March 24th, 2019
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
There is a saying that the elderly like to say: life itself is very short. As they live their lives, they face many problems. There’s one thing people who face their last days share in common. They have regrets. If they had another chance at life, they would have made it more meaningful.
Those people also give those confessions because they have more failures than successes. Many people face problems and trivial things as they live their lives. However, we have received the Gospel, so we need to have a correct mindset. There is a reason for all the problems that many people face in life. Only in the Bible can we find the answer. Because people don’t know the reason for those problems, they blame themselves or others around them. They have these regrets and blame the world. However, our Father God gave us the reason for those problems. As believers, as His saints, we know the reasons for those problems.
1. The saints are the people who know the cause of the problems.
The saints are the people who know the causes of all the problems, so what are those problems? Original mankind was created to be together with God. However, naturally, after departing from God, those problems came. God is the master who created mankind. He has prepared everything so that mankind can have true happiness. However, after mankind separated from God—the master of all—they faced problems. Mankind lost the complete way to live their lives. That’s why people have no choice but to face trials and tribulations. When a child is holding their parent’s hand and walk with them, they will feel happy. However, let’s say that they lost hold of the hand that they held. In the midst of people who lost a parent, do you think that they will say that they are free? Most of the time, because they cannot see their parents, they will wander and feel lost.
Mankind lost the master of life. The first of mankind, Adam, faced this problem. We all know the incident of mankind in Genesis 3. The offspring of Adam also inherited those problems. It’s a never-ending curse. Jesus, seeing his people, felt all their regrets (Matthew 19:6) When he saw the crowds, he saw them as sheep, lost and sad. In his eyes, the crowd was lost and wandering. Of course, they had difficulties and hardships, and they faced curses. The master of our lives was lost in our lives, so we were lost.
When you’re not with God, you will lose hold of His Glory. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God…”
(Deut. 31) For I know that after my death, you will surely be corrupted. Including myself and the people around us, when we lose hold of God, we have no choice but to face hardships. When all the problems accumulate, we will face failures in our lives. In our life, we need to have God as our Lord, but we lost God, so our master is Satan. (John 8:44) You belong to your father, the devil. (John 10:10) Satan only comes to steal and kill. It’s basically giving the warning that without God, you will face destruction. Once again, I tell you, if you are separated from God and you don’t know the spiritual problems that surround the world, you will face destruction. People try to live a religious life and worship idols, but they only face more difficulties. This is when God gave us the answer. He sent us a savior so that we can truly resolve the problems that we had, and His name is Jesus. Because He fulfilled the important tasks, we call him Christ. Jesus, the son of God, is the Christ. You’re lost because you are separated from God. However, Jesus has shown us the way to God. (John 14:6)
It is Jesus who has resolved the problems of sins, curses and Satan. He doesn’t condemn us but will free us from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:1-2) Jesus broke the power of Satan by resurrection. He has won over the Devil, and he has given that power to those who believe in him. The power to overcome Satan has been given to those who believe in Christ Jesus. However, for that solution, he paid the ultimate price. He was crucified on the cross. You live and die once, and that’s the end of your life, but Jesus overcame that and resurrected. He showed that it was the work of God. He has provided the proof that God has come to us. This is the good news of the Gospel. Our identity and status will change when we accept this. Now, we are children of God, so even if our physical body dies, our spirit will go to Heaven. No one could cancel his promise. 2000 years ago, Jesus died on the cross, and if you accept him as your lord and savior, your problems have been solved.
That’s why you and I can have true peace. God has given us that and the absolute promise. It’s his unlimited love and grace. What do we need to do then? We need to confess that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God. You may think that this is a fleeting confession, but it has a great spiritual effect. (Romans 10) You will confess and become righteous. All you have to do is believe with your heart, and you will become a righteous individual. We have given that simple confession, so we will gain all that the Heavens have to offer you. You don’t need to worry, use humanism, or have disbelief. Jesus proclaimed on the cross that it is finished. This is the answer to the solution that we must gain first. To be honest, even if you don’t do anything, if you make that confession and have assurance, everything will follow.
During worship, we listen to the word, but when we go back home, we face all those problems again. Knowing that, people may say that their problems are still not gone. However, do not be afraid. All those problems will be taken care of, so long as you trust our Father God. There’s another reason for the problems that people who are saved face. Those who confess that Jesus is the Christ will still face problems. What are those problems? Where did they come from? How can we resolve that?
