Sermons

Summary: Have we explored every possible way we can use the doorways of our church buildings to give the unchurced and unsaved access to Jesus Christ?

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DESPITE LIVING UNDER THE TEACHING OF JESUS CHRIST FOR NEARLY THREE YEARS THE DISCIPLES ARE NOW HUDDLED TOGETHER BEHIND CLOSED DOORS IN UTTER CONFUSION.

WHY? JESUS HAD DIED ON THE CROSS AND THEN BURIED, BUT REPORTS STARTED TO SURFACE THAT JESUS HAD BEEN SEEN ALIVE OUTSIDE THE TOMB.

UNFORTUNATELY, THE HOSTILITY THAT PUT JESUS ON THE CROSS WAS THE SAME HOSTILITY THAT REDUCED THESE DISCIPLES INTO A BAND OF COWARDS. FEARING THAT THEY WOULD MEET THE SAME FATE THEY LOCKED THEMSELVES AWAY IN THE HORROR OF SILENCE.

EVEN THOUGH THEY HAD HEARD FROM THE WOMEN WHO WERE EYE-WITNESSES TO THE RISEN CHRIST, THE DISCIPLES STILL REMAINED STUBBORNLY UNCONVINCED BECAUSE THE STORIES CANNOT BE CONFIRMED AS REALLY HAPPENING. AFTER ALL, THE WITNESSES WERE “ONLY” WOMEN!

SO, IN A VERY CONVINCING MANNER JESUS APPEARS BEFORE THEM TO SET THE FACTS STRAIGHT ONCE AND FOR ALL. HERE JESUS OFFERS THE STIFFEST REBUKE HE HAS EVER RENDERED TO HIS DISCIPLES FOR THEIR STUBBORN DISBELIEF.

ALTHOUGH MARK DOES NOT RECORD THE EXACT WORDS JESUS SAID TO THEM, WE KNOW IT IS A REBUKE THAT IS PARTICULARLY SEVERE.

THE GREEK WORD USED HERE FOR “REBUKE” DOES NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE GOSPELS. THE WORDS JESUS USES HERE LITERALLY MEAN “WITHOUT FAITH,” “STUBBORN REFUSAL TO BELIEVE” AND “STUPIDITY.”

THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT THIS AWKWARD EVENT IS THAT WE CAN PUT OURSELVES IN THEIR SHOES AND LEARN THAT LIBERATION CAN ALSO COME WHEN SIMILAR FAILURE COMES IN OUR OWN FAITHFULNESS TO CHRIST.

GOD BRINGS FAITH OUT OF JUST SUCH WEAKNESS AND FAILURE. JESUS DID NOT NEED TO COME ONCE AGAIN AND CHOOSE A NEW TEAM OF “BETTER” DISCIPLES.

HE CAME TO SHOW THEM THE ERRORS OF THEIR WAYS, OFFER THEM FORGIVENESS AND A WAY TO TRY AGAIN. HE GAVE THEM THE CHANCE TO UNLOCK THE DOOR AND STEP OUT IN FAITH TO PREACH THE GOSPEL MESSAGE.

SO BE ENCOURAGED: JESUS COMES TO US WHEN WE LACK FAITH AND NEED STRENGTH TO STAND IN LIGHT OF PERSECUTION.

BE ENCOURAGED: HE WILL GIVE US COMFORT WHEN THERE ARE NO IMMEDIATE ANSWERS TO WHY THE HORRIFIC TRAGEDY HAPPENED AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER AND THE PENTAGON.

BE ENCOURAGED: EVEN WHEN WE COWARDLY LOCK OURSELVES INSIDE THE WALLS OF OUR CHURCHES AND CAN’T GET OUT JESUS WILL STILL COME AND OFFER US THE KEY TO SET US FREE.

BE ENCOURAGED: WHEN WE FEEL WE ARE STANDING ALONE IN THE FACE OF OPPOSITION CHRIST STANDS WITH US TO ACCOMPLISH THE WILL OF THE FATHER.

BE ENCOURAGED, BUT DON’T FORGET THAT JESUS OFFERS ONLY THE KEY. HE DIDN’T BUST DOWN THE DOOR AND DRAG THE DISCIPLES OUT OF THE HOUSE. HE JUST OFFERED A KEY. WE MUST ACCEPT THAT KEY AND, LIKE THE DISCIPLES, UNLOCK THE DOOR AND COME OUT.

HOWEVER IMPERFECT OUR FAITH MAY BE OR WHEN DOUBTS ARISE ABOUT OUR CALLING AND ABILITIES AND HOWEVER MANY TIMES WE REMAIN SILENT WHEN WE SHOULD BE TESTIFYING TO THE GOSPEL, WE CAN ALWAYS RETURN TO THE LORD FOR FORGIVENESS AND STRENGTH TO UNLOCK AND OPEN THE DOORS OF MINISTRY TO TRY AGAIN.

NONE OF US CAN GET SO FAR AWAY FROM JESUS THAT WE CANNOT BE TOUCHED BY GOD’S HEALING PRESENCE. GOD’S HEALING CAN STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH, CLEAR UP OUR DOUBTS AND WALK US THROUGH THE DOORWAY SO WE CAN OBEY HIS COMMAND TO “GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS TO THE WHOLE CREATION.”


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