Welcome to the Gospel Light Minute!

Daniel Whyte III is a full-time evangelist by calling. Through the Gospel Light Minute, his main aim is to present a short, clear, understandable presentation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ which saved him over 30 years ago. Throughout his ministry, he has emphasized a clear presentation of the Gospel because he believes that many pastors and churches mix up the Gospel with other things, and this causes confusion for nonbelievers. In order to do that, Daniel Whyte III uses tracts that he has written, as well as tracts produced by the following ministries: Fellowship Tract League, the American Tract Society, and Good News/Crossway Tracts in the production of this broadcast.

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 7 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #176)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 2:19-22:

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

—-

Benjamin Franklin, writing on the revival brought about by George Whitefield’s preaching, said, “It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants…From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The brutal, soul-shaking truth is that Christians today are so earthly minded we are of no heavenly use.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Initially, church members in Northhampton were deeply committed to both Christ and his church, but their children and grandchildren tended not to share their parents’ and grandparents’ zeal for God. That lack of faith presented a social as well as a religious problem: In these communities, to be cut off from church communion because one was unconverted meant being cut off from society as a whole. In an effort to deal with this dilemma, a novel approach to church membership was developed. Advocates of the new way called it ‘the Half-Way Covenant.’ They argued it was better to have unconverted people in church where they could hear the gospel and be converted, than to cut them off because they were unconverted. Men such as Solomon Stoddard, a widely respected preacher of the gospel, urged their fellow pastors to let morally upright people participate at the Lord’s Table even though they were unconverted. While some still opposed the idea, it was hard to convince their brethren to resist the plan once someone of Stoddard’s stature endorsed it.”

The Bible Exposition Commentary says, “Israel was God’s chosen nation, but they rejected their Redeemer and suffered the consequences. The kingdom was taken from them and given to “a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof”. This “new nation” is the church, “a chosen generation … a holy nation, a peculiar people”. In the Old Testament, the nations were reckoned by their descent from Shem, Ham, or Japheth. In the Book of Acts, we see these three families united in Christ. In Acts 8, a descendant of Ham is saved, the Ethiopian treasurer; in Acts 9, a descendant of Shem, Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul the apostle; and in Acts 10, the descendants of Japheth, the Gentiles in the household of the Roman soldier, Cornelius. Sin has divided mankind, but Christ unites by His Spirit. All believers, regardless of national background, belong to that “holy nation” with citizenship in heaven.”

—-

The unified church is built on a firm foundation — the “foundation of the apostles and prophets.” The twelve disciples of Christ were faithful to God and to the church. They did not let their differences get between them; they were each striving for the same thing — the success of the church of Christ.

Scholars believe that the “prophets” Paul is speaking of are New Testament prophets — other significant leaders in the early church. Some of the prophets we read of in the Gospels and in the book of Acts are: John the Baptist, Anna, Simeon, Zechariah, Ananias of Damascus, Barnabas, Lucius of Cyrene, Simeon of Niger, Silas, Philip the Evangelist, and Philip’s seven daughters. Some scholars consider Paul to be a prophet although he never calls himself that and is more commonly referred to as an “apostle.”

All of these early church leaders and followers of Christ are a part of the foundation that the church stands on. But, even more significantly, is the fact that “Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone.” Wiersbe notes that “the Cornerstone binds the structure together; Jesus Christ has united Jews and Gentiles in the church.” In other words, Jesus is the glue that holds us all together.

Any time our differences threaten to pull us apart, we only need to look to Jesus who is the chief cornerstone. In ancient building practices, the chief cornerstone was the most important part of the structure. All other stones, all other parts of the foundation, all other parts of the building are positioned in alignment with the chief cornerstone. If everyone in the church commits to aligning with Jesus Christ, we would not have to worry about disunity and discord, because if everyone is right with Jesus, everyone will be right with everyone else.

Never forget our firm foundation…

How firm a foundation you saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!
What more can he say than to you he has said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

The Glory of the Father and the Son — That’s What it’s All About, Part 2 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 211)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 13:33-35

33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 211.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God.”

