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  • Apr 21 / 2019
  • Comments Off on We are Witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection (2 Timothy 2:8)
Easter, Pastor Heo, Sermons

We are Witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection (2 Timothy 2:8)

Download Notes in a .MD file

2 Timothy 2:8 (Pastor Heo)

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel…

Women came to find Jesus at the tomb on the first day of the week. But they didn’t find him. Instead, they found an angel who told them “He is not here! He is risen!” The three were surprised and ran to tell the others. After this Jesus appeared to people.

  • Jesus first appeared to women (Mary Magdalene).
  • The disciples in the locked room.
  • The disciples again (including Thomas).
  • Later, two travelers on the way to Emmaus.
  • Later, to Simon Peter.
  • Later to over 500 people at once! (1 Cor 15)

On the same day of the resurrection, the disciples were together, terrified, and locked the door. Jesus came to them through the locked door and said, “Peace be with you.” He showed his hands and side. “As the Father has sent me, so I’m sending you.” The disciples were overjoyed to see him.

Thomas wasn’t there to see him – so they told him. But Thomas doubted “unless I touch him, I will never believe it.” One week later, the disciples gathered in the same house, the doors locked and Jesus came and said, “Peace be with you. Do not be afraid.”

He knew Thomas doubted, so he said to him individually, “See, my hand, and my side. Touch me.” Jesus encouraged and challenged him : “Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas knelt down and confessed: “You are my Lord, and my God.”

Jesus said, “You have seen and believe, but blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

We have not seen Jesus, but we believe, so we are blessed.

Jesus resurrection is foundational to the Christian faith. EVERYTHING stands or falls with Jesus’ bodily resurrection. 1 Cor 15 “If Christ has not been raised, we are still in our sins and the most miserable and pitied of all men.”

We know Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the HS comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the world.”

We are witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. I have MUCH to say, but I want to say just 5 truths:

5 Truths of Jesus’ Resurrection

1. Bodily resurrection

He did not leave his human body behind. He declared he had “flesh and bones”. The tomb was empty and his grave clothes were “in order” (folded). He was recognized by the people who knew him. Scars remained on his side and hands. He ate seafood, and bodily ascended to heaven after 40 days. The Bible promised that he will come back in his body. The Son of God will always have a physical body – but it had a different essence. It passed through locked doors.

The fact that Jesus came back with a body is a testament to the dignity of the human body. So, keep your body well because this is the temple of the HS.

2. First fruit of the resurrection to come

Jesus is the first of those who have faith in him, “fall asleep in him.”

The first fruit is the initial fruit of the harvest. We cannot be separated from him because we belong to him.

  • 1 Cor 15:23 “Each individual, in his own turn. First, Christ, as the firstfruit and then when he comes, those who belong to him.”
  • “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will live, though he die.”

“Jesus’ resurrection is a guarantee that we will be raised again from the dead.”

  • Romans 8:11 “11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[a] his Spirit who lives in you.”
  • John 6:40 “40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.””

3. We are already (spiritually) resurrected

This is not only a future event, but because of our union in Christ.

  • Col 3:1 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
  • Eph 2:4 “4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Resurrection is Already! But not Yet.

  • Romans 8:23 “23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.”

Are you waiting for the resurrection of your body?

4. He is our High Priest

After his resurrection, he became our intercessor and protector.

Romans 8:34-36 “34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.””

5. He is GOD

This is not my word:

  • Romans 1:4 “4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”

He is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Judge of all Things. He is the Judge of the godly and ungodly. He is the final Judge. Someday, we will stand before him face-to-face to be judged and evaluated.

After his resurrection, his mandate is only one:

“We are witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection”

It is impossible to believe in Jesus’ resurrection and not become his witness.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, after his resurrection and before his ascension, he stayed here for 40 days.

Matthew (final word): 28:18-20 “18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””

Mark 16:15 “15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

Luke 24:46-48 “46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.””

John 21 “15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.””

Acts 1:8 “8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.””

Are you witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection? We are!

Let’s have Communion.

  • Apr 01 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Easter Changes Everything (Acts 1:3)
Easter, Sermons

Easter Changes Everything (Acts 1:3)

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Easter Changes Everything!

Acts 1:3 (Pastor Heo)

1:3 “After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”

사도행전 1장 3절 “예수님은 고난을 받아 죽으신 후 40일 동안 때때로 제자들에게 나타나 자기가 살아 있다는 확실한 증거를 많이 보여 주시며 하나님의 나라에 관해서 말씀하셨다.”


Christianity is the only religion that boasts of the death of its founder as “Good news of great joy for all the people, eternally.”

Why? Because he is risen from the dead!

Christianity is the only religion that bases its foundation on the resurrection of its founder.

