Things that Really Matter in Life

The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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1. We can be overconfident (vs. 25-32). 2. We can be overwhelmed (vs. 31-32). 3. We can overcome (vs. 33).


Things that Really Matter in Life

The Gospel of John

John 16:25-33; Romans 8:31-37

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church – February 7, 2018

(Revised April 17, 2020)


*Please open your Bibles to John 16:25. Here we are only a few hours away from the cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Starting back in chapter 13, Jesus has been preparing His disciples for the cross, and the things that would happen after that.

*Naturally, the Lord was focused on the most important things, and He will do the same in tonight's Scripture. As we read John 16:25-33, please think about the things that really matter in our lives.


*Way back in the early 1990s, one of my brothers lived about two hours from Panama City, Florida. And we went to the beach a couple of times during our summer trips to see him.

*I remember us sitting in the sand one time, cutting up, and having a good time. It was almost like when we were kids, only we were two men in our 40s, -- and we looked it. I'm sure we looked goofy, but we were having a good time, and we didn't care.

*Then this young couple came by, very attractive, stylish and fit. That woman looked at us with total contempt, utter disdain. It was like she was thinking, "What are these two old men doing uglying up my beach?!?" After they passed by, I looked at her T-shirt, and the back of it said, "Image is Everything."

*Image is everything? No. It's not. In the long-run, image is nothing. So, what really does matter? What's really important in life? The Word of God shows us. And the Scripture for tonight shows us 3 things that matter for every Christian.


*Christians: We can get overconfident in ourselves. That's what happened to the disciples in vs. 25-30.

*In vs. 25, Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you in figurative language." In the KJV Jesus said, "These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs." But we would relate better to the word "parables." And that's the way this same original word is translated back in John 10:6, so think of figurative language as parables.

*Again, starting in vs. 25, Jesus said:

25. "These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father.

26. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;

27. for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.

28. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.''

29. His disciples said to Him, "See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech!

30. Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.''

*In vs. 30, the disciples were overconfident in themselves, and Jesus pointed this out to them in vs. 31-32:

31. Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?

32. Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me."

*Even though the disciples were all greatly troubled on the night before the cross, they still fell into the trap of overconfidence. In effect, they were saying, "Now we understand. We get it. Now we are sure about You, Jesus! Now we really believe that You came forth from God.''

*They were overconfident, overly sure of themselves, and puffed up with a bit of spiritual pride. Sometimes we can get that way too because it's easy to get puffed up with spiritual pride.

*It's one of the traps that young Christians fall into, especially when they first get serious about serving God. "Oh," they think, "I have arrived! I've really got it together now! Just get out of my way and watch me go!"

*But Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. . ." And 1Corinthians 10:12 says, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."

*"The Message" paraphrase says: "Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence."

*That's great advice, and we should take it. But what happens when we don't? How does the Lord handle our over confidence? Well, Jesus lets us know. He warns us about our overconfidence.

*That's what the Lord did in vs. 31-32, where again:

31. Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?

32. Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me."

*Here the Lord was trying to give the disciples more wisdom and insight. Jesus wanted to let them know they weren't as strong as they thought they were. The Lord was still working on their hearts. And aren't you glad He's still working on our hearts tonight!


*Within an hour the Lord's overconfident disciples were going to be overwhelmed. That's what the Lord was telling them in vs. 31-32, where:

31. Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?

32. Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.

*God's sheep do get scattered sometimes. The original word included the idea of people being terror stricken and driven to run off in every direction. The root word for "scattered" was "skorpios," and it meant to pierce something. That's where we get our name for scorpions, those dangerous little creatures with a huge poisonous stinger arching over their backs. So, when Jesus talked about His disciples being scattered, He was talking about a dangerous, painful thing, and the disciples were overwhelmed.

*John Phillips described the coming danger and said, "Marching feet were heading their way from the courts of the temple. The voice of the mob was sounding in the streets. Judas was coming.

*The disciples could not hear these ominous sounds and were still complacent about Judas. But Jesus knew that the storm would break within the hour. 'You shall be scattered,' He warned, 'every man to his own.' The original word is 'ta idia,' 'to his own home.' The bond that held them together was about to be severed. Each one, thinking only of his personal safety, would run off into the night, heading for his own home as fast as he could." (1)

*God's sheep do get scattered sometimes. We can get overwhelmed by the circumstances in our lives.

*Dr. Elinore Kinarthy reported that the average person has more than 200 negative thoughts a day, including worries, jealousies, insecurities and temptations. Depressed people have as many as 600 negative thoughts a day. No wonder we can get overwhelmed. (2)

*Listen to how overwhelmed King David was in Psalm 38:1-12:

1. O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!

2. For Your arrows pierce me deeply, And Your hand presses me down.

3. There is no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger, Nor is there any health in my bones Because of my sin.

4. For my iniquities have gone over my head; Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

5. My wounds are foul and festering Because of my foolishness.

6. I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.

7. For my loins are full of inflammation, And there is no soundness in my flesh.

8. I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.

9. Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You.

10. My heart pants, my strength fails me; As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.

11. My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague, And my kinsmen stand afar off.

12. Those also who seek my life lay snares for me; Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction, And plan deception all the day long.

