The Savior’s Lament – Matthew 23:37-39

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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
October 28, 2018

The Savior’s Lament
Matthew 23:37-39


For the last four months we have been examining the events that took place during the last few days before Jesus was crucified. After the initial excitement that came with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and His cleansing of the temple the following day, there has been a continual effort on the part of the religious leaders to discredit Him as the first step in their effort to destroy Him. Their efforts failed, and instead, they were the ones that were discredited, for their wicked hearts and limited understanding of the Scriptures were displayed before all the people. For the last two weeks we have examined Jesus’ offensive against them in Matthew 23. Jesus has warned the people about them and pronounced a series woes upon them directly, and in so doing, He has given us a good description of the character of false religious leaders which can still be applied today.

It is important to pay attention to these characteristics and then compare them to those today who claim to be teachers of God, prophets speaking for God, or spiritual leaders showing the way to God. If a person’s life is marked by any of these characteristics, then you need to be wary for they may be false regardless of what else they claim. The Apostle John admonishes us in 1 John 4:1 to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” The test is twofold. The first is theological. Are they proclaiming the truth as revealed by God in the Bible, or is it their own thoughts and imagination? The second test is one of character. Do they themselves live according to God’s Word? Are they walking with Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit in the pursuit of personal holiness?

Jesus pointed out five characteristics of false religious leaders in warning the people about them. 1) They claim authority for themselves. 2) They make hypocritical demands of their followers. 3) They are loveless and uncaring. 4) They make pretentious displays of their piety – their religiosity, and 5) They are proud and arrogant. It could be argued that some of these characteristics are just signs of immaturity instead of being false, but those who are immature should not be in positions of leadership in the church either. Be aware and be careful of those who have these characteristics. (See: Warnings against Pseudo Piety & Pride)

Jesus then continued on to pronounce a series of woes upon the scribes and Pharisees calling them hypocrites, sons of hell, blind guides, serpents and a brood of vipers because they pretended to be something they were not for they claimed to show the way to heaven but in fact closed the gate in the face of those that wanted to go there. They also claimed to be considerate and compassionate of the helpless while they robbed them of their incomes and homes. They were missions minded, but their mission made men twice as self righteous as they were, twice as much sons of hell. They made elaborate promises to demonstrate how godly they were, but they were liars and their word could not be trusted. They claimed to be the great keepers of the law because of their diligence to minutia such as tithing herbs, but they failed in keeping the more important points of the law such as justice, mercy & faithfulness. They were careful to keep up a flawless outward appearance of being righteous according to their religion while inwardly they were robbers and self-indulgent. They claimed to be better than their fathers who had murdered the prophets of old, but they were currently plotting to murder Jesus and they would slander, persecute and murder Jesus’ followers. (See: Seven Woes to Spiritual Hypocrites)

Be careful of false religious leaders. They are all around us. Be discerning of whose teaching you will allow yourself to listen to or read. Compare what they teach to the Scriptures as the Bereans did with Paul. Learn and become a diligent student of the Scriptures yourself so that you can rightly divide it and discern truth from error. And if a religious leader is characterized by any of these qualities mentioned by Jesus, then flee them for the sake of your soul.

This morning we are going to look at the last part of this discourse Jesus delivered against the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees. It is Jesus’ lament over their hard-heartedness. Jesus reveals in it His own grief that they will not listen to His warnings which is why judgment has been brought against them, yet there is also included a message of hope. Turn with me to Matthew 23:37

The Lament Over Jerusalem – Matthew 23:37-39

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’”

The first sentence is the lament. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! Jerusalem is repeated twice with a strong sense of mourning and sorrow. The repetition intensifies the emotion of what is being said. Jesus is grieved over what has become of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem was the capital of God’s people, Israel. The name means, “city of peace,” and it was the location of the Temple where all the nations were to come to worship the Lord. But instead of being those things, it became a city of violence against God’s prophets and the people that truly followed Him.

The two verbs here, “kills” (ajpokteivnousa) the prophets and “stones” (liqobolou:sa) those who are sent to her, are both present active participles. The violence was not just in the past. It was also currently happening, and as Jesus had already told them in verse 34, He was going to send more prophets, wise men and scribes whom they would kill, crucify, scourge and persecute.

