TEXT: Matthew 4:12-17:
12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
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 95, day 462 since Jan. 1, 2016.
Jim Cymbala said, “If the times are indeed as bad as we say they are… if the darkness in our world is growing heavier by the moment… if we are facing spiritual battles right in our own homes… then we are foolish not to turn to the One who supplies unlimited grace and power. Jesus is our only source.”
Today, we continue looking at Jesus’ movement to expand His ministry and take the Gospel to more people. The text informs us that Jesus returns to Galilee and sets up His headquarters in Capernaum after John “was cast into prison.” Herod, the ruler of Galilee had John arrested after this wilderness prophet told the king, “It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.” Herod thought he had gotten rid of John by throwing him into prison and having him beheaded. But just as soon as Herod thought he was free to continue in his sin, Jesus rolled into town with the same message as John: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This gospel later informs us that Herod was so shook up by Jesus that he thought John had come back from the dead to haunt him some more.
This reminds us that God will always have someone prepared in every era and in every generation to stand for the truth. But Jesus’ message not only impacted Herod, but it impacted all of the Jews and Gentiles of Galilee. The Bible says they were “sitting in darkness” and “in the region and shadow of death.” They had nothing going for them. They had no hope, no satisfaction, nothing to look forward to. But when Jesus came, “light sprung up.” Jesus preached saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Our culture loves to skip the first part of Jesus’ message. Not only the world, but many churches, like to say, ‘Jesus didn’t judge anybody, and neither should we. The kingdom of heaven is at hand, and everybody is welcome.’ But Jesus said “repent” first. You see, the people were not only sitting in darkness, but they had darkness sitting in them. And God won’t allow any darkness into His kingdom of light. If Herod wanted to get into the kingdom of heaven, he would have to let go of his brother’s wife. And the same goes for us. By receiving the light that Jesus brings, we must allow it to banish the darkness that is in us. If we want to enter the kingdom of Heaven, we must leave our sins behind at heaven’s gate. Thankfully Jesus is standing there ready to take our sins upon Himself and banish them at the cross.
One poet put it this way.
Sinner, come to Heaven’s gates
Jesus is standing there.
He says, ‘I’ll take your sin,
your darkness and your despair.’
Sinner, cast it all on Him,
And Heaven you will win.
He will never cast out
those whom He lets in.
Sinner, will you be a saint,
delivered from your sin?
If so, please leave the darkness
and to the light come in.
Are you ready to come out of darkness, let go of sin, and give your life to Christ so you can enter His kingdom? Allow me to show you how.
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.