We accepted the Gospel, and Jesus is with us. To experience that Jesus who is with us, God will make us face problems. In order for the Gospel that we’ve accepted to be rooted, God makes us face trials and tribulations. Saved people who accept the Gospel will not face any worries, fears or destruction. The people of Mark’s upper room knew this well.
2. They are the people who know the reason for all problems.
The members of the early church believed in Jesus and came together. However, they still continued to face problems. God, for his children, for another reason, allowed us to face those problems. To display Christ inside us, he has allowed the problems to occur. in today’s scripture, just as God promised, they were blessed and spoke in tongues. After they accepted God and were blessed with the Holy Spirit, they spoke in tongues, but the people around them said that the early church members were merely drunk on wine. To this, Peter corrected them, saying that they were merely blessed with the Holy Spirit. They continued to criticize them. When they heard these criticisms, the atmosphere of worship was broken, yet how did Simon Peter respond? Did he say to take them away from them? No. Did he teach the crowds that you must have worship quietly? Did he try to expel those crowds who were criticizing their worship? No.
He witnessed Christ even though he faced problems. Just as Peter did, we need to open our eyes to reveal Christ, even if we’re facing problems. We need to come to realize that we are saved people of God. We need to hold onto the Gospel and reveal the Gospel in the midst of those problems that God allowed to affect us. God has given those problems and incidents so that we can reconfirm the Gospel within us. Who was Paul before? He was known as Saul, who persecuted those who believed in Jesus. He didn’t know the Gospel, didn’t believe in Jesus, and persecuted those who did believe in Jesus. However, one day, Jesus came to Saul in the form of the light, and it was so bright that Saul was blinded and fell to the ground. Because he wasn’t able to see, he needed to find Ananias. To Saul, that problem was a great problem, but that problem was also a turning point. Our God had already chosen Paul, but Paul didn’t realize this. It became a springboard for Paul to realize who Jesus Christ was.
Physically, he was not able to see, but he was still able to open his spiritual eyes. Once again, in this time, we must give our confession. (Acts 16:6) Paul realizes the Gospel and preaches the Gospel. When they came to the border, the spirit of Jesus would not allow them to cross. Paul has been called to bring the Gospel, but the spirit prevented them from preaching. However, from verse 9, he sees a vision from God. This means that Paul was seeking the Gospel in the night, in the midst of his problems. He didn’t have any suspicion. He had that conviction and continued to pray. Problems for saints is for them to enjoy the Gospel. He was enjoying the Gospel was praying and waiting for the disciple, Lydia. The problems for a saint is the platform, the foothold for the Gospel. He is giving us the opportunity through our problems to root ourselves in the Gospel.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Paul cast away the spirit in the fortune-telling woman, and that woman was saved. The owners of the woman who gave fortunes were no longer able to earn money because Paul had expelled the demon, so they said that Paul was being a nuisance, and Paul ended up in prison. Nowadays, due to laws abiding to humane practices, prisons are not allowed to abuse and torture their inmates. However, back then, the guards would do just that, and Paul was not spared from that fate. Paul merely gave the Gospel, and he was humiliated and put into prison. If it were me, I may have committed suicide from the shame and the unfairness of it all.
Paul was put into prison and beat up constantly, but despite this, he sang in his cell. He knew that through this shame, he needed to continue to praise God. That’s why, when there was a huge earthquake, the prison doors were forced open and Paul was able to leave. When he faced the guards while leaving, he gave this amazing confession: “Do not be in shock. If you consider me a believer in the Lord, then you will receive blessings.”
Problems for the saved people is the way to enjoy the Gospel. From now on, if you’re faced with problems, you need to hold onto this. Christ didn’t forsake you. God didn’t forsake you. God never left your side. He has allowed those problems and incidences to occur so that you can enjoy the Gospel deeply.
3. We are the people who will enjoy the solution to all problems.
You’ve received the word of God. You believe in the covenant that He will fulfill. That means we must wait. We must live a life of a witness and save others. The people of Mark’s upper room lived this life. They broke the frame and gave worship. The word given through worship is my covenant, so as I pray, I will only do to save others. That’s what Peter did throughout his life. It’s the mystery of word, prayer, and evangelism. This blessing is what God has prepared for us. That’s why we shouldn’t try to solve the problems on our own. Christ, who is in us, will solve our problems. The master of the problem is Jesus, so all we need to do is believe in Jesus. Peter, with this mystery of the answer, was able to overcome this.
Let us pray.
Father God, I thank you for your grace. Christ who resolved all of the problems is within us through the Holy Spirit. Through our problems and incidences, help us to get closer to God.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.