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Opened Eyes

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
April 17, 2022 7:00 pm

Opened Eyes

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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April 17, 2022 7:00 pm

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I have your Bibles with you today. Turn with me, if you would, to the 24th chapter of Luke, and I'm starting at verse 13, and I'm going down through verse 27 to begin with. That very day, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?

And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know these things that have happened there in these days? And he said to them, What things? They said to him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who is a prophet, mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death and crucified him.

But we had hoped he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened, moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early this morning. When they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said that him they did not see. And he said to them, O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken, was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?

And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Bow with me as we go to our Lord in prayer. Heavenly Father, your people at Grace Church have come to this building this morning for the purpose of worship. Today our focus is on the resurrection. What sets us apart from every false religion on earth? The resurrection sets us apart. Buddha is dead. Confucius is dead.

Shinto is dead. Muhammad is dead. That our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is alive.

The grave could not hold him. His resurrection was your sign of approval on everything that Jesus ever said or did. Lord, that excites our souls. Our worship is not just a look back on history, it is a present reality. Jesus, we thank you, we praise you, we honor you, and we glorify you. And we know that you can receive our worship because you are alive. No other religion can say that. Lord, your resurrection proves every other religion to be false, and it's our assurance that every word, every jot, every tittle of scripture is true. Father, help us to feel this kind of joy, not just on our Easter, but every day. As we look today at the two disciples from Emmaus, we pray that you will open our eyes to truth, just like you opened their eyes to truth. For it is in the precious and holy name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.

You may be seated. Today is Easter, Resurrection Sunday. It is the greatest day of the year for the Christian. This is the day that we celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ is alive. He is not a dead Savior on the cross, He is a living Lord on His throne.

And we have not come here today to study the teachings of the holy man who lived 2,000 years ago, who died, and his body is decaying in some deserted tomb in Israel. No, we are here to hail a conqueror. We are here to worship today the Lord Jesus Christ on His throne. That's the purpose of our being here today. Folks, He is the King of Kings, He is the Lord of Lords, and He is alive.

If you're a Christian today, your emotions ought to be soaring with the eagles. For what has He done for you? He's died for you.

So what? What does that mean? That means that His shed blood has washed away your sins. That means that His shed blood has appeased the wrath of God against you. That His shed blood has reconciled you to a holy God. That His shed blood has redeemed you from the slave market of sin.

Folks, what did Jesus do for you? He died on the cross. We love the cross, don't we? We love the cross, and I think the old hymn says it best. So I'll cherish the old rugged cross.

Till my trophies at last I lay down. I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it someday for a crown. We love the crucifixion. We love the old rugged cross, but let me tell you something. The crucifixion without the resurrection is not worth half of hallelujah.

Let me tell you why. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15 verse 17 that if Christ be not risen, then our faith is futile and we are still in our sins. So what should an encounter with a living Christ do for us? I think Luke chapter 24 gives us some great insight. Now we know very little about the two disciples from Emmaus. We know that one's name was Cleopas. We're not given the other name. There are many scholars who believe that the other disciple could very well have been Mrs. Cleopas, that she could have been his wife.

They do live in the same home, it seems like, so that very well is a possibility. Now listen, these two were not apostles. They were not part of the circle of the disciples, but they knew the disciples and they loved the disciples and when they found out that Jesus had resurrected and they saw him resurrected, they went running back to Jerusalem just as fast as they could. They knew exactly where the apostles were because they were hiding out, scared to death, and they shared with them that Jesus Christ is alive and that they had seen him firsthand. Now I think it's good to know that they were not apostles. They were not professional clergy. They were just regular old guys like us. And folks, if an encounter with the living Christ could transform them, then an encounter with the living Christ can transform us.

Got a couple things I want to share with you today. First, I want us to look at their spiritual condition. Look with me at verses 15 through 17. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him and he said to them, What is this conversation that you're holding with each other as you walk? And they stood still, looking sad. These men had lost hope.

Just a few months before this, they had great hope. Jesus was doing unbelievable things. He was healing the sick. He was feeding the hungry. He was casting out demons.