Jesus suffered so much for us. His incarnation in itself is great humiliation, degradation, etc. God became man, creator like creation, infinite being to finite being, perfect to imperfect, righteous to sinner’s status. Imagine, if a KING became a beggar – or if we became animals – how shameful would that be.

God’s becoming a man is much lower than man becoming a cockroach.

“For he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. But he made himself in human likeness. Being found in appearance as a man, he became obedient and humble to death – even death on a cross.”

At that time, death on a cross was a VERY dishonorable death. He was despised and rejected by man, “a man of sorrows” – familiar with suffering. The punishment that was meant for us was brought on him and by his wounds we are healed. Each of us has gone astray – turned to our own ways – but God has laid on him the iniquities of us all. (Isaiah 53?)

Remember,

  • Jesus paid the whole price for our salvation. We should pay, but we cannot.
  • Jesus fulfilled all the requirements for our salvation. We should, but cannot.
  • Jesus met all the demands for our sin. We should, but cannot.
  • Jesus received all the penalties of our sin on the cross. We should, but cannot.
  • Jesus suffered all suffering on earth for our sins that we should suffer but cannot.
  • Jesus died the death we should die for our sins.
  • But then he rose again from the death for our salvation and justification, and righteousness.

Romans “He was delivered over to death for our sin, but was raised for our justification.”

He rose again from the dead

After the resurrection, he appeared to them for a period of 40 days. In the Bible, 40 days is a spiritually significant time period for when God wanted to prepare someone for a specific purpose:

  1. Noah – 40 days of flood,
  2. Moses – 40 days on Mt. Sinai,
  3. spies (Caleb, Joshua) – 40 days in Canaan,
  4. Elijah – 40 days of strength from a single meal,
  5. the whole city of Nineveh – 40 days to repent,
  6. Jesus – 40 days fasting in the wilderness before beginning his earthly ministry,
  7. Jesus – 40 days giving convincing proofs of his resurrection – appearing to his disciples many times)

Jesus’ appearances

  1. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene
  2. The other women at the tomb
  3. Peter in Jerusalem
  4. 2 travelers on the road to Emmaus
  5. 10 disciples behind locked doors (minus Thomas)
  6. 11 disciples (including Thomas who had doubted)
  7. 7 disciples while fishing on the Sea of Galilee
  8. 11 disciples on the Mt. of Galilee
  9. 500 people at the same time
  10. James, his brother
  11. To those who saw him ascending into heaven
    • they were the first eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection

Who is a witness?

One who saw with his eyes, heard with his ears, touched with his hand, experienced with his life.

Sometimes you can see signs on the street that say, “We are looking for witnesses of XYZ car accident, etc.”

  • In court, even 1 witness is enough to establish a car accident or murder.
  • 2 are enough for high treason.
  • 3 are enough for the execution of a will.
  • 7 are enough for the execution of an oral will.

Imagine, there were more than 500 eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection at that time. So, we should listen to their witness / testimony.

If someone says, “I’m a witness that there was NO car accident because I, personally, didn’t see it” then he is just foolish. He has no right to become a witness of an accident he didn’t see. He just must be silent in this matter and must listen to the true witnesses if he wants to know what truly happened.

Example:

  • 10 people say, “I say a tiger on the mountain – I saw him yesterday.”
  • 10,000 people say, “No, sorry, I didn’t see him. There must not be one.”

10 vs. 10,000 – whose witness / testimony is trustworthy? Whoever saw the tiger and didn’t get eaten – the 10 people.

These 10 people have the RIGHT to become witnesses of this event because they SAW this event. But 10,000 people have no right to become witnesses of the ABSCENCE of the tiger because they didn’t see it.

Jesus gave many convincing proofs of his appearance. History records that he appeared in bodily form many times after his death and resurrection, proving that he was alive.

His resurrection TOTALLY, COMPLETELY changed their lives.

  • At Jesus’ death – all of them scattered, abandoned, betrayed him – even with a curse. At his death, they were disillusioned, fearful, disappointed – total losers.
  • After seeing the resurrected Christ, they were fearless and risked everything to spread the good news of Christ all over the world. They faced even imprisonment, beatings, sufferings, martyrdom. Yet, they never compromised their mission to preach the good news of Jesus’ resurrection.
    • Nobody and nothing could stop them after the resurrection. These men would not have risked (and given up) their lives for something they knew was a lie / fraud. They KNEW he had been raised from the dead because many of them had SEEN him.
    • Many of the early church members were filled with a holy fire and passion to tell others about this event. Even many of the eyewitnesses gave up their lives for their loyalty to the story of Jesus’ resurrection.
    • Would they have sacrificed their lives for what they believed to be untrue? No. They proclaimed the resurrection of Christ at the risk of their lives. The disbelieving disciples believed when they saw the effectiveness, drive, passion of those who had seen him.

We can have confidence in their witness / testimony. 20 centuries later (today) – we can know that we have a faith based on a historical fact.

