Sat, Sep 06, 1997

Maranatha Ministries 1997

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Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.

MARANATHA MINISTRIES 1997

NO EXIT

JOHN 14:6

SEPTEMBER 6, 1997

 

No Exit is the title of a one-act play written by the French existentialist, Jean Paul Sartre. He attempts to portray the blankness of life in terms of hell.

For Sartre, hell is not a lake of brimstone, a perpetual fire, nor a place where the devil and his torturers forever hound their victims. To Sartre, hell is other people.

There are four characters in the play. The opening scene begins with a valet ushering a man named Garcin into a room. There are three sofas, a mantelpiece and an immovable massive bronze ornament on the mantelpiece. As with other countless rooms in this hell hotel, there are no mirrors, no windows, nothing breakable. A light burns continuously.

Garcin is left alone by the valet and expects torturers with red hot tongs to move in. However, in succession, two women are escorted to the room by the valet. One is named Inez and the other Estelle. With their arrival, the room is considered fully occupied.

Within a matter of hours, the past of all three begins to come out. Garcin was a deserter, untrue and cruel to his wife. Inez was a lesbian, and Estelle murdered her illegitimate baby. These are some of the kinds of individuals who people hell. The recognition begins to slowly dawn upon them that this room is their eternal abode, and Inez says, "We're in hell. And no one else will come here. We'll stay in this room together, the three of us, forever and ever."

They perceptively recognize that they are to be each others' torturers. Their personalities so strongly conflict, their despisement for each other is so great, their attempt at dominance of each other is so acute, that they at the outset make a pact to keep silent and thus reduce the torture of their hell. The pact is short lived. They cannot possibly refrain from verbally clawing at each other.

Sartre's hell is really a parable of life. The world is the room of the evils of hell and the peoples of the room are the citizens of hell. There is no exit for there are no doors and no windows. The Biblical hell is one place where every hope is gone and one may not hope for there is no hope. But for Sartre, human life is hopeless.

We got here without being asked, acquired names we did not choose, parents we did not pick, and environments we cannot escape. We may try to get out. We may attempt to forget our desperation through ambition and work, through alcohol or drugs, or by kicking aside the restraint of parents, society, and sex. The harder you try, the closer the walls of your room move in. You try to climb out, over, under or through, but there are no doors and there are no windows.

No Exit.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is life.

You are the seventh baby born into a "dysfunctional" family and your hole is filthy and the rats eat on you when no other food is available. Your father is absent and your mother is insensitive. There are other babies in your room, and you will grow up in a condemned tenement, an over crowded street filled with gang and drug activity, attend a school offering a second-rate education, and work odd jobs without security for the rest of your life. No exit for the baby in that crib.

You are a young child in Somalia. The rain has not come. There is no crop to harvest. Your stomach is distended from eating grass and barks of the few remaining trees. There are ten million others just like you. No Exit.

You are a Chinese youth on a rusty boat leaving the only home you have ever known. Your boat is overcrowded and filthy. There is not enough food and diseases run freely through the crowd. You've given your life's savings to be on this boat, and if you make it, you will spend the next 20 years trying to earn enough to pay off the contract you have signed with these hoodlums. No Exit.

You are a young U.S. soldier plucked from the comfort of your home and taken to some strangely named place where the last face you look at is aiming down a gun barrel. For both of you, No Exit.

You are a 25-year-old junkie who consumes more drugs than food. You are so numbed by needles, weakened by chemicals, and emaciated by hepatitis, that if an overdose doesn't get you, you may drown in your own vomit. You contracted AIDS years ago and the clock is ticking toward your death.

No Exit.

You are a working man or woman. Every day you put the fifth bolt on the left rim of an electronic instrument. You commute for an hour to get home then drown the monotony by watching five hours of television. You turn the lights out and start all over again except on the next day, the instruments you put the bolts on will be red instead of blue and there will be different programs on TV.

No Exit.

You are retired and in your "golden years." The company you poured your life into went bankrupt and the pension funds are gone. Your house is losing value every year, your health is poor and Social Security won't cover your monthly bills. The children you raised don't want to help. No Exit.

You are a student not sure whether you are being educated or manipulated by a system that can't seem to make men think right regardless of how many facts are taught or debates are held.

No Exit.

Count them. Count the billions of men, women, boys and girls. Count the hopeless poverty and sin of their lives. No exit.Bred, born, burned out and then buried. No exit in life. No exit in death.

That is the story of this age. In natural thinking, this is the conclusion.

No Exit.

BUT THE GOSPEL IS NOT ACCORDING TO JEAN PAUL SARTRE. The gospel is not according to the despair of this age. One man entered history, not by accident, but as the only man to ever truly "choose" to be born. That man is the God-Man, Christ Jesus.

The night before Jesus went to the cross, He celebrated the Passover with His men. And He said to them "Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you cannot come,' so now I say to you." John 13:33. The disciples of Jesus spent 3 years with Him and now He was telling them He was leaving them and they could not follow Him.

They had left everything to follow Him. They left jobs, families to follow Jesus, and now it seemed that was all coming to an end. But Jesus encourages them by saying "...'Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.'" John 13:36.

Now that was encouraging to a point, you see, Thomas was concerned and rightly so. He said "...'Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?'" John 14:5. That truly is the cry of humanity - "What is the way to eternal life, does it even have an exit?"

