THE HOPE WE NEED

Hebrews 6:17-19; Romans 8:20-25; I Corinthians 13:13   In these treacherous times we need hope.  The Christian hope can come only from God.  We need hope for our disillusionments, for our sicknesses, for our family survival, and for our end-of-life experience.  This sermon explains why Christians have hope and why there is no reason to have a weak hope. (150118)

LUKE 24:37-43

Verses 37-43 “37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them.”

Jesus proved to His disciples that His resurrection was not a “spiritual” resurrection but a physical one.  He has a nail-scarred and spear-pierced body in heaven today.

LUKE 24:6

Verse 6 “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,”

The textual critics and some new English versions (RSV and NEB) have omitted the words, “He is not here, but is risen.”  However, these words are genuine Scripture, important to the doctrine of the resurrection, and well supported in almost all manuscripts that have the chapter.

Everyone seems to have an opinion these days about which Bible text is the best, but after studying the matter for many years, this writer is convinced that the opinion of Traditional Text (King James Bible) supporters is just as valid (if not more so) as any other opinion regarding the matter.

 

LUKE 24:6-8

Verses 6-8 “6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8 And they remembered his words.”

Jesus had predicted His own resurrection before the event, and then brought it to pass.  No one could do this except God.  Here is assurance of the Christ’s deity and power to save.  It is also absolute proof that everything that Jesus ever said is true.  We would do well to remember His words.

 

LUKE 20:27-38

Verses 27-38 “27Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,
28Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
29There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.
30And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.
31And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died.
32Last of all the woman died also.
33Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.
34And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
35But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
36Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
37Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
38For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.”

The Sadducees were terribly wrong about what happens after death.  They rejected any belief in the resurrection, but Jesus shows from Scripture that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will all be resurrected and they are all still alive.  The words of God, so precise and so exact, teach far more than any of us have yet begun to discover.  There is a treasure trove of truth hidden in the pages of this book!

 

I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE

by Lloyd Streeter

The Bible says in John 11:25-26, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.  Believest thou this?”

This is one of the great “I Am” statements of the Gospel of John.  John is the only Gospel writer to record these statements.  There are seven of these “I Am” statements in this book.  These statements describe the Lord Jesus Christ.  These statements all teach the deity of Jesus Christ, and much more.

All of the “I Am” statements in John are related to what Jesus said in John 8:56-58.  After Jesus’ enemies had accused Him of being demon possessed, He told them who He really was.

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.  Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

There was no doubt about what Jesus was saying.  He was saying He was present before Abraham was born.  In fact, He was saying that He is the Eternal, Ever-present God whom Moses knew.  His “I Am” is a clear reference to Exodus 3:14.

Jesus had been saying this all through His conversation with the Jews, but they were not “getting it.”  For example, in John 8:23, He had said, “I am from above.”  He also had said, “for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (8:24), and “I am he, and I do nothing of myself” (8:28).

However, when Jesus said “before Abraham was, I am,” they “got it.”  And they did not like it, because Jesus was saying that He is the ever-continuing, self-existent, eternal, always-in-the- present God.

This claim of absolute deity on the part of our Lord was more than His enemies could take.  “Then took they up stones to cast at him” (8:59).

So, the “I Am” statements of Christ are the lowest common denominator of Christ’s description of Himself.  He is saying, “I am Jehovah God.”

That self assertion of deity then helps to form the other titles in Christ’s self-descriptive “I Am” statements.  He says: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35);  “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12);  “I am the door” (John 10:7);  “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11-14); “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and, “I am the true vine” (John 15:1).

When Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” it was the occasion of the death of Lazarus.  Lazarus is one of three persons raised to life by the Lord Jesus.  He raised the young man from Nain saying, “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.”  He resurrected the little girl saying, “Talitha cumi; . . . Damsel, I say unto thee, arise”  To the dead, decaying body of Lazarus he cried, “Lazarus, come forth”!  And Lazarus came to life and hobbled out of the tomb with grave clothes still wrapped around his body.

