John the Baptist: Not the Prophet We Want, but the Prophet We Need, Part 8 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 70 / Day 437 since Jan. 1, 2016)


TEXT: Matthew 3:7-12:

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

———-

After preaching the Gospel every day for 367 days straight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, I am preaching the Gospel every day throughout the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term. If you think a new president being in office is the only thing needed to save America and ‘make America great again’, you are woefully deceived. The church must follow through and “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.” So, we encourage you to pray for the new president, but not to get caught up in the political happenings like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord. And that is what this campaign is all about.

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 70, day 437 since Jan. 1, 2016.

Cyprian of Carthage said, “He who has been sanctified, his sins being put away, and spiritually reformed into a new man, has become fitted for receiving the Holy Spirit; since the apostle says, ‘As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.'”

In our last message, we talked about the baptism of “water unto repentance” that John administered. Now, he speaks of two other baptisms that the Messiah will administer when He comes — the baptism of the Holy Ghost and the baptism of fire.

The baptism of the Holy Ghost is something that only Christ can give. Whereas John’s baptism signified something changing on the outside of man — that is, his behavior, the baptism of the Holy Spirit signifies something changing on the inside of man — the condition of his soul. Society places much value on reform, rehab, and helping people to change for the better, and that is something that is good. But, the only thing that can save a person from Hell is a change on the inside. And that change can only be brought about by salvation through Jesus Christ which is followed by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. (The ritual of baptism, of course, continues in churches today. But that is symbolic of our death, burial, and resurrection in Christ. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not symbolic; it is a reality for every believer.)

The baptism of the Holy Ghost took place at Pentecost and continues to this day. The book of Acts tells us of how the members of the early church had the Spirit of God poured on them after Jesus’ resurrection. Every believer since then has also been filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the life of Christ inside of the believer. It is He who empowers those who are saved to do what is right. A man might reform himself and strive to do what is right of his own will, but his will is only so strong. The Holy Spirit living inside of him gives him the power of God to conquer sin and his flesh everyday.

The baptism of the Holy Ghost is also what empowers natural beings like us to take up supernatural works such as preaching the Gospel and serving others in the name of Jesus. John Piper said, ‘The baptism of the Holy Spirit fills us with an overwhelming sense of God’s greatness and a sense of wonder at his works. The Spirit fills us with His own vision of God and His own passion for God and His own prophetic words of praise.’ There are things that God has planned for us to do that we can only do by the power of His Holy Spirit. We are not just repentant believers, but empowered believers who are set apart to make an impact on the world.

Barney E. Warren wrote:

Let cloven tongues of holy fire
Baptize each soul with power;
Come, blessed Spirit, sanctify
With Jesus’ blood this hour.

Come, blessed Spirit, and restore
God’s image in my heart;
By faith now cleanse me, I implore,
This crowning grace impart.

Come, blessed Spirit, Comforter,
Dwell in my heart, Thy throne;
Make me over sin a conqueror,
Oh, seal me for Thine own.

Oh, let Thy glory, Lord, descend
Upon my waiting soul;
Preserve me spotless to the end,
And every whit made whole

If you, like John, are ready to confess your need for Jesus, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him as your Saviour:

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 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.

What Did Jesus Mean When He Said, ‘You Must Be Born Again’? Part 3 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign #24)

JJMessage


John 3:1-15:

1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

– – – – –

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 and politicians but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey God’s Great Commission 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 too 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 the 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 24.

Chuck Smith said, “A person apart from the new birth lives a life that is dominated by his fleshly desires. His body rules over his soul and spirit. In fact, his spirit is dead…. But when a person is born of the Spirit, the spirit becomes alive and begins to rule within his life, and now his mind is occupied with the things of the Spirit, with how he might please God, in the worship of God, in the opening up of his life and his heart to the things of God and of His Spirit. A mind dominated by the Spirit is called the mind of the Spirit, which is life and peace and joy.”

