Jesus: He’s Coming Soon.

Every Eye Shall See Him: Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 680: Jesus: He’s Coming Soon.

After I came to know the LORD in 1984, there was a little praise song my church sang: “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the LORD”. My understanding of God’s Word was limited back then, so I was half expecting Jesus to come back during the week. It radically changed the way that I was living, because I wanted to be ready for Jesus. As the years have gone on, I look back and wonder, “Should I have been continuing with that same sense of expectation all along?” Of course the answer is “YES” for we don’t know the day or the hour. Then there’s the great question Jesus asks, “Will the Son of Man find faith on earth when He returns?”

Revelation 1:7 (NIV)
7  Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

Revelation is written to both encourage followers of Jesus and to warn those who’re slipping away from a genuine walk with Him. It’s also written and available to the enemies of Jesus as a stern and stark warning; “He’s Coming BACK AGAIN SOON.”

EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM:

This is a wonderful encouragement for the believers in the major towns mentioned in Revelation; the Seven Churches in Asia Minor, but also for you and me today. We’re going to see the LORD! At that time it was dangerous to be a believer in Jesus. John was exiled to Patmos, some of the other believers were being killed and put to death in horrific ways. But John wanted to encourage them in the walk with Christ and their commitment to the end.

Who’s going to see Jesus? “Every eye shall see Him”: Believers and non-believers alike. Even those who pierced Him: The Jews and Romans who put Christ to death will see Him. However it’s also those who are opposed to Christianity in every generation, it’s as if they are the ones who are piercing Him all over again. Remember what Jesus said to Saul (Paul) when He appeared to him on the road to Damascus:

Acts 9:3-5 (NIV)
3  As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5  “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.

“Why do you persecute me?” Paul was involved in killing Christians and hunting them down. There have been thousands who’ve been persecuted for their faith in Jesus. This text in Revelation today shows us, that one day they will mourn.

What will they do when they see Jesus returning on the clouds? They’ll “MOURN” All peoples on the Earth who don’t know Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour or who’ve rejected the Gospel, will be grieving, mourning and wailing.

Do you know that there are TWO references in this one verse to Old Testament Prophesy. In his old age John, the Apostle and dearly loved Disciple of Jesus, was full of the Holy Spirit and steeped in the Old Testament Scriptures. He’d been given insight into a fuller understanding of their meaning, and by the Holy Spirit was able to APPLY those Scriptures to his own “Here and now”…

Two Old Testament References:

(Dan 7:13-14). The Son of Man Coming on Clouds.

Daniel 7:13-14 (NIV)
13  “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.
14  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

It is from that passage in Daniel there emerges the recurring picture of the Son of Man coming on the clouds (Mark 13:26; Mark 14:62; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64). These are wonderful encouraging messages for every Christian, the unchanging truth that the day will come when Jesus Christ will be Lord of all and every eye shall see Him. It is that kind of hope that can keep you going through the toughest of trials on this earth. Imagine how John’s message would have been received at a time of great persecution of Christians. How much more is it and encouragement for us today as we see our own world rushing headlong into oblivion?

The Second OT reference is: “Mourning for the one they have pierced”

Zechariah 12:10 (NIV) 
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”

One Day SOON: We are going to see the LORD! Hallelujah. Praise the Lord!

But on that day, every enemy of Christ; every Atheist, every false religions, every wayward non-religious person and every bitter-back-slider, even the hypocrite; will MOURN: Because they’ll suddenly discover how wrong they’ve been; they’ll mourn as one does the death of an infant as Zachariah tells us, that’s a terrible kind of grieving indeed.

Read this Revelation verse again and praise the Lord, because you know HIM who’s coming back soon.

Revelation 1:7 (NIV)
7  Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

No matter what your circumstances are today, this is encouragement to LIVE your life every day with the expectant hope He’s coming soon. Life will be much better for you if you do.

Sing; “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the Lord”.

Praying that you’ll have an awesome week, full of exciting adventures in the Holy Spirit with Jesus your Lord. Amen.

