TRANSCRIPT | Sunday, November 15, 2020 | Guest Speaker: Ethan BoggsThe Rolling Stones

 

Ethan Boggs

Good morning 3trees Church. Are you glad to be at church today? Oh no, you can do better than that. Are you glad to be at church today? Well, it's good to see everybody. You could look at somebody just smile at them and say it’s good to see you today, and you can grab your seat. It's really good to be back so soon to hang out with you guys. I got to give a shout out to all of the staff, and team, and volunteers, and campus pastors that make this happen. You know, we're leading in odd times right now. And I know that your pastor and his wife and children are leading well, and so I just want to give them a shout out. Can you give it up for your pastors, campus pastors, volunteers, staff teams? This guy, one-man show today, come on. I mean, wow.

 

Ethan Boggs

 I want to talk for just a few minutes out of John chapter 11. I wasn't planning on speaking this message today, but it just wouldn't leave me, so I just kind of surrendered to the idea that this is what I feel I need to be sharing, and I'm really hoping it's going to help somebody. John chapter number 11. We're going to read out of just a few of those verses, and I'm just going to talk to you about a simple idea. John chapter 11 says this, “Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany of the village of Mary and her sister, Martha. And it was that Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. The sisters therefore sent unto him,” talking about Jesus, “they sent him a message saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” Aren't you glad Jesus loves sick people? Aren’t you thankful that God is drawn to our messed up, screwed up. imperfect, inconsistent selves. I don't want you to touch anybody, but look at somebody again and say I know you're sick. Come on, just tell them I don’t know much about you, but I know you’re sick. Jesus loves sick people. But when Jesus heard it, he said, this sickness is not unto death. Watch this. “But for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified there by.” What Jesus is paratheoretical inserting randomly, it seems random, He's just saying this thing. And what He's saying is, this is not going to turn out the way you think is going to turn out.  I play by a different set of rules. It's going to look one way, but when it's all said and done, I'm going to get the glory out of this. “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. And when therefore he heard as he was sick, He abode at that time two days in the place where He was,” final verse, skip ahead, just a few verses Jesus sayeth, “Take ye away the stone, Martha and the sister of him that was sick, say it unto him, Lord, by this time, at this point, the body decayeth for he has been dead for four days.” Today, I want to preach to you on the title, The Rolling Stones. Can you say that with me, The Rolling Stones. Some old rockers in the room started perkin up, oh, hallelujah. Everybody say The Rolling Stones.

 

Ethan Boggs

Let's pray. God, I don't know why I'm preaching this message today, but I feel like somebody needs to be told what's going to be said today. And I pray that something will be said in the next few moments that they're going to come to life again, some places that have gone to sleep, and some places that have died and some places that have dissipated and struggled. And I just feel in my heart today, someone's going to sense new life, in the name of Jesus. And everybody said, amen.

 

Ethan Boggs

I grew up in the Church. My dad's a pastor, been in church my entire life. And growing up, I would hear preachers get up and say so many different phrases that you hear in church, oftentimes. And one of the statements that if you know, you're really born and raised in the church if you heard this, somebody get up and they say, God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. You real saved if you knew how that worked. Lady down here didn't know how it worked, so you ain't real saved, but God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. And it's actually sometimes kind of hard to believe that. It’s good in theory, it's a great statement we say at church that God is good all the time. But sometimes it doesn't feel like God is good all the time, because good all the time, life isn't good. I can believe that God is good all the time, but ometimes it feels like God's good half the time, or part of the time, or a little bit of the time, or most of the time. But all the time, is God really good all the time? In this passage, we find two sisters that are notorious for being worshipers in service. Everytime you see them they’re doing something for the Kingdom. They're worshipping Jesus, they're serving people, they're loving individuals. They're they're heartfelt people, and these two people have a brother named Lazarus. Now Jesus is well connected to Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. They're, they're like they're in the inner sanctum of his life. And Jesus finds out that Lazarus is sick. And the Scripture goes on in verse five and six, and if the Media Department could help me out to put verse five back on the screen, I want you to look at something. Now Jesus loved Martha. Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, he loved them. But in verse six, it says, “When he had heard therefore, that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.” That's confusing, isn't it? The idea that God loved them, but yet was not there for them. Isn't it confusing to live between a verse five and a verse six? Imagine being Mary and Martha living between the tension of knowing that God loves them, but yet feeling He is absent from them. I know that there are people in this room that can relate to the Mary and Martha's in life that feel like I know God loves me. Like I know His Word says, He loves me. Grew up in church, and we would sing songs like Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible. We know, theoretically, theologically, mentally, that He loves me, He cares about me. But why does it seem that He's not here?

