Summary: A series on Theology and how it's relevant for today. This message asks "Does it really matter WHAT I believe?"
THE ONE THING:
I can face life or death with courage if I know Jesus is risen.
The point of the jelly beans: What you believe ________________________.
He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Acts 1:3
Some of the evidence for Jesus Resurrection:
H – Horrible Death
E – Empty Tomb
A – Appearances to Disciples
R – Record of women as the first witnesses
T – Transformation of the Disciples
Opening Story – Cassie Bernall - April 20, 1999
WHY would anyone do this?
Could it be that they knew something?
Could it be that she could face death with courage because she knew Jesus was risen?
Jim Elliot –
Missionary to the Auca Indians in Ecuador.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Killed by them.
Afterwards, his wife Elisabeth went to work among them and had great success, leading some of the very ones who had killed her husband to Christ.
WHY? What kind of courage did this take? Where do you get the courage to believe something so strongly that you wouldn’t change your mind even for death?
John Wesley – 1700s
Couldn’t preach in church – then you can’t keep me from preaching on my father’s tombstone.
Preached in the market square
Preached in the fields
Dragged through the streets by his hair
Hit with stones and bricks
Wife even defected and gave information to his enemies
But he stood firm.
WHY? Where does that kind of courage come from?
Hugh Latimer – 1555
Burned at the stake in England for what he believed.
Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.
Polycarp – 169 AD
Bishop of Smyrna
The proconsul then said to him, "I have wild beasts at hand; to these will I cast you, unless you repent." But he answered, "Call them then, for we are not accustomed to repent of what is good in order to adopt that which is evil…” But again the proconsul said to him, "I will cause you to be consumed by fire, seeing you despise the wild beasts, if you will not repent." But Polycarp said, "You threaten me with fire which burns for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why do you tarry? Bring forth what you will."
Eighty and six years have I served him and he has done me no wrong…
WHY? Where do you get that kind of courage?
What would you die for?
These people knew something. They knew that there was a Jesus who they were serving had already been to death and had conquered it, and then promised that they would conquer it too… that He would prepare a place for them.
Paul – 69 AD
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV)
How could Paul say that? Well, it was all based on the foundation of what Paul believed.
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols.
17 So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.
18 And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, "What would this idle babbler wish to say?" Others, "He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities," --because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming?
20 "For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean."
21 (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)
22 So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.