Only God can raise the dead.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is “declared to be the Son of God with power, . . by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).

When Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” He was saying that He is the only source of resurrection.  He is the only power of resurrection.

There is intimation in what Jesus said of the Rapture of the Church, of the translation of dead saints, and of the catching away of the living.

When He said, “Though he were dead yet shall he live,” does it not refer to those who “sleep in Jesus” who will be raised when He comes?  And when He said, “Whoso liveth and believeth in me shall never die,” does it not refer to a generation of believers who will be living when Jesus comes, living saints who will never die, but be translated and raptured to Heaven to live with him forever?

Paul the apostle wrote under inspiration of God to say, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).

A young boy in England grew up being constantly fearful regarding the Coming of the Lord.  His fear was increased by the huge stones used for grave markers in the local cemetery near his home.  He was worried that the gigantic memorial stones would prevent him from rising on Resurrection Day.  Eventually, the young man became comforted by two events.  The first was that he saw and heard an old man walking through the cemetery talking to the grave stones.  He saw the old man shake his cane at the markers and say, “O, ye stones, ye’ll all be broken to pieces on the Resurrection Morn. . .ye will!”

The second and more important event which brought courage to the young man’s heart was to hear the words of the Lord Jesus as they were read to him by his mother, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.  Believest thou this?”

The power of the Lord Jesus to raise the dead is a great comfort to every child of God.  But, that power is  no comfort to the unsaved!  This wonderful death-abolishing power will be used to drag every Christ rejector out of the grave to stand before a thrice Holy God for judgment.

In John 5:25, 27-29, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. . . . And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

He who has the power to raise the dead has power to bring men into judgment.  He proved by His resurrection from the dead that He will judge all men.

God has given over all judgment unto His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

This living, glorified, eternal Son of God will judge every unsaved person at the Great White Throne in that coming day when the books are opened (Revelation 20:12).

The proof of this judgment is the fact that He is alive from the grave.  In Acts 17:31, we read, “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man who he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

We urge any unsaved person reading these words to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Personal Savior.  Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

 

 

LUKE 11:29-32

Verses 29-32 “29And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.
30For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.
31The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
32The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.”

The “sign of the prophet Jonas” was, of course, the resurrection of Jesus of which the experience of Jonah in the big fish’s belly for three days and three nights was a type.  If a person will not believe the Word of God with out any signs even though Jesus arose from the dead, that person is well nigh hopeless.  The people of Nineveh repented and were saved even though they had far less gospel light than many in our own day who have not been saved.

 

LUKE 9:7-9

Verses 7-9 “7Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;
8And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.
9And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.”

Herod had a bad conscience!  He had beheaded John the Baptist and it had left him shaken.  Perhaps he suspected that his sins would find him out.  When he heard about Jesus’ miraculous deeds and powerful words, Herod began to think, “Is it John, risen from the dead?  Is it Elijah (some people said that he would come back)?  Maybe it is one of the old dead prophets.”  Note that every possibility considered by Herod would have involved a resurrection!  Herod knew that in order for Jesus to do the miraculous things He did, He would have to have resurrection power.  Jesus did arise from the dead, proving that He is able to do anything.

LUKE 7:11-15

Verses 11-15 “11And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
12Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
13And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
14And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
15And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.”

This incident, recorded only by Luke, is the first of three resurrections performed by the Lord Jesus.  He raised a little girl (Lk 8:54), this young man, and Lazarus (Jn 11:43), who was an old man.  In addition to being acts of mercy to the loved ones of the deceased, these resurrections illustrate God’s power to raise the spiritually dead.  Jesus can save people of any age.  He can give life to those who have sinned just a little, or to those who have a long life of sinning behind them.  He can regenerate those who have only recently come to the age of accountability, and he can regenerate those who have been a long time dead.

When the dead are truly raised, they sit up and begin to speak.  We who are saved give forth a testimony of God’s saving grace and begin to sound forth the Word of God.