1) Jesus came to earth “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). His heart is not to condemn, but to bring salvation to all who will receive Him.
In February 1969 I was an Air Force officer on temporary duty at McChord AFB, Tacoma, Washington. I had bought a New Testament, and I found myself reading it night after night. The truth of the Gospel broke through, and I willingly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior all alone there in my room on base. How could this happen? Why? Because Jesus, the wonderful Son of God, left heaven and came to earth to seek and to save the lost sinner Jim. And He did that also for each one of you!
2) Jesus was sent down from heaven to earth, died for our sins, and rose again from the dead to enable us to move from death to life (John 5:24). From eternal condemnation in hell to eternal life in heaven. And Jesus makes this life available to all of us if we will “turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:21).
Before His death and resurrection — and long before ours — Jesus promised, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). He has delivered from fear of death (Hebrews 2:15) all who repent and believe in Him and has granted us eternal life in His glorious presence.
3) God the Father sent Jesus “to bless you.” God is not a vindictive, hostile God. He loves you! His heart and His intention are to bless you. And He does that through Jesus by…
4) …turning each of you from your wicked ways. Heaven is a place of absolute, 100% holiness, purity, and perfection. There will be no wickedness there. And through the saving power of Jesus Christ, God enables us to begin participating in that heavenly holiness by turning us from iniquity right now on earth.
5) Jesus was sent to preach the good news of God’s kingdom.
In teaching us how to pray, Jesus said, “Our Father in heaven … thy kingdom come…” (Matthew 6:9-13). When I pray the Lord’s prayer and come to this portion about God’s kingdom, I often pray something like this: “Lord, rule and reign in my heart … in my home … in my family … in our church … in our nation…”
John the Baptist’s first biblically recorded message was: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2, NASB). Jesus’ first recorded public preaching was: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17, NASB). The Bible describes the Lord Jesus Christ as “Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). In serving Jesus right now, while we live on this earth, we are serving the One who has received from God the Father “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). Through Jesus we pray to the Father, “Thy kingdom come!” And that kingdom of God has come to this earth in the Person of Jesus Christ.
6) Jesus was sent to proclaim good news to the poor. This poor man (me) was lost in sin, spiritually bankrupt, until I heard and embraced the saving Gospel (the “good news”) of Jesus Christ. God sent His Son from heaven to earth to bring that good news to our ears and our hearts.
7) He was sent to proclaim freedom for the prisoners. The Bible teaches that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). As a result, we were imprisoned and held captive by our sins and all the foul habits resulting from our sinful natures. But Jesus was sent to save us and bring us freedom from those captivities.
8) He was sent to bring recovery of sight to the blind. This is certainly true spiritually, as the truth of God’s Word breaks through to us and we turn to Jesus Christ in faith and repentance. It is also true physically. While on earth Jesus healed the blind, the deaf, the lame, and those afflicted with all kinds of illnesses. And Jesus still heals today! Why? Because He “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He saved people from sin 2,000 years ago, and He saves us from sin today. Likewise, Jesus healed the sick 2,000 years ago, and He does the same today, in the 21st century.
9) He was sent to set the oppressed free. The Father sent the Son to earth to free us from oppressions of all kinds. Are you under stress, pressures, afflictions, perhaps even crushing calamities? Look to Jesus. He was sent to set the oppressed free, and that absolutely includes you!
10) He was sent to proclaim the “year of the Lord’s favor.” That favor from God can be yours today. His blessings are not just for the ancient Bible heroes; they are not just for those already in heaven. They can be yours today in Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul exhorts us: “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor” (2 Corinthians 6:2). How can I receive God’s favor, His blessings? — “No matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
11) Jesus was sent to serve, to give, not to be catered to. He washed their feet, He gave His life. This is astounding! The King of kings, the Lord of lords, came from heaven to earth to serve! Ask yourself: If Jesus, the Lord and Savior, left heaven to serve us in His life, death, and resurrection for our salvation, how much more should we be humble, willing, self-sacrificing servants of the Lord and of our fellow man?
12) Jesus was sent from heaven to earth to do the Father’s will and to speak the Father’s words. He said, “I do nothing of myself” (John 8:28). Our Savior Jesus was entirely committed to submitting His own will to that of God the Father. So should we. The perfect example of our Lord gives new meaning to the prayer He taught: “Our Father which art in heaven … thy will be done…” (Matthew 6:9-10, KJV).
And as Jesus did, so should we determine that our speech, our words, our conversations, will reflect the words and the heart of God. This confirms the great importance of reading our Bibles regularly, so that we are increasingly familiar with the thoughts of God on a multitude of subjects and can share those divine thoughts in our everyday speech.
In Acts 1:1, Luke looks back on “all that Jesus began to do and teach.” He was sent to do the above dozen things (and more, if time permitted listing them all). But now, in this Age of the Church, He has commissioned US to continue to do and teach these things.
1) to seek out the lost and tell them about the Savior Jesus Christ
2) to lead lost sinners from death and hell to life in Christ
3) to be messengers to the world of Christ’s desire to “bless [them]”
4) to exhort people to turn from wickedness to a pure, holy Savior who loves them
5) to tell them about the kingdom of God, that there is a loving, almighty God who rules this earth and the entire universe
6) to proclaim the good news of the Gospel to the poor (and the rich, and all in between)
7) to minister the freedom Christ brings to those imprisoned by sin, addictions, and bondages
8) to bring divine healing to the sick, the infirm, and even the blind
9) to deliver the Gospel message that in Christ we may be set free from every oppression
10) to tell hopeless people of God’s desire to show them His favor
11) to live as Jesus did on earth — to serve and to give
12) to do the Father’s will daily (“thy will be done”) and to speak His words to this world as ambassadors of the Son of God
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©2018, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.