Summary: Discover the assurance Jesus gives His disciples after the resurrection.
Today is Easter. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I think most everyone knows the story of the resurrection. That is a given. I think there is a deeper question that needs to be addressed? The question is, what difference has the resurrection made in my life? Why believe in the resurrection? For me, the resurrection means assurance. I find that people are looking for assurance, believers as well as non-believers.
About one and a half years ago I spoke to our youth leaders on a Tuesday night at Lee and Cindy’s home. At that time I was new and the youth did not know me. I wanted to help them get to know me so I shared some of the stories from my life. When you share in such a meeting I think it is natural to share special stories from your life. I went back and shared four or five highlight stories from my life. I, like many of you, have some special stories of what God has done in my life. These are stories that have happened over fifty-five years. When you are sharing four or five stories from a fifty-five year time frame it is easy to present a dramatic picture. One of the boys made the comment to me; I wish that God would work in my life like he has in yours. I translated that comment to be, I want the assurance that God will work in my life. Teenagers are looking for the assurance that God is working in their lives.
On another occasion I was teaching a study from Acts for our senior adults. In Acts 1:3 Luke refers to “infallible proofs”. I asked the senior adults to share “infallible proofs” from their lives of God’s power. They were reluctant because of doubts. Senior adults are looking for assurance that what they believe is real.
I am continually looking for people who will share a testimony in our services. There seems to be a reluctance to do this. I think we are afraid that our story is not worth sharing. There are doubts. We are looking for assurance.
We need to be like the 84 year old grandmother who fiercely maintained her independence and lived alone in the old family home. Her 4 children lived n the same town, but she rarely called them except in emergencies. It was with some apprehension, therefore, that one of her sons drove to her home one morning in answer to her phone call. When he arrived she said she suspected that there was a burglar in her bedroom closet, since she had heard noises in there the night before. “Why didn’t you call me last night?” he exclaimed. “Well,” she replied, it was late and I hated to bother you, so I just nailed the closet shut and went to bed.” That’s the kind of attitude a Christian can have when faced with the impossible. Nail the door of fear shut and go to bed in calm assurance.
(Contributed to Sermon Central by David Yarbrough)
There are many people who are looking for answers in today’s economy. They are questioning where we are headed. People are asking, where is the world headed?
I have a first cousin who had a stroke, four weeks ago. She has been in a coma ever since. Our family is wondering, will she ever wake up? We are looking for assurance!
In the Bible we find many people lacking in assurance. In Luke 24 we find the story of two people who were leaving Jerusalem after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The resurrection had occurred but they lacked assurance. They met Jesus as they traveled from Jerusalem to a place called Emmaus. As they walked they talked with Jesus, not knowing with whom they spoke. They made a comment to Jesus that is one of the most dismal statements in the Bible. They said “we were hoping.” They lacked assurance. People are looking to find assurance.
Charles E. Fuller once announced that he would be speaking the following Sunday on “Heaven.” During that week, a beautiful letter was received from an old man who was very ill. The following is part of his letter: “Next Sunday you are to talk about Heaven. I am interested in that land, because I have held a clear title to a bit of property there for over fifty-five years. I did not buy it. It was given to me without money and without price. But the donor purchased it for me at tremendous sacrifice. I am not holding it for speculation since the title is not transferable. It is not a vacant lot. For more than half a century I have been sending materials out of which the greatest architect and builder of the universe has been building a home for me which will never need to be remodeled or repaired because it will suit me perfectly, individually, and will never grow old. Termites can never undermine its foundations for they rest on the rock of ages. Fire cannot destroy it. Floods cannot wash it away. No locks or bolts will ever be placed upon its doors, for no vicious person can ever enter that land where my dwelling stands. It is now almost completed and ready for me to enter in and abide in peace eternally, without fear of ever being rejected. I hope to hear your sermon on heaven next Sunday from my home in Los Angeles, but I have no assurance that I shall be able to do so. My ticket to heaven has no date marked for the journey -- no return coupon -- and no permit for baggage. Yes, I am all ready to go and I may not be here while you are talking next Sunday, but I shall meet you there some day.” (Ency of 7700 Illust. P. 545, #2183.Contributed to Sermon Central by Gene Barron)