We Are Of All Men Most To Be Pitied

Guest Speaker: Ken Cramer

Dave let me know that he would be spending the month of April discussing the Promises of Salvation. I let him know I would do my best to cover all material in this morning’s lesson. For those of us that know Dave, we know that is absolutely impossible.

Each generation that passes, grandparents and great grandparents looks back at how simple things were, and how things look like they’re going downhill from a societal view point. This morning I will like for us to have that in our forethought while we take a look at several scriptures.

It is not my intention this morning run down the rabbit hole of social issues in today’s world, but more so to look at the fact that this perception is not new to this world as a whole.

Christianity is looked at with disdain from many secular points of view around the world, this has been the story from the very beginning. And even before the days of Jesus’ arrival there have been false gods and manmade deities, idols that man has chosen to worship over God (even after God has performed miracles in front of his own people, they’ve made idols to worship)

Time after time through the history of the Old Testament, man has been corrected by God. Even when Jesus came people would refuse to believe after miracles. On the cross there were those who scoffed at Him to come down if He truly was the Son of God and King of the Jews. Even after all of the things He had done “He saved others, but He can not save Himself.” Matt 27:24

But what part of history are we most confronted over?

  • 1 Cor 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised;14and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.15Moreover we are even foundto befalse witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raisedChrist, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.16For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;17and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.19If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

People will make attempts to bring into doubt that which we hold most dear.

In a world that proves to be more and more worrisome with things like tolerance and intolerance… Moving all the way through the definition of things we hold true. There are daily attempts to bring into question not just whether or not Jesus resurrected, but even the factuality that He existed. Beyond that, there are a myriad of hypotheses making a valiant effort to make each and every one of doubt what we hold true from the text of the bible.

What type of foundation has been set in our lives?

Bible:

Continuity- Written over a span of 1500-1600 years, over 40 authors, written in different locations, even continents
Survival- Standing On Solid Ground: T. Doy Moyer:

“Among the other points of uniqueness, the Bible is unique in survival through time. It was written on perishable material and had to be copied and recopied for hundreds of years by hand, before the invention of the printing press (A.D. 1450)”

He goes on to say “It has more manuscript evidence than and ten pieces of classical literature combined.”

  • 1 Peter 1:22-25 – Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For, “All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, And the flower falls off, 25But the word of the Lord endures forever.”
  • Matt 24:35 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

***But if we see that more and more evidence continues to prove the bible to be historically true, and the prophecies have been fulfilled by Jesus:

  • Acts 2: but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17’And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; 18Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy. 19’And I will grant wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. 20 ‘The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. 21 ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know- 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 25 For David says of Him, ‘I saw the Lord always in my presence; For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. 26 ‘Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will live in hope; 27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 28 ‘You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’ 29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, 35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”‘ 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-this Jesus whom you crucified.”
  • Acts 3: “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18 But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you. 23 And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 24 And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. 25 It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”
  • Acts 7:9 Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us; for this Moses who led us out of the land of Egypt-we do not know what happened to him.’ 41 At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. 42 But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘It was not to Me that you offered victims and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel? 43 You also took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the god Rompha, the images which you made to worship. I also will remove you beyond Babylon.’ 44 “Our fathers had the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it according to the pattern which he had seen. 45 And having received it in their turn, our fathers brought it in with Joshua upon dispossessing the nations whom God drove out before our fathers, until the time of David. 46 David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. 48 However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: 49 ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is the footstool of My feet; What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord, ‘Or what place is there for My repose? 50 ‘Was it not My hand which made all these things?’ 51 “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. 52 Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; 53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”

***Just as people heard in the first century, so do we with eye-witness accounts (not only to his death and burial, but of His resurrection)… Then the ONLY conclusion we CAN come to is that not only was Jesus of Nazareth wrongfully arrested and beaten, that He was crucified… and MOST importantly He IS Risen.

Not only is He risen (it’s not enough to stop there, what true significance would it be for someone to simply defeat the grave. Look at the ones resurrected by Jesus, they eventually died again), but that He is CURRENTLY at the right hand of God, His Father.

  • Acts 7:55-56 – he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

As we look to The Cross, and beyond the DEATH it represents to the Resurrection (LIFE). As we look at these truths the bible shows us, we must see that this is ‘the calling’. This Word is God’s, and He is requiring a response…

This is both simple, and complicated. It is a Yes, or a No. Hesitation or the lack of a response is the same thing as a No (if you’re walking on a crowded sidewalk and see a $100 bill on the ground, do you think there is much time before it is gone?)

  • 2 Peter 3:8 – But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

think of our time on earth as that blink of an eye.

***And while yes to obedient faith may be the right answer, this is not something to be taken lightly. Saying yes demands more than good intentions from you. (the closest thing we may see every day would be volunteering for the military, submitting nearly all parts of your life to one mission, basic/active duty. While many are what we would call patriotic, not all are willing to volunteer) Paul explains that as a follower of Christ, we are to be ready as a soldier is:

  • Eph 6:10- Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

It is when we look through the lens of God, through His word, we are able to discern the absolute truth. That not only were the prophets correct in stating the savior would come, but that he came. He came to save. He came to suffer. And He came to show us the victory that is, available to us, over death itself.

Bringing us to see those who are infatuated with this world, and the things that man has made in it, are the ones who are to be most pitied.