Don.

 

 

Jusus IS; The LORD of the Sabbath

Cornfield Jesus woman

Daily Spirit & Word: 664: Jesus Is The LORD of the Sabbath.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”

Good morning my friends, we’ve had a wonderful few days. My wife Julie and I are looking after our little two year old grandson Karamoko. We’d normally have all three, but the older children have school. Still our daughter needs a little rest from Karamoko, she’s 39 and a bit weeks pregnant, gets tired and needed a break. He’s FULL of LIFE. When you observe a two year old, you wonder how just a few mouthfuls of porridge can produce so much energy.

On Sunday, I was preaching on the following verses from Mark’s Gospel, Jesus own disciples needed some energy, but I’m sure they didn’t know the resultant storm of opposition from evil forces that was brewing behind the scenes, that picking a few ears of corn would cause.

Mark 2:23-28 (NIV)
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the cornfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some ears of corn.
24  The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
25  He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?
26  In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
27  Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28  So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Walking Through Cornfields:

Have you ever been in the countryside and walked through a field with ripe corn? It’s an amazing feeling; it feels like you are in a sea of very long grass, with the wind blowing the corn seems to move like waves.

As Jesus, His disciples and some Pharisees walked through, some of Jesus’ disciple begin picking some ears of corn.

The Pharisees Notice: 

As stated last week, the Pharisees were the religious people of Jesus day. They tried to live according to very strict religious code of conduct, and they expected every ‘good’ Jew to do the same. Whenever someone didn’t live according to their rules and regulations, they pointed the finger, and tried to impose their code upon everyone.

The Pharisees noticed that Jesus’ disciples were picking corn, and pointed out that it was against the LAW.

Was it against the law? Were Jesus disciple being unrighteous and unholy?

Let’s looks and see what the LAW actually said about the Sabbath:

Exodus 35:2 (NIV) “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”

Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV)
8  “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9  Six days you shall labour and do all your work,
10  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
11  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

On the surface, it would seem the Disciples were indeed being disobedient; after all picking corn is harvesting, right?

The Pharisees had expanded God’s Law:

They interpreted what God had given to mean; 39 Sabbath Prohibitions. Remember, these are just some of the Pharisee’s rules and regulations for a holy life.

For a Pharisee and a “good Jew” it was prohibited to do;

  • Sowing
  • Plowing
  • Reaping
  • Binding sheaves
  • Threshing
  • Winnowing
  • Selecting
  • Grinding
  • Sifting
  • Kneading
  • Baking
  • Shearing wool
  • Washing wool
  • Beating wool
  • Dyeing wool
  • Spinning
  • Weaving
  • Making two loops
  • Weaving two threads
  • Separating two threads
  • Tying
  • Untying
  • Sewing stitches
  • Tearing
  • Trapping
  • Slaughtering
  • Flaying
  • Tanning
  • Scraping hide
  • Marking hides
  • Cutting hide to shape
  • Writing two or more letters
  • Erasing two or more letters
  • Building
  • Demolishing
  • Extinguishing a fire
  • Kindling a fire
  • Putting the finishing touch on an object
  • Transporting an object between a private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain.

What the Pharisees had done was identify what they deemed to be WORK: Made a list and said, “We can’t do these things”. Modern Jews follow similar guidelines, because they are living according to the LAW: Not the Spirit which gives life.

The Letter of the Law Kills.

The Spirit gives it life.

NOTE: Remember what Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 11:30. He was referring to how the Christian life can be lived in the power of the Spirit rather than on rules and regulations.

Then Jesus Disciples: Come along and pick some corn on the Sabbath.

Jesus directed the Objecting Pharisees to the Scriptures:

The Beginning of the Year 2016: Is a good time to remember what Jesus was doing here.

Whenever a question arises as to the practice of our faith, we must go along what what God has revealed in His Word. The Bible warns us “Not to add or take away” from what has been given by God in the Bible.

