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Despair to Proclamation (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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December 22, 2021 6:00 am

Despair to Proclamation (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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December 22, 2021 6:00 am

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

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I understand that hysterical abuse within churches and amongst some Christians concerning miraculous things in tongues are enough to sicken us sometimes.

It's like, you know, that's just crazy. That is not scripture. And the Lord says he gives the Spirit to those who are obedient.

Many times someone claims to speak in tongues and there's nothing else going on with their life. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Mark.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick with the conclusion of his message, Despair to Proclamation in Mark Chapter 16. I will also point out, you know, the early church met in homes not by choice, by necessity. They had a choice. They had to meet. They would have loved to have been able to meet like the synagogues. When Paul gave so many instructions to the church, it was built on what the synagogues were doing, because it was a sensible thing. He gets to the Hall of Tyrrhenius and he begins to, again, you know, have service in a more formal environment than in someone's home. Today, if you have a Bible study in someone's home and the church starts to grow to beyond four people with kids, you'll learn real quick, this home thing's not a good idea.

It doesn't work well for anybody. Just gauging what you think about that by looking at you. Anyway, these early chapters of Acts is where I am, a transitional period. The church transitioned from the home to the public arena, and it's a good thing. Of course, the Caesars outlawed the church, stopped it from doing that at times, and it's not only the Caesars.

Even to this day, there are places where the church cannot assemble. Anyway, in my name, they will cast out demons. Well, it is true that when you share the gospel with someone and they convert to Christianity, you just cast out a heavy demonic influence. 1 John chapter 3, verse 8, for this purpose the Son of Man was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil. And preaching the Word of God does that. Thus, the emphasis on the Word of God, thus the attacks by Satan on the Word of God.

And be it through a direct attack on the Bible, as we saw in Genesis chapter 3, attacking God's Word, or as we see in the universities and other forums, and also in the individual heart. In my name, they will cast out demons. They will speak with new tongues. What's a new tongue? You know, when the Lord spoke these words to them, tongues as we know it, they didn't know it. They didn't know what that deostatic tongue to praise God in a spiritual language.

They did not have that knowledge. When their first encounter with tongues is speaking praises to God in their language being received by people with a foreign language. And we'll cover that in Acts chapter 2. Tongues can mean various languages.

It can mean spiritual language. Acts chapter 10, when Peter's preaching in the house of Cornelius, you know, the Holy Spirit interrupted his sermon. They began to speak in tongues, and Peter said they need to be baptized with water. Having been baptized with the Spirit in that situation, God used the subject of tongues in the church even as a warning sign to unbelieving Jews. You see, in Isaiah 28, Isaiah writes, for with stammering lips and another tongue, he will speak to his people. Well, originally, Isaiah meant the Assyrian tongue. The Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom, and he said, there's a judgment coming.

That tongue was not a blessing in that case. It was a curse, but over 700 years, here comes Paul. And Paul is going to quote this verse from Isaiah, and the Holy Spirit gives him an application for the church. 1 Corinthians 14, verse 21. In the law it is written, with men of other tongues and other lips, I will speak to this people.

Now he's quoting Isaiah. And yet, for all that, they will not hear me, says the Lord. Therefore, tongues are for a sign to those who believe, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers. That usage of the tongue, it is a warning that there's something spiritual going on, and they insist on remaining outside of that spiritual source for the tongues. So again, Paul's quotation of Isaiah 28 in 1 Corinthians 14 is a reminder that unknown tongues are not always God's ministry of ecstasy in the heart of a believer, but can also be used in judgment. And we have it today where, you know, Christians hear the word tongues. They automatically think of this ecstatic speech of praising the Lord, and that's it. And sometimes you feel like when you're using scripture with people like that, there's a war going on between the two. One just wants to be hysterical. And the other one is trying to do all things orderly before the Lord.

And why would anybody want to resist that? Well, people do. People come into a church, and the church has established order and policies, and people think that I'm the exception.

