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  • May 14 / 2017
  • Comments Off on The Power of Prayer (Matthew 7:7-8)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

The Power of Prayer (Matthew 7:7-8)

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The Power of Prayer

Matthew 7:7-8 (Dr. Merv Weerasekera)

7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.


We have a special speaker from the US today: Dr. Merv Weerasekera on The Power of Prayer.

International church: Korea, Uganda, Indonesia, Ghana, US, etc…

I was born in Singapore – a merchant sailor. My dream was to see the world at 12, so at 17, I joined a ship and started sailing. When I became 21, I had circled the globe many times – been to almost every country represented by this church. At around that age, I became very disillusioned because my dream had already come true. I asked myself, “If you died tonight, where would your soul go?” I’d been in a war zone, shot at, almost got washed out to sea in the Atlantic Ocean, many terrible accidents as well. And I asked that question. I had to answer: “I don’t know.”

Youth with a Mission (Intl Mission Org) put tracts on that ship and I read one and heard the story of being born again. Every time I read that tract, I cried. On the third night, I read “4 Spiritual Laws” and it’s as though Jesus was standing right there in front of me. I asked him into my heart at 2:30am outside Singapore. There was fear and anger in my heart and at that exact moment, the fear and anger left and peace and joy entered my heart. I’ve been this way for 35 years. After that, I joined that same Mission Org (Youth with a Mission) – and ever since then I’ve worked on telling the next guy the story of Jesus.

Once I had a revelation about Jesus. I was mopping the floor, admiring my clean floor, and the Lord spoke to me and said, “You’ve always wanted to feed your fellow man – how about I use you to give them eternal life?” WOAH! I was totally transformed!

You know, if I could give every person I met $1 million, but after death, who knows where they would go? But, if God asked me to give that person eternal life, there is NO job higher than that.

That is the epitome of life. God using you to give others eternal life!


After that, I started preaching the gospel to the people on that merchant ship – and I met Pastor Jingu Park. Later, I married an American woman in Singapore – she was deported 6 months later – so I ended up in the US not knowing WHAT I would do. I didn’t even have a high school diploma at that time. I had a hard time reading Newsweek Magazine. I thought I would be mopping the floor for the Lord.

I was in the US, didn’t know how to drive – always walked or took the bus/subway – and I had to start absolutely from scratch. But I remember praying all night with Pastor Park – from 12am to 6am. That’s what I did in the US. I became a waiter in a Chinese restaurant and was washing dishes at night. I tried to save money to go “home” to Singapore. But God had different plans.

I joined a church and we started praying all night. God started opening doors and opening my eyes. “Son, you’re not going home. I have plans for you here.”

This Scripture here says, “If you’re in a bind and you don’t know where to go, get down on your knees and cry out to the Lord.”

Ask -> Seek -> Knock

Ask God in a place of prayer – make that place of prayer in your life.

You know, life is NOT in a straight line. You know the “Prosperity Gospel”? (Give to God, he’ll make you rich). But I don’t see that in the Scriptures. I see a loving, powerful, all-knowing God who has a PLAN of LOVE for each and every person. God wants to SHOW you himself. THIS is the gospel.

So, here I am in the US, trying to save to go home to Singapore, and praying on Friday nights and asking, “What am I doing here? YOU are out of your mind!” (Oh, no! Please, sorry, I must have made you angry! Please forgive me! Forgive even my temptations!)

God said, “I want you to go to school and start studying.” God opened the door and let me take my GED (High school diploma equivalent).

I prayed, prayed, prayed.

My life, suddenly, (no family in the US at all) is ONLY consisting of GOD.

God will PUT you in those kinds of places.

Don’t expect Christianity to be all flowers and roses and an easy life. Yes, in church, we worship the Lord, we dance and praise and sing and dance and love one another. When we come to church, we must come to KNOW him.

I’m trying to put my story together, but God won’t tell me. Type A personalities want to know the WHOLE plan right NOW. We all in a HURRY!

But the Scripture doesn’t say that. You aren’t in it to GET something from God. God isn’t your credit card, he’s not Santa Claus. You want to KNOW Him, really KNOW Him.