Jesus reminds them about King David and his companions who were hungry, and ate the consecrated bread. Jesus reminds them, It was lawful only for priests to eat this bread, but David and his companions were hungry, and because there was no other food, the Consecrated bread was the only food at hand, their hunger overrides.

However, this leaves us with a Question: 

Was Kind David breaking God’s Law?

Answer, Jesus was asking the Pharisees to do a Bible Study: to Check-out King David.

David had assured the Priest that he and his companions were ritually clean; They had abstained from being with women for over three days. (Why that makes a man unclean? You’ll have to do a deeper Bible study to find out, but that was the requirement that David and his companions was asked to fulfil by the Priest, before he would give him the consecrated bread of God’s presence, the shawbread.)

1 Samuel 21:3-6 (NIV) Kind David Takes The Shawbread. 
3  Now then, what have you to hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”
4  But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread to hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”
5  David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s things are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!”
6  So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the LORD and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

To discover more about the Shawbread: Read:  Leviticus 24:5-9 (NIV)
5  “Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf.
6  Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the LORD.
7  Along each row put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to the LORD by fire.
8  This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant. 9  It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in a holy place, because it is a most holy part of their regular share of the offerings made to the LORD by fire.”

This shows us that ONLY Aaron and his sons (The Levite Priests after him) were allowed to eat this bread.

The Pharisees revered King David: Jesus asking them a question about the great king’s righteousness was not to throw them into doubt, but to show them, there are times when God’s Law is not as simple as ‘keeping rules and regulations’, it’s a matter of the heart. How pure a person is. How much a person is devoted to the LORD.

Jesus was most likely arguing; “If Kind David could eat the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for the Priests to eat, then men who are hungry on the Sabbath, whilst they have the LORD of the Sabbath with them, can also pic and eat a few grains of corn.”

Jesus was teaching them and us, the Sabbath was never meant to be a SET of RULES: But a way of life.

He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”.

It was meant to be a day, devoted to the LORD. A Holy Day and a Day of REST from their labours.

Yes God had said, “Do NO WORK on the Sabbath, it is a Holy Day, a Day to devote yourselves to Him”.

It was also to remind them about CREATION: How the LORD had made it in SIX DAYS and rested on the SEVENTH.

When you consider the Creator of all things, that the LORD made the heavens and the earth, you’ll get a much greater perspective on who actually provides for you, not the labour of your hands, but the Lord God almighty: The LORD of the Sabbath.

But the Pharisees had become legalistic; they were looking at everyone else, instead of focusing upon worship of the LORD.

They were looking to ensure that people kept their rules and regulations, rather than worrying about their own personal devotion and worship. They thought of themselves as a kind of holy police force.

Jesus taught: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

What did Jesus mean?

It seems to me that Jesus is teaching us; there are certain times when RULES can be broken. (I.e. Work on the Sabbath: Harvesting. Work on the Sabbath; Healing). When there is NEED for things in life, like food. Or MERCY needs to be shown or exercised for someone.

We’ll see this again next week in: A Work of Mercy on the Sabbath: Jesus healing a man. Mark 3.

Here, picking some corn on the Sabbath?: is a Work of Necessity it’s NOT Harvesting: Jesus Disciples were mainly fishermen, not farmers. Because they were travelling around with the Messiah, they were going about the LORD’S HOLY WORK. (King David said, “His work was Holy”). They were hungry, NECESSITY overrides ritual and regulation. Just as much as mercy does, next week. Mark 3.

 

An Injured Pigeon:

After being a Christian for about two years, I’d become quite legalistic about getting to church on time. I never wanted to be late to Church on a Sunday. So we always set out early to walk the mile up hill to church. Five kids in tow.