As Jesus continues explaining to Nicodemus what it means to be born again, He expresses to Him that there is a part of it that he will never really understand. He compares the work of the Spirit of God in the heart of the believer to the way the wind blows. He says, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

It is like the popular children’s poem by Christina Rossetti:

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

No one sees the wind; no one knows where it is coming from or where it is going. But we see the evidence of the wind when we see leaves trembling or trees bending. The Holy Spirit works the same way. We can’t see the sinner being born again. We can’t put the process in a test tube and reproduce it or study it. But it does take place. We see the evidence in the changed life of the individual. As I have said in the past, we may not be able to understand it all, but we believe it all and thank God for it all. That is what Jesus is telling Nicodemus.

Nicodemus responds, “How can these things be?” He is still trying to grasp this with his earthly mindset. Rules, regulations, and obedience to the law are things he can examine and see. He can wrap his mind around that. This being “born again” that Jesus is talking about is foreign to him. However, Jesus evidently does not think it should be; He responds with a statement of astonishment himself. “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”

Nicodemus, as a Pharisee, knew the law backwards and forwards. However, he and his fellow Pharisees had only studied the letter of the law and completely missed the spirit. They thought salvation was in the keeping of the law, and did not realize that the law and the rituals prescribed therein pointed forward to the ministry of the Messiah who would carry out the fulfillment of the law.

Next, Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.” Notice that Jesus suddenly speaks in the plural. He says, “We speak.” Who is the “we” here? Well, according to Old Testament law, no testimony could be accepted unless it was verified by two or three witnesses. Scholars believe that the “we” Jesus is speaking of is either Himself along with the Old Testament writers or Himself along with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Matthew Henry says, “Some understand it to mean those that bore witness to him and with him on earth, the prophets and John Baptist; they spoke what they knew, and had seen, and were themselves abundantly satisfied in. Others understand it to mean those that bore witness from heaven, the Father and the Holy Ghost; the Father was with him, the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; therefore he speaks in the plural.” I believe that it is not either-or, but both-and. I believe that it was God the Father, God the Holy Spirit and Jesus along with the prophets, John the Baptist, and the Word of God. Jesus satisfied the requirements for establishing a testimony as truthful in the eyes of the law and a man who studied the law such as Nicodemus.

Jesus goes on to gently chide Nicodemus, saying, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” Jesus had spoken of birth, water, and wind to describe being born again to Nicodemus. He had also alluded to the law as evidence that pointed toward the new birth that the Messiah would bring. If Nicodemus could not grasp it now, there was no way He would be able to grasp it if Jesus told him of the higher things of God.

Jesus had put the cookies on the lowest shelf. He used things that Nicodemus was familiar with to describe how being born again could take place. Jesus wanted Nicodemus to enter into the kingdom of God; that is why He goes to such lengths to explain this to him.

Jesus also wants you to be a part of His kingdom. And, as the writer of this Gospel states, “these things were written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and believing, ye might have life through his name.” The question, ladies and gentlemen, is: Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Are you willing to believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Will you believe? Like Nicodemus, you might not understand how it all works. But you don’t have to understand everything about the new birth to be born again. All you have to do is trust Jesus Christ, and that is what I am going to show you how to do right now.

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 just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving 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 gls@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.

A New Relationship, Part 3 (Onward Christian Soldier #77)

Onward Christian Soldiers
Onward Christian Soldiers

In our recent lessons, we have talked about one of the greatest secrets of the Christian life. The secret is this: Christ lives in us. The Apostle Paul called this a great mystery. He wrote to the Colossian Christians, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Is the Christian life trying to be good? No. Is it trying to imitate another good Christian? No. Is it trying to imitate the Lord Jesus Himself? No, the Christian life is none of these things. What is the Christian life then? It is Christ living His life in us.

The Apostle Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ.” He did not say, “For me to live is to try to be like Christ.” What he is really saying is, “For me to live is to have Christ living His life in me.”