 

Ethan Boggs

If God is so good, then why do I feel so bad? If God really loved me, then why do I experience the abuse that I have experienced in my life, or the anxiety that I live with from day to day? If God loves me, then why did this death take place? And if God really cared, why did I experience this loss? If God really loves me, why am I walking through this pain? And if God is so good pastor, that he's good all the time and all the time, God? If God is good all the time, why do I feel bad half the time? Anybody know what I'm talking about? That you have lived this tension between verse five and verse six, I know that you love me, but why do you seem so uninvolved? And let me encourage someone today that it is possible to know that God loves you and still wonder if God is with you. It's possible in life's journey, that you could know God and love His church, and love your pastor, and love the Bible, but at times what you can theoretically know and theologically know, what you can know in your mind, can feel so different than what you experience in your life. And the situation in the text in John chapter 11, goes from bad to worse, goes from bad to worse. Jesus did not go to where they were expecting Him to be. And the Bible says that Lazarus dies; he's no longer sick, he's now dead. And Jesus never sent a text message. He never sent a card, never sent flowers, never went to the hospital. Jesus didn't even make it. And finally when He decided to come, He didn't come one day late, He didn't come two days, He didn't come, Jesus came four days late. He had missed all of the stuff. He missed the calling hours, funeral, gravesite, the chicken afterwards, come on somebody. He missed the collard greens, and mashed potatoes, and the homemade noodles. He missed all of it. Jesus missed everything. It's unfortunate that when people die, but let's be honest, we all love to eat after a funeral. Come on. I'm just kidding. Kentucky people yeah, baby.

 

Ethan Boggs

But when we look in this particular text, we see that Jesus was late. He did not come when they expected, He did not come when they were expecting him to come. And when He finally came, it was so late, the Scripture says that he was decaying in the grave. And Martha, when they find out Jesus comes, in just classic female status, comes out in that yard, and meets Him before He even got to the house. She may have had a bell in her hand, I don't know. But when Martha got out to the yard and saw Jesus, she looked at Him and said, if you would have been here, if you just would have been here. You got to understand the context of her frustration. Mary and Martha have either seen or heard of the miracles firsthand. They've seen where Jesus has raised the dead. They have seen where Jesus touched blind eyes and they were opened. They could have been there when blind Bartimaeus was healed, or the woman with the issue of blood was healed, or the man with the withered hand was restored. They could have been there in the room, and they knew if Jesus would have been there something could have happened. If you just would have been here. They had a point of reference, if you will. They could remember the times that somebody came and Jesus just sent a word, and at their house, they were healed. They can recall the times where Jesus would be in the crowd and somebody would come to Him and He would pray for them and they would be restored. They can remember the moments where Jesus made moves on behalf of other people, but in their particular situation, they even sent a message. They even text Jesus, called Jesus no answer, no return, never came back, never came. And they can look around and see that everybody else is experiencing this fullness of Jesus's ministry but me. Have you ever been there, where you can look around and see that everybody else is getting the promotion on the job, and you're still stuck at the job that you hate? You're seeing that other people are getting debt-free, or paying off cars, or getting a new car, or they prayed for that pregnancy and they got pregnant and you still can't get pregnant. You have prayed that God would heal this person, and other people got healed, and this person passes away. You have believed God for something supernatural to take place. And in the lives of other people, it just seemed easy. But in your life, it seems like Jesus didn't come. You know, He loves you in verse five, but you're feeling like He doesn't in verse six. Anybody hear what I'm talking about?
 

Ethan Boggs

They have no doubt about Jesus's ability to heal. They have no doubt that He loves them. But they are doubting His timing. Have you ever been there where you don't doubt God's miraculous hands? You don't doubt that God can provide. You don't doubt that God can open doors and create opportunities. You don't doubt what He can do. You just doubt the timing of when He does things. And in the passage, we find that they are irritated with God. They're irritated with Jesus. It's one thing, Pastor Johnny, my friend, it's one thing to be upset with people. It's another thing to be upset with God. When you look, she says if you just would have been here, I think many of us live in this place of frustration, because we have expectations of how we think God has to do things for us. It's almost as if we pick up a pen, and we begin to write the story that we think God has to fulfill in our lives. I'm gonna be married by the time I'm 25 years old. And when I'm 25 years old, I'm gonna buy my house out by the lake. And when I'm 25 and a half, we're gonna have 2.7 kids, and we will have a little white picket fence, and me and my mama, we ain’t gonna fight no more, and my daddy, he's gonna come over there and mow the yard, and my husband's always gonna be in shape and have a six pack. And then you look in life, and it doesn't look like that. And it doesn't seem to play out like that. You know, I've done a lot of weddings and funerals. And one thing about weddings is, you know, you'll stand in front of a great crowd of people and a husband and a wife and, and they're making these vows and they're gonna do this whole thing. And they're so excited and they, and they're just dreaming of all this, the future, but when they say that half of marriages end up in divorce, nobody stands up here thinking they're going to be divorced. No one stands up here. Nobody's holding a baby at a at a hospital today, a brandnew born child, and thinking that in six, seven months or a year or 10 years, they can lose that child. That stuff happens, unfortunately. Those things take place. It wasn't in our plans. It wasn't what we thought, it wasn't what we dreamed. It's not even what we want. But if we were honest, sometimes life plays cards that we don't want, things we didn't choose, things we didn't desire, things we don't want to be a part of. But sometimes life plays cards we don't want.