One day just along the road from our house, we spotted a pigeon tat had been hit by a car and it’s wing was broken. My wife, Julie said, “Oh look at that poor darling creature, go and get it and we’ll take it to the vet” I protested, “Julie, we haven’t got time, we’ll be late for church”… Well, you can guess what she said, “What’s more important, getting to church or doing good?” I chased that bird for about ten minutes and finally caught it. Once in my hands I thought to myself, “What am I going to do with you now, on a Sunday?”… I took it to Brian and Sheilah’s house, our neighbours who were always very kind to animals. It turned out, we were not late for church. But I learned a valuable lesson from my wife that day.

Do GOOD on the Sabbath when God gives you the opportunity.

Don’t worry about your rules, even your own precious rules.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

Yes it’s important to set aside one day a week as HOLY to the LORD.

Every day for the Christian is a SABBATH DAY: Because we’ve got the LORD with us.

Every day is HOLY for the Christian: However, it’s good to follow the Bible practice of setting aside one day a week to worship the Lord. God set us an example; if it’s good enough for God, surely it’s good for us to rest one day a week from our labour.

Jesus Is LORD of the Sabbath:

The Pharisees thought they KNEW the LAW of God: But it’s like Jesus is telling them, “NO, you don’t really understand God’s Law, you don’t get it. I do, because I AM the LORD of the SABBATH.” i.e. “I’m LORD who gave the law, so I know what I was talking about when I gave that Law to Moses”…. Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath and all the other Commands of God. He alone understands the full meaning of God’s LAW. That’s why Jesus also corrected their understanding of; Murder and Adultery. (i.e. hatred in the heart and lust in the heart). Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath too.

NOTES: Remember that this section of Mark’s Gospel followed questions about FASTING, and is followed by them looking to see if Jesus would again ‘break’ the Sabbath laws in Mark 3. Opposition to Jesus was building in the hearts of men, but we must also remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood.

NOTES: The Sabbath was not meant to be a day of privation: God provided double the Manna for the Holy Day whilst the Israelites were wandering through the desert. Normally the Manna would only last just one day, they were to gather just enough, if they gathered too much it rotted with maggots. However, a miracle took place on the sixth day, that manna lasted long enough for two whole days and didn’t rot. That shouts out to me about God’s amazing hand of provision for a holy life, and that He wants us to remember, who it is the provides us with everything.

Our God IS and AWESOME God.

He reigns in Heaven and Earth.

He’s the CREATOR of ALL.

He gives us LIFE and Breath.

Praise HIM every DAY.

Amen!

Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life in abundance” John 10:10.

Bible References To The Sabbath Day:

Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16:23-29; Exodus 20:8-11; Exodus 31:12-17; Exodus 35:2-3; Leviticus 16:31; Leviticus 19:3; Leviticus 19:29-30; Leviticus 23; Leviticus 24:8; Leviticus 25:2-6; Leviticus 26:2; Leviticus 26:34-35; Leviticus 26:43; Numbers 15:32-36; Numbers 28-29; Deuteronomy 5:12-14; 2 Kings 4:23; 2 Kings 11:5-9; 1 Chronicles 9:32; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 2 Chronicles 8:13; 2 Chronicles  23:4-8; 2 Chronicles 31:3; 2 Chronicles 36:21; Nehemiah ; Nehemiah 10:31-33; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Psalms ; Isaiah 1:13; Isaiah 56:2-7; Isaiah 58:13-14; Isaiah 66:22-23; Jeremiah 17:21-27; Lamentations 2:6; Ezekiel 20:12-24; Ezekiel 22:8; Ezekiel 22:26-31; Ezekiel 23:38; Ezekiel 44:24; Ezekiel 45:17; Ezekiel 46:1-12; Hosea 2:11; Amos 8:5; Matthew 12:1-12; Matthew 24:20-21; Matthew 28:1; Mark 1:21; Mark 2:23- 28; Mark 3:2-4; Mark 6:2; Mark 15:42; Mark 16:1; Luke 4:16; Luke 4:31; Luke 6:1-9; Luke 13:10-16; Luke 14:1-5; Luke 23:50-24:1; John 5:9-18; John 7:22-23; John ; John 19:31; Acts 1:12; Acts 13:14; Acts 13:27; Acts 13:42-43; Acts 15:21; Acts 16:13; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4; Romans 14:5-6; Galatians 4:10-11; Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 4:1-11

 

The Good News of God: The Gospel.

