April 7, 2023 6:00 am
Though we may claim we are searching for God, the truth is the opposite. In the message "On the Road to Emmaus," Skip shares about how God is searching for us and how His tireless pursuit is what sets Christianity apart from all other religions.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
People are not really looking for God, even though they say they are.
I meet people all the time. I'm looking for God. I'm on a spiritual quest.
Actually, no you're not. You're not looking for God. The truth is God's looking for you and the only fact that you have an inclination about wanting to look for God is because He put that in you. Though we may claim we are searching for God, the truth is actually the opposite. And as Skip shares today on Connect with Skip Heitziger, God's tireless pursuit of those created in His image is what sets Christianity apart from all other religions.
But first, we want to tell you about a resource that will help you encounter Jesus through the eyes of travelers on a journey to Emmaus. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most attested to facts in history. It is a fact that sets Christianity apart from every other world religion, and it's the reason for our hope. Of all of the religions in the world, only four of them are based upon actual personalities. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism.
Those four are based upon the personality of the founder. But of all of those four religions, only one claims a resurrection for its founder. That's why we have hope. That's why we gather here today, because of that good news. For this Easter season, we've put together a special set of resurrection resources by Skip that include five of his finest Easter messages for audio download or on CD and a full video titled On the Road. We want to send you a copy of this package of messages as thanks for your gift to support Connect with Skip Heitziger and help grow this teaching ministry to reach more people in major cities in the U.S. this year. So request your package when you give your gift of $50 or more today and take a walk with the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus. Just call 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash offer.
That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Okay, we're in Luke 24 as we join Pastor Skip for his message on the road to Emmaus. We are not told why these two disciples were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus.
It's a pretty easy guess though. I believe that's where they lived. That was their home. They're going home. They're done. They're done following Jesus.
That's past tense. It's all over. Now they're going home.
They're calling it quits. But as they're talking to one another, they don't know it's Jesus, but he comes edging his way up to them and enters into the world. He comes into a conversation. Now you have to understand, they are not looking for Jesus. They do not expect to see him. He's the last person they expect to see. He died and this whole Christianity thing is over.
But this brings up an important point and I want you to hear it. People are not really looking for God, even though they say they are. I meet people all the time. I'm looking for God. I'm on a spiritual quest.
Actually, no you're not. You're not looking for God. The truth is God's looking for you and the only fact that you have an inclination about wanting to look for God is because he put that in you. God is looking for you and why do I say that? Because God isn't lost.
You are. Back in the very first story in the Bible in the Garden of Eden, the Bible says Adam and his wife Eve hid themselves from the presence of the Lord. God came into the garden and shouted, where are you? He was looking for them. Maybe God could say that to you this morning. Where are you?
Where are you at in your life? And Jesus said the Son of Man has come to seek and to save those who are lost. Now listen, this sets Christianity apart from every other religion and belief system. Religion is basically man's attempt to reach God.
Man's attempt to appease God by his or her own efforts. That's why religions will tell you that you have to do certain things. You have to face in a certain direction when you pray. You have to pray a certain amount of times a day. Other religions will say you need to crawl on your knees and suffer and inflict pain on yourself and then God will accept you.
The Bible does not present that. The Bible presents a God who is on the move reaching out to us. The Bible says the eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the entire earth to show himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to him. I believe that God has been trying to get your attention for a long time.
He wants to reveal himself to you and that's why in a few moments I'm going to ask you to make your move toward him in response to that. So that's principle number one. Your God is on the move. Second principle in relating to a risen Christ, your eyes aren't always right. Your eyes aren't always right. How many of you have discovered as you grow older your eyes don't work the way they used to work?
Have you figured that out yet? And you wonder why you have to hold that book like 50 feet away to see it? Because your eyes aren't always right. So in verse 15 we're told this, so while it was while they conversed in reason Jesus himself drew near and went with them but their eyes were restrained so that they did not know him.
So check this out. They're standing in front of him. They're having a conversation with him. They're looking at him. They're talking to him. They're walking with him. But they don't recognize it actually is him. Their eyes aren't telling them the truth. They thought he was a stranger. In fact one of them will say, are you the only stranger here in Jerusalem? You don't know what has happened here? Now this brings up an important question. Why is it that they did not recognize that it was Jesus?
Well there's a couple answers to that. Number one, they weren't looking for him. They didn't expect him to show up. Resurrection was not on their radar screen. They were not expecting to see Jesus alive again. Number two, the crucifixion of Jesus was pretty brutal.
He went through some physical changes. The Bible and Isaiah indicates they plucked out his beard and that his visage or his countenance his appearance was marred more than any other man. So much so that people frequently did not recognize Jesus after the resurrection. Mary in the garden of where the garden of where the tomb was thought Jesus was a gardener. The disciples at the Sea of Galilee also didn't recognize him.
It happened a few times. But here's the real reason they didn't recognize him. It says here in the text their eyes were restrained.