But the lament is not over just the city of Jerusalem itself, for it is representative of the whole nation. As the capital and location of the Temple, Jerusalem was the center of all that occurred in Israel and representative of the spirit and attitude of the people as a whole. In Revelation 11:8 it is called, “The great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt,” with Sodom representing moral perversion and Egypt representing pagan religion. The city of God had become the city of Satan. Jesus’ lament was intense. This was contrary to God’s desire for the city, the nation and the people.

The Savior’s Desire – Matthew 23:37

Jesus’ desire is seen in the next sentence of verse 37. How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. The simile here is that of a hen protecting her chicks from some danger that has come against them whether it be a hawk that was circling above that wanted to swoop down and devour one of those chicks, or a storm that was fast approaching that might blow one of the chicks away. A hen will call out to her chicks by clucking loudly. They would in turn come to her and gather under the protection of her outstretched wings. She would lead them into a place of safety.

Jesus has given stern warning to both the people and their leaders of the dangers that face them. There are those about who do the work of Satan and would like to devour them as hawk would a chicken. There is also a storm coming – that of God’s wrath against unrighteousness – and the only shelter from that is in Jesus Christ. God does not take pleasure in bringing His wrath on people. We are told directly in 2 Peter 3:9 that God’s moral will, His desire, is that none would perish but that all would come to repentance. The desire of Jesus, who is the Savior, is to provide protection, comfort, and safety to all that will answer His call. David understood this about God and wrote in Psalm 36:7, “How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings.” Using this same analogy, the writer of Psalm 91 wrote, “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wing you may seek refuge: His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark” (Psalm 91:4).

There is no question about God’s desire for man. God had created man to have fellowship with Him, but man sinned and brought upon Himself the consequences of his disobedience – death – both spiritual and physical. God warned Adam that if he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would “surely die” (Genesis 3:17). Genesis 5 is the record of this curse incurred by Adam when he did disobey and eat the fruit being passed down to his descendants for though every man listed had incredibly long lives, every one of them died except Enoch who “walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). Paul states it directly in Romans 6:23 that “The wages of sin is death.”

God’s desire is to redeem man from his sin and grant him eternal life as Jesus stated in John 3:16, “for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes [or “everyone who is believing”] in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The second person of the triune Godhead, Jesus, His only begotten Son, would have to become a man. Jesus then lived a perfect, sinless life and then voluntarily died as the substitute payment for the penalty of our sins so that in redeeming us, we can be forgiven and brought back to a proper relationship with God (1 Peter 3:18). The Savior’s desire is to protect and shield. Jesus came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) and give them eternal life (John 10:28). Jesus did everything necessary for that gift of eternal life to be freely offered. Redemption was offered even to these hypocritical scribes and Pharisees. There was just one problem left – man’s unwillingness to answer God’s call.

Unwilling People – Matthew 23:37

Notice again that sentence. Jesus lamented, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.” Jesus was willing, but they were not. Jesus came and offered the kingdom of heaven, but they only wanted the kingdom they had imagined for themselves. They rejected the offer of the Savior because they rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah. In doing so, they brought judgment upon themselves. Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost, but the lost refuse to respond to His call to salvation. Jesus came to lift the weary and heavy-laden yoke of sin that was on the people and give them His easy and light yoke instead, but they refused.

God is sovereign, but man also has a responsibility. Much ink has been spilt over the centuries by those that stress one of these truths to the exclusion or near exclusion of the other. Some stress God’s sovereignty to such a degree that it spills over into what I refer to as Christian fatalism. Yes, it is absolutely true that no one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him (John 6:44). Yes, it is absolutely true that you were dead in your trespasses and sins – and corpses are unable to do anything except rot – and it was God that made you alive (Ephesians 2:5). Yes, it is absolutely true that no one can resist His will (Romans 9:19; Isaiah 46:10; Daniel 4:35; Psalm 135:6). And yes, it is absolutely true that salvation occurs due to God’s election which occurs before the foundation of the world (Acts 13:48; Ephesians 1:4; Romans 8:28-30; 9:23; 11:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). God’s word is clear that He is sovereign over all things, but nowhere does the Bible teach what could be labeled as fatalism, determinism or double election. That is the idea that God elects some for heaven and others in the same way for hell. Because many Scriptures state that God chooses those whom He will save, it logically follows that He must have also chosen those He will damn, but there are no verses that state that God has done such a thing. Being damned because God did not choose you is not the same thing as being damned because He did.

