3rd To Last Sunday of the Church year  
Last Judgment  

"Like Father, Like Son"  
November 12, 2000

John 5:19-24

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Introduction:  "The acorn doesn't fall too far from the tree". Ever heard of that trite little phrase?  It's a familiar saying that tries to explain that we learn an awful lot from our parents. Probably the debate will continue for years on end whether it's nature or nurture that has the best effect in raising children. Yet, the fact of the matter is that we probably train our children pretty much the same way in which our parents raised us; with similar values, morals and beliefs.

 "Like Father, like son" is yet another one of these ever-popular sound bites. This is what Jesus tells us in our Gospel lesson for this morning. When we want to know more about the Father all we have to do is look closely at the Son.  As Jesus receives His authority and His duty from the Father, it stands to reason that if we come to know the will of the Son we will understand the will of the Father.  On this, the 3rd to last Sunday of the Church year, the Sunday of Last Judgment, Jesus wants us to see that for us to know the Son, is for us to know and understand the Father. This morning, let's consider an important question that is raised by our text for this morning. How is it that the Son is likened to the Father?

I.  Like Father, like Son. He can only do what the Father does.  Jesus explains "the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing because whatever the Father does the Son also does" The Son works by imitating the Father.

A.   He will raise the dead - He does this because He sees the Father raise the dead and give life.  As an obedient Son, Jesus imitates the Father in doing the same gracious work.

1.    He will give life eternal. This life He has given to you. The forgiveness of sins, life and salvation has all been given to you freely by the gracious hand of God.

Illustration:  A few minuets before surgery a doctor walks into the surgical waiting unit and introduces himself as the anesthesiologist. He asks if there are any questions. The patient blinks "so, you're the one who will put me to sleep?" "No!" came his reply…"I'm the one who will wake you up!" On the last day Jesus will "wake us up" and give unto us eternal life

2.    What's more, He gives eternal life to all He is pleased to give. His desire is to give you life eternal. Jesus will later say in this gospel "I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly" Jesus came to freely give you His life, eternal life, a life which has no end. Eternal fellowship with Him as He chooses to give it to you.

B.   As the obedient Son He has been entrusted judgment

1.    So that we may honor Him. We honor Jesus when we come to know and understand that He will return one day to judge the living and the dead. This is what we say each week in the creed. What does this mean? It simply means that He will return some day to judge those who are alive on planet earth as well as those who have fallen asleep in death. At His coming all that are in their graves will hear the sound of His voice and be awakened to be judged by Him.

2.    Unbelief dishonors the Father as well as the Son. In fact, the only unforgivable sin is that of unbelief. Unbelief is our rebellion against God. It is our way of saying, "I'll do it my way and not your way" Unbelief dishonors God and His one and only Son.  To truly honor God is to honor the Son when we do this we demonstrate to the world that we are children of light, children of the heavenly Father.

II"Like Father, like Son" Jesus is a true and obedient son as He shows us the Father's love.

A.    As an obedient Son, Jesus calls us to listen and to obey the Father's Word. He calls us to hear and obey His voice. Whoever hears and believes.

1.    Has forgiveness of sins. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The apostle Paul reminds us. When we trust in Christ, when we honor Him, when we believe in Him we are given the gift of forgiveness and life; forgiveness for all sins, life for the world which is to come. Every single sin has been forgiven for in Jesus Christ all sin is forgiven and forgotten - period!

2.    And whoever hears and believes this precious word of the Savior has eternal life. There can be no other guarantee greater then this. Where there is the forgiveness of sins there is also life and salvation. The two go hand in hand. There can't be one without the other. These gifts are ours given to us by both the Father and the Son.

B.   Great are these benefits they never run out, they can never be revoked!

1.    The greatness of these promises is that we can never be condemned. The devil can do his very worst trying to condemn you. His charges can not stick on you. No matter what he throws you "in your road" he can not confound you. He can try his worst it won't change a single thing. You belong to God purchased and won by the Savior who has promise that He will never leave you and never forsake you.

2.    He extends His invitation to you with His sure and certain promise that at death you will cross over from death to life.  Physical death is not the end. It is only the beginning. It brings us entrance into Christ's eternal kingdom. He will carry us from the kingdom of grace to the kingdom of glory from this sphere and orb called earth to His eternal kingdom called heaven.

Conclusion: "Like Father, like Son" To know Jesus the Son, is to know and understand God, our wonderful and gracious Father. We can give the Father no greater honor then to worship Jesus, the everlasting Son of the Father. To Jesus, who will return in glory to judge both the quick and the dead be to Him all honor and glory now and forever. Amen.

+ Soli Deo Gloria+