Greetings, friends and new listeners. Welcome to this program of the Archie Hardy Ministries.
I'm Sharon Knotts, and I'm so glad you joined us today because we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. And I'll be bringing you today's message, Hold on to Hope. Personal experience has taught me that there is no lower pit than the pit of despair and hopelessness. Now, technically and literally, Christians are never without hope.
But we can allow severe circumstances to rob us of hope and plunge us into this desperate pit. This message today will tell you why and how to hold on to hope. Hallelujah.
It's all about Jesus. Glory to God. Well, we're going to have a semi-illustrated sermon tonight, and I don't know, depending on how the weather acts, we might really have an illustrated sermon tonight.
We'll just have to wait and see what happens. But we know that the Lord controls the storms, so we believe it's going to pass on by. Amen. I got on this lapel mic, so let your angels be around, Lord.
I don't know if it makes a difference when the lightning crashes. Amen. If you have your Bibles, let's open up to the 24th chapter of Luke. We're going to be looking at this chapter. Basically, my sermon text is going to be from this chapter, 24 out of the Book of Luke. And we'll begin in verse 13. And this is post-resurrection, as you will see as we get into the Scriptures. But I'll just preface it by saying that it is three days from the time they crucified Jesus. And most of you probably are familiar with this story, but we're going to read it just in case you may have forgotten some of the details, because there's a lot of little good details in here. And I know I forgot some of them, so you probably have too.
So we want to make sure we look at them closer. Let's begin in verse 13. And behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about three score furlongs. Okay, I'll interpret that.
Seven miles. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass that while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself, somebody say Jesus himself, drew near and went with them. So now we went from a duet to a trio, but their eyes were holding or their eyes were or such that they could not know him. They didn't recognize him in other words. And he said unto them, what manner of communications are these that you have one to another as you walk and are sad?
Somebody say they were sad. And the one of them whose name was Cleopas answering said unto him, aren't thou only a stranger in Jerusalem and has not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, what things? And they said unto him, concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty indeed and word before God and all the people and how the chief priest and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel. And beside all this today is the third day since these things were done.
We'll stop here for a moment and let's just look at what we have. We have two disciples of Christ. One's named Cleopas. The other one's not named. Most Bible scholars believe it was Luke, the author of the book. So we're just going to say for argument's sake because I hate to say the other person, Luke. Okay. So we have Cleopas and Luke and they're on the road to Emmaus.
They've left Jerusalem. They're walking to Emmaus, a town that's seven miles away. And that's a pretty good little walk for us because we're lazy and we like to get in cars.
Okay. But they didn't have automobiles back then. So that was just probably an ordinary walk for them.
So here they are. They left to go to the town of Emmaus and seven miles though, it's a pretty good length of time. You can get in a good conversation seven miles. I don't know how long it would take them, but they had plenty of time to talk. And the more they talked, the sadder they got. And the more they talk, the more doubt, unbelief, discouragement and forlorn they became. And apparently their situation had become so dire that the Lord himself came alongside to minister to them. He realized that their faith was on the line and they were about to drop off on the wrong side. And so the more they talked, the more discouraged they became because how many know when you're discouraged and you're walking along with somebody else who's discouraged, you just feed one another and you just get worse and worse.
And that's why we always want to be around people that are of good courage, especially for discouraged. But here they were, one was sad and the other one was sadder. So here comes Jesus along and they didn't even recognize him.
And that was for a purpose. And they didn't know who he was. And apparently they were so lost in their thoughts and their sad bad news and they were so down, they're probably looking down at their feet and shaking their head and just talking and going around and around the same old story and getting sadder all the time. Now here comes Jesus and he says, why are you so sad? Now he didn't ask them that because he didn't know what was going on, but he was trying to interject into this, this situation where they are allowing themselves that they were just allowing themselves to beat up on themselves and beat up on one another. And of course, you know, the devil was right there on the shoulder, what they didn't think of, the other one thought of and what they didn't think of the devil did. And so here they are and they said, why are you so sad? And Cleopas looks around at him and he said, what? Let me, let me say it the way you probably would say it today. He said, are you a stranger here in Jerusalem?
