TEXT: Matthew 4:23-25:
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
After preaching the Gospel every day for 367 days straight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, I am preaching the Gospel every day throughout the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term. If you think a new president being in office is the only thing needed to save America and ‘make America great again’, you are woefully deceived. The church must follow through and “keep the main thing the main thing: and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,’ and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to ‘pray without ceasing’ for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders.” So, we encourage you to pray for the new president, but not to get caught up in the political happenings like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord. And that is what this campaign is all about.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 102, day 469 since Jan. 1, 2016.
Richard Baxter said, “I like to hear a man dwell much on the same essentials of Christianity. For we have but one God, and one Christ, and one faith to preach; and I will not preach another Gospel to please men with variety, as if our Saviour and our Gospel had grown stale.”
In this passage, Matthew continues to tell us about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. During this time, Jesus’ “fame” grew throughout the region including in “Syria” and on the eastern side of the Jordan River. The region referred to as Syria here was situated in northern Galilee. The mention of “Decapolis” refers to an area of ten cities founded by Greeks under the authority of Alexander the Great. Jesus carried out three major tasks in His ministry.
First, Jesus taught the people. Matthew says he “went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues.” Teaching is the act of explaining and expounding on Scripture. Even though people in those days were closer to the revealed Word of God, they still needed someone to help them understand it from time to time. In those days, synagogues were built in any area that had a significant Jewish population. Any learned adult male could teach in the synagogue and distinguished speakers, such as Jesus would have been considered, were especially welcome. Jesus took the time to teach people, line upon line, what the Word of God meant for their daily lives.
Second, Jesus “preached the Gospel of the kingdom.” While teaching is the explanation of Scripture, preaching is declaration aimed at the conversion of people. William Barclay said, “Preaching is the uncompromising proclamation of certainties.” Jesus took the time to reason with people and explain Scripture to them, but then He called them to act — to make a decision regarding what they would believe and do. Today, we have some churches that focus mostly on teaching the Bible and explaining Scripture. These people can debate the finer points of doctrine to no end. But unfortunately, many seldom act on what they know and don’t witness for Christ so that other people can be saved. Then we have churches that focus mostly on proclaiming the good news of the Gospel. They do well by urging people to make a decision for Christ, but unfortunately some don’t teach and explain the Scripture and they end up with a congregation of spiritual babies. The church must do both in order to be effective.
Third, Jesus took care of people’s physical needs. Matthew says He was “healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people… and those which were possessed with devils.” Jesus was not just concerned with people’s spiritual condition; He was concerned about their physical well-being as well. Jesus would probably not have attracted as many people as He did if He was only preaching and teaching. Often, people have to be drawn in by the meeting of their physical needs before they will listen to someone talking about their spiritual needs. Today, though, we have churches standing at both extremes: some let taking care of physical needs overshadow preaching and teaching; others do a great job preaching and teaching, but neglect the physical needs of their church members. Again, we must do both in order to be effective.
Every generation of Christians is tempted to try something new in order to bring people into the kingdom of heaven. But this blueprint that Jesus laid out by His actions is the only plan we need and the only one that will work. We must recommit ourselves every day to teaching, preaching, and meeting the needs of others.
Now for those who do not know Jesus Christ — the teacher, preacher, healer, and miracle-worker — as their Savior, allow me to show you how you can enter the kingdom of heaven today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.