CHRIST, Crucified, Risen and Coming Again Sermon by David A. Reed at Immanuel Baptist Church July 16, 2017

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Immanuel Baptist Church describes itself as

"a church preaching Christ, crucified, risen and coming again"

So, today's sermon begins a 4-part series

on what that means-what it means to be

"a church preaching Christ, crucified, risen and coming again."

 

Today I'll focus on what "preaching Christ" means,

next week the significance of "Christ crucified,"

and in following weeks, "Christ risen"

and "Christ coming again."

 

This is the Gospel the Apostles preached-

the original Gospel of Christ,

the Gospel Jesus told them to preach in the whole world,

when He said at Matthew 24:14,

"And this gospel of the kingdom

will be preached in the whole world

as a testimony to all nations,

and then the end will come."

 

But in Galatians chapter 1 the Apostle Paul

warned the Galatian church about what he called

"a different gospel."

At Galatians 1:6-7 Paul told them to watch out for

"a different gospel, which is not another;

but there are some who trouble you

and want to pervert the gospel of Christ."

 

So already-way back in the time of the Apostles,

when the Apostles were still alive-

there were some people in the churches

who were perverting the Gospel of Christ

by preaching "a different gospel."

 

And in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, chapter 11,

Paul scolded the Corinthian church

for putting up with teachers

who misrepresented Christ.

Paul said they were preaching "another Jesus."

At 2 Corinthians 11:4, Paul wrote:

"For if he who comes

preaches another Jesus

whom we have not preached,

or if you receive a different spirit

which you have not received,

or a different gospel which you have not accepted

--you may well put up with it!"

 

Paul was disgusted

with those two churches-in Corinth and Galatia-

for putting up with teachers preaching

"a different gospel"-perverting the Gospel of Christ

to the point that

they preached "a different Jesus."

 

And both of those things are happening today,

just as they started happening

in the Galatian and Corinthian churches.

There are churches today that are preaching "a different gospel,"

perverting the Gospel of Christ.

And there are churches today preaching "another Jesus,"

-not the Jesus the Apostles preached.

 

So, today's sermon is on how

Immanuel Baptist Church truly preaches Christ-

the real Jesus of the Bible.

 

And what is that real Gospel

about the real Jesus?

It's the same message the Apostle Paul said at 1 Corinthians 15

that he preached

as he went from town to town

preaching the Word

and establishing churches.

Beginning with the first verse

of 1 Corinthians chapter 15, Paul wrote:

"1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you

the gospel which I preached to you,

which also you received

and in which you stand,

2 by which also you are saved,

if you hold fast that word

which I preached to you-

unless you believed in vain.

 

3 For I delivered to you first of all

that which I also received:

that Christ died for our sins

according to the Scriptures,

4 and that He was buried,

and that He rose again the third day

according to the Scriptures."

 

So, Paul wrote that "Christ died for our sins."

Sin causes death.

So, Christ dying for our sins

means that He gives us life without death-

everlasting life.

Jesus died on a cross,

lifted up on a wooden cross.

 

Beginning in the latter part of verse 15, John chapter 3 tells us that Jesus would

"be lifted up,

15 that whoever believes in Him

should not perish but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world

that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him

should not perish

but have everlasting life.

17 For God did not send His Son into the world

to condemn the world,

but that the world through Him

might be saved.

 

18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned;

 

We escape the condemnation and death that sin brings,

by putting faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Paul explained further to the Colossian church,

in Colossians chapter 1, beginning at verse 26:

26 the mystery

which has been hidden from ages and from generations,

but now has been revealed to His saints.

27 To them God willed to make known

what are the riches of the glory of this mystery

among the Gentiles:

which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

28 Him we preach."

 

Paul said, "Him we preach."

Paul preached Christ.

But, who is He-this Jesus?

 

Those who preach "another gospel" or "a different Jesus"

often try to cheapen

what Jesus did for us on the cross,

by making salvation dependent on our works

rather than on Jesus' work on the cross.

Or, they try to cheapen Jesus himself,

preaching "a different Jesus"

by making Jesus out to be

just a good man, a great teacher,

or just an angel.