And I get very defensive of the ushers and the children's workers, for example, because I don't like when they're put in a position where they got to tell somebody something that the person's going to cause, you know, a little scuffle with, verbal or, you know, well, verbal, of course. It doesn't usually get much more than that. You have to go to Brooklyn for that. But anyway, it doesn't get that way there. Not all believers in every age would see sensational signs, as we have in the age of the apostles. Most of us hear the gospel and believe. How many folks see a miracle, then become a believer nowadays?

Well, I don't think that many. So Paul writes, so then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God. No emphasis on the signs and wonders.

Not to reduce their value or the participation of God. Scripture does not say that signs will cease. There are many that, again, think that they stopped with the apostles. Once we have the written word, there's no need for any more signs and wonders.

Well, wait a minute now. What about in those places where there are no Bibles? What about North Korea? What about amongst people who are illiterate? At one point in church history, people were using stained glass to learn theology, because they were illiterate.

They'd have to go, you know, they work in the fields and farms, and they didn't have all the things that we enjoy. So let's be careful before we say, oh, there are no more signs and wonders. But let's also not say, I'm expecting one. The sign of wonder for me is when I drive home and there's no one else on the road. That is a miracle, and I rejoice all the way home. Anyway, I think that those who say, well, the Gospel of Mark stops at verse 8 in fear, I think they're driven because they don't want to face the signs and wonders still exist in the church, and they want to try to dismiss it. I understand that hysterical abuse within churches and amongst some Christians concerning miraculous things in tongues are enough to sicken us sometimes.

It's like, you know, that's just crazy. That is not scripture. And the Lord says he gives the Spirit to those who are obedient, and many times someone claims to speak in tongues, and there's nothing else going on with their life. And so let's just be careful not to throw it all away because of abuses.

First Corinthians 13, 13, and now abide in faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love. He sure is. It's not always made easy for us, is it? You know, you ask yourself, do I make it easy for others to love me, you know, put an adorable face on? I don't know.

I'm sure I don't. Anyway, verse 18, 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. Well, let's talk about snake handlers just for a moment. You think they would try to first overcome headaches or heartburn before going on to, you know, vipers. You know, just get a headache and try to beat it by faith and find out how hard that is.

Or heartburn or just a whole host of things. Why do they skip those steps and go to the really, because, well, it says snakes, you know. That is not the whole idea. Yeah, we see it in the book of Acts.

We see that Paul gets bitten by a viper, and there's nothing negative that happens to him because of it. But why don't they see it as tempting God? I'm going to pass around something very deadly. Why don't they do that with a revolver? Just take out all the bullets except one, and just, you know, rush and roulette through the congregation.

It's the same thing. This is to prove that God, we have faith. This is the devil that's doing this to people. Who wants to go to that church? If I accidentally went to that church, it would take, as soon as I saw the snake cage, that'd be it for me, I'd be halfway down the road.

It could be spiders. It could be anything crazy. Anyway, Jesus said unto them, it is written again, you shall not tempt the Lord your God. You know, jump off the building. Let's see if you're going to survive because of God.

Get bit by a viper to see if you're going to get sick and die. Misguided people claim that these are signs from God, and they have died doing it to no glory to God. Just a shaking of the head, a sad family left behind, and of course, what do they always do? They've been, well, they didn't have enough faith. How convenient. No doubt, again, God has performed many wonders for his own. In fact, many wonders that we never hear about. You know, God is not, well, I'm going to send a memo out every time I do something for somebody. I like what Paul writes to the Thessalonians in this connection. I like all that he writes to the Thessalonians, especially the one he says, well, if a man doesn't eat, if a man doesn't work, he doesn't get to eat. That's pretty intense.

That's like a death sentence on laziness. All right, maybe you're not with me on that one. Maybe you think it's not in there. I don't know, but how do you mooch off of people and claim Christ and ignore a verse like that?

