronomy 11:27 the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.
 Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Point: You can’t blame God for NOT communicating with us about what will happen if we reject His authority in our lives, or we choose to react in a sinful manner!
5.  Then Brent did a study with us on Psalm 73 – where the Psalmist was struggling with this issue until he went in to the sanctuary of God and starting looking at life from God’s perspective
- it was then that he wrote:
 Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. 28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.
6.  Then last week, Rob took us to Romans 5 and set us straight on the divine plan of God to redeem man and restore that relationship
7.  If you stopped and asked yourself this morning, “Why am I angry at God?” – what would be some of the reasons you would list?
- for some, that answer would be a circumstance that God allowed to come into your life:
• Somebody DID something to you, or . . .
• A certain SITUATION happened and you didn’t like it – thought it was too much – even thought the Scripture is very clear about trials/temptations:
 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
8.  Maybe a better question would be:
 Are there any examples in the Bible of people who got angry at God, & if so, what did they do?
 Why were they angry? 
 What can we learn from that?
9.  I would like to suggest * Another option for why people get angry at God: I can summarize it with one word: TRUTH – [Sermon Title: Are you mad at God for telling you the truth?]
- we don’t like to hear the truth about our lives, our decisions, our circumstances
- because, if it’s true, many time it reveals that I am wrong and I need to CHANGE!
- Please open your bibles to John 8 – page ___ of the bible under the chair in front of you, and page ___ of the Chinese/English bible.
- John 8 has 58 verses in it, so relax; we’re not going to read them all – only John 8:1-11 & 48-51
> this sets the stage for the rest of the chapter that we’ll study! [READ John 8:48-51]
- Let’s divide our study this morning into 4 parts of why we sometimes get angry at God when He tells us the TRUTH because:
  I.  Our View of Sin Is Not Always Right
II.  Our View of Christ Is Not Always Right
III.  Our View of God’s Word Is Not Always Right
IV.  Our View of Our Opinions Is Not Always Right
- let’s begin with this reason:


  I.  Our View of Sin Is Not Always Right – 8:1-11


- we try to prove ourselves just & right rather than thinking things through from God’s perspective
- explain v. 1-11
Context: Jesus is in the temple, a place of worship/teaching
- the scribes & Pharisees
Note:  Neither were a good group of people to be around – yet religious leaders of the day, and were self-righteous, inconsistent, proud, detached from the whole counsel of God,
> i.e. the pick and choose what part of the Law they really want to emphasize  - and in essence keep people FROM God instead of leading them TO God through the Gospel
- it was this group that brought the woman caught in adultery
Q: Where was the guy? – it takes 2 people to commit an act of adultery to the extent they were claiming!
Answer: It’s possible the guy was part of the plot to expose the woman – maybe he got paid for it the way Judas did for betraying Jesus – the text isn’t specific and that’s not the focus
- Their GOAL?   [read]  John 8:6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him.
- these people really lacked JUSTICE (they didn’t bring both) and their motives were not grace and restoration, but to find something with which to bring the charges against Jesus
- The OT Law in Lev. 20:10 & Deut. 22:22 required that both guilty parties be stoned and not just the woman.
- they put Jesus in a dilemma:
1) If Jesus rejected the Law of Moses, His credibility would be gone
2) If He held to the Mosaic Law, His reputation for compassion and forgiveness would have been questioned – after all, He was known as ‘a friend of publicans and sinners’
“Instead of passing judgment on the woman, Jesus passed judgment on the judges! No doubt He was indignant at the way they treated the woman. He was also concerned that such hypocrites should condemn another person and not judge themselves. 
- it was required by Jewish Law that the accusers be the ones to cast the 1st stone (Deut. 17:7)
- but remember what Jesus has taught in the Sermon on the Mount:
 Matthew 5:27 " You have heard that it was said, ' YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
- that’s the point of the statement: ‘He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone’
A.  Our View:  Sin only involves the outward action!
* Truth:  Sin is an issue of the heart – not just the ‘act’ of adultery, it’s even thinking a/b it
- God has a way of revealing what’s in our hearts:
 sometimes (most of the time), He uses His Word (we see that shortly)
 sometimes He uses people (maybe their imperfections, their faults, or even their sinfulness, or their godliness) to convict us
 sometimes he uses trials/testing to reveal our heart:
- maybe that’s why the Lord put the following verse in His Word:
 James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
B.  Our View:  Law and grace compete with each other – you can’t have both!
- these two groups were more focused on the punishment and tempting Jesus than they were forgiveness, grace, mercy, etc.
* Truth: Law and grace complement each other. [the Law reveals our sin]
 Romans 5:20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
- .God in His grace grants forgiveness and restores the relationship by providing the sacrifice that ‘takes away the sin of the world.’
Point: People who are angry at God lack grace, mercy, patience – and a proper view of holiness and justice – a person angry at God is looking more for revenge that restitution or restoration!
- Result of Jesus’ answer:  (summarize) scribes & Pharisees began to depart – WHY? GUILTY!!
- Their plan didn’t work – Jesus never came right out and answered them – instead, He focused on the TRUTH – truth that would later make them very angry
- they obviously returned – the conversation continued