He was preaching with power like nobody had ever preached before. And it was an amazing, glorious thing that Jesus was doing. And even the fact of the crucifixion did not dampen their hope because Jesus had said that destroy this temple, talking about his body, and he said, I will raise it up again in three days. But now there were already rumors that the soldiers that were guarding the tomb said that they had fallen asleep and that while they were asleep, the disciples came and stole away the body.

So I want you to picture these two. They're walking on the road to Emmaus and they are discouraged and they are down and they are sorrowful. They're talking about what has happened to Jesus. And all of a sudden a man walks up to them, they don't recognize him, but that man is Jesus. That man is Jesus. Folks, these two disciples were children of the Lord and they were sorrowful and they were hurting and they were broken. And guess what? Jesus showed up. That ever happen to you? Get up to a time in your life when your heart's just broken, you don't know where to go, you don't know what to do, you feel like your whole life's falling apart, and Jesus just shows up.

I don't know about you, but I'll love it when that happens. I want to share something here with you from verse 16. It's another interesting verse to me.

Because we are told that when Jesus walked up to them, they did not recognize him because their eyes were strained and they did not know him. How many people in our world today are so spiritually blind that they have the idea that God has to work on their timetable? So they have the idea, well, I'll obey God when I want to. I'll repent when I feel like it. I will surrender to the Lord when I get that inclination.

How damaging that is. How many times I've heard people say, well, you know, I know that I need Christ, I know that he's the only hope, but I've got things I want to do first before coming to Christ. I've got sins I want to enjoy.

I've got wild oats that I want to sow. I'll come to Jesus later. I'll repent later when it's right for me. Let me tell you something. That is dangerous thinking.

Because if you're thinking that way, then you have this idea that you can control the conviction that takes place in your heart, and you can't. That's the Lord's dealing. And if the Lord doesn't do that, you can rest assured of this.

It's not going to happen. Let me tell you something else. You don't even know if you're going to make it to tomorrow. Proverbs chapter 27 verse 1 says, Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day shall bring forth. Notice in verse 16 that Jesus takes the initiative. Cleopas and the other disciples, they're not running around out there looking for the resurrected Christ.

It's the resurrected Christ that came looking for them. You realize that's the way it always is? Romans chapter 3 verse 10, the apostle Paul said, There is none that seeks after God, no, not one. And that's always the truth. And that doesn't discourage me. Instead, it gives me hope. That means that no one is so blind, that's so deaf, so sinful, so spiritually dead, that God can't quicken them in a split second, change their heart, draw them to Christ, and save them for all of eternity. I don't know about you, but that speaks volumes to me because I have loved ones that don't know Jesus. I have loved ones that I care about so much and I want to see them come to know the Lord. And I talk to them about the Lord and about their salvation and it's like talking to a brick wall. You talk to them about eternity. You talk to them about the final judgment. You talk to them about the second coming.

You talk to them about what it's like to have fellowship with Christ and it's like a fantasy to them. And I want to sometimes just shake them and say, What's wrong with you? Why don't you get it? Are you just ignorant? And the problem's not ignorance at all. The problem is spiritual blindness. And yet, that gives me hope because I know that that which I can't do for them, God can. That God can reach down in the heart and do that work that I can't do. That God can bring conviction. That God can bring things into their life that's going to show them who Jesus is and how desperately they need the Savior. Folks, God can do in a split second what you and I can't do in a million years. If you have children or grandchildren that are unsaved, then stick with me just a minute. I want you to know that as a minister of the gospel, I can promise you this, with no reservation, there is hope in Jesus Christ.

Listen to what Charles Spurgeon said about this 150 years ago. He said, If you shall love God's shalls and wills, there is nothing comparable to them. Let a man say, Shall, what is it good for?

I will, says man, he never performs. I shall, says he, and he breaks his promise, that it is never so with God's shalls. If he says, Shall, it shall be.

When he says, Will, it will be. Now he has said here, Many shall come. The devil says, They shall not come, but they shall come. You yourselves say, We won't come. God says, You shall come. Yes, there are some here who are laughing at salvation, who can scoff at Christ and mock at the gospel, and I tell you, Some of you shall come yet.