Before Youth with a Mission, I was also running 2 businesses – I wanted to be rich. But when I joined YWAM, I didn’t want that any more. I said, “God, just let me tell others about you.” God said, “No, I want you to walk with me – and I will provide for you.”

Jesus wants YOU to come to HIM and ask Him. Don’t ask for THINGS. NO!

Ask God that whatever you do, each step you take, you will get to know HIM. You want to know the character of God.

If I preach to you anything other than Christ and him crucified, I’m not preaching the gospel!

So, in the US, I’m working my butt off, got my GED, in church, praying, and started going to college. By the time it’s all over, I have 4 college degrees and 1 doctorate degree.

Merchant sailor -> Missionary -> washing dishes -> 4 college degrees -> Doctorate = WOW! That’s God.

When I studied Algebra, I thought, “What does this have to do with serving God?”

You know what he said to me?

“Obedience is better than sacrifice.”

So, now, here I stand. I have my wife (American – surgery nurse), 3 children (one with a Master’s, one with a Bachelor’s, and my son, 19, will be a second year in college). I’m taking my son with me – we are going to China and then Singapore.

This faith in my life is just a journey.

But let me share this Scripture about prayer.

You think, “Yeah, you tell us all these fantastic stories, and think Wow! But let me tell you, God puts me in places where He’s all I’ve got – I have to hold on to Him alone. I want to tell you that this Scripture is TRUE.”

I spent 3 years in Seminary – and one of my professors told me, “Anything you lean on outside of Christ is a bruised reed.”

Looking at this Scripture and seeing what he said, I remember sitting in that class, lecture after lecture, and he really touched me. Everything he lectured on, at the end of the lecture, he ALWAYS pointed you to Jesus Christ. I said, “Lord, I want to be like that man. When I teach, I want to point them to the Lord. Help me, in anything I say or do, that it will point them or move them to You.”

If you can bring someone to the knowledge of Christ and they can receive his power, what have you NOT done for them? This is the epitomy of life!

Remember, Jesus is GOD! – He can do anything he wants. He can take a Merchant Sailor from a ship to the US and change his life and change his mind. Is that not the God you want to worship, serve, learn from, KNOW?

But there’s something you must have that every Christian must have: a revelation of who he is.

When you go to God and pray, this Scripture is saying, “Ask, seek, knock.”

I want to leave this with you.

  1. GO TO GOD (empty) – Today –
  2. Empty your mind, your desires, (this takes a lot of thinking) – surrender your ambitions, dreams, everything.
  3. Say, “Lord, I want to come to you. I want to KNOW you.”

You know, many people see this Scripture as a license to ask for “things.” NO. Every Christian must do this – this is the message I must preach, I always preach.

Every Christian must go to God and SEEK him, and ASK him, and KNOCK and say, “Jesus, I want to KNOW YOU.” (The King of Kings, Maker of Heaven and Earth – He said “Let there be LIGHT!”)

You know how I have faith? When I go out into the sun, I say, “WOW! My God SPOKE that sun into existence!! Wooo!~” You cannot stand still!

That’s the God I pray to, the Jesus I worship~!

  1. Ask, seek, knock = “I want to KNOW You.”
  2. Then, when you know him, ask, “NOW, lead me.”
  3. And watch Him lead you.

My story:

  • “God, which college do you want me to go to?” I had no money.
  • “Go to that one.” (Lee University – Cleveland, TN)
  • I drove over there, to O’Cobey Street – and I drove my truck into a spiritual curtain – they gave me full scholarships – every semester. God provides! Ask Him to show you who he is!
  • So, in my church now in the US, I run a prayer ministry.

Let me tell you about the US. The church is very powerful in the world. It is very strong in the Word of God – I’ve studied much good literature from the West. The worship is also very good – good music. Lacking in Prayer.

  1. Word is good.
  2. Worship is good.
  3. Lacking in Prayer.

What I’m trying to do in my local church – I learned from Pastor Daniel Park (Koreans are a very strong praying culture) – we cut off the TV, go to work, go to church, fast on Tuesdays, pray from 7pm-10pm on Fridays.

I’m trying to cultivate the spirituality in my life that we don’t have.

You know, when you are in a comfortable place in your lives, you forget to pray to God. At first, when life is HARD, you pray A LOT. But as God starts to bless you, you forget to pray.