One of the keywords of ACTS = witness.

In this book, this word appears 29 times – in either verb or noun form. Out of 66 books in the Bible, the word “witness” appears the MOST in this single book.

Please, if you believe in the resurrection of Christ, if you have experienced his resurrection power in your life – changing your attitude, values, interests, purpose, you are a witness of his resurrection. You are TO BE a witness of his resurrection.

Remember, believing and NOT witnessing (keeping silent) is impossible and self-contradictory. If you do not believe in his resurrection, then you have no right to say, “He didn’t rise because I didn’t see and I don’t believe.” Rather, you must keep learning and listening to the testimony of the witnesses of the Word of God.

Jesus ascended into heaven not to leave us, but to be with us always, anytime, anywhere. Jesus went to heaven – not to say, “Goodbye, see you later, live well” – but rather to BE WITH US everywhere, anywhere, all the time, every time – through his Holy Spirit.

Do you not feel that Jesus is still alive and still appearing to you, in the very place where you are? Jesus rose again from the dead and is still alive. Jesus is not the one who was in the past alone, but:

  • HE WAS
  • HE IS
  • HE WILL BE

Are you Christian?

  • Christians are those who carry on the life of Christ in this world though your own lives.
  • We are witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection.

God bless you to be witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 16 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Jesus Christ is Risen! How about to you? (Easter 2017)
Easter, Sermons

Jesus Christ is Risen! How about to you? (Easter 2017)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Jesus Christ is Risen!

1 Cor 15:1-8 (Pastor Heo)

The Resurrection of Christ

1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.


Is Jesus Christ risen to you?

Jesus died for our sins and rose for our salvation and lives now and forever in his risen and same body and will come again in his same body.

Behold, he is coming again soon and every eye will see him, even those that pierced him.

What a Savior, Lord, King, God!

  • v.1 = I want to remind you of the gospel.
  • v. 2 = By this gospel we are saved.
  • v. 3-4 = The message of the gospel is that Christ died, he was buried, raised on the third day (according to the Scriptures).

According to the Scriptures = “according to the WHOLE Bible” = this is the key message of the WHOLE Bible – that Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our salvation

Summary of the WHOLE Bible

  1. OT: Prophecy of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus
  2. M, M, L, J (gospels): The Literal fulfillment of these prophesies (thus, gospel books)
  3. Acts: Historical fruit of the death and resurrection of Jesus (the church)
    1. From Jesus’ Ascension to his Second Coming is the Mission of the Church
  4. Epistles: The meanings / responsibilities of the blessings of the church
  5. Revelation: The same Jesus will come in the same body and destroy all who are against him and establish his perfect kingdom

Crucifixion and resurrection go together all the time, inseparably.

  1. Without the cross, no resurrection.
  2. Without death, no life.
  3. Without resurrection, his death is a failure.
  • Romans 4:25 “He was delivered over to death for our sins and raised for our justification.”
  • “God demonstrated his own love for us in this. That while we were still sinners, he died for us.”
  • Hebrews “Therefore, Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him.”
  • Bible says, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, and become like him…”
  • v. 5-8 = Many appearances of Jesus as Lord (the argument for his resurrection from the testimony of many witnesses)

Three things are necessary to make a testimony trustworthy.

  1. Witnesses = able, competent, first-hand
  2. Witnesses = sufficient in number
  3. Witnesses = good reputation

The apostles are all of these, they did not just base their teaching on the witness of others.

  • There are more than 500 confirmed witnesses of Jesus as Lord.
  • The OT requires only 2-3 witnesses to establish a case.

And their character? No scholar has ever attacked them on ethical grounds. They could not have had an ulterior motive for claiming this stupendous effect.

The 12 followed Jesus for more than 3 years and learned from Jesus as his disciples. But when he was killed, they all ran away. But they were totally reversed in their attitudes and characters after they saw him alive again. They became un-silence-able witnesses after this.

In the following order, events of Jesus’ resurrection occurred:

Events after the Resurrection

  1. Early in the morning, 3 women came to the tomb and saw the angels
  2. They separated there – Mary Magdalene went to tell Peter and John, the other two went to tell the others (in Bethlehem)
  3. Peter and John ran to the tomb, but returned to their place without seeing the Lord

After this, 12 appearances of Jesus:

  1. Mary – at the tomb after Peter and John had left
  2. The other women on the street
  3. 2 disciples on the way to Emmaus
  4. Peter – personally
  5. 10 disciples without Judas and Thomas
  6. 11 disciples (including Thomas)
  7. Apostles at the Sea of Tiberius
  8. Apostles on the Mt. of Galilee
  9. More than 500 brothers at the same time
  10. James – his half brother
  11. Disciples on the Mt. of Ascension
  12. Paul – on the way to Damascus
  13. And even still today, Jesus is continuing to appear to believers on and on – because he promised “Surely, I am with you always to the very end of the Age.”

