May 04, 2003
HOLY SPIRIT BLESS US
Are we preparing our life for eternity?
Luke 24: 46-48
He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer (Mt 16: 21) and rise from the dead on the third day, v. 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name (Acts 10: 43) to all nations (Mt 28:19) beginning at Jerusalem. v. 48. You are witnesses of these things.” Acts 1: 8
Why did the Father will the death of his only beloved Son, and in so painful and shameful a form?
Because the Father had "laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:6).
Jesus’ death was vicarious (undergone in our place)
and atoning (securing remission of sins for us and reconciliation to God).
It was a sacrificial death, fulfilling the principle of atonement taught in connection with the Old Testament sacrifices: "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins" (Heb. 9:22; Lev. 17:11).
James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.
No amount of good works can repay what Jesus Christ has done for us.
He suffered so much because He loves you & me.
People are entitled to the punishment of God, but, Jesus died in our behalf.
Instead of you and me, He became the substitute for us all. This is the good news my friends!
Do not count our struggles and sufferings because it’s nothing and cannot be compared to what Jesus Christ had been through.
Someone asked C.S. Lewis, "Why do the righteous suffer?"
"Why not?" he replied. "They’re the only ones who can take it."
We sometimes are tempted to make litany of complains and struggles in every details of our life.
But, when we’re back to our senses, we come to realize that, as we face all these pains and suffering, God suffered first and He knows what we are going through and He is with us as we go through all the unlikely experiences in our life. We will surely overcome.
In v. 47 “and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name (Acts 10: 43) to all nations (Mt 28:19) beginning at Jerusalem”
What we need to preach are two things: repentance & forgiveness in Jesus name.
The Bible clearly states, “ For all have sin and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3: 23
Everyone of us who are here today have somehow committed sin to a certain point in our life.
We have fallen short of the glory of God. Perhaps you might say that it’s just a small sin.
But I tell you, there is no such thing as small or big sin. Sin is sin!
God knows what is in our hearts. Jesus knew what it is to be human. But He did not remain just knowing who we are as persons who needs forgiveness of sins. He did something so that we may be forgiven. Because in repentance there is forgiveness.
Now, how can we be sure that we are forgiven?
The verse states, repentance comes first before forgiveness. Repentance involves forsaking sin;
Repentance in Greek word “metanoeo” is “to turn around.” It is a turning from evil ways and turning to Christ.
In Acts 10: 43 “All the prophets testify about Him (Jesus Christ) that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”
The decision to turn from sin and to salvation in Christ involves accepting Christ not only as Savior from the penalty of sin, but also as Lord of one’s life. Thus, repentance involves a change of lords- from the lordship of Satan (Eph 2:2) to the Lordship of Christ and His Word.
Jesus Christ is the ONLY ONE who can forgive sins. Nobody here on earth was ever given the power to forgive sins, not even the pastors or priests or whoever, because we are all human beings.
We are not God, though there are some church groups whose leaders are claiming they are also god. That is abomination. I really feel sorry for those people… they need to repent.
Many people are being trapped and brainwashed so they tend to believe and trust their fellow human being more than Jesus Christ.
We need to admit that as human beings, we have limited knowledge and wisdom but God isn’t.
I know you will agree with me that, at this point in time we don’t know what is happening in our respective homes but Jesus Christ knows.
We don’t even know what will happened next Sunday but Jesus Christ can.
He can because He is our Omnipresent/Ever-present God; Omniscient/All-knowing God; Omnipotent/All-powerful God.
We need repentance (metanoeo) from past or present sins in the name of Jesus Christ.
Remember the promise in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
In v. 48. “ You are witnesses of these things.”
Every believer has a unique role to play while still living in this world.
We are to become witnesses for Christ.
Very simple, if we accepted with faith that Jesus Christ indeed rose from the dead and repented our sins and experienced His forgiveness, then, we are liberated and now free from the bondage of sins.
Then, we can live a new life in Jesus Christ. Old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. (Cor. 5:17)
If we say, our life has been changed, that’s a story to tell. If we experience the peace that passes all understanding amidst the trials in our life, that is something to share.
If we experience God’s power and strength in all the things that we do, that’s a reason to speak about God.
If you feel the love of Jesus and God’s hand moving in your life, that’s a joy that we need to shout to the whole world.
Everything that happen into our life, if we only try to examine one by one, there will always be a reason to witness for Jesus Christ. There is nothing that takes place in our day to day life that Jesus is not in control.
He is concerned even to the smallest details of our life. And everyday, He is making us and molding us to become a better person.
And because Jesus did something for you and me, He is telling us to be His living witnesses.
In the rule of law, a witness can do his/ her best to testify only nothing but the truth. But there are cases wherein sometimes the witnesses tend to fabricate stories to cover up the real story.
Money talks and can twist the truth.
But that is not true in the presence of God. We are obligated to become a witness of these things- the truth about Him- about the great things he has done for us.
ILL. The other Saturday, We went to an Estate Sale. We had the chance to see a beautiful house/a mansion full of beautiful furniture and nice paraphernalia attached to the house.
We did enjoyed the tour to the huge house.
Listening to the conversations, we learned that the house was lived by the old couple who died recently. We also learned that the 2nd floor was never used and the carpet looks like the way it was first fixed.
The beautiful 2000 Lincoln car that looks like a brand new one was also for sale for only $17 K.
In other words, we were amaze by the bigness and the beauty of the house.
But as we walk through the house, there’s one thing that came to my mind, these people really accumulated wealth while still alive.
They prepared a better life here on earth. But, the next question came to my mind is…
“Did these people prepared their life for eternity before they died?
Were they able to send materials to build a beautiful mansion in heaven?
Job 1:21, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there.”
It is a truth that we all need to realize, we will all leave the material things that we accumulate here on earth. No matter how beautiful and expensive they are, we will all leave them here.
Those are just temporal things that will not last to eternity.
Don’t get me wrong. We need those beautiful houses and cars and things to enjoy our life here on earth.
But, let us be careful where our hearts and minds are set.
My question for us this afternoon is, “Are we preparing our life for eternity?”
Are we looking forward to our next life? It is for us to choose where we want to spent our life behind the grave? Heaven or Hell?