What, you say? Can God make me become a Christian? I tell you, Yes, for herein rests the power of the gospel. It does not ask your consent, but it gets it.

It does not say, Will you have it? But it makes you willing in the day of God's power. If Jesus Christ were to stand on this platform tonight, what would many people do with him? If he were to come and say, Here I am, I love you. You will be saved by me.

Not one of you would consent if it were left up to your own will. He himself said, No man can come to me except the Father who sent me draws him. Ah, we want that. Here we have it. They shall come. They shall come. You may laugh, you may despise us, but Jesus Christ shall not die for nothing.

If some of you reject him, there are some that will not. If there are some that are not saved, others shall be. Christ shall see his seed. He shall prolong his days and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands. They shall come and not in heaven, nor on earth, nor in hell can stop them from coming. Amen?

Amen. Secondly, not only were their eyes blinded, but their joy had dissipated. Verse 17, And he said to them, What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?

And they stood still, looking sad. These two disciples knew Jesus, and one thing that they loved about Jesus was this. Every time they were around him, there was great joy. Jesus could be preaching a very convicting sermon that would convict them, and how could that be joyous?

Well, it was joyous because it brought them to repentance, and when they repented, the joy came. That didn't happen when they listened to the preaching of the Pharisees. The Pharisees preached, and all they felt was condemnation.

They didn't feel any hope at all. They wanted to throw in the towel and just give up and quit, but when Jesus preached, there was hope. When Jesus preached, they realized that they could be forgiven. They realized that they had a new power to fight sin. They realized that Jesus could do within them what they could never do in themselves. They realized that Jesus could change their life, but they were not feeling overwhelming joy as they were walking down that road together. In fact, what they were feeling was great, great sorrow. Jesus had died, and they were afraid that that was it.

All right, that takes us to the third thing I see about their spiritual condition, and that was that they were dull of heart. Jesus began to question them about their conversation, and they shared with him the story of Christ, and they said, We were hoping that this Jesus was the Messiah, that he was the Son of God, that he was the one who we were expecting to come. That's what we wanted, but then the Jewish religious leaders gave Jesus over to the Roman soldiers, and the Roman authorities had him nailed to the cross. He was crucified, and he died. Jesus had prophesied that on the third day he would be raised from the dead, and this morning some of the women went to the tomb, and they saw the stone rolled away from the tomb, and they saw a vision of angels, and the angels told them that Jesus had risen from the dead, but then in dejection they say, But Jesus, but him they did not see. Listen to how Jesus responded to them in verse 25. And he said to them, O foolish ones and slow of heart, to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Jesus calls them slow of heart, spiritually dull. Why were they spiritually dull? Listen carefully.

Because they did not believe all that the prophets had spoken. Are you slow of heart? Do you make bad decisions? Are you spiritually dull?

Do circumstances in life set you back? You say, Yeah, but what do I do? Here's what you do. Saturate your heart with the word of God. Study it.

Read it. Memorize it. Meditate on it. Love it. Share it. Just rejoice in it.

And what happens? The Holy Spirit of God will illuminate the word of God in you, and make that word live. Jesus calls these disciples slow of heart, spiritually dull, because they trusted what they were seeing with their physical eyes, instead of what was revealed to them in the word of God.

All right, the second thing I want to point out is this. How did Christ deal with them? How did Jesus correct their misconceptions? How did he bring back their joy?

How did he open their blind eyes? Look at verse 25 through 27. And he said to them, O foolish ones and slow of heart, to believe all the prophets have spoken.

Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them and all the scriptures, the thing concerning himself. This is what Jesus did. He expounded to them the scripture. The word expounded or interpreted here in the ESV that most of you have. That word is the Greek word, diomino, and it's the word that we get hermeneutics from, and that's a word that means the process of interpretation of scripture.

Verse 26, Jesus said, Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory? This was the era of the Jews from day one. They were looking for a political leader. They were looking for a military conqueror.