Paul had just told the Colossians

who Jesus is,

and what Jesus did for us,

earlier in the same first chapter of Colossians, beginning at verse 13.

Paul said God:

"has delivered us

from the power of darkness

and conveyed us

into the kingdom of the Son of His love,

14 in whom we have redemption

through His blood,

the forgiveness of sins.

 

15 He is [NOTICE WHO Jesus is]the image of the invisible God,

the firstborn over all creation.

16 For by Him all things were created

that are in heaven

and that are on earth,

visible and invisible,

whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.

All things were created through Him and for Him.

17 And He is before all things,

and in Him all things consist.

18 And He is the head of the body, the church,

who is the beginning,

the firstborn from the dead,

that in all things He may have the preeminence.

 

19 For it pleased the Father

that in Him all the fullness should dwell,

20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself,

by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

 

21 And you, who once were alienated

and enemies in your mind by wicked works,

yet now He has reconciled

22 in the body of His flesh through death,

to present you holy, and blameless,

and above reproach in His sight-

23 if indeed you continue in the faith,

grounded and steadfast,

and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard,

which was preached to every creature under heaven,

of which I, Paul, became a minister."

 

So, the real Gospel makes very clear who the real Jesus is-

the Christ whom Paul preached,

and the Christ we preach today,

here at Immanuel Baptist Church.

 

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But there are many churches today

where "a different Jesus"

and "a different gospel" is preached.

Some of those are cultic churches,

like the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses, for example.

If you ask a Jehovah's Witness,

"Have you accepted Jesus Christ

as your Lord and Savior?"-They will answer YES.

But it is "a different Jesus."

They believe Jesus is not God,

but just the first angel God created.

So, they don't believe Jesus hears prayers,

or does anything in their lives.

And they don't believe Jesus gave them salvation.

Rather, they think He just 'opened the way,'

enabling them to gain salvation

through their own works.

I know about the Jehovah's Witnesses myself,

because my wife Penni and I were both

members of that sect back in the 1970's.

But Bible reading showed us

the real Jesus.

Hebrews chapter 1 shows

that Jesus is not an angel.

Hebrews 1:3 says Jesus is

"upholding all things by the word of His power"

And the whole first chapter of Hebrews

shows Jesus is superior to the angels.

I may talk about that here at greater length someday,

but in the meantime,

if you are interested in how share the real Jesus

with JWs,

I've put a lot of information online at my web sites

AnswerJW.com and DoorstepBible.com

 

Mormons call themselves

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."

But Mormons also have "a different Jesus."

They are not preaching the Christ of the Bible.

They believe Jesus is one of many gods.

And they believe God the Father was once a man.

And they believe the Holy Ghost is another god

who came to earth as a man

and had sex with the virgin Mary

to produce Jesus.

And they also believe that YOU can become a god.

 

So, the cults "believe in Jesus,"

but it is-as Paul said-"a different Jesus."

 

You may be surprised to learn

that Muslims also say they believe in Jesus.

The Muslim holy book, the Koran,

has quite a bit to say about Jesus.

Let me quote from a speech at the UN Gen. Assy. in 2012

by the then President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

He spoke about-and I quote:

"The arrival of the ultimate savior, Jesus Christ

and the righteous"

"The arrival of the ultimate savior will mark a new beginning, a rebirth and a resurrection"

"God has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice,

a man who is a perfect human being and is named

Imam Al-Mahdi,

a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ and the righteous."

The Muslim "Jesus" is just a servant of the Islamic Mahdi,

not our Savior, not the Son of God.

The Islamic "Jesus" is "a different Jesus"

-not the Christ we preach,

and not the Christ preached by the Apostles.

 

Now, it's not surprising

that the Mormons, JWs and Muslims

aren't preaching Christ,

the Christ of the Bible.

 

But it isn't just the cults.

There are ordinary churches today that preach a different Jesus

not the Jesus of the Bible.

They preach a Jesus who doesn't call on sinners to repent,

a Jesus who accepts everyone and everything.

They say,

'Are you sleeping with your boyfriend? That's okay.'

