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Despair to Proclamation (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
December 20, 2021 6:00 am

Despair to Proclamation (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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December 20, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 16:12-20)

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That's what happened with the disciples on the road to Emmaus.

He gave them something to think about, to develop, and to apply. That ain't easy, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law he meditates day and night because that's what it takes. That's what it takes to be used by God. Lord, I want you to honor me and use me to preach in all the world. I just don't want to know your word.

Well, that, of course, would be cr-a-zy. Let's join Pastor Rick in the Gospel of Mark chapter 16 as he begins his message, Despair to Proclamation. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart because they did not believe those who had seen him after he had risen. And he said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. These signs will follow those who believe in my name. They will cast out demons. They will speak with new tongues. They will take up serpents.

And if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them. They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.

Amen. Despair to Proclamation, that's where this is going. In this chapter, the Lord reveals himself to his apostles, having already revealed himself to other disciples. And he is going to, of course, as we just read, reprove their unwillingness to believe. But at the same time, he encourages them to go out and to preach. And he promises to back them up in doing that. Mark then finishes with this climactic beginning of the church and the rule of Christ beside the Father and showing him in sovereignty.

The servant is the ruler. That's how Mark will end his gospel. And then we go into the book of Acts and find out what happens after that. Looking at verse 12, there Mark writes, after that he appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. Now, of course, after that, metatauta in the Greek, very important when we get to the book of Revelation and we begin to talk about the rapture of the church happening at the beginning of the revelation of Antichrist. That Greek phrase, after this, after this, lines it all up for us. And we realize through just that section of Revelation, chapter 1 through 6, where it's metatauta in the Greek is used, we realize that the church is not here when Antichrist is revealed. And I say that because there are those that believe in the mid-tribulation stuff and I don't think the scripture supports that at all.

Anyway, that's a side note and I just give you that in case you want to go dig into it on your own. But that is the phrase Mark uses and what he is doing, he's connecting what he is saying here in verse 12 with what went on in verse 11. And when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

After that, he keeps the sequence going. And so, before they saw him risen, the apostles, the twelve, well, minus Judas, of course, and in this first appearance of Christ, Thomas was not there. And it looks like Peter wasn't there also, depending on how you interpret Luke's Gospel 24, but I'll come to that in a moment. Anyway, they were paralyzed in unbelief because they did not believe, they were afraid, they weren't doing anything except being afraid.

Fear kills every other feeling, but not love, not agape love, unless you allow it to. He appeared in another form, it says in verse 12. He never looked the same after the resurrection.

There were changes. Paul makes this little note, he says, even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him thus no longer. Things have changed and this would explain why they didn't recognize him on the road to Emmaus, why they didn't recognize him on the shore of Galilee, and why it says he appeared in another form. And however much they saw him, there's always more to him. However much you learn about Jesus Christ, there's more to him. And if you can know everything there is to know about God, then he's not big enough to be your God.

What makes God so wonderful and worthy of our worship is he's beyond us forever, and yet we can receive enough of him to enjoy friendship with God. To two of them as they walked and went into the country at the bottom of verse 12. Now Mark is going to condense much of his story about the resurrection. Luke gives us more details about that one clause in Luke chapter 24 verses 13 through 32. And there are the two disciples going to this town of Emmaus and Christ joins them and they realize it is the Christ and they turn around and they go back to Jerusalem. It's a 14-mile round trip, Luke 24 verse 13.

Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they will make it to Emmaus, they will sit down with the Lord, and then they realize it's him and they come back to tell verse 13. And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. And of course, this is something that Christ is not going to give them a complete pass on. He's going to reprove them, but he's going to also encourage them.

He's not going to humiliate them or slam them, but he is going to send this message to them and to all after them. I am paying attention to faith. I am paying attention to those who are reluctant to believe in spite of the witness and those who are not.

It kind of reminds us of checking his list and checking it twice to see who's naughty or nice. And for some of you older Christians, you may still believe in Santa Claus and we'll talk about that later. Anyway, verse 13. And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them as I read.

Now the rest, I believe, are the nine. Initially, Peter and Thomas were absent because in Luke 24, verse 34, Luke says that these two come back from Emmaus saying, the Lord is risen indeed and has appeared to Simon. Well, if they're going to tell the apostles that he's appeared to Simon, evidently Simon's not there to tell me I saw him. Well, some of the Bible, and many good Bible translators, not as good as me, of course, because they lack the humility.

And I always point that out because it's a big thing with me to be more humble than anybody else. Well, anyway, some of the commentators will say, well, no, that's no longer the two from Emmaus speaking, that's now the disciples telling the two from Emmaus. And I don't buy it. I think that the antecedents don't line up their way, my way is better.

And there's a few on my side, too, so I'm not alone. Anyway, these two come back and they tell the nine. Thomas being the missing man and the last of the 12 apostles to see the risen Lord.