But probably today would have said, what planet are you from? Amen. Where have you been? I mean, where have you been? You mean to tell me you haven't heard what's happened in the last three days. You must be a stranger. And I don't know how, considering the fact that they didn't have airplanes and cars, you could have got in this area that soon and not know what's happened in the last three days. It's not like he just flew in from Paris.
Amen. He said, man, don't you read the newspapers? It's on the front page of the Jerusalem post. It's the headline story on CNN.
And you asked me what's going on. It's all that anybody has talked about since Passover. And we know what happened to Passover. The city of Jerusalem was busting out at scenes. Every hotel, motel in and bed and breakfast was full up.
No vacancies because everybody would have had to come to Jerusalem for the Passover. So, you know, when the city would be like, what happened here? I'll tell you the best way I can try to put you in the mindset we need to go to is if you would have been in New York City on 9-11. All those people there from all kinds of backgrounds, different nationalities, different cultures, all in that melting pot of the Big Apple, New York, and 9-11 hit. Now, what if you would have, you know, and you couldn't watch one TV station, I don't care if it was Fox, CNN, ABC, anybody that you didn't see the same thing over and over again.
All your newspapers, all anybody talked about for days and days and days. What would you have thought if somebody would have said, hey, what's wrong? What's up? What's the matter?
What's the problem? You would have had to been from the jungles of Ecuador. That's the only way you could have not known what happened because I understand there's still some people in the jungles of Ecuador that are still, you know, not connected to civilization. So here they were, they said, you've been a stranger and you don't know what's happened.
And Jesus just went right along with his little plan. He said, what things? Well, by now they're stopped looking at their feet at least. At least they're looking up to see who is this guy?
What do you mean what things? And you notice Jesus did not explain himself. He still did not reveal himself. They still did not understand who he was, but he pressed them a little bit more. He wanted them to come out and say what the problem was.
Amen. He wanted them to respond in their own words, what they were feeling and what they were going through. He wasn't looking for facts. He knew the facts. He was the fact.
Amen. He wanted them to give them in their own words, the feelings that they were having so that he could minister to them because they were on the point of throwing away their faith. That's exactly where they were. So he wanted to minister to them and he knew that their faith was about to fail them and he wanted them to confront their doubt, their unbelief and their discouragement head on. Now a lot of people don't want to do that, but you never ever have to be afraid of confronting your doubt when Jesus is walking by your side.
You never have to be afraid of looking at that problem no matter how dire it is right in the face when Jesus is walking alongside you. And so there he was walking alongside him and they proceeded then to give him some information. They said, we're talking about Jesus of Nazareth. And then they went on to tell him he was a prophet, mighty in word and deed, just like it was said he would be.
He not only preached, remember they would go around saying, never a man spake like this. And some said he's got a devil in him. And somebody else said, how can a man that opens up the blind eyes have a devil in him? And the blind man himself, when they said, how did he do this? He's just a sinner. He said, I don't know, but I know I've never heard of a sinner opening up blind eyes before. And so they said he was a man, mighty in word and mighty in deed before God and all the people. But he said some of our rulers and the chief rulers of the synagogue, they hated him.
They rejected him. And so they grabbed him and they delivered him to be condemned to death and they had him crucified. And here's what I want you to look at again, that last verse where I stopped verse 21, but we trusted that it had been him, that it had been he, which should have redeemed Israel. Now the word trust in the Greek is LPs. And you've heard this word before, only you've heard it under the message hope. How many know the message about believing against hope and what hope means?
It's the same Greek word. Here it says trust, many other verses in the New Testament, it says hope. So we're going to use the word hope because most of the time it is translated hope, where most of the time trust is from the word pistis for faith. But here the word trust is not pistis faith, it's LPs hope. Aren't you glad I told you all that?
Okay, this is all I want you to know. This is basically what he said, but we had hoped, somebody said they had hoped, they had hoped that he was the one, the one who would redeem Israel. You see, they said we had hoped, but we had hoped that he was the one, that he was the Redeemer, that he was the Savior, that he was the Messiah, that he was the Christ, that he was that one that Moses said God will raise up a prophet like me, and he'll gather all the people to himself. They had hoped that he was the one that Isaiah prophesied and said God is going to send Emmanuel, God with you, and his name is going to be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Sar Shalom, the Prince of Peace, the one that Isaiah said God is going to give him to be a light unto the Gentiles and to bring salvation to the ends of the world. They said we had hoped that he was the one. John the Baptist came on the scene and he said, that's what he told us, he said here's the true light, the light of every man. Here he is, I'm not the one, I'm just the one pointing to him, but he's the true light, he's the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and they said we thought that he was the one. And then when we saw him going around healing the sick, when we saw him opening up blind eyes, when we saw him healing cripples that were hopelessly crippled from their mother's womb, when we saw him cleansing the lepers, and my God we were there on that day that he stood outside on that tomb where Lazarus had been buried for four long stinking days and said Lazarus come forth, and we were there.