Why is that difference important? For several reasons. First, because we must be careful to clearly teach and stand firm on what God does say, and at the same time, we must also be careful not to go beyond what God reveals to teach things based on what God does not say even if it is a logical construct. Simple humility before God demands that you recognize that His ways and thoughts are higher than your own (Isaiah 55:9), so you should not expect to comprehend everything that He has revealed.

Second, fatalism and double-election are contrary to what the Scriptures do teach about God’s judgment of man. Revelation 20:12; 21:27 states there is a “Lamb’s book of life” in which the names of the elect are written, but there is no corresponding book of death in which the names of the damned are written. Judgment is based on 1) your name not being in the book of life (Rev. 20:15), and 2) the things written in the book of deeds. Man is judged and condemned according to his deeds (Matt. 16:27; Rev. 20:12-13) which includes acts of evil and disobedience to the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

Third, determinism makes passages such as the one were are studying today nonsensical. How can Jesus lament over the unwillingness of the people to heed His call if in fact there is no genuine call by Him? What do you do with verses such as 1 Timothy 2:3-4 which states, “. . . God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” if in fact the Savior already damned the majority of mankind at the same time He chose the elect for salvation? There are too many passages which present a universal call to repentance and salvation to explain them all away as applying only to the elect, and such interpretations often become silly.

For example, Jesus said in Matthew 11:28–30, 28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” It is a strange method of interpretation that would narrow this call to the “weary and heavy-laden” to only the elect. A call to all is still universal even if only the elect will heed it.

The Scriptures are clear that God sovereign. They are also clear that God has given man the responsibility to respond to His commandments. God has given multiple universal calls to all mankind, but men are unwilling to heed on their own either the commands or invitations. It is not that he can’t, but because of his sin nature, he absolutely will not heed the call unless the Lord intervenes. There are two primary calls.

God’s Callings

First is repentance. To repent is to change the mind which necessarily leads to a change of belief demonstrated by the actions of the new belief. It is a change of direction as you turn from one thing to something else. In the Gospel, repentance is a change of mind to recognize the truth about sin, self, and the Savior. Understanding of sin is changed to recognize it as disobedience to God’s commands concerning both doing what He prohibits and not doing what He prescribes. The view of self is changed to recognize yourself to be a sinner cut off from God and under His just condemnation. Belief about Jesus is changed into belief in Jesus as the only Savior and only hope of the sinner being forgiven and reconciled with God.

Repentance was the initial message of both John the Baptist and Jesus, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It is a message that continued throughout Jesus’ ministry and was to continue after His death, resurrection and ascension as stated in Luke 24:47, “that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations beginning in Jerusalem.” Repentance was the preliminary message throughout Acts, with Paul telling the Athenians in Acts 17:30 that “therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent . . .” Repentance is a reoccurring theme in many of the epistles with Hebrews 6:1 calling it a foundational message. Repentance is the evidence of the Holy Spirit convicting the person of their sin and enlightening their minds to comprehend its nature.

There is also the universal warning that a failure to repent will bring severe consequences. Jesus was very strong in this in Luke 13:2-5 giving two illustrations concluding with, “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

The second call is to believe in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is given both universally and specifically. Paul specifically told the Philippian jailer who asked what he must do to be saved, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). But the specific call and command is based in the universal truth of salvation granted to those who believe in Jesus. Going back to John 3:16, it is to whoever or everyone believing (pa:V oJ pisteuvwn) in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. This is seen in John 11:26 when Jesus says to Martha, and everyone who lives and believes (pa:V oJ zw:n kai; pisteuvwn – living & believing -PAPtcpS) in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus applies the general call to her specifically in His question.

Perhaps one of the best passages showing this universal offer of salvation is Romans 10:8-13 since it is in a book explaining the gospel and in a passage explaining to Jewish readers the relationship of righteousness and faith. 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “whoever believes [(pa:V oJ pisteuvwn] in him will not be disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “whoever will call [pa:V ga;r o’ a]n ejpikalevshtai AMSub3S] on the name of the lord will be saved.”