No slide on, Thomas. How many lessons are in that? Maybe your timing has been off at some point in your walk. Maybe you weren't where you were supposed to be and you missed out. And Christ says, I know you missed that one out, but I've got more stuff for you anyway because there's a lot to be done. And the Lord is looking for those who can assist him in getting it done. Well, it would have been a crime to walk to Emmaus with the Christ and find out it is him and not tell anybody. Imagine if they just went to bed. It's like, wow, the Lord has risen.

I'll see you tomorrow. The Christian life is to be a proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is the Christian life. And all that lines up after that, your job, wherever you work in the world, it's logistical to preaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You have to eat. You have to sleep. You have to have shelter and clothing and aren't we glad?

And so to get these things, you need a job. And once these things are in place, we can preach the gospel to the people we live with. Now, anyway, we get that. 1 Corinthians 11, verse 26, we do this at the communion. Every time I administer the communion, and I use 1 Corinthians 11 mostly, I try to read this verse. In fact, I do read this verse every time.

And here it comes. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till he returns. That's the risen Lord. The Christian life is to be a proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

And Paul is saying, when we as a body gather to celebrate his dealing with our sin through his death, we do it so that we can also preach that we know he rose again and man is accountable to him. And this is found nowhere else on earth. It's not found in the stars. The gospel message is not in the stars. It is in the Bible. It is in the word of God. Yeah, there are truths concerning God in creation, of course. You cannot dispute that there is a God saying with any sanity by, again, looking at the stars and saying, well, they just happened. One time, though, to give the evolutionists some fair play, one time I threw a box of Legos up in the air and it came down altogether. All the pieces were just, it was a little car. So, okay, yeah.

Yeah, that didn't happen. Anyway, one of the things that the evolutionists will be dealt with with God is dishonesty. Just being dishonest.

Just so determined to bake God out of creation that they resort to dishonesty. And the stuff with Carl Sagan, the pagan, you know, well, we're looking to the alien life. If there were aliens visiting earth, we would know it.

You know why? We'd all be in straitjackets. If they had the technology to do that, they'd, anyway, all right, I'm warmed up now. Anyway, the world around us, it is drunk with Satan's leadership and it doesn't even know it. We oppose this leadership.

Well, they know that part. They just don't know the names that belong to what we are rebelling against from their perspective, as we point out that they're rebelling against God. We're not at war with lost souls.

We are at war with the foolish lies they have fallen for. And if we could stand beside ourselves before we were saved, we would be at war with ourselves. I mean, if I met the old me walking down the street, I'd say, man, you're pretty good looking.

Wait till you get to be older and in the pulpit. Anyway, I would say he was a fool lost in his sins and prayed that I would have a chance to share Christ. It says here in verse 13, but they did not believe them either. These guys were on a roll. Well, again, their hearts were broken.

I mean, this was more than just a mental thing. This was emotional for them. They loved Jesus so much, walked with him, and then in seemingly just hours, he's arrested and murdered in front of everybody.

He's gone. And they just couldn't recover easily from this. And so we read, but they did not believe them either. When tragedy strikes, belief can crumble into despair very quickly.

It had been only a weekend. For some of us, sometimes tragedy strikes, and it's for years, the remainder of the life. And yet we are still required to have faith. Again, Luke's Gospel, chapter 24, it says about them at this moment, and their words when they were hearing the testimony that Christ was risen from the women, and their words seemed to be like an idle tale, and they did not believe them.

It was too good to be true. And God wants his people to love, and he wants them to trust through the word, through the truth, through the testimonies, in pain or out of pain, we're supposed to believe. What do you think, pastors always come to the pulpit jolly? You think they don't have a life? They don't have problems with children? They don't have problems with just other things in life? I've been in the pulpit, not recently, but I have been at times just depressed, duking it out and winning.

You know, in season and out of season has a broad application. And anyway, reminder to Christians who place priority over the word with song or works or sensationalism or ritual and on it can go. Jesus did not expound when he met those two disciples on the road to Emmaus. He did not sing them a song.

He did not talk to them about ritual. Well, you've got to, you know, light this candle and put it just over here to the east. What did Jesus expound on with his disciples once he was risen? The word. Luke's Gospel 24 verse 27, And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. So he dealt with prophecy, prophecy fulfilled, application of the prophecy. I mean, what good is it if you know that you have an end time scenario and you do nothing with it? I mean, we don't learn these things so we can just go home and say, boy, that was really nice. It's tempting. I mean, I love reading sermons from the old pastors, but I have to do something with it.

It's not just, boy, that was like, you know, watching a play or something. It usually turns into work, scribbling notes, and it's not as enjoyable as it is just, I mean, I could probably read War and Peace in an hour, but it's exaggeration. But, of course, when I come to a Bible material, I can't read it because I'm busy. Boy, this is a plan.

