Slow Fade… “Preaching about the cross sounds foolish to those who are dying in sin. But it is the power of God to those of us who are being saved from the punishment of sin.” (1 Corinthians 1:18, New Living Translation)
Matthew 28:18-20 King James Version
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Jesus told his followers to, “go, teach, baptize and teach,” all that they had learned from Him. A great minister of the gospel of Christ once said that the word, “go,” in the “Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic,” means, “go – don’t stay!” It’s a catchy saying, and it is very true. I like the following thought from “Gill’s Exposition Of The Entire Bible.”
Go ye therefore,…. Into all the world; some into one place, and some into another.”
Relationships As Part Of The Great Commission
An important part of the teachings of Jesus relates to how His followers should treat other people. Consider His compassion.
Matthew 9:35-37 New King James Version
Jesus Moved With Compassion
35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
Matthew 14:13-15 New King James Version
Jesus Feeding The Five Thousand
13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. 15 When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”
Matthew 15:31-33 New King James Version
Jesus Feeding The Four Thousand
31 So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.
32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”
33 Then His disciples said to Him, “Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?”
Matthew 25:31-40 New King James Version
The Compassion Of Jesus For The Less Fortunate
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
The context of this passage of scripture that I call, “Unto The Least Of These,” is that of the time after the Tribulation. Jesus has descended from heaven and judges the Gentile nations of the world. The judgment relates to how well the Gentiles treated the Jews during the Tribulation. This Sheep And Goat Judgment (Matt 25:32) can be found in discussion by Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46.
An application for us today is found in verses 35-40, and states that if we show true compassion to “the less fortunate of the world,” we are also showing compassion to Jesus. If we are showing compassion to those who are imprisoned, we are also showing compassion to Jesus. Please let me say that, “if we show compassion to prostitutes, drug addicts, alcoholics, and homosexuals,” we are also showing compassion to Jesus. This teaching is not that we should agree with sin but that we should demonstrate the love of Jesus to whomever we are able to do so.
A Story Of The End Of Paul’s Life And Ministry
2 Timothy 4:6-8 King James Version
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Paul is looking very realistically at the end of his ministry, and his life.
A Story Of Paul’s Friends In Ministry
2 Timothy 4:9-12 King James Version
9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
12 And “Tychicus” have I sent to Ephesus.
The friendships of Paul’s ministry are very unique. Demas returned to Thessalonica, but we don’t know the reason. Let me say this: “concerning Demas ;” we don’t know all of the circumstances.” Even though Paul’s life was ending, he sent Crescens to minister in Galatia. Titus, who was not an apostle, was sent on an apostle’s ministry to present day Croatia, which used to be known as Yugoslavia. His ministry there was important to the spread of the gospel throughout Europe, which landed in our nation (USA) in 1620 with the Pilgrims, who were seeking freedom of religion. Luke, was the faithful companion of Paul, “to the end.” Mark and Paul had settled their differences (Acts 13:13; 15:36-40). Tychicus, a companion of Paul in ministry; delivered the prison epistles to Colossae and Ephesus. In traveling to Colossae, Tychicus accompanied Onesimus, the former slave who was returning to Philemon. No doubt, Tychicus, as a good friend of Paul’s, emphasized the need for grace in receiving Onesimus back home (see Philemon 1:17).
Each of us has a story. Paul also had a story, as did each of his friends in ministry. Dwell on that thought, as it relates to your own life.
Consider Ascension Day and Ascension Sunday
Ascension Day, Thursday, May 14, 2015
Ascension Sunday, May 17, 2015
Ascension Day is the celebration of Christ ascending into heaven after His death, burial and resurrection. Ascension Day is observed primarily in Catholic and Anglican churches, and it occurs on the Thursday, 40 days after Resurrection Sunday. Ascension Day is also called the Feast of Ascension. Ascension Sunday is the Sunday which immediately follows Ascension Day.
The story of Jesus’ Ascension is told in Luke 24:49, Mark 16:19 and Acts 1:3, 9. Putting these accounts together, we find that after His resurrection, Jesus appeared several times to His disciples and others. During this time, He spoke to them further about the kingdom of God and the coming of the Holy Spirit, for whom they were to wait (Acts 1:2-9). After 40 days of these appearances, He was taken up to heaven for the last time (Acts 1:9-11). As the disciples watched Him go, two angels appeared and declared to them that, just as He ascended, Jesus would return in glory. Read and consider the following scriptures.
Consider the importance of people that God has placed in your life, and how separation has created such great sorrow. But, also consider our need to be healed from such emotional damages and continue with the ministry that God has placed in our lives.
Consider relationships that exist in our own lives; relationships that are broken and that can only be mended through humble relationships of Christ-like love and submission to each other, through humble and submissive relationships with Jesus. The video that leads into this sermon is taken from the Fireproof movie. In the movie, the main characters, Caleb and Catherine are far away from each other in their marriage, and are also far away from any kind of relationship with Jesus. Just as in the movie, the love that should be present in marriage can not exist without mutual love relationships in Jesus as Lord and Savior. The cross is the driving force of those who know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But, until we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the cross will not mean anything to us. Consider the message of the cross, as presented in the Fireproof video clips,and in the scripture, 1 Corinthians 1:18. In the following video consider how marriages, and other relationships, can be reconciled through mutual relationships of love that can be created through “the message of the cross.”
God illustrates marriage, and marriage illustrates God. I am sure that someone reading this post is having serious marital problems. Let me ask you an honest question. Please. What do you need to do to save your marriage? You can leave a comment. I moderate all comments. I will not show any comments when I am asked to not show such sensitive thoughts. Now, let’s consider marriage.
(Click onto any blue line, letter, number or symbol to see the video and other posts from this blog)