There is also the warnings to those who will not believe. John 3:18 warns, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” 1 John 5:10 gives a similar warning, “The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.”

God has given out His call to repent, believe and be saved, and He expects man to respond to that call, and anyone that does not will be judged accordingly. No man is righteous in himself for there are none that does good, not even one (Romans 3:10f). Without Christ’s righteousness being imputed to a man by faith in Jesus, there can only be one outcome for that man and that is condemnation for his sin.

The way to salvation has been provided by Jesus Christ, but it can not be appropriated by unwilling people. Salvation is a gift of God’s grace and it is free in the sense that you cannot earn it. However, there are some requirements. Repentance from sin is the first as I have already discussed. You must turn away from your sin, self-righteousness and wrong beliefs about Jesus to believe the truth about the Savior and humbly seek His forgiveness and pursue righteousness in keeping with repentance.

There are things you have to believe. These would include that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ, the one prophesied about in the Hebrew Scriptures that would be the Redeemer; that Jesus is God in human flesh; that He lived a sinless life; that He willingly died as the substitute for your sins; that He was buried and was resurrected from the dead on the third day; and that He will come again in the future to receive His followers (1 Cor 15, Rom 10, etc.). Your life will then change to be in harmony with your beliefs. Belief in Jesus is the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work to quicken, make alive, your soul.

Let me try to illustrate this very simply. You committed a crime and have been sentenced to life in prison. You get a letter from the governor that states he will grant a pardon if you will come to him telling him you have seen the error of your ways and will promise to turn away from your life of crime and ask to be forgiven. Everything has been worked out if you are willing to come to him. You cannot earn his pardon. You can only receive it as a gift of his grace extended to you on the conditions of repentance. If you believe him and are willing, then you will be pardoned. However, if you are unwilling to go, then there will be no pardon and you will suffer the consequences of your crime.

Salvation from sin is similar. God’s requirement of repentance and belief can in no way be considered a means of earning that salvation. The price has been paid and the offer is made, but to receive it, you must be willing and believe. However, if you are unwilling to accept the offer, there is no salvation. Some are unwilling because they do not believe the offer is real. Some are unwilling because they refuse to accept the conditions of the offer. They demand salvation on their own terms or not at all. Others are unwilling because they are afraid of what other people (inmates) might say. Still others are unwilling because they would rather enjoy the fleeting pleasures of continued sin here and now than the promise of eternal bliss in eternity.

The Lord’s desire is clear, but the unwilling refuse to heed the call and accept His offer of grace and mercy and come to Him for salvation from their sins. Like a chick that refuses to come to the hen when called, they will be left without protection from the dangers that lie ahead. There will be consequences.

A Desolate House – Matthew 23:38

The result of the refusal, the unwillingness to come to Jesus will be as He states here in verse 38, “Behold, your house is left to you desolate!” They would be forsaken, abandoned, and their land devastated and laid waste. The kingdom would not come at that time as had been offered. It would instead come in its spiritual form – the church – and the nation of Israel would be devastated. The house here refers not only to the temple and Jerusalem, but by implication the nation as well. Four decades later the nation became physically what it had already become spiritually – a waste land. The temple and Jerusalem were destroyed and the people of the land were either slaughtered or carried off into captivity again. This was a fulfillment of what God had continually warned the people. God declares in many passages in the Torah, the books of Moses, that there would be blessings if they obeyed Him and curses if they did not. Deuteronomy 28 lists the order the curses would come. The nation had already suffered for this before in the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, yet the lesson was forgotten. They refused to obey God and they were unwilling to heed the message of His Son, Jesus, the Messiah. Israel would again suffer the curses and be left desolate.

God is longsuffering and patient, but sin is a reproach on any people, and there comes a time when He will allow the consequences of sin to come and His wrath will be poured out on the ungodly. It was true for Israel and it is still true for both nations and individuals. Paul put it this way in Galatians 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked; whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to the flesh shall reap corruption; but he that sows to the Holy Spirit shall reap everlasting life.” What are you sowing? What will you reap?

A Hope for the Future – Matthew 23:39

Even in the midst of condemnation, God’s grace still shines forth, for verse 39, though speaking of the certainty of God’s judgment also speaks of the certainty of a hope for the future.