Today, as we can see, many have placed before people doors of hope. The only problem with those doors is they lead to no where. They do not lead to an exit, but only frustration.

Now most people today would say that Jesus was a great prophet, a great teacher. Now if you believe that, then you must believe what He has to say is true, for if it is a lie, that would make Him a false prophet and a horrible teacher.

And Jesus is more than just a great prophet, He is more than just a great teacher, He is God in the flesh, who dwelt among us. In John 1:1, 14 we read "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Many today like to deny the deity of Christ. They deny He is God. But at least the Jewish religious leaders were honest about it. They knew exactly who Jesus claimed to be and that is why they picked up stones to stone Him. The Jews said to Jesus' question of why they were going to stone Him by saying "...'For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God."' John 10:33.

So we see Jesus, claiming to be God, and telling His men He is leaving them, and they want to know the way to go. Listen very carefully to how Jesus responded to their question. He said "...'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" John 14:6.

Jesus said that He is the way. He has provided the way through His shed blood on the cross of Calvary. You see, the Bible tells us that "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. The word "sin" is an archery term that speaks of missing the bull's eye, it speaks of imperfection. And it effects ALL of us! But Jesus is calling for us to follow after Him, to give our life to Him, and when we do, all are sins are covered by His blood and His perfect righteousness is given to us - HE IS THE WAY!

In a world that is skeptical about everything. In a world that has a hard time trusting anyone. In a world that does not know what is truth. Jesus said that He is "the truth". He is telling us that we can trust His Words, for they are truth.

What we see today is people speaking all kinds of lies with such zeal that many people believe them. Many believe by just being a "good person", whatever that means, and by what standards I am not sure, God has to let us into heaven, into His kingdom. But that is contrary to what God has to say. There are only 2 ways to get into heaven. The first is perfection, never committing a sin. If you think you are in that group, BUZZ.... YOUR OUT! You just committed the sin of pride.

Thus, the only other way is through Christ. Paul said in Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." You see, it is a free gift. You can't earn it. You can't work your way into it. All you have to do is receive it!

But don't think it is that easy, for the enemy will try to mess you up. He will try to confuse you and tell you it can't be that easy. That you are to evil for God to accept you. That you have to work hard and in the end, you might make it. Those are lies and not found in the Word of God. Jesus said "I AM THE TRUTH!" Search the Scriptures, the Bible, for in them are the truths of God!

And lastly, Jesus said that "He is the life". In a world that is consumed with death and dying, and trying to escape what will come to pass for us all, Jesus is saying to us not to fear, for in Him is life. Jesus said in John chapter 10, "...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep." John 10:10-11.

Do you want to know how much God loves you, look at what He did for you and for me. He gave His life as a substitutionary payment for our sins, He paid the penalty for our sins. And thus, as He hung on the cross we see His last words that He cried out were TETALESTAI, which is a Greek word that means "PAID IN FULL".

You see, during that time when you committed a crime, it was written out, and after you served your time for what you did, and were released from prison, the word TETALESTAI was written across that paper telling everyone that the penalty for your crime was paid in full.

Jesus took all our sins upon Himself, and in doing so paid the penalty for them. All we have to do is receive Him into our life and we will receive that forgiveness of sin. Paul said in Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."

You see, God has done everything possible to save you, all He is asking you to do is turn to Him. He is pleading with you to turn and receive the gift of life. Listen to the cry of God to a wayward people in Ezekiel 18:32. He said "'For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,' says the Lord GOD. 'Therefore turn and live!'"

God is not some vengeful God who gets some kind of perverse pleasure in pouring out His wrath upon people. He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die so that we may live! In fact God does not send anyone to Hell, we choose to go there ourselves by rejecting God's free gift. Jesus said that "HE IS THE LIFE!"

Yes, there are many roads out there that people are taking. We recently saw 38 people or so take their life because they thought that a spaceship was waiting for them behind the hale bopp comet. That was a dead end. It was not an exit to eternal life. Jesus said that "NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME."

If He is God, If He is the great teacher, If He is a great prophet, then we need to heed His Words. You see, there is no exit in life except through Him. I love the way that the Lord puts it in Isaiah 55. He says "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you; The sure mercies of David."

What God has for you is free. It will cost you nothing and yet you will receive eternal life with Him. What a difference from the room of hopelessness, to the room of life!

Are you in the room of no exit? There is a door. It will do you no good to stand there and say, "I won't go through the door because there may be others. There may be a Muslim door, Hindu door, a Buddhist door." It will not do you any good to close your eyes and say, "I do not believe the door exists." The door is not dependent on your belief. The door is always there.

The point is that you, if you want to get out, must go through the door that is open. Waiting to see if there are any other doors will not get you out now. Nor will it gain you anything if you insist on staying with the people who are still looking for other doors or have their eyes closed.

Go through the exit -- Jesus Christ. And once you are out, stay out. Spend your time and devotion following the One who got you out instead of useless debating on whether or not there was another door.

Find the hope and purpose in life that comes from knowing Jesus Christ. You can know this Christ, this door, by talking to Him. Ask Him to forgive your sins and become controller of your life, then accept the fact that He does. He is the way, the truth, the life --

HE IS THE EXIT!

Adapted by Joe Guglielmo from a newsletter by Gayle Erwin; September, October, November 1993.

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