How do we know? They might have been the ones that rolled the stone away. The Bible doesn't name who they were, but whoever they were, they had faith, amen, they could have said I didn't sign up for this job, I ain't hurting my back rolling this big stone away, and I don't, I know that guy's going to stink when we open that stone away, but no, they took part of that miracle, they obediently rolled that stone away. So he said we were there, and we believed it, we believed that he was the one, the light of the world, but now he's dead, and so is our hope.
Is that what they said? And now it's been three days, and we thought that he would be the one to redeem Israel, and the word redeem there in the Greek means, I want you to pay attention to this because actually they were talking the right thing, they just weren't believing the right thing. The word redeem means to release by payment of a price, to fulfill the Old Testament obligation of kinsman redeemer.
They were speaking the very right thing. They were saying we thought that he was the one that was going to come and pay the price. We thought he was going to be the one to come and pay the ransom to set us free, to get us out of bondage. We thought he was going to be our kinsman redeemer.
That's what they said. They were talking right, but they didn't realize that's exactly what Jesus did on the cross. Peter said you weren't redeemed with such corruptible things as with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of the Lamb of God, without spot and without blemish.
The saints in Revelation sing a new song and they say he has redeemed us by his blood. Paul said he took the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, all the accusations that said guilty, guilty, guilty, and what did he do? He nailed them to his cross and then he didn't stop there.
He blotted them out with his blood and he didn't stop there. He triumphed over all the principalities and the powers and he said you no longer have any authority to accuse them. I know that you're called the accuser of the brethren, but you have no authority to accuse them because I have nailed every accusation to my cross. They were talking right, but they weren't believing. They were speaking the very words, but they didn't know what they were saying.
Let's read on. It's now been three days and we're in verse 22. Jesus still hasn't bothered to interject and set them straight.
He just wants to let them talk on, see what all else they're going to say. Get all the doubt and unbelief out so we can deal with it at one time and shut the devil up and get rid of all the lies. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulcher and when they found not his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, which had said that he was alive. Now they obviously didn't believe it or they wouldn't be so sad and certain of them which were with us went to the sepulcher and found that it was even like the women said, but him they saw not.
So here they are, their sad story. They said, we were astonished. You know, we're going through all this trauma. They crucified Jesus. They put him in where we don't know what we're going to do.
We thought he was the one. What are we going to do from now? We may as well disband the church. We may as well all go back to fishing and tax collecting and, and everything else. It's over, it's done. Our hope is gone. And then these women, they come and tell us that they went to the sepulcher and said that Jesus was gone and a band of angels came and said, he's alive and said, why should we believe these women?
That's basically what they're saying. Did you know that in that day and age that a woman could not give testimony in a court of law? She couldn't give testimony. The testimony of a woman was considered unreliable. It was considered foolishness and it was not allowed and it was not legal and she couldn't testify. I let you know the New Testament is written by the Holy Ghost because why would they say that the women were the ones that went and saw the angels and Jesus appeared unto a woman?
He's not going to appear unto somebody whose testimony is discounted and wouldn't even be allowed in a court of law. I mean, you've got to be smarter than that. If you're smart enough to make up the New Testament, surely you're smart enough to know, don't let Jesus come to a woman first because everybody will say, that's just a woman. What does she know? She's just an hysterical, unreliable bunch of women and you know when a bunch of women get together how they are, but Jesus appeared to the women first and the first evangelist after the resurrection was Mary. He said, Mary, go tell them. The first one to carry the word was Mary in her womb. The first one to evangelize was Mary. Oh, well that's another message.