God calls, Satan Tempts, Jesus Preaches,

Daily Spirit & Word: 610:

Jesus Begins Preaching The Good News.

Good morning my friends, today we’re back in the Gospel of Mark: We’re preaching through the whole of Mark’s Gospel. We’re in Chapter 1:9-15 (Jesus begins His public preaching ministry).

Mark 1:9-15 (NIV)
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. (Notice: no detail about conversation with John as in Matthew).
10  As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
11  And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
12  At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert,
13  and he was in the desert for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
15  “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

1) GOD SPEAKS TO JESUS.

Before anything AMAZING or Miraculous happens in the Bible, normally God speaks first.

Genesis: Before there was anything, God spoke it into existence.

Before Adam and Eve: God had spoken the plants and animals and all living things into existence.

Before the Fall: God Spoke one word of prohibition: “Don’t touch, don’t eat”

Before Moses went back to Egypt: God spoke to Him from the Burning Bush.

Before Samuel was a Prophet: God spoke to Him.

Before King David was confronted about his adultery and murder, God spoke to the prophet Nathan.

Before Jesus began His Ministry: God spoke to Him and said, ”

Mark 1:11 “And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

My friends, God still speaks today:

He’ll speak to you, through His Word, through dreams, visions and words of knowledge. He’ll speak to you through other people and through circumstances that you are going through.

Recently: One of the Evangelism Team said, “I think the Lord is telling us to go to Brixton”… We prayed about it and agreed to go. However, God confirmed it in different ways: I knew I was running out of tracts and coins, but I’d not ordered any on time. So I prayed and asked the Lord: Give us some things to take: Well as I was getting my bag ready to go, guess what, I found two bags of 10 Commandment Coins: Over a hundred: more than enough for one nigh, and lots of other tracts as well.

God leads, God guides and God Speaks my friends.

What was it God said? Who did He say it to?

Mark records that it was to Jesus God was speaking.

Matthew records that John heard God speaking to Jesus.

“You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

When you know that you are hearing God’s Voice: it give you confidence, comfort, commitment, determination, direction and joy. Jesus went into the wilderness, directed by the HOLY SPIRIT. Today, God calls you to Jesus, He gives you the same HOLY SPIRIT and He’ll guide you into your Ministry. Whatever He determines that is. For it is HIM who gives you gifts. He let’s you KNOW just how much He loves you. How happy He is when we are obedient to His call. He lets us KNOW we are HIS Children.

2) SATAN TEMPTS JESUS:

Just after God spoke, He guides Jesus by His Spirit.

He guides Him into the wilderness to undergo some testing, which He allows the Devil, Satan to tempt Jesus.

Mark is unlike the other Evangelists: He doesn’t go into any detail:

For instance: Mark leaves out the fact that Jesus fasted 40 days, there’s no detail about how Satan tempted Him, or what Jesus did in response to Satan’s tempting. Mark only records the fact of Satan’s tempting Jesus.

When we’re reading Mark’s Gospel: If you’ve read the other Gospels, then you sub-consciously fill in the blanks, you’ve got a mental picture from all the other information the Bible provides about what that TEMPTING meant.

So let’s imagine for a moment; that we’ve never read any of the other Gospels: Why did Mark leave it out. You see the New Testament didn’t come together as one book for a long time after this Gospel was written. His focus was not on the detail, but on the acts that Jesus performed, the things that Jesus did. You’ll notice that again and again in Mark’s Gospel of Jesus. Why? It’s because Mark knew the things that Jesus did, speak loudest about WHO JESUS IS. When we know that, we’ll put our complete trust in Jesus.

He doesn’t go into the detail of things; like Matthew and Luke. (My wife and most women LOVE detail: LOL).

