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Infallible proofs of Jesus’ resurrection (IV)

So far in this series, I’ve discussed the following proofs of Jesus’ resurrection: the testimony of Jesus himself before his death, Bible prophecy, the conviction of the church about Jesus resurrection and the preaching of it to counter the propaganda and lies that he didn’t resurrect and the empty tomb which even the religious leaders testified to though feebly claiming that Jesus’ body was stolen. 

Last week, I began to talk about the eye witnesses mentioned in the Bible which include Mary Magdalene, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, Peter, the ten disciples, the eleven disciples and the two disciples on their way to Emmaus.

There are still other eye witnesses I want to talk about.

(i)The seven disciples: Jesus showed himself again to another set of his disciples – seven of them by the sea where they had followed Simon Peter to go fishing, and Jesus had breakfast with them. John 21:2 gives us the list of these seven disciples – Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples whose names were not mentioned.  

It must have been another memorable encounter for these disciples who might also have been there during his other appearances after his resurrection. John ended that narrative by saying, “This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.” (John 21:14 NKJV) Did you see that? That occasion was the third time Jesus was appearing to his disciples after his resurrection – that should have convinced any disciple still having any doubt.

Read more: Infallible proofs of Jesus’ resurrection (IV)

Infallible proofs of Jesus’ resurrection (II)

I started this message last week and I promised to begin today to show you infallible proofs that Jesus resurrected from the dead contrary to the propaganda of the religious leaders of his day, a lie that has persisted till today. If you missed the first series, please ask your vendor to get you a copy.

From the Scripture there are undeniable proofs – pieces of evidence – that Jesus resurrected but anyone in this generation who is not satisfied with these proofs is not different from those who even saw Jesus physically after resurrection but still doubted. Jesus died and rose from the dead, and that is the truth. You had better believe it. Paul said, “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel.” (2 Tim 2:8 NKJV) Let not your own gospel contradict or doubt the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus rose from the dead and left proofs for us – he didn’t disappear into thin air; he showed himself to people. “The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,   to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. “ (Acts 1:1-3 NKJV)  Please take note of that phrase “infallible proofs.”

The undeniable proofs

I’ll like to highlight these undeniable proofs but before then let’s hear the testimony of Paul who actually talked about some of these proofs. “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Cor 15:3-8 NKJV)

Read more: Infallible proofs of Jesus’ resurrection (II)

Infallible proofs of Jesus’ resurrection (I)

Each time I hear any controversy over whether Jesus actually died on the cross or not or whether he actually resurrected or not, I always tell people that such a controversy is not anything new. It is understandable if people in our day express such doubts because even those who lived in the day of Jesus did exactly that.

The Scripture above tells us the situation at the time Jesus resurrected, a time when the incident was still fresh. Though Jesus resurrected and showed himself to different people, some still doubted. Isn’t that a surprise? These were people who lived in the day of Jesus Christ. They saw Jesus physically alive after he had been killed and buried yet they doubted his resurrection. Even Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples doubted until Jesus revealed himself to him. “Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’ And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’  Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.’ And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” (John 20:24-29 NKJV) 

It is easier for us today to call Thomas “Doubting Thomas” but there is no guarantee that we would have fared better if we were in his shoes. Once Jesus showed himself to Thomas who wasn’t with the group when he had appeared to the other disciples earlier, Thomas believed. I believe Jesus appeared again to the disciples when Thomas was there so that none of the remaining eleven disciples (excluding Judas who anyway had committed suicide) would come up with “a minority report” – a testimony that would contradict that of others about the genuineness of the resurrection story. Church history says that Thomas later went to India where he did a powerful ministry. 

Read more: Infallible proofs of Jesus’ resurrection (I)

Following Christ till the end

Many people profess they follow the Lord. While some follow Him aright, others do not. To hear the Lord say, “Follow me” is a great privilege and call. The response of some is, “Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.” They prioritized on personal obligations, pursuit and goals before responding to divine imperative. Christ teaches that we should place the spiritual above the mundane, divine call above legitimate personal obligations and leave earthly concerns that conflict with God’s demands upon our lives for others to handle. Out of personal volition, some other people say, “Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest” without knowing the full implications. They soon renege on their promise because of their unwillingness to pay the accompanying price. “I will” indicates readiness, decision, determination to follow the Lord and fulfil destiny in spite of difficulties and challenges that may come. Not to sound frivolous, we need to thoughtfully weigh the words we speak in the presence of Christ. “And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.” This represents yet another of group who express their desire to follow the Lord but prioritize on self or other pressing obligations above Christ. All who are called or seek to follow the Lord but do not give Him first place in their lives are not “fit for the kingdom of God.” The word, “follow” is repeated in verses 57,59 and 60. Christ’s call and demand from everyone to “follow” is ever current. This call is personal, pertinent and peculiar. Christ teaches that following Him requires erasing every other person, programme, project and problem competing for attention from the mind and concentrating on Him. People who take the decision, possess the determination and maintain the discipline to follow the Lord through are those who will eventually get to heaven. Following Christ till the end is His desire, demand and declaration. 

1.  THE MASTER OF TRUE FOLLOWERS

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Signs of a backsliding Christian (IV)

Green Pastures By Pastor T. O. Banso

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Last week, I started another section of this message and under how to avoid backsliding, I discussed the following: watch and pray, walk in the spirit, do regular self examination, embrace holy living, listen to and respond to anointed messages that convict sinners of sin and call back sinning Christians to the path of righteousness, and respond to God’s discipline.

Read more: Signs of a backsliding Christian (IV)

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