So basically what they're saying is, if you want to read between the lines, which you know I love to do, why should we believe these women? So now Jesus still does not immediately reveal himself. Let's go on and see what happens. Verse 25, then he said unto them, still don't tell them who he is. Oh fools. Now fools here, let's get this.
You know, we don't want to, Jesus wasn't calling them, you know, in a real derogatory sense. He was just like, where's your senses? Why aren't you thinking? Okay. That's sort of a failing when we say fool. Oh fools.
And here's really what he was trying to say. And slow of heart to believe. Oh God, I pray every day I don't have this kind of heart. Every day I say, Lord, please, if I got that kind of heart, heal it, fix it, do something. I don't want that kind of heart. I don't want to have an evil heart of unbelief like Israel had and I don't even want to have a slow heart of unbelief like the disciples had.
I don't want neither one of them. And since God gives out new hearts, I want one that is fast to believe. Oh you fools and slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he what? Expounded unto them in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself.
All right now I want you to see something. All this time they're walking along, got seven mile journey and Jesus is just letting them talk and talk and talk. All this time that they're spewing out all this doubt, all this unbelief, all this negative stuff. He's walking right by their side the whole time and they crucified and we thought, and they're going on and on their little pity parties, their little cry baby sermonette and the whole time he's letting them go on. And finally he still doesn't reveal who he is, he chides them like a rabbi would do because he was a rabbi. And so he said, oh you foolish ones, now stop and think about it for a moment. You know the scriptures, you have read Moses.
Do I have to remind you? I guess I have to remind you what the scripture says. See they were focused on the glory. Everybody's focused on the glory. Everybody wants to be behind the pulpit and have the glory.
Everybody wants to be on TV with the glory. Everybody's looking at the glory and they were looking for the Christ of glory. They overlooked the suffering. But no sufferings, no glory.
If we suffer with him, we also shall reign with him. And they were looking for the Messiah in great glory. And they overlooked all the parts in the Bible.
They just completely overlooked Psalm 22 and Isaiah 52 and 53 and all of the Psalms in Psalm 69 that talk about the suffering. So what did he have to do? He had to expound to them and he had to go all the way back to Moses. So he went all the way back to the beginning of the books of Moses and he began to give them a lesson and a Bible lesson over and over again. And so that's what he had to do. He didn't say, here I am, it's me, it's Jesus.
No, he didn't do that. He could have easily turned on the candle power, lit up the light and said, here I am, the light of the world. But that's not the way that you deal with doubt and unbelief. Because if you deal with doubt and unbelief with supernatural dreams, visions, trumpet sounds, angels, prophecies, visions, then the next time you're down, you'll have to have a bigger vision and a bigger dream and a louder angel and a brighter light and you'll become dependent on those things.
Amen. So the remedy for doubt and fear is to get in the scriptures and expound the word of God. That's the remedy for all doubt, fear and unbelief. He didn't want to manifest himself to them in their faithless, unbelieving state of mind. If he would have shown his glory then, or he could have sent an angel like behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people for unto you this day in the city of Jerusalem, the savior is risen from the dead.
And go, you will find him. He's not wrapped in grave clothes anymore, sitting down and eating bread and fish. No, no, he didn't do that because he realized that if they would have had a physical emotional experience, those things later on, you will doubt. Later on, the devil or even your own mind will start saying, you know, you were really in a traumatic state of mind. I mean, for three days and three nights, you haven't slept. You hardly have eaten anything. You've been crying. You've been down.
You're just so grieved. Your mind was playing tricks on you, made you think that you saw Jesus. So just cause that's how your mind does to protect itself when it can't take any more trauma. How many people talk that psychobabble today? And so he knew that later on the devil would talk them out of it.
I know he's done that to me already. Or maybe later on when they went and told the others, they would have said, yeah, right. Let's look at what happened when they told Thomas, 10 of them told him 10 said, we saw Jesus. He said, I won't believe till I see him for myself, touch him for myself. So Jesus knew all this. He knew that if he just gave them an emotional experience that it wouldn't work. No, he understood that for their situation and all of the trials and tests up ahead of them and for your situation and for my situation and everyone that would come into the kingdom of God, that would ever face trials. That means everybody doubt, fear, non-belief.