He doesn’t tell us about conversations; like John does.

He merely records the facts of what Jesus did. He paints with powerful picture words: i.e. (Heaven being torn open: Matthew tells us heaven opened and a dove came down, Mark tells us it was TORN OPEN. There’s a FORCE behind the Gentle Dove. We fill in the blanks with our minds.

Application: Satan Tempts Today: When you’ve heard God speaking, Satan will then, quite often come an hassle you too.

It didn’t take long for Satan to come and try and convince Jesus to go his way instead of God’s.

He tried to cause Jesus to doubt God’s Word / God’s Voice. He’ll do the same with you too.

Just after a friend of mine was converted: He had an awesome experience of the Holy Spirit.

A few weeks later, at the Bible study, He was doubting God’s Word: He said, “I can’t believe all these miracles”, but I said, “Pray about it, leave it on the back-burner and just concentrate on what Jesus taught and what the Bible teaches for a while”…

It didn’t take long for my friend to overcome his doubts, the next week he came back, Jesus DOES PERFORM MIRACLES.

It took the miracle of immediate answered prayer to convince him. He believed the Bible 100% after that.

When you’ve heard God speaking, Satan will try and steal it away from you.

  • He’ll try and make you doubt your calling.
  • He’ll try and take you away from God.
  • He’ll do his best to convince you “Life is better without Jesus, God, Church, Fellowship, Bible study, Prayer, Praise, etc etc etc…”
  • All that God calls us to do: He’ll try and convince you to STOP>
  • Why? Because Satan Knows there’s POWER in all the things that God has called us to do. He KNOWS: Once you START obeying God, you’re FAITH will get stronger and it’ll be harder for him to pull you away. He’ll never stop trying though. It’s a Constant Battle for the Saints against our arch-enemy Satan.

On Friday, we met a woman who’d been convinced she didn’t need ‘Church’: However, over time, her faith had dwindled, she’d fallen into sin and an old stammer she had came back to haunt her.

We encouraged her: To know God’s Word concerning gathering together regularly to worship: To get back into fellowship, bible study with others and prayer and praise with brothers and sisters.

Satan had fooled her into thinking, “I don’t need ‘Church'” Oh yes she does my friends. And WE ALL NEED IT TOO.

 

3) Finally, JESUS PREACHES: (The Good News of God).

God Spoke, The Devil Tempted and Jesus Preached.

Jesus had OVERCOME Satan’s attempts to divert Him, to make him walk away from God’s Plan.

Jesus begins to proclaim the Good News.

Notice what Mark tells us:

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. (Notice again: No detail about why John was put into prison, or how Jesus went about preaching the good news, just the fact that He did).

15  “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

What was Jesus “Good News”: Gospel:

The TIME has come, The Kingdom of God is Near:

a) The Time Has Come:

Jew were EXPECTING THE MESSIAH. Jesus is declaring, boldly, loudly and clearly: I’m The Expected One. (The one that John the Baptist was telling you about, telling you to get ready for, I’m here)….

b) Repent and Believe the Good News:

Repentance and Belief: This is a KEY Doctrine that will NEVER be taken away until Jesus returns.

For any person to be SAVED: There must be both: Repentance and Belief.

JESUS GOSPEL: TO THE JEWS.

The Gospel Jesus preached was before any of the events of the Crucifixion or Resurrection and Ascension: These are the KEY elements in any Proclamation of the Gospel today.

But when Jesus was on earth, He was preaching mainly to Jews: His Gospel, Good News, was slightly different.

You see the Jews were God’s Chosen People: They were EXPECTING God to speak, to send messengers, who would usher in God’s Kingdom rule. Jesus is declaring to those who knew this: “NOW IS THE TIME: God’s Kingdom is close at hand, it’s near, it’s right here with you NOW”…. So, Repent (Get back to God, get right with God, turn away from sin and unbelief). Believe.

The Gospel For Us:

We know that Jesus died.

We know that Jesus is alive.