Their eyes were restrained. In other words God kept them from recognizing Jesus. Which brings up a question why would God do that? Why would God not want them to know this is Jesus?
Well there's a couple of answers to that. I think God didn't want them to recognize that it was Jesus. First of all so they'd be honest. They'd be honest in their conversation about him.
They would never talk to Jesus like they talk to Jesus if they knew it was Jesus. You know we're not always honest when we talk to people. We talk to people and we frequently tell people things we think they should hear or what we want them to think about us. So we couch what we say to people so that we get a favorable reaction.
We're not always honest. A lot of times I'll be having a conversation with a person I might be on an airplane and the person is very very honest about their life and they'll say even choice words to me and then they'll say what do you do for a living? And I'll say I'm a teacher. Oh really you're a teacher. I know some teachers.
What kind of teacher are you? I say I'm a pastor of a church. Oh whoa sorry reverend sorry for that what I just said. And then suddenly they don't get honest anymore. I heard about a king in ancient times who would frequently dress like he was a peasant so he could walk among the people and get his earful of what they really thought of his reign. So Jesus is entering into a conversation talking to them. They don't recognize him.
He wants them to be honest. There's a second reason why I think God didn't want them to recognize him. He wanted to reveal himself to them differently not by sight but by speech but by word.
He wanted his word the scriptures to have maximum impact and they never would if they saw that it was Jesus. They would be so freaked out that Jesus is risen from the dead he wouldn't be able to have the impact on them with his words. The bible says this faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. A lot of times people say well if I if I could only see God if I only had a sign then I'd believe.
First of all that's very shallow. If your faith is based on an outward sign. Second it wouldn't last because the first time you experience another hardship in your life and don't get a follow-up miraculous sign your faith would crumble. God I believe has been speaking to you and you haven't recognized it.
He's been revealing himself to you but some of you haven't recognized it because what you see and what you experience aren't always the whole truth. Some of you have been going through a very dark period in your life. In fact the world has for a couple of years but maybe in particular you've been going through very very difficult times and you have thought you have thought God doesn't care. God doesn't care about me. I am forsaken by God.
That's a lie. God cares about you and the proof of that care is that you is that you are here today and he is revealing himself to you through his word. He's speaking to you. He's revealing himself to you. He wants his word to have an impact on your life. So your God is on the move.
Your eyes aren't always right. Here's the third principle in relating to the risen Christ. Your hope can become fragile.
Your hope can become fragile. The story continues in verse 17. And he said to them what kind of conversation is this that you are having with one another as you walk and are sad? Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to him are you the only stranger in Jerusalem?
Have you not known the things which have happened here in these days? And he said to them what things? So they said to him the things concerning Jesus of Nazareth who was a prophet mighty indeed in word before God and all the people and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we were hoping that it was he who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed besides all of this today is the third day since these things happen.
Yes and certain women of our company who arrived at the tomb early astonished us and when they did not find his body they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said he was alive and certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said but him they did not see. In this conversation Jesus comes up and asks them a couple of questions he already knows the answer to the questions you know that right when he when Jesus asks people questions it's not like he's wanting information he already knows the answer but he asked them anyway so they will admit their condition and the questions draw them out. So the first question is funny hey what are you guys talking about? What kind of conversation?
You guys look so sad you look so bummed out I can see it in your faces. What are you talking about? Do you know that the Lord is interested in the conversations we have about him? Listen to this this is from Malachi chapter 3 verse 16. Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other the Lord listened and a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who love to think about him. In other words when people talk to God up to each other about God it's as if God goes I want to I want to really listen to what they're saying about me.
He loves to pay attention to the conversations we have. So the first question is what are you talking about? The second question is even funnier because they say to him well don't you know all the things that have happened? And Jesus goes what things?