Then, how do we live the Christian Life? We live it by trusting the Lord Jesus to live His life in us. Instead of our trying to live the Christian life, we let Him live His life out through us. His life is always pleasing to the Father. He said, “I always do those things that please Him.”

The Lord Jesus has not changed. He is still the same Person, and He wants to live His life through us. He will do this as we trust Him. The Lord says, “I am the Vine, you are the branches.” We do not have to try to make ourselves branches, we are branches forever joined to Him in a living union.

As we live day by day, we must count on the fact that we are one with Christ. Remember, faith in our standing makes it real in our life. This means that, as we count on the fact that we are in Christ and He is in us, we receive the power to live as a child of God should live.

The Power of the Resurrection and the Work of the Church

Powerful Life Lessons from the Aftermath of the Resurrection #5

resurrection

TEXT: Acts 1:10-14

When the disciples gathered at the Mount of Olives for their last meeting with Jesus Christ on Earth, the Resurrection was already in the rearview mirror. It was already a past event. The greatest thing that had ever happened in history had already taken place. However, Jesus Christ had previously told the disciples of a second coming — of a return of the King — when He would finish fulfilling the work of the Messiah in the Earth. Surely as Jesus ascended into the clouds, the greatest question on the minds of the disciples was simply, “When is He coming back?”

As we look at the immediate aftermath of the Resurrection, we see the community of believers taking its baby steps as a church. What can we learn from their experience that applies to our Christian lives here and now?

The Power of the Resurrection and the Might Within Us

Powerful Life Lessons from the Aftermath of the Resurrection #4

resurrection

TEXT: Acts 1:1-9

Throughout the Gospels, we see repeatedly that the disciples are very concerned about being left alone without Jesus Christ. Whenever Jesus talked about going to the cross to die, going back to Heaven to be with His Father, or said something that indicated He would not always be with them, the disciples got worried. They did not want Jesus to leave them. At one point, Peter took it upon himself to rebuke Jesus after He mentioned how He would have to go up to Jerusalem to be tried and put to death. Once, when Jesus was talking about going back to Heaven, Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” John 16 tells us that “sorrow filled” the disciples’ hearts as Jesus was telling them of how He had to go back to His Father. So, the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus was the absolute worst thing that could happen for the confidence level and morale of Jesus’ disciples. The One they had spent three years of their life following and learning from was gone. Even after they got over their disbelief about the Resurrection and accepted that Jesus had really and truly risen from the dead, they likely began to worry about Jesus leaving them yet again. Certainly, Jesus’ seemingly newfound pension for appearing and disappearing unannounced did not ease their worries that He might one day vanish and never return.

So, with these thoughts in mind, we find the apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ gathered at the Mount of Olives in Acts chapter 1. Luke alone informs us that this takes place 40 days after the Resurrection. During that time, Jesus had been ‘showing himself alive by many infallible proofs.’ Jesus made it His business to ensure that none of His disciples doubted that He had risen from the dead. The reason why is partly because He had a very important mission that He was about to commission them to carry out. That is why they all are gathered together at the Mount of Olives to meet with Jesus one last time before His ascension. During this meeting, Jesus informs them of a power — the Holy Spirit — who will come to live inside of them and enable them to carry out the mission that He is giving them. That same power lives inside of every believer today, and the power of the Holy Spirit came as a result of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and Jesus’ ascension.

A New Relationship, Part 2 (Onward Christian Soldier #76)

Onward Christian Soldiers
Onward Christian Soldiers

John 15:5: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

In our last lesson, we talked about how we are in Christ now that we are saved. As John 15:5 says, we are the branches and Christ is the vine. However, not only are the branches in the vine, but the vine is also in the branches. After the branch is grafted into the vine, the very life of the vine begins to flow through it. This is what keeps the branch alive and causes it to bear fruit. Continue reading “A New Relationship, Part 2 (Onward Christian Soldier #76)”