INVESTIGATING THE CLAIMS OF JESUS--PART III
SERMON TITLE: WHAT HANGS IN THE BALANCE?
SERMON THEME: WHAT IS GOD INVITING YOU TO DO?
INTRODUCTION: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN INVITED TO SOMETHING AND YOU SAID NO, AND THEN REGRETTED IT LATER?
· YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT HANGS IN THE BALANCE OF AN INVITATION.
Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou might test know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
· LUKE IS NOT WRITING RELIGIOUS LITERATURE, HE IS DOCUMENTING THE LIFE OF JESUS.
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
· WHEN JESUS LAUNCHED HIS MINISTRY PEOPLE CAME AND CROWDED AROUND HIM AND LISTENED.
LUKE 4:38-41; 42-44
38 Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.
40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.
42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
· THE FOCUS OF JESUS MINISTRY WAS WHO JESUS CLAIMED TO BE.
HOW DOES JESUS INVITE YOU TO JOIN HIM?
I) SOMETIMES THE INVITATION COMES WHEN YOU ARE DISTRACTED.
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
· YOU CANNOT FALL ASLEEP WHEN YOU ARE SITTING IN THE BOAT WITH JESUS.
II) SOMETIMES THE INVITATION COMES WITH CHALLENGES.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
· EXCUSES DO NOT MAKE YOU EXEMPT FROM THE INVITATION.
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
· PETER'S FAITH INTERSECTED WITH GOD'S FAITHFULNESS.
III) SOMETIMES THE INVITATION COMES WITH A CALL TO GO DEEPER.
· ACTIVE FAITH IS ABOUT BEING FAITHFUL, WHICH THEN IGNITES GOD'S LIFE INSIDE OF YOU.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
· NOT ONLY HAS GOD COME NEAR, GOD DOES NOT DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM YOU AND ME.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
· YOU DO NOT KNOW THE NAME OF PETER BECAUSE HE WAS A FISHERMAN, YOU KNOW HIS NAME BECAUSE HE WAS A FOLLOWER OF JESUS.
I PETER 2:23-24
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
CONCLUSION: YOU FOLLOW JESUS NOT BECAUSE OF WHAT JESUS WILL DO FOR YOU, BUT BECAUSE OF WHAT JESUS HAS ALREADY DONE FOR YOU.
MATTHEW 16: 24-26
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?