Christ Rules the Enduring Kingdom of Truth!

November 21, 2021

Pastor Gunnar Ledermann

John 18:33-37

John 18:33-37

33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

You are lied to everyday. There are many words for lies like fib or stretching the truth that seek to minimize the false, deceitful nature of a lie. There are other words for lies that maximize damage like propaganda, defamation or perjury. Lies put you in danger of losing the truth. And if you lose the truth, then you have nothing because the truth is real, and a lie causes you to believe in something that is not real.

The lies you fall into take many forms. There are the lies that come from sports like calling a baseball team the World Series champion when the teams involved are not from around the world, or lies from a romance movie picturing two soulmates finding one another who will never fight, argue, struggle or need to work on their relationship when in reality there will be fights, struggles and work to make a relationship work, or a government or politician promising to bring lasting peace and prosperity which is not possible for anyone to do this side of heaven, or for a religion to promise good things for your life now and to get on God’s good side if you only work hard enough to be perfect. These lies all promise false realities taking good things from God and twisting them into something that does not exist.

When Jesus was on trial before Pontius Pilate, the truth was called into question. In John 18, Pilate asked Jesus, 33 … “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus responded, 34 “Is that your own idea…or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” When Jesus was on trial, the truth Pilate questioned was whether Jesus was a king. The whole idea that Jesus was a king seemed a foolish waste of time for Pilate since Jesus did not look like a king as he stood before him alone with no army. It also seemed foolish because the very people he was supposedly king over had rejected him and were demanding he be punished.

Denying Jesus is king is a lie. Although Jesus had no army and was rejected by his people, he is a king. When Jesus confessed to the truth that he is king of a kingdom beyond this world, Pilate responded, 37 “You are a king, then!” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Pilate did not understand what Jesus was saying to him and later in John 19, he said, 6 … “As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.” Yet he still gave the order for Jesus to be crucified. In Revelation 1, God gave the Apostle John a vision of King Jesus’ return on Judgment Day writing, 7 “‘Look, he is coming with the clouds,’ and ‘every eye will see him, even those who pierced him’; and all peoples on earth ‘will mourn because of him.’ So shall it be! Amen.” Those who rejected King Jesus, who pierced him and all who do not recognize him as king will mourn when he returns because they will be punished for believing a lie.

Stop turning from the truth that Jesus is your King. When you turn from Jesus as your King by prioritizing sports over worship and Bible study giving them more praise, time, money and definition to who you are, how you feel and what you talk about, that is sinful. When you turn from Jesus as your King by elevating your human relationships over your relationship with God by defining your sense of worth, your purpose in life, your deepest sense of satisfaction and safety by who you are looking for, dating or married to, that is sinful. When you turn from Jesus as your King by trusting in your citizenship of a nation, state or movement above citizenship in heaven to give you true and lasting life, freedom and joy, that is sinful. When you turn from Jesus as your King by speaking about being part of the kingdom of heaven as something you chose and decided to be part of by living your best life as opposed to giving all credit, thanks, honor, glory and praise to God for his mercy, grace, love, power and sacrifice, that is sinful. Anything that claims more power, importance or influence over your life than Jesus is a lie. Falling into these lies is rebellion against God putting you in danger of death and hell.

Turning from the truth that Jesus is King does not change who he is. When Jesus stood trial and was sentenced to death, it looked like the lie had won. The lie was that death would stop King Jesus. Death did not stop him. In Revelation 1, we hear that Jesus is the source of life, he is the King of life and death cannot stop him, 4 … “Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” Jesus is eternal, with no beginning or end. He gave up his life to save you from falling into lies, from putting Jesus in last place, from making so many other things king of your heart and from all your sins. He rose from the dead and now rules over all things from heaven. He made you part of his kingdom to serve him forever.

When you have turned from the truth of Jesus as your king, he boldly claimed his position as King. Jesus’ bold claim as King brought him to battle for his kingdom pitting lies against truth. Believing Jesus was not a king and believing he could be stopped by death were the lies, but the truth has been recorded in Revelation 1, that Jesus is, 8 … “the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” He confessed to being King knowing it would cause his crucifixion. Your King defended you against your own sins and saved you from death. You have been forgiven and saved from hell. In Daniel 7, we hear again how far above any other ruler or kingdom Jesus is, 14 “He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” The truth of Jesus as your King cannot be defeated. Truth cannot be touched by any human weapons or movements. Jesus is the King of a kingdom not of this world and his work to be that king was established by his death and resurrection, truths that cannot be changed.

Put your efforts into serving Jesus’ kingdom of truth. With Jesus as your King, no one can challenge you and win. When you are fed lies fight them with the truth. Be familiar with your Bible and you will be familiar with King Jesus, and he will fight for you. When you are fed lies let Jesus fight for you by holding to the truths of Scripture. Use God’s law to call out temptation and sin in your life and put your hope in the gospel that you are saved from death, guilt, the devil and hell by God’s grace, love and power. When you hear about others being lied to or when they lie to you also respond with God’s Word calling out sin and sharing Jesus’ work to live, die and rise to save all people and open the kingdom of heaven. Also, when people are caught in lies and denying Jesus, ask them questions to get them to see how the lies do not add up and how they need truth in their life. Be kind and patient, and full of prayer when talking with others caught in lies about who Jesus is so that you can have many conversations with them, sharing God’s Word with them and trusting the Holy Spirit to work in their heart faith in Jesus.

You are lied to everyday, but the truth does not change. In John 18, Jesus said, 37 … “the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth.” You are not lost to the lies but will have eternal life with your King Jesus because Christ rules the enduring kingdom of truth. Amen.

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