That's what they were looking for. And so they took all the prophecies about the second coming of Christ and tried to make them fit in to the first coming of Christ. How did Jesus correct this? The scripture says, he took the scriptures starting at Moses, which means the book of Genesis, and going all the way through the prophets. That means all the way through the Old Testament to Malachi.

And what did he do with them? He showed them that the Word of God in its entirety is pointing us to Jesus. Folks, the purpose of the Word of God is the same purpose of the Holy Spirit, and that is to show us who Jesus is. Everything the Bible says about history is true, but this book is not primarily a history book. Everything that this Bible says about science is true, but this book is not primarily a science book. Everything that this book says about anthropology is true, but this book is not primarily an anthropology book.

Everything that this book says about morals and ethics is true, but this book is not primarily a guide to morality. Folks, this book is a Jesus book. The whole book has been written to point us to Jesus. Jesus said, Search the scriptures, for they testify of me. I want you to put yourself in the shoes of these two disciples.

Man, I would have loved to have been there. Jesus is expounding the scripture. He goes all the way back to Genesis. He tells them about Adam and Eve and their sin, their fall. And then he tells them how God took two animals, helpless animals, and he killed them, and their blood was shed. And then he made them coats of skin to cover over their nakedness and to show them forgiveness. And he says the blood that those animals shed was a picture of what Jesus would do on the cross. And then he tells them about the Day of Atonement.

He said on one day a year, the high priest would go out and he would kill a goat. He would take the goat's blood, put it in a basin. He would go to the temple. He would walk into the first room called the Holy Place. Then he would walk back behind the veil to the second room called the Holy of Holies. In that second room, there was an ark of the covenant. And on the top of the ark of the covenant, there's a mercy seat.

And the priest would reach down with a branch of hyssop into that blood, and then he would take that blood and sprinkle it on the mercy seat. And when that happened, the Shekinah glory of God, a bright shining glory cloud, would come and hover between the wings of the cherubim to show Israel that he had forgiven their sins for that year. Jesus was saying that the blood that was shed on the mercy seat, on the ark of the covenant, was a picture of the blood that Jesus would shed on the cross of Calvary. He told them about the Passover season. He told them that Jesus himself was the Passover lamb. And he went back to Isaiah 53.

He said, you want to know who he's talking about? He said, in Isaiah 53, this is what is said about Jesus. He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.

Put yourself in this story. Jesus himself is opening the Scriptures to them. He is showing himself to them in the Scriptures themselves. And as he's doing that, the Scripture says that their heart burned within them.

Burned within them. I can imagine Jesus just looking straight in their faces. He said, guys, the cross was not a mistake. The cross was not something that happened that was not supposed to happen. The cross was not a monkey wrench that the Roman authorities threw into God's plan. The cross was God's plan from before the foundation of the earth.

Jesus Christ is the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the earth. What was Jesus doing to begin with to open their eyes? He preached to them the cross.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 18, for the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us who are being saved, it is the power of God. James Boyce died of liver cancer back in 1999. He was the pastor of 10th Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for over 30 years. On that February 1999, he was the keynote speaker at the John Piper Pastors Conference.

Cindy and I had the privilege of being there. He preached four times in the fourth and last time he preached. He was coming to an end of his message.

Body riddled with cancer and he didn't even know it yet. And I remember him looking out over a thousand pastors and he pointed to us and he said, Guys, preach Jesus. Preach Jesus! Preach Jesus and the cross.

I will never forget that. I want you to listen to George Morrison's comments on this passage. George Morrison was a Scottish pastor that lived back in the 1800s. He said this, You and I have listened to some saintly preacher drawing out the inner meaning of God's word. And as we did so, our hearts burned within us and we saw what we had never seen before. And if that be so, with an erring sinful minister, I want you to try to think what it must have been when the risen Son of God handled the scripture and showed these two the meaning of it all. One of the surest signs that Christ is near is when he makes the Bible live again. It is a living Christ who makes a living scripture.

And when he is going to reveal himself to us, passages that we have known since we were children begin once to live and burn within us. They drew near the village. They got near the home of Cleopas. Cleopas begged Jesus to come in and Jesus did. So subpoint B is he broke bread with them. Verse 30 says, When he was at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them. Subpoint C is he revealed himself to them. Verse 31. Their eyes were opened and they recognized him and he vanished from their sight.

