This message was preached by Colin D at Word of Grace Church on June 23rd, 2019. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here
Can anyone here go to a graveyard where there are hundreds of graves and pray and raise the dead?
It feels impossible. The world out there may not be physically dead but they are spiritually dead.
Your job and my job is to raise the dead.
The first thing we need to do is to:
Change our mindset – sometimes we think of evangelism as something we do only when we know the scripture and how to answer questions. We think we’re not good at speaking, I am not able to answer questions or I don’t know my Bible too well so we feel hopelessly inadequate. In reality we need God to come in and do something.
Ephesians 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.
Ephesians 2:4-5 - 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.
We were dead, but we’re now alive.
Colossians 2:13- 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[a] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
The world says the reason the world is in a mess is because people are not educated. But the real problem is not a lack of education but really – DEATH. They may be the most brilliant minds but dead.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.
Jesus is saying that to raise some one from the dead we need God, we cannot do it on our own. No matter how adequate or knowledgeable or how appealing your personality.
How are people dead?
The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
The mind is hostile to God – the moment we speak about God, hostility comes out. There is an inability for man to submit to God.
1 Corinthians 2:14
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
There is no proper understanding. They cannot understand because they are spiritually dead. They may be brilliant in every other area of life but they cannot understand this.
There was a guy who decoded the DNA. He was brilliant but when asked ‘where did life begin?’ his answer was “Maybe some aliens from space did something.” The most brilliant mind who decoded the DNA couldn’t accept the fact God created the heaven and the Earth but rather aliens. Lack of understanding is not lack of intellect
2 Corinthians 4:4
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
There is an Enemy blinding people from seeing the truth. Telling an unbeliever to believe is like telling a blind person to see something or trying to talk to a deaf person. Unless God comes in and does something, we cannot do anything.
23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes,
We struggle to put a thread through a needle. It is impossible to put a camel through the eye of a needle. The same way for a natural man to come to God it is impossible. With man it is impossible but with God all things are possible. We can do nothing – God needs to do something.
We need to understand what the problem is before we can understand.
Ex. A man went to a doctor and said doctor, “I am in pain and I need help.” Doctor said “what’s wrong?”
The man said “I touch my head it hurts, I touch my chest it hurts, I touch my toes it hurts, Everywhere I touch it hurts.” Doctor examined him and said – “you know what the problem is? You fractured your finger!”
We need to know what the problem is before we can give the right medicine.
What can we do? How can we raise the dead?
1) To raise the dead we need to be connected with Jesus.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing
If you want to bear fruit – If you want to see people whom you love and care for know Jesus, you need to remain him. The modern version says ‘connected’ – you need to be connected to Jesus.
John 15: 7-8
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
How can we be connected to Jesus?
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Connection with Jesus is spending time everyday with Jesus – With the word and in prayer. Jesus says if you do that, you will bear fruit. I want to encourage you – have a daily quiet time with Jesus. In that time, read the word and spend time praying.
I recommend one thing – maintain a journal. When you read the Bible, you are looking for a SPECK
S – Sin to avoid (Ex. Do not commit adultery)
P – Promise to claim (Ex. Dwell together in unity, there god commands a blessing)
E – Example to follow (Ex. Jesus went down to pray for the sick)
C – Command to obey (Ex. Love one another)
K – Knowledge to rejoice in (Ex. God created the Heavens and the Earth.
2) Connecting with his people.
One of the ways we connect with one another is being part of the Sunday service – make it a habbit to be here on a Sunday and make it a habit to be here before time.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,
It was his custom – it was habit to go to the synagogue.
As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Meeting and connecting with Gods people was Jesus and Paul’s custom, will it be yours?
So in order to raise the dead I need to be connected to Jesus by reading the word and praying and be connected to God’s people.
3) We need to love one another
When we share the gospel, we are telling people that someone died 2000 years ago and his death was significant because he rose from the dead and all our sins are forgiven.
John 17:20 – 21
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one,Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Jesus is praying for his disciples, for us and the people we will reach out to and he says may he also be in us so that the world may believe that he saved me.
Jesus said the way to get people to truly believe in the gospel is to be rightly linked to God and rightly linked with one another. If we love one another and are connected, somehow people who are blind and don’t have the holy spirit, God will touch them and make them believe.
John 17: 23
I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
How will the world know Jesus was sent by the father? When we are in complete unity.
What does unity mean?
Unity does not mean uniformity
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love
That is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
As we meet one another, we need to bare each other’s burdens.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one anotherin love.
There can be people around who get on your nerves. Somehow they always say and do the wrong thing. But knowing what the Bible says, it says be patient with one another.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
A lady once said to me “I’m not going to get close to anyone in the church, I’m just going to come, worship and go.” The Bible says ‘Forgive one another’.
I want to give you a 100% warrantee and a 100% guarantee, in church you are going to get hurt. We say the wrong things and do the wrong things. We need to learn to forgive, to submit and to encourage one another.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
1 Peter 4:9
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Have people over for meals and coffee, open up your homes and your hearts to people who are in need.
Jesus says as we are united and as we love another, and we go to our friends and neighbours to tell them about Jesus, somehow they will believe that God sent Jesus.
We have a great assignment, it is an impossible assignment: it is to raise the dead.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
One day we will leave this earth, and the question is where are we going when we leave this earth?
A few weeks ago, we attended a funeral for a friend of mine; 68 and just died. We may have a long life but one day we are going to leave this earth.
Our loving father has made a provision for us so that our sins are forgiven and we can go and be with him in heaven.
If we don’t trust in Jesus, we are responsible to pay for our sins and that payment is the separation from Jesus forever and ever. Today if you say Jesus I believe you died on the cross and I’m going to follow you, the dead will be raised to life and this new life will come forth.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
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