II.  Our View of Christ Is Not Always Right – 8:12-30


A.  Our View:  Jesus’ testimony is not valid – they actually quoted Jesus’ words in John 5:21
 John 5:31 "If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true.”
* Truth: Jesus is the Light of the World
Note:  Remember, they had just celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles, during which the huge candelabra were lighted in the temple at night to remind the people of the pillar of fire guided Israel in the wilderness journey (Exodus 13)
1)  Light provides direction (able to make decisions)
 Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
2) Light also drives away darkness (you can see things more clearly)
- Darkness in the bible not only refers to literal darkness (absence of light), but spiritual darkness (the presence of sin, evil, corruption):
ILL: Dad who kidnapped his 2 sons – killed one of them
ILL: Gay-pride expanding to other cities – cf. of Rom. 1 “God gave them over to …”
Q: What is the answer for both of those situations?
 John 17:17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
 Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 10 With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments. 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.
Q: Is God powerful enough to change the life of a murderer, homosexual, thief, adulterer, . . . what about someone who is angry at God for what He did or DIDN’T do?
Q: Do you view homosexuality only through the grid of Sodom & Gomorrah, or through Calvary and the cross, and the blood of Christ?
Point: Keep your view of God right or you might face the temptation to get angry at God when He does something with which you don’t agree!
- Jesus IS the Light of the World, His testimony about Himself is true – His relationship with God the Father validates His words & life
- He always did the things that pleased His father (8:29) and we should love/serve Him!


III.  Our View of God’s Word Is Not Always Right – 8:31-41a


 John 8:31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." 33 They (back to the scribes/Pharisees) answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free'?"
A. Our View:  We don’t need freedom
- the scribes & Pharisee were basically saying: 
> true discipleship is based on works // who you are, the family you were born in to – ‘were from Abraham’– it has nothing to do with truth!
*Truth:  True disciples are a result of the truth – i.e. it is the truth that sets us free from slavery to sin! (v. 31-32)
- it doesn’t matter your heritage, church affiliations – this issue is are you a disciple of Christ set free by the Word of God and your faithful, obedient life demonstrates that!
"Truth" here has reference not only to the facts surrounding Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God but also to the teaching that He brought. A genuinely saved and obedient follower of the Lord Jesus will know divine truth and both freedom from sin (v. 34) and the search for reality. This divine truth comes not merely by intellectual assent (1 Cor. 2:14) but saving commitment to Christ.
-they were saying . . .
B. Our View:  We don’t need obedience (evidence) – we can live however we want
* Truth:  John 8:37 I know that you are Abraham's descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.
- v. 40 can be tied into v. 59 – when they got angry at Jesus
 John 8:40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.
Point: Their actions revealed their faith – and basically, they had NONE – they were rejecting Him as the Messiah and they were rejecting His Word
> later they would get angry enough to stone try to stone Him!
- lastly, people get angry at Jesus . . .


