TEXT: John 20:19-23:
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
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 339.
Daniel Hyde said, “When Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, things changed. Because of that pivotal event, the church determined that for Christians under the new covenant, the day of worship and celebration of the Lord’s grace in Jesus Christ was to be the first day of the week, Sunday.”
The early church was made up exclusively of Jewish believers. As such, they initially kept Jewish traditions such as going to the Temple to pray, observing the Passover, and observing the Sabbath Day. But the early Christians quickly added a new tradition to their observances — that of meeting on the day after the Sabbath — Sunday, the first day of the week — the day Jesus rose from the dead. Some Christians have thought that the Christian gathering on Sunday replaces the Jewish Sabbath observance. Others, such as our Seventh Day Adventist brethren, believe that Christians ought to still observe the Jewish Sabbath on Saturday both as a day of rest and a day of worship.
Regarding this matter, Dr. Warren Weirsbe said: “Our Lord rested in the tomb on the Sabbath and rose from the dead on the first day of the week. Many people sincerely call Sunday ‘the Christian Sabbath,’ but Sunday is not the Sabbath Day. The seventh day of the week, the Sabbath, commemorates God’s finished work of Creation. The Lord’s Day commemorates Christ’s finished work of redemption, the ‘new creation.’ God the Father worked for six days and then rested. God the Son suffered on the cross for six hours and then rested.”
So we see that the Sunday observance is an original, exclusively Christian tradition. It is not primarily a day of rest. Rather, it is a day where we remember and celebrate the resurrection and the finished work of Christ. What Adam failed to do, Christ accomplished. What the sacrificial system of ancient Israel failed to do, Christ accomplished. What the law failed to do, Christ accomplished. Every week, we pause to worship God and praise Him for what He has done for us through Jesus Christ. The Sunday worship observance is a sign that separates the church of God from all other groups of people, religious or otherwise — even the Jews.
Dr. Wiersbe continues, “God gave the Sabbath to Israel as a special ‘sign’ that they belonged to Him. The nation was to use that day for physical rest and refreshment both for man and beast; but for Israel, it was not commanded as a special day of assembly and worship. Unfortunately, the scribes and Pharisees added all kinds of restrictions to the Sabbath observance until it became a day of bondage instead of a day of blessing. Jesus deliberately violated the Sabbath traditions, though He honored the Sabbath Day.”
The worship of Christ on Sunday did not begin as a strict observance like the Sabbath did. In fact, there is no divine decree declaring Sunday a special day. Christians began to observe Sunday on a regular basis because they wanted to celebrate, commemorate, and appreciate what Jesus had done. The New Testament epistles speak of believers gathering on “the Lord’s day,” so this was clearly something widespread among believers and embraced and accepted by the apostles. So, what does the Sunday observance of the Lord’s day mean for us today? Lord willing, I’ll answer that question tomorrow in our next message.
John of Damascus, one of the old fathers of the Greek church, wrote:
Let us rise in early morning,
And, instead of ointments, bring
Hymns of praises to our Master,
And His Resurrection sing:
We shall see the Sun of Justice
Risen with healing in His wings.
Go ye forth, His Saints, to meet Him!
Go with lamps in every hand!
From the sepulchre He riseth:
Ready for the Bridegroom stand:
And the Shepherd of salvation
Hail, with His triumphant band.
Would you like to know everlasting peace today? You can have this peace if you believe in Jesus Christ for your salvation from sin and from the consequences of sin. Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him today.
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 email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.