Jesus continues to instruct His disciples in light of the events that are about to transpire. Jesus says, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you.” In other words, ‘I am only going to be with you a little while longer.’

The Bible Knowledge Commentary states, “My children is a term of love which expresses Jesus’ concern for His disciples. It is used only here by Jesus in this Gospel. John used it seven times in his first epistle, and Paul used it once.”

By addressing them as “children,” Jesus acknowledges that, despite the years they have spent with Him, they still have a lot to learn. They are like fledgling birds who have remained in the nest. They have watched as Jesus has soared — bringing the preaching of the kingdom of God to many. They have learned much, but they still depend largely on Jesus’ physical presence. They themselves have not yet begun to fly.

This news that Jesus is going to leave them shortly is third shocking event of the night. First, Jesus washing their feet like a common slave. Then, the announcement that a betrayer is in their midst. Now, they are informed that Jesus is going away very soon. (Jesus had been trying to tell them this all along, but they still hadn’t grasped it.) For the next few days, the disciples would be like young birds, kicked out of the comfort and shelter of the nest, struggling to fly on their own. Most of them would crash land, but they would survive.

Jesus says, “Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.” Can you imagine looking for someone who has been with you for years — a spouse, a friend, a child, a classmate, a co-worker — and, suddenly, you can’t find them. You just turn around and realize they’re gone. This must have been extremely distressing to the disciples.

What was even more distressing was the idea that they would not be able to follow Jesus even as they so desired. Indeed, Jesus had told the Jewish religious establishment that the day would come when they would desire the Messiah, and they would realize too late that they had rejected Him. But Jesus did not mean that the same thing would happen to His disciples. Rather, He was letting them know that during His crucifixion and resurrection, they should not seek to follow in His footsteps. Indeed, the revolution that Jesus had begun would be off to a bad start if the disciples were caught and killed as well. Apparently, that is what the Jewish religious authorities wanted. Peter, who followed Jesus after He was arrested, was so afraid of being identified as one of His disciples, that he denied even knowing Jesus. The Bible also informs us that the disciples were in hiding after Jesus’ death “for fear of the Jews.” By telling them, “Whither I go, ye cannot come,” Jesus is letting them know in a practical sense that it would do no good for them to try and become martyrs just now, which is why He adds the words, “so now I say unto you.” In other words, ‘This particular commandment is just for the present time.’

There’s a route in Jerusalem known as the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Suffering, that leads to the hill of Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified. Jesus walked this path, bearing His cross, alone. The only help He had was the help of a stranger. He took this lonely road by Himself so that, one day, those who trust in Him would be able to walk the straight and narrow way that leads to the gates of Heaven.

Years ago, Fanny Crosby wrote:

Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain,
Free to all—a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.

Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the Bright and Morning Star
Sheds its beams around me.

Near the cross I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I see my Savior’s face,
Leave His presence never.

Dear friend, I hope you are ready to follow Jesus today so that one day you can see His face and never leave His presence.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

The Glory of the Father and the Son — That’s What it’s All About (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 210)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 13:31-32

31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 210.

John Trapp said, “Jesus calls His death His glory, esteems His crown of thorns more precious than Solomon’s diadem; looks upon His welts as ornaments, His blows on the face as shining ornaments, His wounds as gems, being spit upon as sweet ointment, His cross as His throne.”

With Judas finally gone, Jesus turns His attention more fully to the disciples who remain. The rest of John chapter 13, as well as chapters 14-17, constitute what could be called Jesus’ farewell message to His disciples. He covers many important topics that they need to understand in light of His death.

Regarding this speech, Dr. Warren Wiersbe states, “The instant Judas was gone, the atmosphere was cleared, and Jesus began to instruct His disciples and prepare them for His crucifixion and His ultimate return to heaven. It was after Judas’ departure that He instituted the Lord’s Supper, something Judas as an unbeliever certainly could not share. Judas was out in the night, controlled by the prince of darkness, Satan; but Jesus was in the light, sharing love and truth with His beloved disciples. What a contrast!”

