TEXT: John 20:19-23:
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to 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. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
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 346.
Marcus Dods said, “Jesus’ breathing upon His disciples was meant to convey the impression that His very own Spirit was imparted to them.”
When Jesus met His disciples on Resurrection Sunday, He gave them three precious gifts. The first gift was that of Peace: Jesus set His disciples’ hearts, minds, and souls at ease with the knowledge of His resurrection from the dead and their new standing as children of God. The second gift He gave them was that of Purpose: He commissioned them as His apostles who would continue taking the message of the Gospel to the world.
The third gift that Jesus gave to His disciples is that of Power. John writes, “And when he had said these things [giving them Peace and Purpose], he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Shortly before Jesus left to go to the cross, Jesus had promised that the Holy Spirit would come to His disciples so that they would never be alone. It was this Power residing in them now that would enable them to continue in the Peace and Purpose that Jesus had given them.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe writes: “Jesus enabled His disciples through the Holy Spirit. This verse reminds us of Genesis 2:7 when God breathed life into the first man. In both Hebrew and Greek, the word for ‘breath’ also means ‘spirit.’ The breath of God in the first creation meant physical life, and the breath of Jesus Christ in the new creation meant spiritual life. The believers would receive the baptism of the Spirit at Pentecost and be empowered for ministry. Apart from the filling of the Spirit, they could not go forth to witness effectively. The Spirit had dwelt WITH them in the person of Christ, but now the Spirit would be IN them.” Dr. Walvoord and Dr. Zuck go on to state that “this reception of the Spirit was in anticipation of the day of Pentecost and should be understood as a partial limited gift of knowledge, understanding, and empowerment until Pentecost, 50 days later.”
When the disciples received the Holy Spirit, they were empowered with the very same Spirit that had empowered Jesus Christ during His ministry. Jesus had once told a skeptical audience, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
The disciples had now been commissioned to do the same works and to preach the same message that Jesus had preached. They would not be able to do it without the power of the Holy Spirit working inside of them.
It is important to remember that the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ Spirit, is a Person, not a thing. He is a living power, the third person of the Trinity. Christians, today, erroneously speak of getting more of the Power of the Holy Spirit. But, the Spirit is not a thing to be measured. He is a Person. Either we have Him or we don’t. Perhaps a better way of putting this is to say either He has us or He doesn’t. We do not possess the Holy Spirit in the sense that we are in control of Him. Rather, He is in control of us and we ought to want Him to be in control of us. When the Holy Spirit is in control, He keeps us in perfect peace and He keeps us on track with our purpose.
The power that Jesus imparted to His disciples on that Resurrection Sunday 2,000 years ago is available to His people today. Every believer is filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us power to overcome all of the dark forces of the world. The Holy Spirit gives us power to triumph over every difficulty that we face. The Holy Spirit gives us power to be bold in our proclamation of the truth of God’s Word to our world.
Witness Lee wrote:
If I’d know Christ’s risen power.
I must ever love the Cross;
Life from death alone arises;
There’s no gain except by loss.
If I’d have Christ formed within me,
I must breathe my final breath,
Live within the Cross’s shadow,
Put my own life ever to death.
If God through His Holy Spirit
Nail me ever with the Lord;
Only then as death is working
Will His power thru me be poured.
The power of the Holy Spirit can be imparted to you today. You can have the Holy Spirit living inside of you so that you can walk in peace and purpose. Will you give your life to Jesus Christ today and receive this gift of the risen Lord? Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him 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 Gospel Light Society.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.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.