That's pretty intense. So subtle, right? First Thessalonians chapter two, for this reason, we also thank God without ceasing because when you receive the word of God, which you heard from us, you welcomed it. Not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. I like to point out when the church of Thessalonica was, the church of Thessalonica was started by two people who were just beat up for Christ. When Paul and Silas arrived in Thessalonica, they still got the marks on their back from Philippi, from the caning, and they hear the truth, and instead of saying, well, if that's what your faith got you, I think I'll pass.

Many of these people turn from idols and they come to Jesus Christ, and Paul writes to them early on hearing that their faith is staying strong, and he's saying it is word-centered. Your faith is based in scripture. The signs and wonders you guys got were two men beaten for Christ.

How profound is that? These are the things that are supposed to make us think and not just let our feelings take over our theology. We have every reason to believe that the remaining apostles that aren't named after, you know, the book of Acts, we have every reason to believe that they did some miraculous works too. The Holy Spirit, evidently, the evidence is clear, he felt it best to confine whatever they did to unrecorded history, and we're good with that.

Well, I was going to talk about the cessationists, you know, those who believe the gifts have ceased. The best I can find is the Reformers, Calvin men like that, they're the ones that really started pushing it, and yet Martin Luther, Martin Luther was a man's man. He was a tough guy, as opposed to some of the others. A lot of the Reformers, I mean, John Knox, you wouldn't want to get a fistfight with John Knox.

He was a bodyguard before he became, I mean, he was rowing on a slave galley, and he took the idol of a priest, he threw it into the water, he said, there's your idol, go get it. Anyway, these were, my point is these men were just not these, you know, starry-eyed men. Their lives were in jeopardy for preaching the gospel, and they stood before people who had the power to kill them, and they stood up for it.

And Martin Luther, though I don't agree with everything on Martin Luther, terrible haircut, but I'm saying, I mean, you look at a picture and you say, wow, where'd he buy that hat? Martin Luther, you know, he said, you know, if God wants to do signs and wonders, he's going to do them. And I'm paraphrasing, we have no right to say God can't do signs and wonders, even though they're not really necessary in many places in Western civilization because you have the truth being preached. I believe in the speaking of tongues, as the scripture has directed, we've had to block it out in modern day assemblies because people have abused it, and they will abuse it, and so we've taken that option out and say, well, you know what? You can speak tongues in your own home, nobody's stopping you. You can pray in your own home. You can pray in the closet, you can pray out the closet. You can pray with green eggs and ham, well, you can pray, okay. It just, you know, we're in the age of grace, lighten up, no.

Satan gets to do signs, lying signs and wonders, why can't God? You know, Paul warns the church in the second Thessalonian letter that Antichrist is going to be doing lying signs and wonders, and people are going to be gobbling it up, gobbling it up now to a lesser sense. Again, I mentioned the other day about reading the comments on anything you watch on the internet now because everybody's an authority. The comments just are like an x-ray on what's happening in our culture. Just look at these comments and say, boy, these are some mean people, dumb people. Sometimes they're funny.

Boy, that guy's pretty clever, but it depends on the material. I never go to Christian sites. I don't want to hear it, no, it's just a conflict, an argument, oh, that's brutal.

Maybe you like that stuff. So then, verse 19, after the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. I mean, it's just so, that's the gospel. It doesn't end again at verse 8, and they all were afraid, the end. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ. He on the throne. There's an interval of time between verse 19 and what has preceded in verse 18 forward. You know, there's a 40-day period of Christ showing himself to his disciples. There he is on the throne.

What is he doing? Well, through the cross, the intercession is established. He doesn't have to say a word to intercede for us. His deeds have done that, and yet he is on, well, Hebrews 10, we find him, the servant ruler, waiting, Hebrews 10, verse 12, but this man, that is the Christ, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, that means he is never going to suffer again for our sins, contrary to Roman Catholicism, sat down at the right hand of God, that is on the throne, as the son of God, and he continues in Hebrews, verse 13 of chapter 10, from that time, waiting till his enemies are made his footstool. Well, one part of you says, Lord, can you do that today? There's some enemies that I really don't like, and I would love to see you just deal with them, but then, the Holy Spirit says, come on, his soul is still to be saved.

