In the first 40 verses of the 11th chapter in the book of John you find the amazing account of the resurrection of Lazarus. The story of Lazarus is one of my favorite stories of the New testament. I love the story of Lazarus because it reminds the reader that, it's not over till God says it's over!
It reminds us that: God can do anything, that God works in the darkest hour, that man's impossibilities are God's opportunities. It teaches us that God is not glorified by our sin, or sickness and disease, but he is glorified by our deliverance, our healing, and our salvation.
In the beginning of the account of Lazarus’ resurrection, word comes to Jesus that his friend Lazarus is sick, but Jesus does not rush off immediately to his rescue, Jesus waits 2 days to respond. So what? What are two days to Jesus? It could just as easily have been 12 years, like the woman with the issue of blood, or 38 years like the man at the Pool of Bethesda. The point is, that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how long you been sick, or how wrong your choices have become, or how strong the chains that have you bound are; it is all the same to Jesus.
The same power that heals a headache, can drive cancer out of your body! The same power that heals a pulled muscle, can drive demons out. The same power provides bread and fish to feed the hungry can heal the blind, make the lame walk, make the deaf hear, and break the power of addiction!
After 2 days Jesus says, “Now Let’s go wake Lazarus up.” Jesus is even reluctant to speak of Lazarus as dead, he simply says: he's asleep and I'm going to wake him up. Because as far as God's power is concerned there is no difference.
God has put someone on my heart this morning, I don’t know who you are, but friend God told me to tell you, ‘your case it's not too hard for Jesus.’ It may be too hard for doctors, but Dr. Jesus will take your case. The marriage counselors may say there’s nothing else they can do; Jesus can restore your marriage. The devil is whispering that your life isn’t worth living anymore, Jesus said that he came to give you life and the devil is a liar! Jesus is the healer, and nothing is too hard for Him!
I love the story of Lazarus because it screams out to me, ‘It's never too late! Never give up! Never quit praying, never quit confessing, never quit praising God, never quit believing!’
We are living in a generation of spiritual zombies, people all around us are lost in a world of depravity, they are truly the walking dead. A generation of millions who have turned their backs on God. Our country is in danger of destruction, and it seems like there is no hope.
For many years the church has used this portion of Scripture to refer to what they have called the Lazarus generation. Because Lazarus represents a hopeless cause, an irreversible situation, a condition beyond repair. That which has gone beyond the Hope of no return, and that, which from all natural evidence is dead and buried.
That’s what it meant when they rolled the stone across the door: It meant, It’s over, it’s passed, it’s decided, it is what it is, and it’s never going to change. But you cannot refer to the story of Lazarus and end at the tomb! The message of Lazarus is one of redemption, of resurrection, of healing and wholeness and deliverance. At the voice of Jesus: Lazarus is raised from the dead and the end becomes a new beginning, where death had reigned life begins again.
And that is the message that God has given me today to proclaim to this Generation, ‘God is not finished with you! You may be bound, you may be full of demons, you make look dead, and act dead, you may look like you’re beyond hope, but at the Sound of His voice, the dead are raised! This generation is not unreachable, and they are not beyond hope.
But the answer is not in religion, it’s not in philosophies, or traditions of man. It’s not in our ideas, or superficial spirituality, or semi-religious songs! It’s not in the I’m okay, you’re okay, judge not lest ye be judged satanic everything goes mindset: Just like Lazarus, if this generation is to be raised from their slumber of death, they must hear the voice of Jesus!
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”
The sad thing today is that: There are not many places today where Jesus voice is being heard. We’re hearing all kinds of goofy doctrine, and all kinds of self-help gurus, and cheap grace teachings, teachers and life coaches, but we don’t hear very many pure, simple, undiluted, unadulterated preachers of the gospel anymore.
When Lazarus hears the voice of Jesus he was resurrected, and if this Lazarus Generation hears the voice of Jesus they will also be resurrected. They might rise from the dead with green hair, with tattoos, with piercing all over their bodies, and they might even rise from the dead not sure of whether they are male or female, but they will rise and the Church must to be ready to loose them from their grave clothes.
We have to have enough of the love and the compassion of Christ to look beyond their past, and equip them for their destiny. If the Church is not able to do this: As far as making a difference in the world is concerned, the church is irrelevant.
Now I’m going to ratchet up a notch: Friends you might want to check your seat belt and make sure you’re buckled in. I Believe that if we were honest about it, we can see that the Lazarus generation has crept into much of the church in America today.
The church that has fallen asleep. It has become spiritually lifeless, dormant, and powerless. It is important to note that Lazarus was sick before he died. The church has become sick by mixing with the world, the spirit of worldliness has poisoned the church! Something that shouldn't be in the body has poisoned it! Sin is poison to the body of Christ! Sin kills, it destroys, it weakens, and it makes us cowards!
The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)
Sin separates us from God, and robs us of our power!
Lazarus was sick, and by and large today, the Church is Sick. ‘He whom thou lovest is sick.’ God loves the church, but she is sick. Gambling, social drinking, fornication, adultery, pornography, homosexuality, shacking up, perversion, is poisoning churches. If you want to know why the Church today, for the most part, is powerless: it's because she's been drinking poison!
What are you saying preacher? I'm telling you that the church is asleep and many would even go so far as to say dead, But the good news is that Lazarus was raised from the dead! Even though he had been sick and died that wasn't the end of the story!
I don’t know about you, but I’m glad when I was sick and dead in my sin, a praying wife wouldn’t let go! She held onto God, kept praying, kept confessing the promises of God, and kept believing. And I once was dead, but I’m alive again in Jesus! Because He called out to me in the depths of the darkest sin, and I heard His voice. Praise God, I heard His voice!
Somebody I'm speaking to right now through these words, you are just like Lazarus, you are dead and stinking in your mess. But God. But God hasn’t written you off. You did everything you could to roll the stone in front of the door. God loves you too much to give up on you. Some of you are in a mess right now: but Jesus is coming to you.
Some of you feel like you've gone too far, you've done too much, you can never be saved, you can never be free, but that's why this story is in the Bible, to show you the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. To show you the power of His love, and to show you that the power of His love is greater than any Stone that sin has rolled across your life.