So, I’m trying to cultivate fasting and prayer. I want to do an altar call (come forward and pray for you). I want to leave the core of prayer to be IN YOUR LIFE.

When you are in a difficult situation (being from another culture is very difficult, very scary), just find a place where you can GO and PRAY and ASK God.

  • Don’t ask, “God, get me out of here!”
  • Rather, ask, “God, what are you doing? Speak to me!”

Before I became a Christian, I was living in Asia.

Buddhists pray to idols, Catholics pray to Mary.

A Christian brother once told me, “Merv, YOU can hear the voice of God!” What? God speaks? Wow! I did not KNOW that! I thought it was a one-sided conversation. No! It’s a relationship. He’s not an idol! He’s a person! He loves me, He loves YOU! He wants you to come to Him.

When I’m in prayer, God shows me a little bit of his holiness. I had to turn off the cable. (And God sent me $150 – the cable fee).

When God says, “I don’t want you to be there” listen! When you start to SEEK God, to KNOW God, you stand there, stay focused on Him, and depend on Him to lead you and get you out of there.

There was a time when I was so angry at church. Mad at a brother in church. My professor said, “Merv, take your eyes off the situation, and shift your focus to Jesus.” (Wow, after my 30 minute complaint).

Now, I tell everybody, ASK, SEEK, KNOCK, and FOCUS on Jesus. He knows the plan! Why do you worry?

When God wants to open a door, he can do it in a second. He can do anything for you. You don’t serve a lame duck God. No! He is the Maker of Heaven and Earth! If you say, “Merv, or James” the devil says, “Who cares?” But if you say, “Jesus”, the devil must go.

  • But do you KNOW the Jesus you talk about?
  • Do you KNOW his character? Do you KNOW Him (not just ABOUT Him)?
  • If you say, “Come, let me show you Jesus” that’s what you want.

If you want to come up here and ask this one question to the Lord, “Lord, I want to know you, and I want the annointing and hunger to PRAY to you.” A praying person is a powerful person. A praying Christian is a powerful Christian. I want to cultivate that in my life.

Let’s have the musicians come up and I’ll pray. Let me ask the Lord to give you a personal touch for prayer in your life. Come up to the front.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 28 / 2014
  • Comments Off on You Have GREAT Faith! (Matthew 15:21-39)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

You Have GREAT Faith! (Matthew 15:21-39)

09.28

09.28.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

You Have Great Faith

Matthew 15:21-39 (Pastor Heo)

The Faith of the Canaanite Woman

15:21-28pp — Mk 7:24-30

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered,”Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

15:29-31pp — Mk 7:31-37 15:32-39pp — Mk 8:1-10 15:32-39Ref — Mt 14:13-21

29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. 32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” 33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” 34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.” 35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children. 39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.


 

The Bible is the Revealed Word of God.

Are you a Christian? A Believer? Do you believe? Have faith? We cannot talk about the importance of faith too much. Faith is foundational to the Christian’s creed and conduct.

We are saved, justified, sanctified, see the glory of God, please God, walk with God, are healed, experience miracles, make the impossible possible. The whole of our salvation including past, present, and future depends on faith.

In today’s story, a Canaanite (Gentile) woman came to Jesus and asked him to heal her daughter – he said nothing. The disciples encouraged him to send her away. He said, “I’ve come to the children of Israel” (and sternly) “it is not right to give the bread to the dogs” (Gentile dogs). She said, “Yes, Lord, I’m a dog, but even the dogs eat the crumbs from the table.” Jesus was amazed. She showed great perseverance. He didn’t say, “Wow! Great perseverance!” He said, “Wow! Great faith!”

Remember Matthew 8, the centurion:

He came and said, “Lord, my servant lies at home, paralyzed in great suffering, please heal him.” Jesus said, “OK, I’ll go.” He said, “No, no, no, no need to come, you’re very busy and important. Just say the word and he’ll be healed.” Jesus was surprised – great humility! But he said, “You have great faith! I have not found anyone else in Israel with such great faith!” And immediately his servant was healed.