Do you recognize this? How?

Through the gospel preached to you by somebody.

  • v.1, 2 = “I preached to you”
  • v.3 = “preached to me, pass on to you”
  1. Gospel is “news”
  2. News is “news” when it is made known

Gospel is like a river, it must run and run to remain a river. If it stops running, no more river.

Can you check yourself, if this gospel was preached / passed on to you?

If preached to you and passed to you, this gospel will continue to be preached by you and will continue to be passed by you.

“…as of FIRST IMPORTANCE…” (v. 3)

This will continue until He comes again. Nobody can stop it. God bless you to be involved in this wonderful gospel news for all the people – all the time, forever.

Let us pray.

  • Apr 05 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Credibility and Power of Christ’s Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58)
Easter, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Credibility and Power of Christ’s Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58)

04.05-easter
04.05.2015-PHeo-Easter

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 

19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 

58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


 

Jesus is alive! again!

So, Jesus’ resurrection holds a unique place in Christianity. Christianity is the ONLY religion on earth that bases its foundation of faith on the resurrection of its founder.

Jesus’ resurrection is fundamental to our faith and to our salvation – provided for by his death.

In 1 Cor 15, this is the Resurrection chapter.

Paul wrote 13 books, 87 chapters – but THIS chapter is the longest chapter. EVERY line, every verse, every sentence is concentrated on the resurrection of Christ.

Everything in our faith stands or falls on the resurrection of Jesus.

Are you Christian? Who is a Christian? One who is united with Jesus in his death and resurrection. Believe his death is “my death” and his resurrection is “my resurrection.”

We can see one very short word repeated many times in almost every verse today: IF (repeated 7 times today). Through these IFs we can see 5-6 negative facts:

  1. (v. 14) IF Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless. (Our gospel is robbed of its joy – the joy would become a funeral dirge?) – What’s the point without the resurrection? There’s nothing to preach.
  2. (v. 14) IF there is no resurrection, our faith is in vain and worthless. All we have we received as a free gift of God – divine childship, justification, sanctification, glorification, salvation, a home in heaven – it’s all worthless.
  3. (v. 15) IF no resurrection, then all witnesses are false – liars and deceivers (essential for apostleship = a witness of the resurrection) – the KEY message of all missionaries, evangelists, preachers, etc is Jesus substituationary death and resurrection
  4. (v. 17) IF no resurrection, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins.
    Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Only Jesus is our Savior from sin and death – the wages of sin = death. Only Jesus paid completely and totally the punishment, power, presence, of sin. Only Jesus defeated the LAST enemy, death.
    But IF he didn’t rise from the dead, then he has no more saving power than any other man throughout history.
  5. (v.18-19) IF no resurrection, all who died in Christ are LOST = in hell, and WE are the most miserable – above ALL people in the world – we ought to be the most pitied. 
    Up to today, throughout the world, many Christians have been martyred with only ONE hope – the hope of the resurrection. So, how miserable they are if there is NO hope – if there is NO resurrection.

Isn’t that true?

It is better to be sorrowful for NO hope than sorrowful for FALSE hope.

So, today, I want to share the CREDIBILITY of the resurrection of Christ.

Yes, this is a miracle. The kind of evidence needed to prove this fact is the same evidence that we need to prove any other miracle. i.e. reference to the laws of nature cannot apply when the laws of nature are bent (miracles work outside natural laws). So, competent witnesses and other proofs are the most appropriate methods to show the credibility of this fact.

  1. Cause and Effect = the first
  2. Argument from witnesses = the second

Every effect around us has a cause. Without an effect, no cause.

So, if Jesus’ resurrection = a cause, then what are the effects? There are MANY throughout history, but I will share only 4.

1. The empty tomb

The fact that the tomb was empty was testified to by many competent witnesses – both friends and enemies, angels, Roman soldiers, women, disciples.

How can we explain this? The angel came down from heaven and rolled away the stone and sat on it, said to the women, “Don’t fear, I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified, but he is not here. He has risen, just as he said. Come and see the very place where Jesus lay.”

2. The Lord’s Day

(Sabbath = Saturday, right?) then why do we worship on Sunday? For us, every day is “technically” the Lord’s day because he created them all, but the first day of the week is the “Lord’s Day” because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week.

At that time, to keep the Sabbath (Saturday) service had been VERY important. So, who would ever dare to change it? On what grounds could it be changed?

The origin of the Sunday worship service can only be explained by the resurrection.

3. This building

The temple of Jesus Christ – the Christian church – all over the world

There are so many churches all over the world, the Church is a grand institution all over the world. What would the world be without church? Helping ministry, mercy ministry, worship, songs, preaching, etc. Where did this church come from? This is an effect, what is the cause?