The first thing Jesus focuses on is how He is about to be glorified. He says, “Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.” Five times in two verses, a variant of the word “glory” is used. The word “glorify” means to magnify, to extol, to make glorious, to honor, to celebrate.

That Jesus is so concerned with glory at a time like this might seem odd to us. What is there to celebrate about a disciple betraying his Master? What is there to celebrate about the innocent Son of God being arrested by sinners? What is there to celebrate about the farce of a trial, the scourging, and the death? We would not find this to be glorious. But, if we look at Jesus’ words, clearly He and the Father anticipate being glorified by the crucifixion of Christ. Jesus will be glorified and the Father will be glorified through Jesus. In turn, God the Father will glorify the Son, and will reflect that glory straightway — that is immediately, not some time in the future — back to the Son.

Of course, Jesus’ life was glorious. He lived perfectly before God and man as no one else had ever done. But Jesus spoke most often of glory in terms of His death. Before Jesus, the world looked at the cross and saw only humiliation and disgrace. But the cross let the world see the heart of God. The cross let the world know who Jesus really is. The cross was the only way for Jesus to accomplish God’s plan of salvation for humanity, and in so doing, He fully realized His glory.

His life was perfect, but His death brought Him glory. His words and teachings were wonderful and wise, but His death brought Him glory. His miracles were powerful, but His death brought Him glory.

Don’t we honor those who die as martyrs? Those who die heroically on the field of battlefield? Those who are slain in the pursuit of some great cause? The Stephens, the Peters, the Pauls of the early church. The Abraham Lincolns, Martin Luther Kings, and John F. Kennedys of the world. Every soldier who has laid down his life for freedom. We honor them for their ultimate sacrifice. We build memorials in their name. We lift them up as examples and heroes before our children.

How much more the Son of God who died for the greatest cause — to reconcile man to God and deliver him from eternal Hell. But not only did Jesus die, He rose from the dead, and that just sent His glory and the glory of God skyrocketing through the ages and through eternity. But, it’s source is the cross — the old, rugged cross.

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

Dear friend, I hope you are ready to turn to the old, rugged cross today. First, you must understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.

The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.

Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.

Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.

And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.

The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 6 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #175)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 2:19-22:

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

—-

Jerry Falwell said, “Revival is not just a feeling of excitement in the Lord. We get excited about many things, but excitement is not a revival if God is not the One who gets us excited. ”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The tragedy is that we have too many dead men in the pulpits giving out too many dead sermons to too many dead people.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Like many towns and cities in New England, Northhampton, Massachusetts, was settled by colonists with a deep commitment to the gospel and the Reformed tradition. For these settlers, being active in the life of the church was as much a social as a religious responsibility. The local church in any such town was the center of life in the community. Each colony’s founders were predominantly Christians committed to the practical expression of their faith in a new world.”

—-

As Paul begins to move toward the conclusion of the subject of unity in the church, he wants to make sure that Gentile believers are confident in their status as members of the body of Christ. He says, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers…” The word translated “strangers” is the Greek “xenos” from which we get our word “xenophobia.” The Gentile believers are no longer strangers, no longer those to be feared or hated by Jewish Christians. They are a part of the body now. The fact that they are Gentiles takes a back seat to the fact that they are Christians.

Next, Paul says, “Ye are no longer… foreigners.” This word refers to those who live in a place where they do not have citizenship. They are outsiders. The Gentiles were considered to be outsiders by the Jews, but, in Christ, they became citizens.

Paul calls them “fellowcitizens with the saints.” “Citizens” is one word, but “fellowcitizens” is a joint word found only here in all of Scripture. Gentiles are not just citizens of God’s family, but FELLOWcitizens. This means that they are seen the same in God’s sight as Jewish Christians are seen. There is no more division between us.

The Bible Exposition Commentary states, “Through faith in Christ, we enter into God’s family, and God becomes our Father. This wonderful family of God is found in two places, ‘in heaven and on earth.’ Living believers are on earth; believers who have died are in heaven. None of God’s children are ‘under the earth’ or in any other place in the universe. We are all brothers and sisters in one family, no matter what racial, national, or physical distinctions we may possess.”

