From Blessing to Testing, Part 2 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 84 / Day 451 since Jan. 1, 2016)
TEXT: Matthew 4:1-4:
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
After preaching the Gospel every day for 367 days straight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, I am preaching the Gospel every day throughout the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term. If you think a new president being in office is the only thing needed to save America and ‘make America great again’, you are woefully deceived. The church must follow through and “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.” So, we encourage you to pray for the new president, but not to get caught up in the political happenings like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord. And that is what this campaign is all about.
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 84, day 451 since Jan. 1, 2016.
Matthew Henry said, “We have no sufficient strength of our own. All our sufficiency is of God. We should stir up ourselves to resist temptations in a reliance upon God’s all-sufficiency and the omnipotence of his might.”
The main thrust of the devil’s tempting of Jesus Christ revolved around Satan’s desire to get Jesus to circumvent God’s will, and that is essentially what he tries to do to all of us. He will put something before us that we desire — it may even be something good — but it is something that God, in His sovereignty, has chosen not to give us at the present time. Satan will say, “If you do things my way, you can have this.”
The first temptation that Jesus is hit with is one that preys on His physical needs. The devil came to Him at the end of a forty day fast. He said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Now, we must note that in the Greek, Satan’s expression “if” is not meant to convey uncertainty. He knew who Jesus was. His words are actually conditional: It would be better translated, “Since you are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Now, there is nothing wrong in Jesus making bread for Himself to eat. He miraculously provided food for others multiple times during His ministry. The sin here is that it is not, at this time, in God’s will for Jesus to eat. He is fasting for spiritual reasons, and it is God’s will that He go hungry for a little while longer.
This is how the devil often gets to us. He will offer us the means to meet our physical needs — food, money, clothes, etc. But those means will be outside of God’s will. Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “When we put our physical needs ahead of our spiritual needs, we sin. When we allow circumstances to dictate our actions, instead of following God’s will, we sin. Jesus could have turned the stones into bread, but He would have been exercising His powers independently of the Father, and He came to obey the Father.”
How did Jesus nip this temptation in the bud? He used the Word of God, saying, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Jesus knew that our existence — much more, His existence — is not dependent on natural food. We are spiritual beings. Even if our physical bodies waste away, we will still exist. Our true sustenance is spiritual matter in the form of the Word of God and the eternal life-giving power of the Holy Spirit. Knowing this, even if our bodies are at risk in service to God, we can be at peace if we are in obedience to Him because the condition of our bodies does not dictate our standing with the Lord. Charles Dyer said, “Obedience and humble submission to God might sometimes involve temporary hardship, but those times are designed to help remind us that obedience to God’s Word is more important than personal comfort.”
Let us all follow Jesus’ example when we are next faced with a temptation to bypass the will of God in order to satisfy our physical needs.
Daniel S. Warner wrote:
We remember well how the Savior was tempted;
Tempted and tried in the gloomy wilderness;
But He firmly stood, and the foe He defeated;
And we too will win if His Word we confess.
The apostle says, “Ye indeed will be tempted,”
If ye endure, it will yield a golden store;
Then we’ll praise the Lord, in whom we have trusted,
For the end of temptation evermore.
If we suffer here, in the name of the Master,
He’ll take us home if we’re firm unto the end;
So we’ll never fear when assailed by the tempter—
For the Savior’s home is just around the bend.
If you are ready to be empowered to resist temptation by placing your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how:
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.