'Are you practicing homosexual relations? That's okay.

You're fine just as you are. No need to change.'

But that's not the Christ of the Bible.

The real Jesus would never say things like that.

 

But Christ Jesus Himself preached about sin,

and called on people to repent of their sins,

so they could be forgiven for their sins.

Jesus started out his ministry with a call to "Repent!"

 

This is not a familiar word for most people today,

but the dictionary tells us that "repent" means

to feel sorry for past conduct,

to regret or be conscience-stricken

about past actions and attitudes-

with such sorrow

as to want to change one's life for the better.

 

This call for people to change their hearts and lives

was such an important theme of Jesus' preaching

that He began His work on earth

with this call for people to "Repent!"

and ended his work on earth with the same message.

 

At the beginning of Jesus' ministry, Matthew 4:17 says,

"Jesus began to preach, and to say, 'Repent!'"

 

And at the end of Jesus' ministry Luke 24:47 says,

"repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."

 

And Jesus stuck to that message throughout his preaching on earth:

He called on people to stop sinning

and to start living the way God requires people to live.

 

And it's not just when people first become Christians

that they need to repent.

 

In Revelation chapters 2 and 3 the risen Christ Jesus

called 5 out of CHRISTIAN CHURCHES to "Repent!"

He told the church in Ephesus to,

"Repent and do the things you did at first."

He told the church in Pergamum to,

"Repent" and do something about the false teachings and

sexual immorality in the church.

Jesus told the church in Sardis to "Repent."

He told the church in Laodicea to "Repent."

He told the church at Thyatira to "Repent"

because they tolerated a woman Jezebel in their midst

who was teaching it was OK for Christians

to be sexually immoral and live in sin.

 

So, if the risen Christ

called on five of those seven churches to repent,

what would he say to most churches today?

 

Bible-believing individuals are leaving churches

that no longer preach Christ

-so they can fellowship where Christ is preached.

 

Many churches today preach only the parts of the Gospel

that are popular,

the parts that people like to hear-

and they leave out the other parts.

What Jesus said about sin is not popular.

It wasn't popular when the Apostles preached Jesus' message,

and it isn't popular today.

 

For example,

when the Apostle Paul shared the Gospel message

with Roman governor Felix,

the governor listened gladly

to the part about putting faith in Christ,

but he didn't want to hear the part

about the lifestyle Jesus commanded

his followers to live,

and about God's coming judgment:

Acts 24:24-25 tells us

"He listened to Paul talk about believing in Christ Jesus.

But Felix became afraid when Paul spoke about

living right, self-control,

and the time when God will judge the world.

He said, 'Go away now. When I have more time, I will call for you.'"

 

Today we have governors

and mayors and other rich and powerful people

who join churches

and who often become deacons and trustees

or major financial contributors.

But like Roman governor Felix,

they don't want to hear the part of the Gospel message

about living right, self-control and God's coming judgment.

So, they pressure the pastor not to preach those things.

 

Some pastors are afraid they will lose their job

if they preach about sin.

I actually sat in a church not far from here

that called itself a "Bible-believing, Christ-centered" church

and I heard the pastor say from the pulpit,

"I'd better not say much more about sin

- I could lose my job."

 

So, for a church to continue preaching Christ,

crucified, risen and coming again,

it depends, not just on the pastor,

but on each one in leadership

and each one in membership

to uphold the Bible.

 

In some churches today,

there are factions-I call them the Jezebel faction-

pushing for the church to stop preaching Christ,

the Christ of the Bible,

who calls people to repent of their sins.

And, instead,

they want their church to preach "a different Jesus"

and "a different gospel,"

that allows people to live in sin without repenting.

And some churches

have been taken over

by that Jezebel faction,

and they fly the homosexual rainbow flag

from the church building.

 

 

At Luke 18:8 Jesus asked a rhetorical question:

"when the Son of Man comes,

will He find faith on earth?"

 

I think we know the answer is YES.

 

But HOW MANY churches will still be

preaching Christ?

 

It takes all of us,

working together,

to make sure Immanuel Baptist Church

is among those

still preaching Christ,

crucified, risen and coming again.