Remember Mark 10, Bathemaeus:

He was a blind beggar, and he shouted from a distance, “Jesus! Son of David! Help me!” Many rebuked him, but he cried out more and more. Then Jesus called him and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “I want to SEE!” Wow! great passion/zeal/eagerness! Jesus said not, “Great zeal!” He said, “Great faith! Your faith has healed you!”

Do you have faith?

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus saw and rewarded the same thing in each story: Faith. He is still looking for this today.

Matthew 18:18? “When I come to earth and see faith… Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

2 Corinthians “Examine yourselves to see whether or not you are in the faith. Don’t you know that Christ is in you? Unless you fail the test.”

Everyone has “faith” or “faiths” – and everyday, we ACT on it. We act according to what we believe. Faith cannot be separated from action – it is the demonstration of faith and faith is the driving force of action. For example, why are you sitting on the bench? You have faith it won’t fall down or collapse on you. We buy a box of milk without first checking inside the box to be sure it is milk – because we have “faith” that it’s actually milk. When we go to the restaurant and order food, the owner doesn’t ask “Do you have enough money?” They have FAITH that we do. Likewise, taxi drivers believe that we will pay at the end of our route.

Our whole lives are built on faith and the reliance on testimonies of others.

“Faith” matters less than “saving faith.”

Not all faith saves us. Even demons have faith. Even Satan believes there is one God. His faith makes him shudder. But his faith about God will never save him. Faith IN Jesus Christ alone is saving faith. Faith in anyone or anything else will never save.

  • Dictionary: faith and belief = the same
  • Bible: belief = thought; faith = heart

Faith puts belief into active action and connects possibilities with actualities.

Faith is ACTing on what we BELIEVE in.

  • Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is being sure of what we hope for…”
  • Hebrews 11:11 “By faith, Abraham… by faith Noah… by faith Joshua… by faith Samuel… “ and on and on.

What is the source of true faith?

2 things: God’s (divine) side

#1: God’s side

This is the work of GOD. This is a GIFT of God’s grace. Eph “It is by grace you have been saved through faith – not of yourselves…” Romans 12:3-4 “By the grace given to me, I say, do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought…”

Hebrews 12:2 “Jesus Christ is the author, perfector, and finisher of our faith.”

So, we have nothing to boast of, because faith is the GIFT of God.

BUT, #2, there is a human side.

Our faith grows greater and greater while we read the Bible.

  • The Word of God = the object of our faith.

Our faith in Christ grows stronger and stronger as we HEAR the word of God preached, Romans “Faith comes by HEARING…”

  • Jesus Christ = the object of our faith

Our faith also grows by prayer. This is the instrument in the development of our faith. One day, the disciples prayed, “Lord, increase our faith.” One day, a man with a demon possessed man came and said, “Help us please.” And Jesus said, “Everything is possible for him who believes.” He said, “Lord, I DO believe. Help my unbelief!”

  • Third, our faith grows through the PRACTICE of faith.

Do you have faith? Yes.

Do you… practice… your faith?

Jesus says (Matthew 25?) “He who has will be given MORE, but he who does NOT have, even what he has will be taken FROM him.”

That faith that is given to us as a gift from God can be increased through our own practice. So, if you have little faith, it’s your responsibility.

  • By faith, we can be saved and spend eternity in heaven with Christ.
  • By disbelief, we will be found in our sins and cast into hell forever.

If we have true faith, we have real peace and joy and assurance. The great question is not: what can I do? But how much can I believe in Jesus Christ?

May God bless us all that Jesus may say of us, “You have GREAT faith!” Do you think Jesus would say that of you?

v. 29-31

Last verse, “and they praised the God of Israel” (this indicates that these are Gentiles).

Still today, if we have faith, Jesus heals broken lives. Yes, we can bring suffering people to Jesus. Who do you know that needs Jesus’ healing touch in their lives? We can bring them to Christ through our prayers, actions, attitudes – so that Jesus can do his healing.

v. 32-39

Jesus feeds the 4,000

Remember the previous chapter?: Jesus feeds the 5,000

This time, 7 loaves of bread and a few fish.

  • In the previous chapter, Jesus fed 5,000.
  • In this next chapter, Jesus fed 4,000.