The reason Jesus appeared and visited the discouraged and revived the faith of the disciples to send them forth on mission to announce BOLDLY and LOUDLY (the character change of the disciples is also another effect of the cause of the resurrection) the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ – to continue his work and expand his kingdom on earth.

This is HOW the church began. This is why the church is called the “body of Christ” and Jesus is the “head of the Church.”

4. The New Testament

This is the Word of God written in human language for us to understand clearly. For our understanding, the Bible is written in human language. This is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Had Christ remained dead, his story ALSO would have remained buried with him. What would be the point to tell such a story of a dead zealot/rebel?

As you know, in the New Testament, his resurrection is spoken of more than 100 times. There are fruits, interpretations, meanings, of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the “Book of the Resurrection” – the WHOLE New Testament.

—-

Next, there are the testimonies of the witnesses:

We need three things:

  1. Capable, eye-witnesses
  2. Enough in number (more than 2)
  3. Have a good reputation

All the disciples qualify in these respects. They all said, “We are EYE WITNESSES” – there were at least 12 appearances of Jesus to the disciples. There were MORE THAN 500 eye witnesses to his resurrection.

If only I said, “Wow, I saw a tiger running on the street yesterday.” (But do you trust my reputation?) What if Pastor Brian said that? The same thing. Would it still be difficult to believe? If FIVE people said the same thing, would you believe? What about 10, 50, 100, ALL members of AICF? Would you believe then? Jesus appeared to MORE THAN 500 eye witnesses who testified to his resurrection.

What about their character, human reputation? Yes, we know before the resurrection, many of the disciples were timid, cowardly – Peter denied Christ 3 times at the cross and all the others RAN AWAY returning to their old lifestyles. They lost their faith and hope totally.

Yet, after they met the risen Christ again, these believing disciples became STRONG and TIRELESS believers and they ANNOUNCED his resurrection LOUDLY putting their own lives at risk and DIED as martyrs.

Yes, today, this message remains the same.

The resurrection is our HOPE, our JOY, our HOPE of HOPES.

(v. 58) “STAND FIRM” – why? Because Christ has risen. “Let nothing move you” – why? Because Christ has risen. “Give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord” – why? Because Christ has risen. “And we know that our service for the Lord is not in vain” – why? Because Christ’s resurrection is HOPE for us.

Jesus’ resurrection is the firstfruits (guarantee) for us who believe in him. Only Christ can say, “I am the Resurrection and the Life and whoever believes in me will not die.” Do you believe this? If we believe, then we also believe that Jesus is still guiding us now. If we believe, it means that we are to give our lives to his service – we will also be resurrected into eternal life later.

  • Romans 8 “If the Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is living in you and me, then he will also give you life.”
  • Phil “We want to know the power of Christ’s resurrection and sharing in his suffering.”

Why? Without death, no resurrection.

May God bless us with his resurrection joy, power, and HOPE.

Let’s pray.

  • John 11:26 “I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me will never die…”

We must share in his death and cross. Without these, there is no resurrection nor crown.

  • Apr 20 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Christ Has Risen! – Easter 2014 (1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58)
Easter, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ Has Risen! – Easter 2014 (1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58)

04.20-easter 

04.20.2014 (Easter) Pastor Heo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Resurrection of the Dead
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

58 Therefore, my dear brother, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


Amen.

God bless us all with his Word. Christ HAS risen from the dead!

That Christ has risen, holds a unique place in Christianity. This is the only religion on earth that places its hope and claims on the resurrection of its founder. Only Christianity does this. SO, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is fundamental to Christianity.

In the New Testament, there are more than 100 instances of the resurrection of Christ being spoken of. Also, it is very essential in the application of our salvation – provided by in his death. So, about his resurrection, much more could be said. But because of limited time, let’s talk about only ONE topic: the CREDIBILITY of the resurrection of Christ (good topic).

  • Credibility = the acceptance of fact in a manner that demands fact and belief.
  • Belief upon good authority, reliable facts, and competent witnesses – belief, facts.

This resurrection is a FACT proven by competent facts and deserving full acceptance as a belief. This is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity proven by many infallible proofs. So, for the credibility of the resurrection, there are at least TWO arguments:

  1. Argument from cause and effect
  2. Argument from testimony

For example, around us, certain things, conditions, institutions exist today. They are effects of causes or a cause. Every effect has a cause. So, if the resurrection of Christ is a cause, what is the effect?

In church history, there are MANY effects that can be traced to the bodily, physical resurrection of Christ.

#1: The Empty Tomb!

That was an effect. What was the cause? The fact that the tomb was empty was testified to by MANY eyewitnesses – including his friends AND his enemies. The women were first, the angels, the disciples, the Roman soldiers – even the Pharisees later said, “Tell them to say the disciples stole the body.”

On that day, in the early morning, the angels came and rolled away the stone, and sat on the stone and spoke to the women who came to annoint his body with oil. “Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is NOT here. He has RISEN from the dead. Come and see the place where he (once) lay.” Pointing.