We don't want the curtain to close yet. We need them all to get into the ark, as long as it takes, and God knows what that is. Verse 20, and they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs, amen. As a robust matter of fact, not, oh, incidentally and also, but that is a matter, that is fact.

You can drive a train over this and it won't collapse, is the idea behind that, amen. He commanded them to go out, and so now the mark is saying, and that's what they did, they complied. There they are, they went out and preached everywhere.

What did they do? They did singing everywhere? Well, singing is part of it, nothing wrong with that, depends on who's singing, and you know it's true. I don't mean the person next to you so much as the person leading it.

The person next to you can be terrible, and the person leading it makes up for it, but when the leader is really bad, it can hurt, and then you need the gift of healing. So back to this, the risen Christ has entrusted us to continue preaching. Most churches don't need more teachers, except in the children's ministry. I think every church on earth has a need for children's workers, every single church. The goal is still to have a waiting list to get in the children's ministry. We've not yet achieved that. There is a sign-on bonus, incidentally.

You get a free trip to Hawaii, well, you get one free, all expenses paid by you. Sorry, the world needs preaching, not the church. The church needs teaching. The world needs preaching.

The church needs some preaching, too, but the world needs this. Acts chapter 5, and we are his witnesses, said the apostles, to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him, and there it is. Some will claim that they have gifts, but they are disobedient, and it's clear, and Christ says, well, you know, there's that quest for obedience that comes along with the blessings of the gifts, and you say, well, I fail sometimes.

Yeah, but you have that quest for obedience, which is radical. Confirming the word, not confirming the signs. The signs are there, pointing to the word, validating their origin and opposition to false signs and false wonders. You know, God's answer to sin is death, and his answer to death is the resurrection. The resurrection is not something, it is everything. We have no faith without it, as made clear by Paul. Your faith is in vain if there is no resurrection, and it is to be preached, and I encourage you in the workplace to preach a risen Christ. Through the accompanying signs, amen, he says, a climactic beginning to the church from despair when we first opened up this morning to this call to proclaim the truth.

Believers, believing without seeing, the truth received. What a sign, 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 8, I'm almost done incidentally. Peter says, whom having not seen you love, though now you do not see him, yet believing you rejoice with joy inexpressible, full of glory. So imagine being Peter, you go to a church, you're invited to a church somewhere in Asia Minor, and you stand in there and you meet all of these new, these other believers are there. Oh, Peter's here. And, you know, we're going to sing, Peter, before we ask you to speak, and they're singing praises to the Lord, and Peter is saying, look at these people. They're singing with the same zeal that I have, and they never met Christ. I have met Christ.

How does that happen? How do they match my zeal without matching my experience? The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes Christ real to all of us. Had you known me before I knew Christ, you would stand and say, that's a sign and a wonder.

And you can say that about yourself, some of you, or others. We'll close with two verses. Deuteronomy 13 verses 1 through 3, if there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, let us go after other gods which you have not known, and let us serve them. You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for Yahweh your God is testing you to know whether you love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul. He then says that guy needs to get stoned, but that's not how we do it anymore.

I know, sad face. But I will close with this. This is for the New Testament. This is that verse in Deuteronomy 13 applied in the New Testament.

I want to read it. This is a verse worth memorizing, but I want you to know I'm not ad libbing or just speaking extemporaneously, but I am actually reading it from the scripture. I charge you, therefore, before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who would judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom, preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching, for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will pile up for themselves, teachers.

They will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables, but you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 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, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-06 12:02:00 / 2023-07-06 12:11:48 / 10

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