I. "AND HE COMMANDED US TO PREACH TO THE PEOPLE, AND TO TESTIFY."
A. Jesus commanded them in what is known as the great commission:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, [even] unto the end of the age. Amen.
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
B. Luke records for us some of the last words that Jesus spoke to His disciples just before ascending into heaven as He:
Opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
And He said unto them, It was necessary that the Messiah suffer, and rise from the dead the third day that the scripture be fulfilled:
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
And ye are witnesses of these things.
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
But you will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses of Me, both in Jerusalem, and all of Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.
C. What were they to preach and testify? That Jesus was the One who was ordained by God to be the judge of those who were alive and those who were dead.
1. Jesus said:
For the Father judges no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
For as the Father hath life in Himself; so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself;
And has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.
2. Paul said to the philosophers on Mars hill:
Because He has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom He has ordained; [whereof] He has given assurance unto all [men], in that He has raised him from the dead.
3. Writing to the Romans he said:
In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
a. The secrets of men, is a reference to the secret motive behind the works that we have done for the Lord.
b. Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
4. Again he wrote to the Corinthians, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we seek to persuade men.
For [the kingdom of heaven is] as a man traveling into a far country, [who] called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made [them] other five talents.
And likewise he that [had received] two, he also gained other two.
But he that had received one went and dug in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoned with them.
And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou delivered unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou delivered unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not planted:
And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, [there] thou hast [that is] yours.
His lord answered and said unto him, [Thou] wicked and slothful servant, thou knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not planted:
You should have at least put my money to the bank, and [then] at my coming I should have received My own with interest.
Take therefore the talent from him, and give [it] unto him which hath ten talents.
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
b. This is no doubt what Paul meant when he said, We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we seek to persuade men.
c. How much has God invested with you?
d. Even more important than that, "What are you doing with it?"
5. To Timothy Paul wrote:
I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
6. Jesus described this judgment in Matthew 25
. This in fact is the first order of business when He returns to the earth to set up the Kingdom of God. He will judge those who are worthy to enter the Kingdom.
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides [his] sheep from the goats:
And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
II. "TO HIM GIVE ALL THE PROPHETS WITNESS."
A. The scripture quoted Jesus as saying: "Lo I have come, in the volume of the book it is written of Me, to do Thy will O God."
B. Jesus told the Jews, "You do search the scriptures because in them you think that you have eternal life, but they testify of Me, and you will not come to Me that you might have life."
C. Luke tells us that Jesus said to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus:
O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.
D. To the disciples that night Jesus said:
These [are] the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me.
Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
E. When Philip called Nathanael to come and meet Jesus he said:
We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth.
F. When Paul and his company had come to Thessalonica we read:
And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Opening and alleging, that the Messiah had to suffer and rise again the third day and that this Jesus that I preach to you is the Messiah.
G. We read concerning Appolos:
That he mightily convinced the Jews, [and that] publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
1. All of the references to the scriptures here are of course the Old Testament scriptures.
H. When Paul was giving his defense before King Agrippa, he said: As I have witnessed to everyone, I have said nothing more than the things that the prophets and Moses have said should come.
III. PAUL OPENS HIS LETTER TO THE ROMANS WITH THESE WORDS.
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
(Which he had promised before by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
IV. WHAT IS THE WITNESS OF THE PROPHETS? "THAT THROUGH HIS NAME, WHOSOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL RECEIVE REMISSION OF SIN."
A. Isaiah prophesied:
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
1. Paul in quoting that passage to the Romans said:
As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
2. Peter quoting the same passage said:
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.