Differences:

  • 5,000 = in the spring (sat down on the grass)
  • 4,000 = in the summer (sat down on the earth – little grass – high/hot summer)
  • 5,000 = in Galilee, near Bethseda (Jews)
  • 4,000 = in Decapolis (10 cities) – the root federation of 10 Greek cities (mostly Gentiles)
  • 5,000 = they had been with him one day
  • 4,000 = they had been with him 3 days (they’d used up their own supplies of food – so Jesus’ compassionate heart could not permit him to send them along hungry)

The motivation of the miracle: to meet human needs

  1. 5,000 = 12 baskets left (baguni = small)
  2. 4,000 = 7 baskets left (gwangjuri = big)

(same word in English – how about in Korean? = different)

In Greek, different word:

  • 5,000 = copinus = narrow-necked, flask shaped bag – like a lunchbox carried by Jews to avoid eating “Gentile” food
  • 4,000 = spuris = big enough to carry a MAN

Acts 9 – the story of Paul’s conversion

Immediately afterward, he started to preach, and many Jews conspired to kill him. They kept a close watch at the city gate in order to kill him, and his followers lowered Paul from the city “in a basket” (spuris – the same basket here)

We are surprised to see the reaction of the disciples:

The experienced the miracle of the 5,000 feeding some months ago. But… they forgot.

If only they remembered how powerful, graceful, unchangeable, Jesus is – they should have said, “Yes! We believe! Our Lord is able to MULTIPLY bread and fish! We do not need to worry!” But they said, “Oh, wow. Where can we get so much bread?…”

Do you / we also FORGET Jesus’ grace, provision, and power?

We have lived up to NOW with his grace! If we worry about the future, this is such LITTLE faith in Jesus!

Jesus fed us yesterday! He is feeding us today! Won’t he certainly feed us tomorrow as well? Why worry?

If you believe “I am what I am, I have been what I have been by the grace of God” then you also can/should believe “I WILL BE what I WILL BE by the grace of God.”

May God bless all of us to be called of Jesus, “You have great faith!”

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 02 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Fear Not! Because… (Matthew 10:17-33)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Fear Not! Because… (Matthew 10:17-33)

02.02

02.02.2014 Pastor Heo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

17 “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 

24 “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household! 

26 “So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.


In this section, there are many terrible words, but in conclusion (in advance) “Don’t worry.”

The atmosphere of this section is different from that of the previous section.

  1. He speaks of persecution, suffering, arrest.
  2. In the opening (the first section), he said, “Do not go to the Gentiles.” But here he talks about the ministry to the Gentiles (v. 18).
  3. Also, the HS had not been given at that time, but here he mentions it (v. 20).
  4. And he also talks about his Second Coming (v. 23). 

So this is not instructions only to those at that time, but to ALL missionaries at ALL times. 

#1: Persecution (v. 17-18)

We can be deeply impressed with Jesus’ honesty. He never hesitated to tell us what we may expect if we follow him. As for human Presidents (election campaigns), they all promise GOOD things for us if we follow them. They never say bad things, the weak points if we accept them as President.  

  • Imperfect Presidents speak as though they are Perfect in their campaigns.
  • But our perfectly Perfect President (Jesus) speaks as though he is Imperfect.

So, he is humble, and totally worthy of our trust.

In the next verse, Jesus says persecution presents MORE opportunities to present the gospel. History has shown that the church has grown larger and stronger through persecution. Even Jesus was given the opportunity to preach before Pilate. And Paul was given great opportunities to stand before the Sanhedrin, governors Felix and Festus, King Agrippa, and even King Herod. 

In the face of so much persecution, we don’t need to worry. (v. 19-20)

WHEN they arrest you (not “if”), “do not worry.”

Do you worry about persecution for your faith in Christ? Don’t worry. Because Jesus said, “don’t worry” that’s enough reason to not worry. Also, persecution for Christ makes:

  • Faith stronger
  • Ministry bigger
  • Influence deeper

In Matthew, there are only 2 mentions of the Holy Spirit.

  1. Jesus’ water baptism in chapter 3 – when the HS came down and rested on him.
  2. HERE – “it will be the Spirit speaking through you.”