*We can also feel like the writer of Psalm 130, who cried out to God and said:

1. Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD;

2. Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications.

*We get to that point sometimes in life. "Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD!" What are the depths? Albert Barnes said that the depths could be deep affliction, distress or anguish: like deep grief from the loss of family or friends, sadness from losing precious property, or misery from physical suffering. The depths could also be like the agony of a soul crushed by guilt, or grief over the hardened heart of a lost loved-one. (3)

*The writer in Psalm 130 felt like he was in the deep waters, in the depths of the sea. Mentally, physically and emotionally he felt like he was way over his head. And we can get to that point in life. Something terrible happens to us or someone we love, and we feel like we are drowning in despair.

*Everybody will go through times of big trouble. That's why in vs. 32 Jesus said this to His disciples: "Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own. . ." And in vs. 33 Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation. . ."

*In the world we will have all kinds of trouble. I think of Tessa Hendrix's family, and so many more who are going through troubles. At her funeral Monday, Bro. C. R. Martin told me had preached 17 funerals in the past year. Two of those were his own mother and brother.


*Jesus made this truth clear to us in vs. 33 where He said, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.'' In this verse Jesus shows us two great ways we can overcome.


*At the beginning of vs. 33, Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. . ."

*Just listening to what Jesus says can make a tremendous difference in our hearts. Jesus Christ can give us peace like nobody else! And when we listen to the Lord, we will hear Him say the most wonderful things:

*Things like Isaiah 41:10, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." And in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

*In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." In John 11:25-26 the Lord said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. . ."

*And in 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Lord told Paul: "My Grace is sufficient for you." Or as the New English Bible says: "My grace is all you need."

*Also, in Hebrews 13:5, "He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'''

*One of the most helpful, Scriptures for me is Isaiah 26:3. There the prophet said this to the Lord: "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."

*God wants us to know that He will keep us in perfect peace, if we will keep our hearts and minds on Him. Author Corrie ten Boom survived a Nazi concentration camp during World War II, and she gave explained it something like this:

-"Look around and be distressed. Look within and be depressed. Look at Jesus and be at rest. Keep kneeling down and looking up. Then you can see life from the position of Jesus' victory over your problems. He is willing to make you more than conquerors!" (4)


*It's the triumph the Lord spoke of at the end of vs. 33. Please listen to the whole verse again. Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.''

*This was still before the cross, but the Lord's victory through the cross was so sure, the Lord's victory through His death and resurrection was so sure that Jesus could say, "I HAVE overcome the world."

*And now we can overcome, because Jesus has overcome! This victory is absolutely sure for anyone who puts their trust in Jesus Christ.

*Our victory is so sure that in Romans 8:31-37 Paul could write these words to all Christians:

31. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

32. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

33. Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.

34. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36. As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.''

37. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

*Because of the love of Jesus Christ, we aren't just conquerors. We are MORE THAN CONQUERORS! We have the super victory over anything and everything the world can throw at us! We have victory in Jesus! We have super victory "through Him who loved us."

*The Allies winning World War II was one of the greatest military, political and moral victories of all time. Millions of people were set free, and one of those people was Mrs. Anna Ozdoba.

*I had the privilege of getting to know Anna after my first mission trip to Ukraine in 1994. I needed someone to translate the letters I had received from Ukraine, and Anna was a close neighbor to one of our church members.

*Miss Anna wound up living in West Monroe for many years after the war, but she was born and raised in Ukraine. When Anna was just 15 years old, she was kidnapped by the Nazis and taken to Germany to work as a slave laborer on a farm. Things were so bad, that Anna prayed to die.

*But one day as Anna prayed, she drifted off to sleep, and in a dream, she saw Jesus sitting next to her. When Anna thought about Jesus and all the suffering He went through for us, she decided that she would never again ask God to take her life.

*Then came the victory! From the prison-farm, Anna could see the building that served as the local Nazi headquarters, with the Swastika flag flying above. Then one day the flag was different. Anna didn't know what it meant, but a friend of hers said, "Don't you know what that is? It's a British flag."

*The war had been won! That day Anna left the farm as a free woman. She walked all the way to Italy. Then somehow, she made her way up to England. I think she met her husband there, and eventually they moved to West Monroe.

*But it made all the difference when Anna realized that the victory had already been won. And Jesus Christ won the battle of all battles when He died on the cross for our sins! He proved it when He rose again from the dead!

*And now Christians: God wants us to realize that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us! We even have victory over death through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


*That is the most important truth. Yes, we can be overconfident, and we can be overwhelmed. But through Jesus Christ, we can surely be overcomers! Thank God for the victory we have through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

(1) Adapted from EXPLORING THE GOSPELS: JOHN by John Phillips, Kregal Publications, Grand Rapids - "Warning Words of Love" - John 16:29-33

(2) Dr. Elinore Kinarthy in Homemade, Sept. 1988 - Source: SermonCentral illustration contributed by Joel Smith

(3) Adapted from ALBERT BARNES' NOTES ON THE BIBLE by Albert Barnes - Published in 1847-85 - Psalms 130:1

(4) Adapted from:

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