Wow. Pretty strong evidence that he rose from the dead.

#2: Sunday worship services

Sunday is not the original Sabbath (actually that was Saturday). Who would DARE to change this extremely ingrained and protected day? The Jews NEVER celebrated anybody’s birthday – even great men. They only celebrated events – like the Passover.

Strange then that in the New Testament, the Jewish Christians change this century’s old Saturday sabbath into the FIRST day of the week (Sunday). This is a massive effect, a marvelous effect. What was the cause? Why did they do that?

The resurrection of Christ was the cause for the great change in worship to Sunday.

#3: The Christian church – the body of Christ

Are you here now? We know this is a grand and noble institution. Imagine, what would this world be like without church? Churches sing hymns, and worship God, but also provide mercy, grace, help for others, social justice, social ministries. Where did this great institution come from?

It is a glorious effect from the resurrection of Christ. When Christ appeared to the discouraged disciples and restored their hope, they went out with restored faith in their risen Lord. They preached the story of his birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and coming again. And men believed their preaching. And they gathered themselves together to study the Scriptures, and pray, and worship God and preach Jesus to the lost nations. This is how the Christian church was born in this world. It’s cause was the resurrection of Christ. That’s why the church is called “the BODY of Christ.” He is the HEAD of the church.

#4: The Bible – especially the New Testament

If Jesus had NOT been raised. If he’d remained buried, the story of his life and death would have remained buried with him – just like so many other revolutionaries before him. The New Testament is a fact – evidence, proof – of the resurrection of Christ. The New Testament wouldn’t grow out of nothing. But the beautiful story of Jesus life (through the New Testament) grew out of the story of his resurrection. The New Testament is THE BOOK of resurrection.

#5: Testimony of eye-witnesses

Humanly speaking, we need three things to make a trustworthy testimony:

  1. The witnesses must be competent and 1st-hand witnesses
  2. The witnesses must be sufficient in number
  3. The witnesses must have a good character and reputation

All the apostles/disciples qualify in these three. They repeatedly, continually said, “We are eye-witnesses” (and they were witnesses in different places – even up to 500 people at a time – no hallucination can ever be like that).

How many witnesses do we need to make a case today? ONE. Only one eyewitness is enough to prove murder. Two witnesses is OK for a suit against the government. Three is OK for the execution of a Will. In a human court, 7 witnesses is OK for a Spoken (Oral) Will. This is the largest number of witnesses required for court.

But Jesus’ resurrection had OVER 500 witnesses!

Imagine their character and reputation. 12 disciples = we know up until the resurrection they were COWARDS – timid, afraid, even Peter denied him 3 times to a slave girl. And all the others abandoned him and returned to their lives as fishermen when he was arrested.

But, after they saw the risen Lord, they TOTALLY changed – many of them even DIED for him – martyred.

  • The fearful became fearless.
  • The faithless became faithful.
  • They became the tireless preachers of the story of Jesus’ resurrection.
  • They proclaimed/declared his story at the risk of their own lives (what a big change!)
  • ALL of them died a martyr’s death because of the story of the resurrection (they tried to boil John alive, but he lived and wrote Revelation later).

#6: YOU

If somebody asks you about the credibility of Jesus’ resurrection, show yourself.

The resurrection of Christ is the HOPE of ALL hopes.

So, the last verse says, “Stand firm!” because Jesus is risen! “Let nothing move you!” because Jesus is risen! “Always give yourselves FULLY to the work of the Lord!” because Jesus is risen! “And we know that your (our) labor in the Lord is NEVER in vain!” because Jesus is risen! and he has defeated the last enemy – Satan, sin, death, and hell.

ONLY Jesus can say this (John): “I am the resurrection and the life, and he who believes in me will never die but have eternal life.”

God bless us all with assurance and POWER in the resurrection of Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 31 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Resurrection! (Matthew 28:1-20) – Easter 2013
Easter, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Resurrection! (Matthew 28:1-20) – Easter 2013

03.31

03.31.2013 Easter Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The resurrection is the lynchpin – the ONE thing that holds all of Christianity together.

In 1 Cor 15, Paul even says, “If Christ has NOT been raised, then your faith is Worthless – futile – meaningless.”

Jesus’ resurrection was the vindication of his life and ministry.

1 Cor 15:20 “But now Christ HAS been raised from the dead. The first fruits of those who are asleep.” The resurrection at the end of the age.

Because of the importance of the belief of the resurrection of Jesus as a HISTORICAL event – 2000 approximate years ago.

The calendar is divided by Christ (A.D. = Ado Domini = “The Year of our Lord”)

Based on its importance as Christian doctrine, skeptics and unbelievers have attacked it. Even some “Christians” have “watered it down” so much that it’s lost much of its power.