That is what it means to be a member of “the household of God.” And, our mission as the church should be to set an example before the world of unity and harmony, as well as to invite others to join God’s family.

Dr. Robert J. Stamps wrote this hymn, not too long ago.

O, welcome all ye noble saints of old,
As now before your very eyes unfold
The wonders all so long ago foretold,
God and man at a table are sat down.

Who is this who spreads the victory feast?
Who is this who makes our warring cease?
Jesus, risen savior, prince of peace,
God and man at a table are sat down.

Beggars, lame, and harlots are here,
Repentant publicans are drawing near,
Wayward sons come home without a fear,
God and man at a table are sat down.

Out of Light, Into Darkness, Part 9 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 209)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 13:21-30

21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.

23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

25 He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 209.

J.C. Ryle said, “A man may preach from false motives. A man may write books, and make fine speeches, and seem diligent in good works, and yet be a Judas Iscariot.”

In our passage for today, we come to what has been called by some the most terrible statement in the Bible. After Jesus states plainly that He will be betrayed by one of His own, Peter gets John to ask Jesus directly who it is. Jesus identifies Judas by giving him a sop — bread or meat dipped in gravy — in the manner in which a host might give to an honored guest. John, who emphasized the love of Christ more than any of the other Gospel writers, must have been confused by what is clearly a mixed signal: an act of friendship to identify a betrayer.

We read that “after the sop Satan entered into” Judas. Judas had previously conspired with the Jewish religious leaders to betray Jesus, and now Satan took hold of him, using him as a tool to carry out the evil plan. The only reason why Satan entered into Judas is because Judas allowed it. Judas could have said, ‘No,’ but he didn’t. Alexander MacLaren said, “Two things appealed to Judas at this moment: one, the conviction that he was discovered; the other, the wonderful assurance that he was still loved, for the gift of the morsel was a token of friendliness. He shut his heart against them both; and as he shut his heart against Christ he opened it to the devil.”

Jesus, who knew all things, knew that Satan had entered into Judas’ heart at that moment. And, Jesus said to him, “That thou doest, do quickly.” From Matthew’s Gospel, we know that Judas knew that Jesus knew what he was about to do. As the disciples were wondering among themselves who the betrayer would be, Judas quietly asked Jesus, “Master, is it I?” And Jesus responded by saying, “Thou hast said.” Perhaps, the reason why Jesus told Judas to act quickly is because He knew, at last, that all hope for him to change his course was gone.

While Jesus knew what Judas was planning, Judas still had the other disciples fooled. We read in the next verse, “Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.” The disciples thought Judas was going to do something good, but they were sorely mistaken.

In the beginning of the movie, Star Trek Into Darkness, the city of London is bombed and Starfleet Headquarters is attacked, prompting the crew of the Starship Enterprise to rush off on a mission to find the perpetrator. Following what they believe are accurate clues, they travel to a distant planet only to discover that the real enemy — their own commander in chief — is back on Earth, plotting to start a war between Earth and a race from another planet. As the crew of the Enterprise rushes back to confront the commander, they discover that he has sabotaged their ship by placing torpedoes on it, intending for them all to be killed in space. A person they thought they could trust and rely on, someone they thought was one of the “good guys”, turned out to be the one trying to take them down.

When Judas left the upper room, the disciples thought he was still one of the good guys. But, by this time, with Satan in his heart, he was too far gone to turn back. The Bible says, “He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.” You can imagine Judas leaving behind the brightly lit room where they were eating supper with the Light of the World, and stepping out into the gathering gloom, with darkness in the sky and darkness in the heart.

Dear friend, you may never imagine yourself doing anything as hideous as Judas did 2,000 years ago. But, if you continue to reject Christ, you can become so hard-hearted that the loving gestures that God and Jesus offer to you have no effect on your soul. The longer you put off trusting Christ as Savior, the harder it will be for you to make that decision the next time around. One day, you may walk away from the light and into the darkness forever.