“For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Notice the word, “until.” It is a word of certainty. It is something that will absolutely happen and it will not be dependent on man, it will occur by God’s sovereignty. If it was dependent on man it would have said, “unless.”

The judgment in the verse is that they would not see Jesus again as they had been seeing Him. They would no longer debate with Him, hear Him teach or see Him perform miracles. Jesus’ public ministry is coming to an end. Matthew 24:1 states that Jesus “came out of the temple.” He would never enter there again. Jesus would continue to teach His disciples and the twelve, but it would be in private settings. Even His future miracles would be in private settings. There would be no more public healings, casting out of demons, stopping the wind or calming the seas. He had a few more things to teach His disciples, and then preparation for the crucifixion.

Jesus would be seen in public as He walked through Jerusalem to the Upper Room, then out into the Garden of Gethsemane. He would be seen as He stood trial and then carried His cross up to Calvary where He would be publicly crucified. But He would no longer preach or teach in public. They would not see Him in any of those capacities again until something drastic had changed.

If the sentence had ended there that they would not see Him again, then there would be no hope for Israel and God’s promises would remain forever unfulfilled. That would have also destroyed the message of the gospel since it would demonstrate God to be untrue to His word. If God does not keep His promises to Israel, then His promises to us for salvation are also suspect for He would be untrustworthy. But God’s promises are certain and He does not leave them in the hands of man. They would not see Jesus again until they would say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

The people had shouted that very sentence only a few days before when Jesus had entered Jerusalem. “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD; Hosanna in the highest.” The phrase comes from Psalm 118:26 and refers to the coming of Messiah, the Redeemer, who would free them from their sins and establish His kingdom among them. They had shouted it earlier thinking that Jesus would break the bondage of Rome, but when that did not happen, they shouted instead, Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Yet, there is a coming day when the nation of Israel will recognize their Messiah. There is a day when, as Paul puts it in Romans 11:26, “all Israel shall be saved.”

The prophet Zechariah put it this way, 12:10; 13:1-2,9, 12:10 And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born . . . 13:1-2 In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for in and for impurity.” “And it will come about in that day,” declares the Lord of hosts, “that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered; and I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land . . . 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested, They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” Chapter 14 goes on to describe the Lord descending upon the Mount of Olives, the nations in rebellion being put down, and the setting up of the kingdom of the Lord in Jerusalem.

The Lord’s promises are true. They can be trusted. Every single one of them will come to pass. To those who are unwilling to accept the salvation offered in Jesus Christ, there will be judgment, but to those who will come to Him for the forgiveness of their sins and place their trust in Him, there will be eternal life. And remember eternal life is a quality of life, not just quantity. It is a life in the future of eternity with Jesus, but it also includes a life in the present that is worth living because it will have eternal value.

If you have not yet repented to believe in Jesus Christ, then today is the day to do so. Take heed to the Lord’s invitation, “whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” He is willing to save you, are you willing to repent, believe and be saved?

Sermon Notes – 10/28/2018
The Savior’s Lament – Matthew 23:37-39

Introduction & Review

The religious leaders have _______to damage the reputation of Jesus, but they have discrediting themselves

Pay attention and be careful of _________religious leaders – 1 John 4:1

5 Characteristics of false religious leaders: 1) Self-proclaimed authority. 2) Hypocritical demands.

3) Loveless & uncaring. 4) Pretentious displays of piety. 5) Proud & arrogant

Jesus labeled the scribes & Pharisees as __________, sons of hell, blind guides, serpents & a brood of vipers,

They kept people from heaven; robbed widows; created self-righteous disciples; were liars; majored on minor points & ignored justice, mercy & faithfulness; were robbers & self-indulgent; murderers

False teachers abound, so be like the Bereans to know the word of God to ___________them against it

Jesus’ laments over the ___________________of the nation to heed both His warnings and call to salvation

The Lament Over Jerusalem – Matthew 23:37-39

Jerusalem, “City of Peace,” the center for the worship of God, was _____________against God’s prophets

“Kill” and “stone” are both present active participles – the violence was _________ occurring

Jesus’ intense lament was over Jerusalem and the ____________ it represented.

