The Power of God
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Is the preaching of the Cross foolishness to you?
Is it the Power of God?
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Does our Faith STAND (in the Greek: exist) in the POWER of God?
Today we are going to understand the power of God…
Mark 16:15-18 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
We really need to take note of a few things:
The preachers are preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ…
-Those that believe (what they hear) shall receive SIGNS.
-If the preacher isn’t trying to convince (persuade) the listeners
that Jesus is the Christ (our Savior), the signs will not follow…
-Casting out demons.
-Speaking with new tongues (known tongues; “angelic tongues” are a
sign to the preacher, not the listener).
-Dangerous things (serpents and poison) won’t harm them.
-Laying hands on the sick shall bring healing (recovery).
Mark 16:19-20 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Acts 2:41-43 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Fear: Apparently, some signs were so scary that everyone was troubled.
We will understand this very soon…
Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
“Should be saved” is often translated “were being saved”.
How does the Lord persuade us to trust in Him?
-With Signs, Wonders and Miracles!
In 2013, a Harris poll was performed that determined that 72% of Americans surveyed believed that miracles are happening today!
72% believe in miracles? Why??
We are essentially brain-washed from infancy that there are NO MIRACLES. Even many of the American churches say that there are no miracles today, yet the people know that there are.
WHY? Because miracles are VERY COMMON! And we see Signs (a bit less amazing than miracles) much more frequently than miracles! (I know, some miracles are signs and so forth…)
Let’s think for a moment on what we KNOW about the signs and miracles of God:
-Balaam’s ass spoke (Nu.22:30) to him. Who else heard it?
-The burning bush that amazed Moses (Ex.3). He was apparently
-Jesus was born almost in secret…
-The disciples were “hiding” in an upper room when the Holy Spirit
It is TRUE that most of the miracles of God are private (or intimate) miracles.
When we hear the Gospel, the Lord will confirm it with Signs:
-False Gospels will NOT have God’s confirmation.
-False Evangelists (preachers) will NOT have God’s confirmation.
The signs are very common!
I remember in the two years before I was saved, the Lord began to save me by using signs:
I was a college boy with a large, important final to take after a three-day weekend. I expected to have lots of time to study, so I went out drinking and partying on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons until about three in the mornings…
Finally on Monday (last day off), I was going to study hard, but friends came over and I ended up beginning to study at 2:30am. When I began to study, I fell asleep and woke up almost late for the exam! Even though I was “agnostic”, on the way to school I asked God to help me do well enough on the exam to keep an “A” in the class. I promised Him that if He did that, I would go to church on Sunday…
I arrived (in a sorry state) for the exam. The professor at the door asked me my name to check me on the list. He said that this exam was not for me, go do something else! I said, no, this exam is very important. A lot of money, time and misery are at stake here… He said my professor throws out the worst and best grade you get in his class. If he throws out this exam and my best grade, my average will be an “A”. He said, go home, you have an “A”!
Sounds great, right? Well, sure enough, Sunday found me sitting in a parking lot smoking something and watching out for the police… Suddenly, I heard voices: “Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, we shall come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves…”. I looked up and right across from me was a large, white church with stained glass windows (opened a bit for ventilation). They were singing inside with joy… Then I remembered my promise to God!
I did NOT want to go to church, and I did not go then. However, until I was born again two years later, every time I passed a church (or even saw one in a film), I felt GUILTY.
That test was a sign to me that GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES (and I do not).
Without divulging privileged information, this week I spoke with a young woman that has begun to receive signs from God:
Twice in the last seven days, she has had experiences that should have killed her. The last was an accident on a highway in which she crashed her car into a tree that had fallen into the road. She was travelling about 70 mph! Aside from a few nicks from the glass, she was unharmed!!
She asked me what was going on. I explained that God is showing her that He loves her. He has protected her life supernaturally to convince her that he loves her PERSONALLY. He has made a way to save her eternally through the work of His son Jesus!
She had been frightened thinking that maybe God or something was trying to kill her… I pointed out to her that it doesn’t take a miracle to die in an accident, but sometimes it takes a miracle to save us from death.
God does not only use signs and wonders to save us. Often He confirms His direction to us by revealing His approval in this way. Again, almost every powerful interaction between man and God is personal…
In our modern churches, we are told that here or there will be healing or miracle services. We are promised to be “blessed by God”. What we need is to be CHANGED by God! Also, our ideas and experiences with God need to be CHANGED.
-If you are serving a small God, you have SMALL hopes.
-If you are serving a mighty God that has ALREADY saved you, you
will have AMAZING hopes and AWESOME experiences!
Now we find two great questions that beg answers:
isn’t everyone Christian?
John 3:18-20 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
A sign from God is light, but for years I wouldn’t come to Christ because I loved my sin. I didn’t want to give up my lifestyle and my friends. I didn’t want to serve ANYBODY and only worked for others because I needed the money…
I continued living in darkness:
-I suffered in silence.
-I was lonely and without true friends.
-Sadness and depression sucked at me; if I wasn’t busy doing
something "fun", life felt pointless and vain.
Even living that way, Jesus loved me.
Even though I kept turning away, Jesus kept helping me.
He never gave up on me…
John 3:16-17 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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
-Jesus has paid all your debts.
-Jesus is convincing you that He loves YOU with signs and wonders.
Follow the Signs that God has given you!
Today is the day when you should turn your back on your sin-filled life.
Today is the day to believe the Gospel and give your life to Jesus.
Today you can receive ETERNAL LIFE!