 

Ethan Boggs

And in this story, Jesus, they have their pen, they've written it out what they think Jesus should do, what Jesus should say, how Jesus should act, and He finally comes to the family in need. And the Bible says, like it's over, it's done. The funeral procession is over, the preachers gone home, the chairs are put up, and the tomb is filled with Lazarus’ body, and the stone was rolled in front of it. And in that moment, it's emotional, they're crying. Even the Bible says in verse 35, that Jesus is even weeping himself. It's a powerful moment. And in that moment, Jesus looks at them. Now you got to understand that Jesus in  just a few verses prior says, Hey listen, this sickness is not unto death but to the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified thereby. What he was saying, as I said prior, is this isn't going to look how you think it's going to look, but when it's all said and done, I'm going to get the glory out of it. And Jesus comes in to this crowd of people, these mourners, these broken hurt people. And He says something really fascinating. He looks at them and says, okay guys, you roll away the stone. Like, you roll away the stone. Jesus looks at all these people crying, and says, you roll away the stone. Let me just, let me just say this is there are just some things God will not do. That in order for us to see the supernatural power of God, there are just some things in our lives that God will not do. God will not do our part, and we cannot do His part. Behind that stone is a dead body that in just a few verses, Jesus is going to say, Lazarus, come forth; and this decaying, rotten, dead body will come back to life, and will come out of that tomb. In just a few verses, we're going to see the miracle. In just a few verses, we know what happens. We've been raised in church, we can skip down three or four verses and know how the story ends. But Mary and Martha didn't know, they didn't know what was going to happen. They just knew if Jesus said to roll the stone away, I'm gonna roll the stone away. 

 

Ethan Boggs

Can I inform you today, there may be some stones that you may need to roll back in order to see everything that God has for you. There may be some things that stand in the way that God is saying I could raise that marriage up from its deathbed, but I need you to roll the stone of your attitude back before that marriage comes back to life. Is there anybody with me this morning, at 3trees Church? You may be thinking that your finances are dead, and gone, and over. But maybe just maybe you need to roll the stone of a budget and be willing to tithe, and be willing to give, and be willing to support, because if you'll roll the stone, he can raise the dead. If you can do your part, God will do His part. I want to encourage people that even if your thinking is gone too far, it's too dead now, the marriage is too gone, I have too many disappointments, I've walked this life too long and lost too many people I love to dream again. But God is challenging someone today to do the hard work on your end and be willing to roll it in any way. Everytime you may be feeling like it's impossible and this is pointless, and why are we doing it, roll anyway. You may have to take the class, stay late, study a long time to get the opportunities that are behind the stone that God has for you. I want to encourage you roll it anyway. You may be wondering today about the heart inside of you that may feel challenged of an ex that you used to be in a relationship with, and you don't want to forgive them; I want to tell somebody, forgive them anyway. Roll it anyway, budget anyway. You may be thinking my kid’s too far from God, my kid’s got away from the presence of God. Can I tell you today, pray anyway. Roll the stone anyway, fast anyway, worship anyway, whatever it takes. Because Rolling Stones can change everything. If we're willing to roll the stones, He's willing to raise the dead. 