The only remedy is to get in the scriptures and expound the scriptures. Amen. So he had to that seven mile trip. He preached to them the seven mile sermon and he went back all the way to Moses and expounded the scriptures. And as they drew near the village, they were the seven miles now was up in there. He's getting to the benediction, ready to say, amen. Let's look at verse 28 and they drew nigh unto the village where they went and listen, this is important. And he made as though he would have gone further. He made like he was going to say, all right, nice meeting you. God bless you. And he was going to keep going.
Verse 29, I love this, but they constrained him saying, abide with us for it is toward evening and the day is far spent. This is very strong language. Now I understand that it was the Supreme Eastern hospitality you always invited your guests in.
That was a given. They would have just done that to be hospitable, but that's not what's happening here. That's not what's happening here. They're not just doing the obligatory hospitable thing.
Come on in. No, they constrained him. They said, abide with us. You've got to understand for three days and three nights, they've been walking around with a black cloud hanging over their head. Their hope is gone. They have rehearsed over and over and over the same old sad story. And for the first time in three days, they're beginning to feel a little bit of hope.
See, before they said we had hope, but, but now they're beginning to feel a little bit of hope and they're beginning to feel something ignite on the inside. And that tells me when you get in the battle, when you get in the test, when you get in the press and you don't know what else to do, you need to get around people of God that will begin to preach to you the word of God, pick you up, build you up, exhort you. Don't get around those folks that tell you what God can't do. Get around those folks that tell you what God can do, what he will do, what he is doing. Get away from the doubters and the naysayers and the negativists.
You need to get in church where you hear the word of God. But some people, they do the dumbest thing of all when they're in a test, they stay home and you haven't seen them now for three weeks and you call up and say, where you been? I've been in a test. Well, don't you think it might've been a good idea to come to church where you could get a testimony to help you out of your test. And then when you heard somebody else's testimony and you believe that you could get your own testimony, you got to get around somebody that's going to expound to you the scriptures. I mean, if you got to take a tape recorder on your job and wear earplugs and listen to tapes all day because anybody, all the people in your job are a bunch of devils and they're just going to beat you up some more.
You got to do what you got to do to build yourself up. Amen. So they said, abide with us. Jesus, he was going to go on.
He was just going to go on his way. But they said, no, you're coming in with us. And Jesus said in the book of Revelation, I'm standing at the door and I'm knocking. And if you'll just open up and say, come on, abide with me, I'll come in. My father will come in. We'll abide with you.
We'll sit down and eat with you. But you got to take the initiative. And I trust you are being inspired and uplifted by this illuminating message.
Hold on to hope. Two disciples of Jesus on a seven mile journey of doubt and despair were becoming more hopeless with every step until a stranger joined them. Why are you so sad? He asked. He listened to their woeful words about Jesus death three days earlier. He knew of course, but he wanted them to face their doubts head on and they mourned about their dead Messiah. We had hoped that it had been him who should have redeemed Israel.
And now he's dead. The stranger did not immediately reveal himself, but he spoke from the old Testament scriptures that clearly told of Messiah's sufferings and death and of his subsequent glory. The remedy for all doubt, despair, discouragement, and hopelessness is God's word. Before Jesus manifested himself to them, he wanted to prove by the scriptures, the revelation, the faith, and the hope that was theirs from the word of God.
And this is our answer as well. If God were just to give us a physical sign or an audible word, the devil could talk us out of it later. Jesus preached a seven mile sermon and by the time they reached the town, they were filled with faith and they begged him to abide with them. They wanted to hear more of God's word. And as they ate supper together, their eyes were opened and Jesus was known to them. They had so much hope they left and walked the seven miles back to Jerusalem in the dark to tell the other disciples Jesus had appeared to them. And they said, didn't our hearts burn within us when he talked with us by the way, if you were filled with doubt and at times even hopeless, the word of God ministered to you will cause your heart to burn with new hope and victory.
I know I've walked this road before and God has brought me out and he will bring you out too. So I strongly urge you to order, hold onto hope, offer SK 131 on CD for a love gift of $10 or more for the radio ministry. Mail to RG Hardy ministries, P.O. Box 1744 Baltimore, Maryland 2 1 2 0 3 or shop online at RG hardy.org. Again to order hold onto hope request offer SK 131. Mail to P.O.
Box 1744 Baltimore, Maryland 2 1 2 0 3. Until next time this is Sharon Notts saying Maranatha.
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