Their eyes were opened in the breaking of the bread there at Cleopas' house. He's the guy that owns the house. He's the owner there. And yet Jesus becomes the host. Jesus stands there at the table.

They're sitting down. He takes the loaf of bread in his hand. He breaks it. And as he's breaking that bread to give to them, they recognized him. They recognized him in the breaking of the bread.

And what is that, folks? That's a picture of the Lord's Supper. What's the Lord's Supper all about? The Lord's Supper is a picture of the gospel. The breaking of his body, the shedding of his blood, the fellowship with him and communion with him himself, the promise of the second coming of Christ, the call of holiness on our lives.

That's what it's all about. They recognized him in the breaking of the bread. That means to me there's something very special about the Lord's Supper. We don't believe in transubstantiation. That's a false doctrine of the Catholics.

They believe that you take the bread and you eat it and it literally becomes the body of Jesus down inside of you, or you drink the wine and it literally becomes the blood of Jesus inside of you. The Bible doesn't teach that. We don't believe that. We don't believe that you can partake of the Lord's Supper and that saves you. We don't believe that. The Bible doesn't teach that. Well, what do we believe?

We believe that when we partake of the Lord's Supper that we meet with Jesus in a very special way, that we recognize him in the breaking of the bread. These two men or two disciples from Emmaus saw Jesus and they recognized that it was him and immediately Jesus just disappeared and he left. Now, they took off at that point in time. They ran all the way back to Jerusalem.

Just a little bit ago, a few hours before this, they had made their way up the Emmaus road to Emmaus. Let me tell you, they were sad. They were depressed. They were plotting and slow. That's not the way it is on their way back.

I mean, that's about a 10K race. They broke speed records getting back. They couldn't wait. They knew exactly where the disciples were. The disciples were hiding out because they were scared to death and they went right to their hiding place and they said, guys, we saw the resurrected Lord. Jesus Christ is alive.

That truth is the truth that separates us from every other religion. I want to close with a biblical illustration. Before Jesus was crucified, Jesus was beaten. The soldiers beat him in the face until he was beaten beyond recognition.

Couldn't even see who he was. They took a crown of thorns. They crushed it down on his brow. One soldier tied him to a whipping post. He took a cat of nine tails whip, a whip that branched out into nine pieces of leather with pieces of metal intertwined in those pieces of leather. He knew how to snap his wrist just perfectly so it would dig into his flesh.

And he snapped his wrist and his flesh was just pulled off the bone. Jesus bled extensively there, so much so that when he tried to carry the cross to Golgotha, he was too weak and he fell under the weight of the cross. One of the soldiers saw what was going on and said, we can't allow this, and he grabbed a man and pulled him and told him to carry the cross. Who was that man?

Well, Mark chapter 15 verse 21 says this. And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. Simon was a Cyrenian. He was also a Jewish proselyte. He was also a black man.

Much of the population of Cyrene were black. In Acts chapter 13 verse 1, there is a reference there to a man named Simon Niger. Most Bible scholars believe that Simon Niger was actually Simon of Cyrene.

And the scripture, the word Niger there is very important because it means that one of darkened skin. He was there in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. And all of a sudden, he sees all these people gathered and he runs over there to see what's going on. Jesus has just fallen under the cross. And the Roman soldier reaches there and grabs him by the tunic and pulls him over and says, you carry the cross. He wasn't asking him to do it. He was commanding him to do it. And you read the scripture here, and in the Greek, you can feel the resistance that Simon is feeling toward this.

He said, wait a minute. That's not why I'm here. I'm not here to carry the cross of some criminal. I'm here to worship Jehovah.

I'm here to celebrate in the Passover celebration. And look at that cross. It's dirty. It's covered with blood. I don't want to carry that cross.

This is not right. He has no choice in the matter. He takes the cross off Jesus' back. He puts it up on his shoulder. He carries the cross to Golgotha. I have to believe that his clothes were stained with the blood of Jesus. I have to believe that his beard was probably matted with the blood of Jesus. They get to Golgotha, and I wonder if Jesus did not look over at him and say thank you.