 

Ethan Boggs

I want you to imagine with me, the woman in the Bible who was caught in the act of adultery. In John chapter number eight, this lady who had sinned, and failed, and messed up, and was legitimately guilty. She had no excuses. She had no defense. There was nothing she could say. There was nothing she could do. And when she was in that moment, in that season of her life, they drug her out in front of everybody. The religious crowd drug this woman out in front of everybody. And Jesus is standing there, and they take that woman, and they put her on the ground there, and she's bawling her eyes out I'm sure. And Jesus is writing on the ground, it’s a chaotic scene. And they say, all right, the law says stone this woman, and the woman looks back and looking at Jesus. I mean, just imagine this moment, and Jesus says something so profound, He looks at this crowd and says, if you don't have sin go ahead cast the first stone. And the Bible says starting from the eldest to the youngest, they begin to drop stones, right remember the story? Drop the stones, they begin to drop the stones. And when you think about that, when that lady who was guilty, and was wrong, and has sinned, heard stones drop, and heard those stones rolling and falling, can you imagine the mercy that she felt in her soul, the grace she felt in her soul, the empowerment in her soul to know that I got a new life today. I got a new dream today. Jesus said go and sin no more. You have a new chapter today. I know somebody came today feeling condemned, and shamed, and feeling broken for your past, but can I tell you today, God's dropping the stone, people have dropped the stone, and God is saying today you could have a new chapter. Roll the stones, because rolling stones can change everything.

 

Ethan Boggs

Roman soldiers, on the darkest day of human history, beat our Lord Jesus to the point of He was unrecognizable. They spit in his face. They mocked Him. They pulled the beard from His face. They punched and slapped Him. They stripped Him, they nailed Him on a cross, and He died.

 

Ethan Boggs

The Bible says that they borrowed a tomb and then we're going to put His body in it. No doubt, all of hell was celebrating that moment. No doubt, the demons were dancing and celebration, saying finally we've stopped the Kingdom of God on the earth. No one else can ever be healed by Jesus. No one else could ever be restored by Jesus. No one else can ever be delivered by Jesus. Let's roll the stone in front of this body. Let's set guards around the stone because we don't want anybody to come take the body of Jesus, and no doubt darkness celebrated the day Jesus died. But little did Hell know that on the third day, all of angels came from Heaven and rolled the stone back, and the greatest miracle transpired when stones rolled away because rolling stones change everything. Hell can't stop when God wants to heal. Hell can’t stop when God wants to deliver. Hell can’t stop when He wants to get out of the grave. Because I've come to tell somebody today, rolling stones can change everything.

 

Ethan Boggs

The enemy is not discounting the power of Jesus to restore. He is counting you out to not roll away stones. He doesn't doubt that Jesus can heal. He doesn't doubt that Jesus can raise the dead. He doesn't doubt that He can work miracles, but he is counting on your discouragement to keep the stone the over the miracle. He is counting on your depression to say there's nothing here that could ever happen by this time he's decaying. By this time it's over. By this time is done. He's counting on you to never roll the stone, but today I've come all the way to this church in the middle of hootenannyville, Kentucky, to tell somebody, it's time to roll the stone. You're too old to keep that stone there. You're too young to keep that stone there. Your children need you to move the stone. Your ministry needs you to move the stone. Don't let bitterness keep God out of your life. It's time somebody shall roll the stone. If you can roll the stone, He can raise the dead. If you'll do your part, He'll do His part. Can you imagine what would happened in communities If we rolled the stones? Can you imagine what what happened in youth groups that rolled the stone? Imagine what would happen in your life where it could be 12 months from now, if you took the responsibility you knew that your attitude is the problem, and your thoughts are the problem, and there may be some things that says God, whatever is in the way give me the strength to move it. Because I know behind it, Lazarus is going to live again.

 

Ethan Boggs

You know I, maybe the sermons for me I don't know, but this week I had an uncle who love God, knew his Bible so well, and Pastor Johnny he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer four months ago. And very rapidly, we lost him just the other day. And what's really hard guys is that this man loved God. God loved him. He believed in the miraculous power of God. And up to his dying moments, he was quoting the Word of God and praying and believing, and encouraging his family. And I would go and take communion with him, and he would just quote Scripture so much I thought he was at this point, I told him you showing off now cowboy. It was just was oozing out of him. I would go in there, and I would say, by his stripes you are healed. I'd go in there with his wife, we laid hands on him. And we would say that God, if you didn't want to heal him, you shouldn't have healed him because on Calvary, he's already well, we would speak the Word of God over and believing for him. And then November the 11th, a little after five he passed away. And the question I have is could easily be Martha and Mary, if you just would have been there. I mean, people would have celebrated the healing. I mean this would have been good God. Like this is, your name is on the line, not mine. And I got questions, and I don't know the answers. And sometimes you got to have a high capacity for mystery as you follow Christ. But I'll say this, I know two things. Number one, Jesus is still a healer. It doesn't matter. If every person on the planet passed away from an incurable disease. Can I tell you today Jesus is still a healer? Number two, I don't understand why his story played out that way. And I have questions, and I don't know the answers. But I can tell you this, the sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God will be glorified thereby. We didn't write it to look like this. But God has picked up the pen. And when God writes a great story, when God writes it, when God picks up the pin, He'll write a story and God will get the glory out of Charles Boggs’ passing. I believe in my heart, with everything inside of me, everything in my being, that God will get the glory, even if it wasn't the story we wanted to tell. Even if it isn't how you wanted to tell it. Even if you had to walk past caskets of people you love. Even if you had to lose the job that you like. Even if things didn't work out the way. Here's the reality. The Bible says that all things work together for the good to them that love God. He's going to get the glory. Roll the stone of discouragement away and be encouraged, and encourage yourself and say thank God, Charlie Boggs live for Jesus. Thank God my baby’s in Heaven. Thank God my body is still healed. Thank God for the breath in my body and the food on my table, because God's getting the glory out of my story. And if there's anybody at 3trees thankful for Jesus, why don't you get on your feet and give God praise that He's writing a good story in your life. This day, stones are rolling. This day, ope is coming back. This day, attitudes are changing, hearts are being transformed. Cuz today, everything changes when we roll the stones. Can you remain standing with us?

