North Anderson Baptist Church
Who's Your One - 2020 - The Challenge of the Resurrected Lord
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Wouldn’t you have liked to have Jesus speak of spiritual things of life directly to you? It just so happens in this passage today our Jesus does speak about you and me to His disciples the day that He arose from the dead. Read along with me this morning and see if you can find the words Jesus speaks about you and me. It is such a blessing to know that Jesus was thinking about us even then.
1. Jesus appears to the disciples - v. 19-25

Isn’t it absolutely wonderful that Jesus desired to see His disciples first when He rose from the dead. Knowing their condition they were in during the last few days, He enters in their presence speaking “Peace be with you!” Oh, how they needed peace. They had heard the body of Jesus was gone but they had not yet placed their full faith in the fact that Jesus had risen from the dead. We know Mary Magdalene did have that faith, but there seems to be no positive evidence that the 11 disciples did, even though Peter and John saw the empty tomb. The reason I say that, John writes in verse 9 something that still shares a doubt. (“They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.”)
But now He is there with them. Can you imagine what they were thinking and the joy they had and finally the peace they experienced? Jesus showed them His wounds, making sure there would be no doubt as to who He was.
It looks as if one of the purposes of Jesus appearing to them was to commission them to preach and share the Gospel. But before they could accomplish that, Jesus breathed the breath of the Holy Spirit upon them, with the commission to go, with His blessing. Verse 23 reads, “If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” It looks like Jesus said that the disciples could forgive sin or not forgive sin. Do you think that is what Jesus was saying here? No, I don’t think so, only God can forgive sin! But what we do see is that Jesus has given them the privilege to preach the Word of God, the life giving Word, and if people believed the WORD of God then they could find forgiveness for their sin. It was the power of the Holy Spirit in them that shared the Word of God and the life giving truth that sins can be forgiven through God and His truth, not by man. Man, the disciples, were the agents God chose to preach, tell others of this truth, and when someone repents of their sin and believes the truth that Jesus Christ forgives sin and died for them, then God has forgiven their sin, not man. Anyone who knows the Lord Jesus Christ can tell others that their sins are forgiven, when they do what the Word of God says to do. We all, you and me, have this same privilege, we can announce to others their sins are forgiven but we don’t forgive those sins only God can do that.

Many times in our lives we hear a statement or someone’s comment about an individual and we make a quick judgment about that person. Many of us have done that when we read the statement that John records about Thomas, when he responded to the fact that Jesus had appeared to the disciples when Thomas was not with them. He quickly responds with doubt and says, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Thomas needed the same experience the other disciples had. Jesus had shown His wounds to them and now Thomas needs that personal experience too. You and I probably would have done the same. We just need to see clearly before we can believe.
A couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the wife sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. "That laundry is not very clean," she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better detergent." Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments. About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?" The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows."
2. Jesus Appears again, for Thomas’ sake - v. 26-29

One week later, they were all gathered again in the same place and then suddenly, Jesus was there! “Peace be with you!” Jesus wanted to share once again time with His disciples and now all were together. Of course we all think this is a specific experience just because of Thomas. Jesus looked at Thomas and said exactly what Thomas said only a few days before, Jesus said, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Do you think that Thomas reached out and touched Jesus? Pictures have been painted showing Thomas with his finger in the side of the Savior. But, I really don’t think he had to do that. I believe it was so profound for him, the appearance of Jesus before him, that He could do nothing but bow before the Lord Jesus and say, “My Lord and My God!” What an unbelievable experience Thomas had with the Savior. What great faith they all had in seeing their personal friend but now the Lord and Master of their lives.

Have you figured it out yet? I said that Jesus speaks about you and me. Here it is in the words that Jesus speaks while talking to Thomas, since He and the others believed in Jesus because they saw Him. Jesus makes this great and powerful statement about you and me.

“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” You are blessed because you have believed in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord without ever seeing Him in the flesh! Blessed, how? You have all that God plans for His believers, victory over sorrow, death, doubt, sin and then you have all the blessings of life, the joy, hope, truth, love and the peace that Jesus gives to all who believe without seeing Him.
3. The purpose of John’s Gospel

As far as the four Gospels are concerned, Thomas’ experience of believing in the Lord Jesus is the last of all the recorded experiences of belief in Jesus as the Son of the Living God, Savior and Lord, Messiah. It is the climax of this book that John the Apostle has written. Then John closes his written work of detailing the life and work of the Lord Jesus by sharing the last two verses which say that there were “many other miraculous signs” things that Jesus did that John did not record. He did these in the presence of His disciples and only they would know what they were. What was the purpose of John’s writings? John makes this very clear in the last verse. John wants people who read his Gospel to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. And, that if they believe the truth of who Jesus is then that they would have eternal life in His name. That is the story we should tell. We are to tell the story of Jesus so others too might hear and believe in the name of the Son of God and have life because they have believed.
4. The challenge from Jesus

Since the Scriptures record the truth of who Jesus of Nazareth is and that He, being the Son of the Living God, died for the sins of the world and then was buried and finally rose from the dead to live forevermore, then ought we, who believe in Him, take the challenge to reach out and tell others of the love and faith we have in Him, without ever having seen Him. If there was ever a time it is now!

People are worried and confused, they need a Savior!
People are sad and full of sorrow, they need a Savior!
People are hurt and broken because of sin, they need a Savior!
People have no hope, joy, real love or peace in their lives, they need a Savior!
People are down in the depths of sin and lost, they need a Savior!
The young salesman was disappointed about losing a big sale, and as he talked with his sales manager he lamented, "I guess it just proves you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." The manager replied, "Son, take my advice: your job is not to make him drink. Your job is to make him thirsty." So it is with evangelism. Our lives should be so filled with Christ that they create a thirst for the Gospel. Preaching, November-December 1985.

Billy Graham writes in his devotion book, “Wisdom for Each Day,” the following about every Christian. First ,speaking of those who are called evangelists, he says they are called of God to preach the Gospel but “every Christian is called to the work of evangelism, for every Christian is called to tell others about Christ and what He has done for them.” Then Billy says, “With whom will you share the Good News of Christ today?”

Will you tell your ONE?

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com