I wonder if he didn't look into the eyes of Jesus and see perfect innocence and perfect love. Well, they took Jesus. They threw him down on the old rugged splintery cross. They took huge iron spikes. They nailed his hands and feet to the cross. They took a rope. They tied it around the top of that cross.

They pulled it up into the air. It fell down into the hole, jarring all of Jesus' bones out of joint. Jesus is hanging from the cross. He looks down at these people who are mocking him, spitting on him, cursing him, and laughing at him. Then he looks up in heaven and says, Father, forgive them.

They know not what they do. 12 o'clock noon, three hours later, something strange happened. Darkness covered over the land, a darkness that was so deep that you could feel it, and it stayed dark like that for three hours until three o'clock when Jesus died. Right before Jesus died, he cried out, and he said, it is finished. Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit. Simon was there from Cyrena in Jerusalem for the Passover.

So guess what? He's still there on Sunday. And when Sunday rolled around, all of a sudden he's hearing all of this conversation, all of these rumors that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead.

Let me ask you something. You think the resurrection of Jesus Christ meant something to Simon of Cyrena? Brothers and sisters, you better believe it did.

It changed his life forever. That's very interesting. Mark, in Mark's gospel, he's the only one that mentions the two sons of Simon of Cyrena, Rufus and Alexander. The other gospel writers don't even mention them at all. And Mark is the one who wrote his gospel primarily to the Roman people. Now, when Paul was in Rome, he made a statement about one of Simon's children and about his mother, or Simon's wife.

He said this, Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, also his mother, who's been a mother to me as well. James Boyd said, after the Passover, Simon went back home to Cyrena, and he said there is no doubt at all that he went back with a message. And that message was the gospel. He shared how he carried the cross. He shared how the blood of Christ not only stained his body, but washed away his stain of sin. He shared with them about what Jesus had done, how he'd resurrected from the dead, and his children and his wife came to know Christ probably as a result of his testimony. James Boyd said this, It was men from Cyprus and Cyrena who came to Antioch and first preached the gospel to the Gentile world. Was Simon one of the men from Cyrena? Was Rufus with him?

Turn to Ephesus. A riot is instigated by people who serve Diana of the Ephesians and the crowd who would have killed Paul if they could have gotten to him. Who stands out to look that mob in the face?

A man named Alexander. Is this the other brother facing things out with Paul? And as for their mother, surely she in some hour of need must have brought to Paul the help and the comfort and the love which his own family refused him when he became a Christian. The man who carried the Lord's cross was so wowed by the resurrection that he was never the same again. Have you encountered the risen Christ? Has he changed your life? Have you surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ?

The day is coming when we will all stand before Christ at the final judgment. And how much you've got in your bank account is not going to matter. How many cars you've got in your garage is not going to matter.

The size of your house is not going to matter. What's going to matter is this. Have you surrendered your heart to Jesus? Do you love him with all your heart?

If not, why not? Let's pray. Heavenly Father, my last illustration today was an illustration about Simon of Cyrene.

His sons and his wife were so close to Paul that Paul called him his family. In our culture in America today, there is a constant push to end racial prejudice, and well there should be, for it's a sin against humanity and it's a sin against God. But the culture's method of fighting prejudice is wokeness and critical race theory. Over the last several years, those worldly methodologies have created nothing but division, misunderstanding, and anger.

The world's way never works. Simon of Cyrene and his wife and kids were a black family. They turned the world upside down with the gospel, and Paul embraced them, not just his friends, but his family. Lord, is there an answer for racial prejudice and bigotry? Yes, the answer is Jesus. Jesus knocks down the wall between Jew and Gentile, between black and white, every division. Father, help us as Christians to show the world the cure for racism, and that cure is Jesus. Christ, our resurrected Lord, don't let us bind to the culture's failing solutions, but help us to embrace our Savior and watch prejudice melt into oblivion. For it's in the precious and holy name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-30 14:04:04 / 2023-04-30 14:18:57 / 15

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