Sunday 07 September 2014
Sermon by Dennis Jones
Jesus is alive
2 weeks ago Cozett felt lead to speak about persecution
At that time I was preparing this message on a persecutor. Saul of Tarsus.
Saul was intent on wiping out these heretics who believed that Jesus had risen from the dead.
On the way to Damascus with authority to arrest any of these people he was knocked to the ground and heard that voice.
“Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?”
Saul asks. “Who are you Lord?”
“I am Jesus who you are persecuting”
Saul is blinded. But later healed and very shortly after that he is preaching the gospel.
There were two things that changed Saul from persecutor to apostle:- The Prayers of the people and the resurrection.
The followers of Jesus I believe had engaged in powerful passionate and persistent prayer for Saul. They were following Jesus teaching.
Lk 6:28 Jesus said “Pray for those who persecute you”
2 Cor. 10:3&4 ”For though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary we have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
That divine power is prayer.
I believe it is not a call to prepare for persecution but a call is to work to prevent it.
The other thing that changed Saul was the fact that Jesus is alive.
Jesus died on the cross and he rose from the dead? Yes, but what does that mean to us. I’ll come back later.
Where do WE start in our effort to prevent persecution?
Don’t you know? We are at war.
Read Eph. 6:10-18 With special attention to verse 18
We need a boost to our involvement in prayer.
This fellowship has a time for prayer and worship Tuesday nights here at 7:00pm let’s accelerate our prayer.
We need to pray for:-
1. The leaders of Isis, Hamas and all who persecute our brothers and sisters
In spite of all Saul did God still loved him.
In spite of what ever those who persecute us do, God still loves them.
It breaks his heart but He still loves them.
2. For the Muslim influence upon the young men be seen by then as invalid.
3. For people in authority. Federal, Provincial and Local governments
4. Prayer walking and evangelism are other areas that would reach the lost like the Festival of Hope.
I believe that to some extent we in the west have become somewhat apathetic and complacent about the resurrection.
Let’s go back to Good Friday
The disciples are like dead men. Jesus is dead.
Their life has been taken from them.
But when Jesus appeared to the disciples there was an almost delirious enthusiasm, and an amazing drive and joy of the disciples in the early church.
Without the resurrection the men and women who had followed Jesus would have just gone home.
No one would have felt lead to write the story of what Jesus did. Saul would not have gone to Damascus. So he would never have written the epistles.
Therefore we would not have the New Testament.
Where would we be?
Can we catch that enthusiasm again? Yes we can!
What does it mean for us that Jesus is alive?
In Matthew Jesus said. “Where ever two or three come together in my name I am there with them.”
He is here.
Today we have been in the presence of Jesus.