TEXT: John 5:8-13

8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.

11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.

12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?

13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents and politicians but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey God’s Great Commission and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As the hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 49.

Max Lucado said, “Let God have you, and let God love you – and don’t be surprised if your heart begins to hear music you’ve never heard and your feet learn to dance as never before.”

Immediately after the sick man is healed, he gets into trouble with “the Jews.” Generally speaking, in John’s Gospel, the writer uses the term “the Jews” to indicate the religious leaders, not the entire Jewish population. This man who has lain sick for 38 years has picked up his bed and is joyfully walking away from the Pool of Bethesda, leaving all of the sickness and suffering that he had endured behind.

He hasn’t gone too far when he is stopped by some of the religious leaders who would have been out in full force due to the religious celebration that is going on in Jerusalem. The Bible tells us that they “said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.” In their minds, the religious leaders had a legitimate concern. The Law strictly prohibited work on the Sabbath. Rabbis had carefully detailed 39 ways in which a man could break the Sabbath day law — and carrying one’s bed (or anything at all) was one of them.

The healed man responds, “He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.” This man knew that Jesus had to be a man of God to have worked such a miracle of healing. So, you can imagine how perplexed he was. ‘One man of God healed me and told me to pick up my bed. Yet, these men of God are telling me that I am committing a crime by carrying my bed.’

Notice how the religious leaders respond: “What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?” They don’t ask, ‘Who is the man that healed you? Who is the man that worked this miracle?’ They totally overlook the miracle that had taken place right under their noses. While it sounds ridiculous to our minds, they are perfectly serious. They have tunnel vision on the fact that one of their miniscule laws is being broken.

This spirit of legalism exists even today in modern Israel. In some hotels and apartment buildings, there are Sabbath elevators for Orthodox Jews. These Jews believe that pressing a button in an elevator on the Sabbath constitutes work, so, on every floor, the elevator stops and the door opens to give people a chance to get on and get off without doing any work. Not too long ago, three residences in an Orthodox neighborhood burned to the ground because the neighbors went to ask a rabbi whether a telephone call to the fire department on the Sabbath would violate the Law.

This spirit can be found not only in modern Judaism, but in the Christian church today. Many unbelievers, and perhaps some of you listening, have been turned off to faith in Christ because of how some of God’s people focus on strict adherence to laws, some of which are not even in the Bible. You might have heard that in order to be a Christian you can’t watch TV, or you can’t go to the movies, or you can’t drink wine. Please understand that God is first and foremost concerned about your soul.

When Jesus healed the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda, He didn’t interrogate him about his past life first. He didn’t ask him what he had done to get in the situation he was in. Jesus was concerned about delivering the man from his predicament. And that is what He did. If you recall from John chapter 3, Jesus gave the Samaritan woman living water even though it was clear she was still living in sin.

If you are drowning in the ocean, and a lifeguard comes to rescue you, he is not going to ask, ‘Why did you ignore the warnings about the rough seas and high winds today?’ No, he is going to save you first. If you have a heart attack and go to the emergency room, the doctor is not going to say, ‘Why did you eat all that greasy food? Didn’t you know it was going to clog your arteries?’ No, he is going to save you life first, and then help you live better.

That is what Jesus does when He meets a sinner. His main goal is to save you, to snatch you from the hand of Satan as you dangle over Hell. I urge you to lay aside your worries and concerns about the life you are living right now. Your life might be messed up worse than the Samaritan woman or the sick man or even Nicodemus’ who was lost in religion. Jesus wants to save you no matter what you have done in the past and no matter how you are living now. No one else will receive you in your present circumstances like Jesus will. I urge you to accept His gift of salvation today. Here is how.

First, acknowledge that you are sin-sick and that you need a Saviour, for the Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him.

The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.