Now he's the very center of those things he's the subject of those things that have happened in Jerusalem. This is a classic way of Jesus to draw a person out so that they will articulate what they think. It's much like what Jesus did to his disciples on one occasion on one occasion in Caesarea Philippi he said who do men say that I am? And they answered some say you're John the Baptist some say you're Elijah some say you're one of the prophets and then he asked them who do you say that I am? Who do you say that I am? I want to hear it from your lips talk to me who am I to you who do you say that I am? Now their answer here reveals how fragile their hope had become because when they talk about Jesus they're talking all past tense he was a prophet we were hoping that he would be the one they're not saying he is a prophet he is alive we are hoping in him they're saying it's over our hope is dead when they seal that stone over the entrance to Jesus tomb their hopes were there too their hopes were dead it was over they're thinking we really thought this guy was the guy but that's over that's past tense we hope in him no longer we were hoping he was the one maybe that describes you some of you have been so deeply disappointed by a person or by circumstances in your life your hopes have been dashed your hope which is so fragile has been frayed and shattered and some of you are even here this morning and though you're here in reality your thoughts are this I used to believe in God I used to trust in Jesus I once had hope that he would help me that he would help me but those hopes are gone it's a sad place to be Thomas Jefferson was our third president of course he's a great man of history but Thomas Jefferson though he loved Christianity and loved going to church and singing the songs he did not believe that the miraculous parts of the bible were true so he rewrote the New Testament a lot of people don't know this he wrote his own version of the New Testament and he deleted all of the miraculous occurrences of Jesus in the New Testament he only focused on the moral teachings of Jesus when he ended his New Testament it concludes the closing words are these there they lay Jesus and rolled a great stone at the mouth of the sepulcher and departed loose translation he died he was deader than a doornail and he's never coming back they closed the tomb it's over Thomas Jefferson like those two disciples had a past tense hope that's why Peter when he writes his epistle says we have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead so you're in the dead so your God is on the move your eyes aren't always right and your hope can become fragile here's the fourth principle your faith has different speeds you may not have known that your faith has different speeds for some of you your faith is fast for others of you your faith is really really slow listen to this Jesus said to them verse 25 oh foolish ones and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory so in the conversation they're talking to them and they're mentioning wives tale of a resurrection yeah some of these women went to the tomb early in the morning and but you know women they're so emotional they got tears in their eyes you can't really believe what they say they said they saw angels and I love how Jesus just kind of interrupts them and says oh foolish ones and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken that was their problem they believed in some of what the prophets have spoken but not all that the prophets have spoken we do this a lot with the bible we believe the parts we like in the bible we don't believe the parts that we don't like your faith can be fast your faith can be slow it has different speeds some are quick to believe some are slow to believe years ago my dad gave me a car from from the 60s he just gave it to me it had a four-cylinder engine it was so slow and I did everything to make it fast I put fuel additives in it I put a little overdrive system in it to gear it differently hoping that that would help it didn't help it didn't help I'll tell you what helped downhill helped with the wind helped that's the only time it got like normal speed other than that it was just really really slow some of you are slow to believe parts of the bible you love the parts where it promises you nice things where it promises you prosperity where it promises that God will bless you and care for you and protect you and give you financial help and peace and joy you love those parts but you're slow to believe what God says about sin you're slow to believe what God says about heaven or hell or marriage or divorce or his coming again now I don't know what speed your faith is this morning but maybe it has slowed down quite a bit from what it used to be in fact maybe today your faith we could say is at a standstill you need to know if you are slow to believe you're going to be slow to receive God's peace and joy and comfort and all those promises so your faith has different speeds so your God is on the move your eyes aren't always right your hope can become fragile and your faith has different speeds let me give you the fifth and final principle in relating to a risen Christ you ready for it your bible should give you heartburn yeah you heard me correct your bible should give you heartburn I'm going to finish out this little story verse 27 and beginning at Moses and all the prophets this is Jesus beginning at Moses and all the prophets he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself then they drew near to the village where they were going and he indicated that he would have gone farther but they constrained him saying abide with us for it is toward evening and the day is far spent and he went in to stay with them and it came to pass as he sat at the table with them he took bread blessed and broke it and gave it to them their eyes were opened and they knew him and then he vanished from their sight and they said to one another did not our heart burn within us while he talked with us on the road and while he opened the scriptures to us did not our heart burn within us while he talked with us on the road and while he opened the scriptures to us one translation says didn't we feel our hearts on fire when he spoke to us another translation our hearts were glowing when he talked to us you know we still talk in those terms today when a when a couple when they fall in love and and they start the dating and they get married and they're so in love we we say man they're they're they're they're they got the hots for each other right and then and then after a while when they sit at the table and they don't even pay attention to each other they're on their phones looking at that dumb little screen even though they're sitting right across from the other person they don't communicate anymore and we say their love has grown cold it's grown cold we say about a person who's who's walking closely with the lord he's on fire for the lord those are good descriptions i'm praying i'm praying we have been praying we walked through the entire stadium our pastors yesterday through every seat and prayed for every person here i'm praying that your hearts will get on fire for the lord that you will get spiritual heart burn from the word of god i'm praying for that that wraps up Skip heitzig's message from the series on the road find the full message as well as books booklets and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com now here's Skip to share how you can keep these messages coming your way to connect you and many others around the world with god's word you know the world doesn't understand christians and with good cause we're called to be set apart from the world while also living in it but sometimes we need encouragement and that's where this broadcast comes in we seek to equip and encourage friends like you in your walk with the lord and you can help keep these faith-building messages on the air here's how you can give a gift today visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift that's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888 thank you for your generosity next time on connect with Skip heitzig Skip returns to his series always only jesus and gives you insight on how to live in the light of heaven while you're on the surf connect with Skip heitner is a presentation of connection communications connecting you to god's never changing truth in ever-changing times
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-07 05:06:35 / 2023-04-07 05:15:21 / 9