BUT do not use this as an excuse to NOT study the Scriptures, to not prepare. We must prepare, but in the case of persecution, the HS will do his job through us supernaturally. Why? Because witnessing about Jesus Christ is THE main ministry of the HS. 

v. 21-23

How many men will hate you? ALL.

  • Brother kills brother. 
  • Parents kill children.
  • Children kill parents. 

This is most true spiritually. TRUE death, eternal death, results from the rejection of Jesus Christ. Think about it. If you’ve ever been forced/compelled not to believe in Jesus, WHO usually does it? Not strangers. It’s usually people who know us.

All men will hate us because of Jesus. All men who hate Jesus, also hate us – the announcers and evangelists for Jesus. Want to know if it’s true? Proclaim Jesus on Facebook… I’ve done so… It’s true…

He who stands firm to the end will be saved. We know we are saved by grace, not by perseverance, not by patience, not by works. If we are really saved by grace, THEN, we should work out our own salvation by perseverance, patience, and works.

You will never finish your mission in this world before Jesus comes back (v. 23). We will finish the mission given to us from God when Jesus returns, or when we go to God.  

But, Jesus encouragement is “fear not. Do not be afraid.”

3 times he repeats it. 

  1. v. 26 “So do not be afraid of them.”
  2. v. 28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body…”
  3. v. 31 “So don’t be afraid.”

But be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (v. 28)

But whoever acknowledges me, I will acknowledge. But whoever disowns me, I will disown.

Do you fear confessing Jesus Christ before men?

Outside (not inside this church building).

Do you fear? Before big strong men?

Here are several reasons why we should not fear: 

#1: FEAR NOT! Because suffering is to be expected.

It is natural, not unnatural. (v. 24-25)

In his earthly ministry, outsiders called Jesus “Beezlebub (The Lord of Ddong)! Demon! Devil!” We are his servants, he is our Master. Then, he was persecuted first for us, now is our turn. The disciple doesn’t outrank the Master. 

They called our King, “The King of Ddong!”

Will we escape such accusations? No. But we should count it as a privilege to suffer for him. 1 Peter says, “He was an example and you should follow in his steps…”

#2: FEAR NOT! Because God will bring all things to light someday. (v. 26-27)

Our secrets, our motivations – everything one day will be made known. If we believe this, then we should have no fear before Christ.

The enemies of Christ use secret and deceptive means to oppose the gospel. But the true children of God are very open and courageous in their ministries, lifestyles, etc. We have nothing to hide. At that time, there were many lies and accusations against the believers and against Christ, but God knows the truth. Someday, all things will be revealed and God will judge them.

If we are true Christians, PRESENT judgment from Men should not make us afraid, because we are already standing in the FUTURE judgment of God.

#3: FEAR NOT! Because we fear God alone! (v. 28)

Who is the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell? God. 

We know that all humans can do is kill the body. No problem. True believers go to their eternal homes to be with God.

But God can destroy soul, spirit, and body in hell. But God never condemns one of his own children. Romans 8:1 “Therefore there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ.” 

  • Ecclesiastes begins “everything is useless, vanity – totally useless in the life without God.”
  • Ecclesiastes ends “fear God and keep his commands – for this is the full duty of man.”

The person who fears God and keeps his commands has no fear. The fear of God overcomes, and destroys ALL other fears. If we fear God truly, there is nothing in this world that we fear. 

#4: FEAR NOT! Because God cares for his own (v. 29-31)

Can you count the number of hairs on your head?

Luke 12:6 “5 sparrows are sold for 2 pennies.”

We can get 2 for 1 penny, or 5 for 2. Sparrows are so cheap, we can buy 4+1.

Imagine, if God cares for sparrows in such a marvelous, wonderful way that he knows when a single one dies – how much more he cares for us! He is concerned about ALL the details of our lives! – Even all your hairs are counted! Numbered individually – not just in total. 

If God cares about sparrows in such a way that he knows when one dies, then he also knows and watches when one single hair from my head falls off. 

God cares about the big stuff in our lives, but also the smallest – even your haircuts.

Why don’t you acknowledge God in all your ways? Then he will make all your paths straight (Proverbs).

There is one more reason why we should not fear, but we will see that next time. 

May God bless us all with his living Word.

Let’s pray.

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