The “Jesus Seminars” asked everyone to change the gospels to fit their own opinions and speculations.

For example:
Was Jesus really placed in a tomb?

Historically, when criminals were crucified, they were left to rot on the cross or thrown into a mass grave.

John Dominic Crossland said, “Jesus body was probably dug up and eaten by dogs.”

#1 What do the eyewitnesses say?

The body of Jesus was turned over to Joseph of Arimethea – a member of the council who decided to kill Jesus based on blasphemy.

  • Mark’s gospel says, “the entire Sanhedrin voted to kill Jesus.” (chp 14).
  • Luke says, “Behold, a man named Joseph had not consented to this plan.” He was waiting for the kingdom of God.
  • Witnesses say the body was turned over to Joseph.

Other evidence?

1 Cor 15:3-7 is not just something of Paul’s opinion, but something he received as a new Christian – an early Christian creed (an article of belief). “For what I received, I passed on to you, as of first importance. That Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures. That he was buried. That he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. And that he appeared to…up to 500 people at once.”

This creed is a summary that corresponds line-by-line to the gospel accounts.

Joseph of Arimethea is mentioned in ALL the gospels.

Mark is the first gospel written (probably about 30 years later or sooner). There was not much time for “historic legend” to sprout up.

Joseph was a member of the council that condemned Jesus to death. Imagine how the disciples would feel about that. Would they have chosen him to honor Jesus in his death? Despite any embarrassment, it was Joseph, a follower of Jesus, who took care of Jesus after his death.

The care of Jesus’ body is one of the earliest, and BEST attested FACTS of Jesus’ death and burial.

Some people (Jehovah’s Witnesses for example) believe that Jesus’ resurrection was spiritual – NOT bodily.

The Jews concept of resurrection was PHYSICAL. The primary object of the person was the BONES – not even the flesh. After the flesh rotted away, the Jews would gather bones to be preserved in a box until the end of the world when God would resurrection everyone. It’s unthinkable to think that they thought it would be spiritual resurrection.

Joseph (in Egypt) made his family swear that they would carry his bones with them out of Egypt after he died (Genesis 50:20-)

Hebrews 7 – the heroes of faith. THIS statement put him in that gallery of the heroes of faith. Joseph was a HUGE deal in Egypt, but this statement was a statement of faith that the situation would change. Eventually, a Pharaoh arose that persecuted them, and eventually, Moses got the Israelites out and he carried Joseph’s bones out as promised. Joshua eventually led the Israelites into the Promised Land, and Joseph’s bones were eventually buried in Shechem.

Here we can see the importance of the attachment to bones the Jews had. They REALLY believed that the BONES would be resurrected at the end of time.

#2: The Security of the Tomb

How secure was it? The tighter the security, the less likely it would be tampered with.

Historically, there would be a slanted groove (at an angle) and a large stone would be rolled down the groove with a small stone in place to hold the boulder. This boulder must weigh several hundred kilograms and would be difficult to roll back up without help. Also, the tomb would likely have had a rope attached between the boulder and the wall. It would have to be cut.

Also, there were guards (but only Matthew records it). Consider the claims and counter-claims between Jews and Jesus.

  • Christians = “Jesus is risen!”
  • Jews = “You stole it!”
  • Christians = “There were guards.”
  • Jews = “They fell asleep.”
  • Christians = “You bribed them to say that.”

IF no guards…

  • Christians = “Jesus is risen!”
  • Jews = “You stole it!”
  • Christians = “There were guards.”
  • Jews = “What guards??! You’re crazy!”

SO, there is STRONG evidence to show there really WERE guards.

#3: The Jews seemed to believe MORE than the Christians that Jesus WOULD rise again as he’d said. Look at the precautions they took.

“Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, ‘After 3 days, I’ll rise again.’ (Matt 16:21)”

This was around the time that Jesus started prophesying his sufferings, and death, and resurrection – from that time on, he began to show what must happen to him. Peter rebuked him – Jesus rebuked him back. Jesus knew what he must do, Peter didn’t.

So, here he spoke on his resurrection. Word got around to the Jews – they believed it! That’s why they wanted to station a guard there. So, Pilate gave them a guard (in the Greek, the word used refers to Romans). And Romans came to arrest Jesus in the first place.

There are other objections, but ALL can be justified and accounted for.

There are differences in the Easter morning writings. It’s dark, or it’s light? 5am, is it light or dark? Well, I say it’s light, but you (might be sleepy) say it’s still dark.

There might be plagarism. Someone stole someone else’s work for their writing. But, no historian would care about secondary details if the heart of the story is the same.

For example, Alexander’s campaign across the Alps has two separate accounts, but no one ever doubts that it actually happened.

Another:

What about the women? Their testimonies? Some priests thought “Let the word of the Law be BURNED rather than given to women.” They weren’t allowed to testify in court even.