 

Ethan Boggs

I believe today, and this is the final service, so we're gonna run till probably 2 or 3pm if y'all want to hang. But on a serious note, I really do believe that message would not leave me. And maybe it was for me. And maybe it's just the season I'm in. But I just really believe there's people in the room, living between verse five and six and you got questions. And God, I know that you love me, and I know that you're there, and I know that you care. But why does it seem like you're distant? Why does it seem like you're not involved? And why does it, can I tell you today? I seriously preached that sermon to answer that question and say this, I don't know. I don't. But what I do know, He will get glory. He knows what he's doing. He knows where you're at. Pastor Johnny, man, you're my favorite dude in this whole church, by the way. Sorry, Pastor Jason, your son. But I tell you this, you know, the other day, I didn’t tell this at any other service. The other day, I was at the house, and my little boy, he's gonna be four on Tuesday. And he was at the house. And you know, as a parent, how you watch your kids or as a dad, I don't watch my kids in my eyes and watch my kids in my ears, right? Anybody know what I'm talking about? If they're quiet, you're like, what in the name of Jesus are they doing, you know? But my son got real quiet, and I couldn't find where he was, I’m like Judah where are you? And this is what he said, I don't know. You don't know where you are. And let me tell you something. I was calm because I knew he was safe. But let me just say this. Even when you don't know where you are, God knows where you are. And He has every hair on your head number, every step you have ordered, a purpose and a plan in your life that is an expected end. God knows exactly what He's doing.

 

Ethan Boggs

And so right now, you may feel like Mary and Martha thinking oh my, oh my, it's so bad. It’s so bad, the world is so bad. The world's falling apart. My family is falling apart, things have gotten to the worst case scenario I could ever imagine. It’s okay. It’s okay. All things, all things, not some things, not a little bit of everything. And on your dying bed, one day when you're old, you can look back and say all things work together. He knew what He was doing the whole time. It may not come when you want it. Like the old church used to say, but He'll be here right on time. 3trees are you thankful for the Word of God today?

 

Ethan Boggs

Can you close your eyes all over the room? I just want to ask you a question. If you're in the room and you feel like some days you’re between verse five and you're between verse six, you know God's a healer, you know God's good, you know God's faithful, you know He can provide opportunities and open up doors for you. But deep inside your heart, you have your doubts, because it doesn't seem as though He's present when you think He should be, where you think He should be. I really feel somebody in the room, I'm connecting to them. There is somebody here, people here, God is talking to you. And you have been feeling this tension of wondering God, will I live through it again? Can I push through this season? Are you even there? If that's you, I just want you, between Heaven and you,  it's not for me, I want you to raise a hand to Heaven and say God sometimes I feel like I'm between verse five and six. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I feel like I'm between verse five and six. I'm stuck there in the middle. I need help. I need restoration. I know more about you sometimes then I feel like you're doing in my life. Lazarus, arise again.

 

Ethan Boggs

God, I thank you for every individual in this room. I know that you have a plan. And I know that you have a destiny, and I know that you have purpose for every person present. I pray that you give us the strength to roll our stones back. I pray that you who have done so many mighty things for so many people you'll do it again. You're going to do is something in our hearts, something in our lives, something significant, and when the enemy keeps telling you it’s too far gone, the body's decayed. It's over now, at this point this season of your life at this age, after the divorce, after the bankruptcy, after the abortion, after everything as you have the experience it’s too far gone. But I've come to tell somebody the devil is a liar. And today new Life is coming to your life today in Jesus name. If you believe it somebody give God a praise in this place that He hasn't heard all day.

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