Audience: Teens to Seniors seeking spiritual maturity
Dr. Robert Fieldhouse, Pastor 4/12/2016
Let Us Pray — Heavenly Father, please have mercy on me, a sinner. Father, look inside me that you will know that I truly repent of all my sins – known and unknown. Forgive me Father. Thank You for Your forgiveness.
I come to you humbly asking Your Blessing on this sermon. I ask You to help us continue on our quest for greater spiritual maturity both as a group and as an individual. By Your Grace, in the name of Christ Jesus, may Your Holy Spirit grant a deeper understanding of Your Word that we might strengthen our belief, faith, walk, and works. Amen.
Christ Jesus — Where are You, and What Have You Been Doing for The Past 2000 Years?
For 2000 years we have not been able to get away from or quit talking about Christ Jesus. Hard as some individuals, groups, governments, and nations have tried, Christ Jesus is even more popular now than He was 2000 years ago. We haven’t heard anything from Him [Christ Jesus] in a very long time though, which brings to mind several questions and concerns. In this sermon I, guided by Father’s Holy Spirit, will attempt to address the questions (1) Where is Christ Jesus and (2) What Christ Jesus has been doing for the past 2000 years since he was with us in the flesh. Because of time constraints this sermon will not be exhaustive so it hopefully will not become exhausting!
Let’s begin by answering the easiest of the two questions; (1) Where are you?” followed by (2) What have you been doing for the past 2000 years?” Where are you is answered quite plainly in many parts of our Bible. From previous sermons as well as your personal Bible study you will recall that 3 days after Christ Jesus was murdered and placed in a tomb God the Father raised Him from the dead. After appearing and continuing to minister to His disciples for some forty days, He ascended to the Father to “….Sit on the right hand of the power of God” (Luke 22:69). The 19th verse of Mark 16 purports Christ Jesus was “….Received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” Another example of where Christ Jesus is can be found in the Book of Hebrews 1:3 where it is recorded “….When [he] had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high”. These are but a few of the recordings in our Bible [King James Version] answering the question where Christ Jesus is. If this is not the same in your bible then get a new version of the bible – hopefully the King James Version, I digress, and will leave that particular recommendation for another time. We know conclusively where Christ Jesus is so let’s move on to the second question. That being, what have You been doing for the past 2000 years?
If we asked everyone here that question I am confident the majority, if not all of the answers would be similar to: using us to spread the kingdom of God on Earth to others, helping the poor, helping to get people saved, etc. That sounds a lot like what He was doing while here with us in the flesh. Christ Jesus lived His whole life to provide us with an example of righteous and holy living. Christ Jesus was here, in the flesh, in order to spread the Kingdom of God our heavenly Father. Knowing that His time was limited, ministering only 3 ½ years, He trained a select few to carry on His mission after He left [ascended]. Praise God we are not left solely to our own devices! A quick search of the Holy Bible or the Internet will reveal a very sad commentary of humans trying to think for themselves, answer their own questions, satisfy their own wants and needs, and living life either ignoring or replacing God the Father with any number of “idols.” It is not the intent of this sermon to preach lessons of human morals, or the lack thereof, but in order to paint a better picture of the answer to question (2) let’s take a look back in time and it becomes quite evident that many self-destructive parallels exist from past to present – sadly. Let’s begin by very briefly visiting the sin of idolatry.
While reading the book Exploring the Christian Faith, one reads that “….idolatry is the tendency in humanity to assign a religious or sacred value and power to something natural” (Ellul, J., p.168). In the following questions please HONESTLY explore your answers. Borrowing heavily from Ellul:
Question - In whom, or in what, do you place your trust (your faith)?
Answer – For most the answer is money. In the latter years of life the answer [according to survey results] is still money but with the inclusion of
Question – Where do we look for security and happiness?
Answer – The state [government] appears to be the agent of security.
For the sake of brevity I will combine some other questions that, apparently, all have the same answer [according to survey results]. Whom do you expect to guarantee your future? Whom do you think can guard our liberty? Whom do you believe on the subject of truth? How do you explain the origin of all existence? The survey results report the answer to these questions as — science!
Idolatry is the tendency in humanity to assign a religious or sacred value and power to something natural. Look back in time, thousands of years, and it becomes quite evident that many self-destructive parallels exist from past to present [author’s italics]. I am not suggesting that money, insurance, or science is wrong according to Father. I am emphatically stating that God is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Father commanded, “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.” Also, “thou shalt not bow down thyself, nor serve them for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments” (KJV). That is just two examples from numerous accounts in our Holy Bible where our heavenly Father plainly commands EVERYONE to adhere to His command with regard to idolatry.
Idolatry is not just carving animals or other figures and worshiping them. Idolatry is placing ANYTHING before God the Father. That includes things such as money, insurance, iphone, television, husband, wife, children, pets, mother, father, sports, alcohol or other drugs including tobacco products! Science and technology have and always will provide all of us with all sorts of idols to worship more than we do God – the REAL creator of ALL that exists, has existed, and will exist! What has all of that got to do with where Christ Jesus is now you ask? Let’s refresh our memory with another fact before answering the question of where Christ Jesus is. Christ Jesus is our High Priest.
Christ Jesus had several roles and titles while with us. For example, I direct your attention to the Book of Hebrews where He is called the High Priest several times. If you recall the ministerial hierarchy inside the biblical references of God’s Temple, one is reminded that ONLY THE HIGH PRIEST could enter the Holy of Holies, and that was ONLY ONCE per year. Christ Jesus’ death did away with the universal separation [the veil] that existed between the Father and believers. Christ Jesus’ death elevated Him to mediator between faithful and believing followers and God the Father. Christ Jesus would now present spiritual sacrifices and prayer to Father for us as He became, upon His death, our High Priest. Christ died, was resurrected [brought back to life in the natural] and then ascended to the Father. Christ is not dead—He is very much alive and with us! Christ Jesus, as our High Priest, lives to intercede on a true Christian’s behalf. I refer you to 1 Timothy 2:5 where it is written, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (KJV). Where is Christ Jesus now you ask? Here is your answer.
Christ Jesus is right there – there – up there – down there – over there! He is alive and ALL AROUND US. He never rests or leaves us alone. He is working on our behalf constantly. He never stops and never will.
Let Us Pray — Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your Blessing on this sermon. I ask You to help us continue on our quest for greater spiritual maturity. By Your Grace, in the name of Christ Jesus, may Your Holy Spirit fill us or refill us with Your love granting a deeper understanding of Your Word. We pray this through the name of Your Son and our Savior, Christ Jesus. Amen.