Now, if this was a “legend” – it would’ve been the MEN who “found” the empty tomb. But, the gospel writers were willing to be embarrassed by this fact and ridiculed, in order to tell the TRUTH.

This have all been debated, but have all stood the test of time – up to now.

Psalm 16 “God would not allow his holy one to undergo decay” This was written by David. David died, and his tomb is here today. But Jesus died, and his body is NOT here today. This was from Peter – who had DENIED Jesus, had wept bitterly, had given up on everything – and now he’s back preaching with power.

“When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down, laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and was seen by MANY people over the weeks.” – this was Paul – who’d once persecuted Christians.

We’ve even heard a testimony this morning about what Jesus can do for us, save us from sin.

William Lane Craig is probably the most prominent speaker about the resurrection – but he came from a non-Christian family. He went, he wasn’t impressed – they didn’t really believe, didn’t really “act” like Christians – he became cynical and bitter. But at school there was a girl named Sandy who was always so joyful and happy (made him sick). “Why are you always so happy?” “I’m saved!” “Huh?” “God loves me, and loves you too.” It hit him like a pile of bricks. He realized the truth, and went out and became a Christian, and dedicated his life to proclaim it. He proclaims the HISTORICAL aspects of the resurrection.

There are two kinds of people:

  1. Those that hear and believe and have experiential faith that they are changed.
  2. Those that study the historical reality of the resurrection and believe.

We need BOTH. (Seriously the historical REALITY is pretty amazing. Research it.)

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 08 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Fact that Three Bad News is Swallowed by Three Good News is the One and Only Best News! (Luke 2:10) – Easter 2012
Easter, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Fact that Three Bad News is Swallowed by Three Good News is the One and Only Best News! (Luke 2:10) – Easter 2012

4.8

Bulletin_04.08.2012-easter2

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Everyday we have news.
But what news can we say is Good News for ALL men of ALL time?

Today, I want to announce this Good News for all people forever and ever!

Before that, we must know about 3 bad news, 3 good news, and 1 BEST news – of ALL news!

3 Bad news!

1. All men are sinners…

Me, you, everyone. We are born sinners. Bible says, “All have sinned, no one righteous…” Romans 3:23?
We are sinners because we sin.
Actually, we sin because we are sinners.

Sin of ALL sins is turning away from God – the Father, Creator of all beings.

Sin is the root of all problems.

2. All sinners must die…

Bible says, “The wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23?
“Sin entered this world through one man” (Adam) In this way, death came to all men, because all have sinned.

Sins wages = death, death = separation.

  • spiritual death = separation from God
  • physical death = separation from body

3. All sinners must go to hell…

Physical death = NOT the end.
Just separation, spirit from body.
After death = Judgment

Bible says, “All men are destined to die ONCE, and after that face judgment…”

Hell is endless agony of fire…

But God wants you and me NOT to die – NOT to go to hell – NOT to be separated from Him, because God loves us so much.

So, God has provided the only remedy for these 3 bad news.

3 Good News!!

1. Jesus died for the sins of the world.

Jesus came as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, Me, You, Everyone.
AMEN

Bible says, “God demonstrated his own love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

2. Jesus ROSE again! And IS alive! NOW! In you, in me, to give us eternal life and salvation!

The last enemy to be defeated is death…Jesus DEFEATED Death! Through his resurrection!

Jesus IS Risen!

That’s why we can face now and tomorrow with hope!

AMEN!

3. Jesus is coming SOON to take us to heaven!

Jesus says, “Do not be afraid, do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust in me. In my Father’s house, there are many rooms. And I go to heaven to prepare a place for you. And I will come back to take you to heaven, so that you may be in the place that I am.”

Revelation – last book, last chapter, 3 times repeated.
“Behold! I am coming SOON!”
“YES! Blessed is he who keeps the word of prophecy in this
Book.”

  • (v.12) “Behold! I am coming soon, my reward is with me. I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”
  • (v.20) “Behold! I am coming soon!”
“Yes! Come, Lord Jesus!”

THIS IS THE BEST NEWS.

  • Jesus is coming soon!
  • Jesus is the hope for this world!
  • Jesus is the King of peace!
  • Jesus is the joy of the world!
  • Sharing Jesus passion is the fountain of our joy!
  • Endless, abundant joy!
  • Jesus Christ is the salvation of the whole world!

Today, Jesus saves you, me, my family, yours, all the world!

And finally, Jesus is perfect, complete, end solution to ALL questions in this world and the world to come!

May God bless us with this BEST news!

  • Shout!
  • Jesus is my Savior!
  • Jesus is my Lord!
  • Jesus is my King!
  • Jesus is everything to me!
  • Jesus Christ is my passion!
  • Jesus Christ is my dream!
  • Jesus Christ is my joy!
  • Jesus Christ is my salvation and eternal life!

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen