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 343.
Bill Bright said, “Not only is Jesus of Nazareth the only One who can pardon our sins, but He is the only One who can give purpose to life. None of us will be truly fulfilled until we invite Christ to show us the very purpose for which He created us. No one else who ever lived can do this — no man, no religion, no philosophy — only Jesus of Nazareth who is God in the flesh.”
When Jesus appeared to His disciples on that first Lord’s day 2,000 years ago, He came not only with the good news of His resurrection, but He also gave His disciples some very precious gifts. We have already seen how He gave them the gift of Peace. He said, “Peace be unto you.” This peace erased their fear and their condemnation. Because Jesus had conquered death, they could be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually at peace.
The second gift which Jesus gave to his disciples is that of Purpose. He said, “as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” Jesus had spent over three years teaching and training His disciples. All that time, He had been preparing them for this moment. Jesus had been sent to Earth as God’s representative. Now, Jesus was giving His disciples the purpose of being His representatives to the lost, dying, and yet hostile world. We get the word “apostle”, sent ones, from the Greek word used in this verse. We also get the word “missionary” from the Latin translation of this verse. It is important to note that this purpose was not just given to the ten disciples who were present. Luke tells us that this purpose was given to all those who were gathered in that room. Every believer has this special purpose from God. Jesus sent all those who believed in Him out into the world to proclaim the good news of His death, burial, and resurrection and what that means for mankind.
Ray Stedman said, “Just as Jesus was sent into a lost world to touch the broken lives of people — to heal, to recover, to open eyes, and to set free — so the disciples were to go with the word of the gospel, doing the same work that Jesus was sent to do. This is what the Apostle Paul says in Second Corinthians: ‘We are ambassadors for Christ… We pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.’ Jesus Himself would be the model of their ministry. Just as He went, so were they to go.”
Because of the uncertainty surrounding Jesus’ death, the disciples had begun to lose focus. Some had been separated from the others. They were afraid and in hiding. They had lost their sense of direction. Peter and some of the other disciples even decided to go back to their old occupation of fishing. They felt that they had lost Jesus and, thus, their lives had been set adrift. But Jesus shows up on that Resurrection Sunday morning and gives them Peace and Purpose. With their divine commission, their lives were put back on track and their energies began to be directed to a goal greater than themselves. They were no longer uncertain about what to do next. The resurrected Jesus had given them Purpose.
Have you ever felt as though your life was adrift on the sea of purposelessness? Have you ever felt lost, afraid, concerned about the future? Have you ever felt uncertain about where to direct your energies and your focus? I think it’s safe to say that we all have felt that way at one point or another. Just as Jesus Christ gave His disciples Purpose, He can give you Purpose as well. He can give you a reason to live. He can take away your feelings of uncertainty and despair. Because He is the Creator who gives life, He alone knows how to make life worthwhile.
One hymnist wrote:
Man’s Creator has a purpose
For our being here on earth.
In His image we’re created,
To express His rule on earth.
His Son, Jesus, is our Savior.
Once in human form He came.
Now as Spirit He can enter
As the breath of life to man.
Jesus Christ will get His kingdom
Just by growth—the normal way.
Not an instant transformation;
Growth goes on from day to day.
This life-seed is all-inclusive—
Everything we’ll ever need;
Yes, our God’s eternal purpose
Is within this precious seed.
Jesus wants to plant the life-seed of the Gospel in your heart today so that it can grow and give your life purpose and meaning. Will you give your life to Him today and receive the gift of the risen Lord? 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.