THEME: The roar of the Lion of Judah resounds across centuries through the voice of His people carrying that Christ Has Risen!
TITLE: "The Roar"
(What a group they were! Cowering behind locked, dead bolted doors. Maybe with a chair under the door latch. Eleven knee-knocking itinerants who are astraddle the fence between faith and fear.)
CONSIDER THE MEN WHO WOULD SOON PUT THE KETTLE OF HISTORY ON FULL BOIL.
They were uneducated...Confused. They Had callused hands and heavy Galilean accents...Few social graces...Limited knowledge of the world...No money...Undefined leadership.
As we observe this motley crew in our mind's eye, would want to wager your next paycheck on the success of their future?
But something happens to a man when he witnesses someone who has risen from the dead.
Something stirs within the soul of a man who has stood within inches of God.
That something stirs a passion that is hotter than gold fever and more permanent than a gravestone.
It all started with eleven stammering, stuttering men.
Though the door was locked, He stood in their midst - "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
And send them He did!...To ports, courtyards, boats and Synagogues ...to prisons and palaces.
They went everywhere and their message of the Nazarene dominoed and ricocheted across the world and through the centuries.
They were an infectious fever...a moving organism.
They absolutely refused to be stopped by religious leaders, by governors nor Caesars.
These unimpressive men shook the world like a housewife shakes a rug...and the world has never been the same since...With these men the "Roar of the Lion of Judah began to be heard throughout the world.
WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT IF IT HAPPENED AGAIN?
Many say that it's just impossible.
The world is just too hard today...Too secular...Too post-Christian.
Why, this is the age of information...not regeneration.
Our world has learned too much and acquired so much that our need for God is minimal.
So we in the Church of the risin Lord deadbolt our doors for fear of the world.
Don't forget what Christ has and IS accomplishing!
1.5 billion people in this world claim the name of Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin.
Far from being impotent, the Church is strong and alive.
It is one of Satan's great deceptions that leads us to think of ourselves as accomplishing nothing and being ineffective.
While the Gospel is alive and well in the United States of America, the Roar is heard and is flourishing in other parts of the world.
In Africa, the once "Dark Continent" if swiftly becoming the most Christianized continent on the face of the earth.
In South America Christian congregations are exploding in growth with congregation memberships in excess of 30,000 becoming commonplace.
In Asia whole areas and populations are becoming Christianized.
In Soul, Korea one Christian congregation has a membership in excess of 750,000!
Congregations in Korea are now sending missionaries to the United States as we used to send missionaries to Africa.
No, the Great Commission is far from accomplished, but don't let anybody tell you there is no passion left in Christianity!...The Roar of the Risen Lion of Judah is still powerful...The Word of God is still being heard!
AND YET, AS WE CELEBRATE THE INCALUABLE VICTORY OF CHRIST OVER SIN, DEATH AND SATAN, WE CANNOT ACCEPT THE STATUS QUO AS SATISFACTORY.
I would submit to you that Satan loves a church satisfied with the way things are!
Complacency with the Status Quo is Satan's most powerful weapon against the Church.
"Ho-hum, its just another Easter Sunday...No big deal."
"We're just a little congregation, God can't expect much from us."
"Hey we send our offerings to support missionaries, that should take care of our obligation for the growth of God's kingdom."
"It's hard enough to keep the congregational 'machinery oiled" without being so concerned about tell others about Jesus."
"Isn't that the pastor's job?"
If you think that we have good excuses, just think what the excuses could have been for that small band of apostles who sat behind locked doors on that first Easter Sunday!
"You want us to do what?"..."The whole world?"
"But there's only eleven of us...you expect too much!"
"We don't have a budget!"..."There aren't any airlines!"
We too are face-to-face with the risen Christ today!...Let's get moving!
Christ is with us today..."Wherever two or three are gathered...."
He commands were not limited to the apostles...they are for us!
The power of the Holy Spirit is not diminished over the centuries, we are as empowered for the sake of the Gospel as they were.
There are still 4,340 languages groups who do not have even a portion of the written Word of God in their own language.
Most critically, the need for the Savior has never been greater!
The curse of sin is still with us.
No one escapes...everyone dies because the wages of sin is death.
No one, save God, seems able to explain why this world has remained a place of selfishness, greed and violence since the beginning of time.
Sin must be removed if we are to be in fellowship with the holy and eternal God.
But try as we might, we cannot scrub the stain of sin from our lives.
Do as many "good deeds" as you wish, it will not make us, "perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect."
The need is great for the world to embrace the one and only Son of God who has taken away the sin of the world.
There is only one and only one Son of God who has given Himself as an offering for sin.
There is only one who has lived without sin and yet taken our sins on Himself.
There is only one Lion of Judah who has roared back to life and come forth from the tomb! And His is the victory!
"For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." What had they seen? What had they heard? They had seen Jesus risen from the dead and it changed everything! Yes, something happens to a man or woman who stands within inches of the Lion of Juda. Maybe we could all use a return visit to that locked room. Maybe we all need again to hear Jesus say to us, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." "We will." they nodded, Will you?
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