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Jesus Prays for Our Perseverance

(John 17:11-13)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
We saw last time
That the prayer Jesus offered here
Was not for world,
But for those the Father has given Him.
We saw that His death had the same focus:
He went to the cross for His people
Not for the world
For those the Father had chosen out of the world,
For those He was to receive as a reward
We know Jesus did these things for us:
If by His grace,
Were looking to Him in faith,
And if, in love, were following Him.

This morning, Jesus makes His first request:

That the Father would protect us
And give us the grace to persevere
So that one day, we would be with Him.

B. Preview.

We noted earlier
That this prayer forms the foundation of the church:
Jesus prayed for grace
That He might finish His work,
That might have life to give His people.

Now He prays
That the Father would keep or guard
Those for whom He laid down His life.

This is the reason that we

If we have trusted Him
Wont eventually fall away
And be destroyed:
Because Jesus prays for us.

Lets consider three things this morning:

1. We will persevere to the end because Jesus prays for us.
2. That this is true only for those who belong to Him.
3. That Jesus wants us to know this is true so that we might have joy.
II. Sermon.
A. We will persevere to the end because Jesus prays for us.
Last time, Jesus began to pray for His disciples.
Here we see His first request:
Since He would be leaving,

He prays that the Father would keep or protect His disciples.
He says in verse 11, I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in
the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name
which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.

He was departing, but they would remain behind:

I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world (v. 11).
The reason Jesus was leaving them here
Was because their work wasnt done
He had nearly completed their training,
And shortly He would commission them
And then empower them
To take His Gospel to all the nations.

Knowing the dangers they would face,

Jesus prays for them:
Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that
they may be one even as We are.
His request includes several things:
That the Father would protect them
Particularly, from those that would try to stop them:
Well look at that this evening in verses 14-16
That He would grant them His Spirit
And strengthen them in His love
So that they would hold fast to Him
And to each other in love;

Even that they would be protected from themselves:

From the sin in their own hearts
That could destroy them but for His grace;
So that they would ultimately arrive in heaven
Where they would enjoy the blessings
Of their union with the Father and the Son,
And with each other, forever.

Up to this point, Jesus had been keeping them:

He says in verse 12, While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name
which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished.
He had been their Protector
When they were faced with enemies,
He was the One who stood up for them
He had been the One who had kept them
Walking in Gods ways
When they got off track,
He would correct them.
He was the One who made sure
They didnt fall away.

Now that He was leaving,

He prays that the Father would do this by His Spirit,
Which He did when He sent the Spirit at Pentecost.

Here we see Jesus transitioning

Between His ministry on earth,
And the ministry He would do
On behalf of His church in heaven:
His intercessory prayer.

Do you believe in Jesus this morning?

Then Jesus is praying for you.
Hes praying that you will be kept safe from the world.
Hes praying that His Spirit
Will keep you in His love
So that youll hold fast to Him,
And so youll love His brothers and sisters and care for them.
And Hes praying that you will have the power to overcome your sins,
So that you will never fall away,
But be with Him in heaven forever.

Jesus is praying for you

That the Spirit will keep you,
And that is why you can know
That one day you will be with Him.

B. Second, we are again reminded that this is true only for those who belong to Him.
What He just said doesnt apply to the whole world

It didnt even apply to all of His disciples.
I doubt that any of us missed the very sobering words
Jesus spoke at the end of verse 12,
He prays, While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You
have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of
perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

Those Jesus was guarding didnt perish,

But there was one who did: Judas.

Just as Jesus prays for

And lays down His life
For those He Father has given Him
For His sheep,
For everyone who by His grace
Would believe in Him
So He guards them
So that they will never perish:
Judas perished
Because the Father didnt give him to Jesus
He wasnt one of His sheep,
And so wasnt guarded by Jesus.

Judas never belonged to Jesus.

Its true that Jesus chose him to be one of His disciples,
But its also true Jesus said of Judas from the beginning

That he was a devil:

We read in John 6:70-71, Jesus answered them, Did I Myself not choose you, the
twelve, and yet one of you is a devil? Now He meant Judas the son of Simon
Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
Just because one is chosen for a particular purpose,
Doesnt mean that purpose is eternal life.

Jesus calls him the son of perdition,

Which means the son of destruction,
Or one who was headed to a final and complete loss.
Jesus said this is what would happen to Judas
For his sin of betraying Him:
Jesus says in Matthew 26:24-25, The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of
Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have
been good for that man if he had not been born. And Judas, who was betraying
Him, said, Surely it is not I, Rabbi? Jesus said to him, You have said it

Heres a verse you can add to your arsenal of Scripture

When you run into someone that doesnt believe in hell.
Many today who say they believe the Bible
Also say they dont believe hell exists
That a God of love
Could never make anyone suffer
To that degree and for that length of time
They choose to believe unbelievers are annihilated:
That they simply cease to exist.

Jesus says here that it would have been better for Judas
If he had never been born.
Whats the difference between
Not existing because you were never born,
Or not existing because you were annihilated?
Jesus said it would have been better for Judas
If he had never been born,
Because he is now suffering in hell.

Judas didnt end up in hell

For just this one sin
It would have been the penalty
For any one of his sins outside of Christ
But of all the things he did
In his rebellion against God:
This was by far the worst.

Judas was chosen for this purpose

To be the one who would betray Jesus,
Jesus says in verse 12, So that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
David writes in Psalm 41:7-9, All who hate me whisper together against me;
against me they devise my hurt, saying, A wicked thing is poured out upon
him, that when he lies down, he will not rise up again. Even my close friend in
whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
God didnt force him to do this

He did it because he wanted to:
He was a thief and loved money more than Jesus.

Judas perished because he wasnt one of Christs sheep

Because he never trusted Him.
This doesnt mean that if you have trusted Jesus,
That its possible for you to fall away.
If youve believed in Him, you are safe.
Jesus already told us in John 10:28-29,
And I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch
them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all;
and no one is able to snatch them out of the Fathers hand.

But it does mean if you havent believed, you could.

You could fall down into the same pit
That Judas is in at any moment.
The only reason you havent is because of Gods mercy.
Hes giving you time to repent and turn to His Son.
Dont take His mercy for granted.
Turn to Him while He offers you the opportunity,
And He will give you the peace of knowing youre safe.

C. Finally, Jesus prayed these things openly that we might have joy.
He says in verse 13, But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world
so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.
Jesus wanted his disciples to know

That even though He would soon be leaving,
He would be in heaven praying for them
Praying that the Father would keep them,
Praying that they would make it to the end.
He wanted them to know these things
So that when they met with the difficulties
They would eventually face,
They would have the joy of knowing
Jesus was with them
And would work all these things together for their good.
He said earlier in 16:33, These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may
have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have
overcome the world.

If youve trusted Jesus,

You can also have the joy of knowing
That Hes in heaven praying for you
That because He is,
Theres nothing in heaven or earth
That can ever take you away from Him.
You can know that youll make it to heaven
That you will persevere to the end,
That you wont fall away,
Because He will preserve you.
Thats what the Table reminds us of this morning.