IV.  Because Our View of Our Opinions Is Not Always Right – 8:41b-59


- this last section of John reveals 4 accusations made against Jesus – He answers each one of them with the TRUTH
- THAT’s what upsets the Pharisees
A.  Accusation #1:  Born of fornication (ref. to the birth of Christ) – v. 41
- they knew the story, word had gotten out about His birth through Mary
 John 8:41 "You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God."
* TRUTH:  I proceed forth and have come from God (v. 42)
- Jesus truly is from God, born of a virgin, just as Isaiah prophesied
  Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
- Jesus makes it very clear:  These individuals have rejected Him – and He confronts them:
 John 8:45 "But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 "He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God."
- remind you, telling someone the truth can make them very angry – that’s why we have the admonition to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15) so as to not be needlessly offensive!
B. Accusation #2: Samaritan (not fully Jewish) and having a demon! – v. 48
- this is a direct attack on coming from the seed of Abraham (seed)
- and the reference to having a demon could be a shot at the “blessing” on the seed (i.e. even if you were partly of Abraham, you still don’t have the blessing – you have a demon!)
* TRUTH: 
1) Jesus does not have a demon, and He honors His Father
2) Jesus has power over demons, and even over death!
C. Accusation #3:  Questioning His integrity – v. 52-53
- they compared Him to Abraham – “not as great” – and even questioned who He was making Himself out to be (like this is joke!)
- in essence, they called Jesus a liar – you’re really NOT who you say you are!
* TRUTH:
1) The Father glorifies the Son (confirms His integrity), and they DON’T know Him!
2) If I deny knowing the Father, I am a liar like you!
- ok, now it’s getting more personal and more confronting
- Jesus has been patient, and He still is, but He’s telling them the truth! – they are liars!
- explain the Law of Non-Contradiction: Two opposing views cannot both be true!
D.  Accusation #4: Questioning his identity (Who He really is) – v. 57
- there is almost a tone of sarcasm in these words [READ v. 57]
*TRUTH: ‘Before Abraham was born, I AM’
- explain the implications of this statement: eternality of Christ, Self-existence, I AM of the OT
Conclusion:
Q: Did they get mad at God?
– 8:59 “therefore, they picked up stones to throw at Him” [explain stoning]
Q: Are you mad at God for telling you the truth? [close w/the Gospel – growing spiritually]

Are You Mad at God?
John 8
Introduction:
* Choices have consequences!

* Another option for why people get angry at God: _____________
  I.  Our View of Sin Is Not Always Right – 8:1-11

“Instead of passing judgment on the woman, Jesus passed judgment on the judges! No doubt He was indignant at the way they treated the woman. He was also concerned that such hypocrites should condemn another person and not judge themselves. – Warren Wiersbe

A.  Our View:  Sin only involves the ___________ ___________!
* Truth:  Sin is an issue of the _____________.

B.  Our View:  Law and grace _______________ with each other
* Truth: Law and grace ________________ each other.

II.  Our View of Christ Is Not Always Right – 8:12-30
A.  Our View:  Jesus’ testimony is not valid
 John 5:31 "If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true.”
* Truth: Jesus is the Light of the World
1)  Light provides _______________
 Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
2) Light also drives away _________________


III.  Our View of God’s Word Is Not Always Right – 8:31-41a
A. Our View:  We don’t need ______________
*Truth:  True disciples are a result of the truth (v. 31-32)
"Truth" here has reference not only to the facts surrounding Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God but also to the teaching that He brought. A genuinely saved and obedient follower of the Lord Jesus will know divine truth and both freedom from sin (v. 34) and the search for reality. This divine truth comes not merely by intellectual assent (1 Cor. 2:14) but saving commitment to Christ.-MacArthur


B. Our View:  We don’t need ______________ (evidence) – we can live however we want
* Truth:  John 8:37 I know that you are Abraham's descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.
 John 8:40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.

IV.  Because Our View of Our Opinions Is Not Always Right – 8:41b-59
A.  Accusation #1:  Born of __________________ (ref. to the birth of Christ) – v. 41
* Truth:  I proceed forth and have come from God (v. 42)

B. Accusation #2: ______________ (not fully Jewish) and having a _____________! – v. 48
* Truth: 
1) Jesus does not have a demon, and He honors His Father
2) Jesus has power over demons, and even over death!

C. Accusation #3:  Questioning His ______________ – v. 52-53
* Truth:
1) The Father glorifies the Son (confirms His integrity), and they DON’T know Him!
2) If I deny knowing the Father, I am a liar like you!

D.  Accusation #4: Questioning his ______________ (Who He really is) – v. 57
*Truth: ‘Before Abraham was born, I AM’

Conclusion:
Q: Did they get mad at God?

Q: Are you mad at God for telling you the truth?