I urge you not to go down the same path that Judas walked. Trust Christ as your Savior today by, first, accepting the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 5 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #174)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 2:11-18:

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

—-

E.M. Bounds said, “To look back upon the progress of the divine kingdom upon earth is to review revival periods which have come like refreshing showers upon dry and thirsty ground, making the desert to blossom as the rose, and bringing new eras of spiritual life and activity just when the Church had fallen under the influence of the apathy of the times.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Prayer is not an argument with God to persuade him to move things our way, but an exercise by which we are enabled by his Spirit to move ourselves his way.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “One result of the Moravian revival was “\’a joyful assurance of their pardon and salvation.’ This was the message they took to all who would listen. It crossed social, economic, and cultural barriers with similar effect. Through this message the Moravian revival had its greatest impact. Though many of the poor received the Moravians’ message gladly, their converts were found in all classes of society. For example, one popular European countess found herself dissatisfied with her affluent life. In the midst of her despair, she met a humble Moravian shoemaker and was puzzled with his cheerfulness. When she asked him why he was so happy, he responded, ‘Jesus has forgiven my sins. He forgives me every day and he loves me, and that makes me happy through all the hours.’ That answer was the beginning of the countess’s own spiritual pilgrimage. She discovered for herself ‘the same joyful faith’ and had a profound impact as she shared her newfound faith among the titled families of Europe.”

—-

From this passage, we have talked about how the Jews and Gentiles were divided one from the other by the barrier of the Law. But now we see that both Jews and Gentiles were divided from God. Paul says Jesus died “that he might reconcile BOTH — Jews and Gentiles — unto God.” Technically, it might be accurate to say that the Jews were closer to God, but since God’s standard is that of perfection, we are really in the same boat. When the early Christians had their debate on whether or not the Gospel should be preached to the Gentiles and how saved Gentiles should be integrated into the church, this was the conclusion they came to.

We should remember this when we go before God. Paul writes in verse 18, “For through him [Jesus Christ] we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Through Christ; by the Spirit; to the Father — three Persons working together as One. Adam Clarke said, “Jews and Gentiles are to be presented unto God the Father. The Spirit of God works in their hearts, and prepares them for this presentation. And Jesus Christ himself introduces them.” We desire access to the Father for prayer, for worship, for confession of sin, for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. How can we go before the unified Godhead when we do not follow their example and reflect that unity in the church? How can we say we love God when we do not love our brothers and sisters who are made in the image of God?

One great example of division and subsequent unity that the world has seen in history is the Berlin Wall. For nearly 30 years, this wall stood dividing Communist East Germany from Democratic West Germany. Friends and family members were separated one from another. Many realized that communism was a failed system much too late and were not allowed to escape. The east became poorer and less stable; the west became stabilized and prosperous. Some were killed trying to escape over the wall. However, in 1989, the wall began to be torn down and the two Germanys were reunited.

By the blood shed by His Son on the cross, God has enabled the walls that stand between people today to be torn down. It is we who must cease putting them up. Let God himself be our guide as we seek unity in the church.

Colin Gibson wrote:

We are many, we are one,
and the work of Christ is done
when we learn to live in true community,
as the stars that fill the night,
as a flock of birds in flight,
as the cluster of the grapes upon the vine;
as the branches of a tree,
as the waves upon the sea,
as the cluster of the grapes upon the vine.

All division is made whole
when we honour every soul,
find the life of God in every you and me,
as the fingers of a hand,
as the grains that form the sand,
as the cluster of the grapes upon the vine;
as the threads upon the loom,
as a field of flowers in bloom,
as the cluster of the grapes upon the vine.

BCNN1’s The Gospel According to Greenleaf Podcast #5: Why Christians Should Not Buy In to the Prosperity Gospel

greenleaf

Thank you for tuning in to BCNN1’s The Gospel According to Greenleaf. In this brief, weekly podcast, we are examining some of the themes of Oprah Winfrey’s new drama set in a large black church that deals with issues that all churches face. Today we are looking at the issue of the prosperity gospel. Continue reading

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