So the Gospel Message is: Believe in what Jesus has done on the Cross, Repent from your sins and Receive Him as your Lord and Saviour.

However, before people who are not like Jews can accept that message, we need to plough up the soil of the heart to get it ready for the seed of the Good News to be planted. We need to help people see their NEED of the SAVIOUR before they’ll be ready to receive Him rightly.

Imagine: A farmer going out to sow his seed in an un-ploughed field? He just would not do it. No farmer in his right mind would sprinkle seed on un-prepared ground. Why? Because He knows; the Birds will steal it away. The seed will be ruined.

It’s like casting your pearls before swine. So it is with giving the Good News before they’re ready to receive it.

The Apostles knew it and proclaimed it, the Preachers of Old knew it, we’re re-learning it’s value again today: With God’s help, we need to bring conviction of sin, the consequences of sin, the judgement to come, eternal destiny of all men without Jesus, and then they’ll be ready; Once they know their NEED of Jesus.

Today: People’s hearts need to be prepared, like a farmer’s field, before they hear and receive the Good News or it will be a waste of time, or a perverted Gospel we’ll be preaching.

BUT: What do we see today? People are being given the Good News, before they’re ready to receive it.

The Church tells the world: God LOVES you and Has a plan for your life: My friends, they’ve got their own plans, they love their lives of sin, they don’t want anyone telling them what to do and how to live. They’re happy in their sin.

So Now people are enticed into ‘church’ with words like: come to Jesus and you’ll be happy, you’ll get peace, joy and lasting fulfilment. So people come to that Jesus. They love that message, it doesn’t talk about: Sin, true Repentance, Judgement or Hell. No wonder those churches are full to overflowing. We NEED a ‘real’ Old Time REVIVAL TODAY.

Once a sick patient knows his need of a cure: He’ll be ready and eager to receive it.

Once a sinner knows his need of forgiveness, cleansing from sin and how to get it, he’ll be ready for the cure: The Gospel, Good News of Jesus Christ. How God loved him enough to send His One and Only Son into the world to die upon the Cross for the sins of every sinner. (John 3:16)… Also he’ll be ready for the warning (John 3:18-21).

Before we can give them either: The Good News or The Warning:

We must be gentle, humble and instruct them about their NEED of a Saviour, by showing them HOW they have offended God. We also have an inward ally who’ll help us: Their Conscience (God’s LAW written upon their hearts).

We have a Heavenly Power who’ll be drawing them: The Holy Spirit, who’ll lead them to a Conviction of Sin. However, our part is to EXPLAIN and PREPARE their Hearts for the Good News of the Gospel.  We need to be like the farmer, getting hearts ready for Good Seed of God’s Gospel Message planted perfectly into their prepared hearts.

My friends, it’s so wonderful when you observe people’s faces as they see their need of Jesus. You can physically see as their eyes are opened and they understand the Gospel, it makes sense to them. Not everyone is ready at that instant to Believe and Repent, but their hearts have been prepared, the ground has been ploughed and the seed sown. God’s WORD: Faith Comes by Hearing. God will do His Work.

Conclusion:

God Speaks, Satan Tempts and Jesus Preached.

God calls you today, fills you with His Spirit, to guide you.

Satan still tempts you today,

and Jesus has commanded you to PREACH: Good News, but prepare hearts for the Gospel first.

Go into ALL THE WORLD… The emphasis of Jesus is for everyone of us to “GO”… Let the world know the Good News of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Mark 16:15-20 (NIV)

15  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16  Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18  they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19  After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

20  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Mark 16:20 (NIV)

20  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Let us PRAY: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, thank you so much for Mark’s Gospel message. We can see that just like You, we can Hear our Father speaking today. We know the reality of Satan and how he tries to tempt us away from You and Your will for our lives. We believe that You are calling us all to share the Good News. Please give us the will to be obedient, the desire to share and the wisdom to know when we’re being tempted. Keep us from all evil, give us daily bread, Your Kingdom Come. Amen.