I don't want to forget this. Thank you, Lord, and on it. And maybe you're the same way. Or maybe you just hear someone else preaching. It's okay if you have the same, you know, boy, I just keep pausing it so I can think about that, write it down. There are bookworms and there are tapeworms.

It's okay to be one or the other. Anyway, the age of the apostles was accompanied by miracles for a long part of that. But because of their work, because of the signs and wonders that followed their work, we now have the truth in written form.

Now, that does not mean, I'm not saying I do not believe in the gifts, the signs and wonders, but it does mean that it is not like it was, and we covered this last session, as it was in the days of the apostles. Physical miracles are not as widespread presently as they were in biblical times. Since we are now in the age of truth by faith through grace, the Word is the dominant vehicle. There are other vehicles, but Scripture is by far dominant. Remember, Pharaoh, he saw signs and wonders and he still did not believe. Deuteronomy 26 verse 8, So Yahweh brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.

Well, this has to do what we're talking about, does it not? Because Jesus is going to use signs and wonders in the early church to establish the church. But He gives them something to think about through Scripture. That's what happened with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. He gave them something to think about, to develop, and to apply.

That ain't easy. But His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law He meditates day and night because that's what it takes. That's what it takes to be used by God. Should we say, Lord, I want you to honor me and use me to preach in all the world, I just don't want to know your word.

Well, that of course would be crazy. Verse 14, So He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table, and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. He wanted them to believe the preaching.

And He didn't say to Mary, Okay, you've seen Me, now I'm going to give you a sign and wonder to take back so they'll believe Me. Mark, again, condensing the appearances of Christ, Peter and Thomas present at some point, and this is, I think, verse 14 would have that. He materialized in their midst. He ate food.

He demonstrated that His body was real, but that it could also vanish, that there were physical laws in place, but there were also other laws in place, and He had mastered them. Where He rebukes them here, their unbelief, but love must rebuke what is wrong in order to restore and to preserve and to advance in situations like this. If you have a child and the child is doing something that is wrong and harmful, that child must be rebuked, dealt with. I mean, it doesn't have to be harsh.

Some children are very responsive to it. You know, don't do that. I'm good. My father could just look in my direction.

It would all stop until he went away and I could go back at it. Anyway, this is part of our faith as Christians. Galatians 6, Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. That's a verse that every Christian should memorize. Every Christian should look to apply that.

Instead of walking around a microscope, instead of trying to take beams out of people's eyes, it's easier to spot a beam and take it out of someone else's eye than to get the mote out of your own. Despair hardened their hearts. That's why they did not believe.

What a lesson. I don't want to hear this when I'm in a state of despair. When I'm in a state of despair, I just want relief from whatever is causing me this lack of faith. But that's not how it works.

Not all the time. I have to remember, okay, I'm supposed to endure. Take the pain. Despair hardened their hearts. Lesson for me, scripture warms the hearts. Again, Luke's Gospel 24, verse 32. And they said to one another, this is the two again on the road to Emmaus, after they realized Christ had been with them, did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the scriptures to us.

Interesting point. Their hearts were burning as He was giving them lessons on scripture, even though they still thought He was dead. That's the power of the Word of God.

It warmed their hearts in the midst of their grief. And then when they realized it, they put it all together. And that's where victories are.

And that's where I want to be. Verse 15. And He said to them, go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.

Now, not like some of the history. He's not talking about going and preaching to ants or, you know, mosquitoes. Who wants to preach to mosquitoes? Just, anyway. Clearly, where He says to them, go into all the world, this is the church age because it was physically impossible for the 12 to go throughout the whole world.

This is looking down the telescope. Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. Well, we're not supposed to be separatists, isolationists, spiritual hermits, living in monasteries. I mean, when they first started monasteries, they were, you know, they did have a plan. It was not intended to be what monasteries became. But anyway, we're not there now.

We're not supposed to be isolated from the world. We are supposed to seek and engage as the Spirit gives opportunity. Philippians chapter 2, verse 15. I love reading these verses. This is one of the bonuses of preaching. The not so bonuses of preaching is when you mess up. You know, God gets all the credit for the good stuff. And I get all the credit for the bad stuff.

Anyway, that's the contract. Verse 15 of Philippians 2, that you may become blameless and harmless children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life. How profound is that? How many that name praise don't want to hear that?

The Christian life is to be dominated by truth through the word. Where else are you going to get it from? God has not entrusted Christianity to sky writing.

What are you going to do today? Oh, here comes a plane. I'll read what it says. It's from God. The Church Age is one of faith by truth, not by sight. Before the Church Age, Israel was the primary mission field. Thanks for tuning in to Cross-Reference Radio for this study in the book of Mark. Cross-Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, crossreferenceradio.com. Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross-Reference Radio. You can search for Cross-Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of Mark, just like here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-07 09:44:33 / 2023-07-07 09:53:53 / 9

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