The Savior’s Desire – Matthew 23:37

The simile is of a hen protecting her chicks from ___________- that is the Savior’s desire

Jesus has given stern _________to the people and their leaders about the danger of God’s wrath facing them

God’s stated desire is for people to __________and find refuge in Him (2 Peter 3:9; Psalm 36:7; 91:4)

Man’s _______has separated him from God and brought the curse of death (Genesis 3; Romans 6:23)

Jesus came to ___________man from sin & death (John 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Timothy 1:15; John 10:28)

Unwilling People – Matthew 23:37

Jesus was willing to save them, but they were _____________to be saved by Him and instead rejected Him

God is sovereign, but man also has a _____________

God is sovereign in _____________- John 6:44; Ephesians 2:1-10; Daniel 4:35

The Bible ____________teach fatalism / determinism / double election

Being damned because God did not choose you is not the same thing as being damned because He _______.

We must teach what God does say & be careful not to go __________that based on what God does not say

Fatalism / double-election are ___________to what the Scriptures do teach about God’s judgment of man

Judgment based on not being in book of life & condemned by what is written in the book of _____- Rev. 20

Determinism makes many passages ______________- such as Matt. 23:37, 1 Tim. 2:3-4; Matt. 11:28-30

God is sovereign, and He has given man responsibility to respond & __________His commandments

God’s Callings

Repentance – a change of ___________resulting in changes of action consistent with new beliefs

Repentance in salvation involves a change in mind to recognize the ________about sin, self and the Savior

Repentance was the foundational ________of John the Baptist, Jesus, & the apostles (Lk. 24:27; Acts 17:30)

Failure to repent will result in _____________(Luke 13:2-5)

God calls people to ____________in Jesus both generally & specifically – Acts 16:31; John 3:16; 11:26;

There is a ____________offer of salvation to mankind – Romans 10:8-13

Those who ____________to believe will be judged – John 3:18; 1 John 5:10

Salvation is provided ___________by Jesus Christ, but it cannot be appropriated by the unwilling

Salvation requires belief in the ___________of the Gospel: Jesus’ identity, atonement, resurrection, return

God’s requirement of repentance & belief is a response to God’s ________, not a means of earning salvation

There is no salvation for those unwilling to accept God or the ___________of His offer of grace

A Desolate House – Matthew 23:38

The kingdom would come in a spiritual form – the church – and Israel would be destroyed & taken ________

This would be done according to God’s warnings in the Torah, especially Deuteronomy _____

God is longsuffering, but eventually the __________comes when He judges the ungodly for their sin

A Hope for the Future – Matthew 23:39

“Until” is a word of certainty – it will ______________happen by the exercise of God’s sovereign will

Jesus public ministry of teaching, miracles and healing had ___________

God keeps ______ His promises, and the Messiah will return to the praise of the nation of Israel

Zechariah 12:10; 13:1-2,9 – Messiah returns, Israel is cleansed, the ____________ will be God’s people

The Lord’s promises of both judgment of the unwilling and redemption of the willing are _________

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times references are made to Jesus. 2) Discuss with your parents Jesus’ desire to save and His lament over Jerusalem.

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why must you be careful of false teachers? How can you distinguish a true teacher from a false one? How is Jesus’ lament the opposite of what Jerusalem was supposed to be? What was Jesus’ desire toward the people of Israel? How we know God desires to save people from their sin and its consequences? How do we know that God is sovereign when it comes to salvation? How does an over emphasis on God’s sovereignty lead to fatalism? What is the basis for the teaching of double election? What is the danger of developing a doctrine based what God does not say even if it is a logical construct? What is the basis for God’s judgment of humans? There is a book of life (Rev. 20), is there a book of death? What is the Biblical evidence that God gives a genuine general call to salvation? What responsibilities does God place upon man to repent? To believe? What is repentance? What is man to repent from? What does man need to believe in order to be saved? Do repentance or belief earn salvation? Explain. Why would people be unwilling to heed God’s call to salvation? What is necessary to make them willing? Why does Jesus condemn their house to desolation – vs. 38? What does the word “until” in vs. 39 make certain? Why is it important that God keep all of His promises to the nation of Israel? What is the significance and when will the nation of Israel say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”? Have the prophecies of Zechariah 12 & 13 been fulfilled? If so how, if not, when will they be fulfilled?

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