Once again Easter has come and gone and it is important to take the time to examine ourselves. Easter Sunday is about the resurrection of Jesus and the power that raised Him from the dead. Before Jesus was crucified, He preached the good news, healed the sick and cast out demons. Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” That is the complete gospel message – the good news of the kingdom, the sick healed and demons cast out. Jesus said Mark 16:16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” Hebrews 2:1 “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”
If you went to an Easter service, examine the message you heard and also examine the results of the service. How it made you feel really isn’t the answer. We should be doing this every time. Acts 17:11 “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” This is how we test the spirits. Since the service was about the resurrection of Jesus and the proclamation that Jesus lives, then there should be present the same power that raised Him from the dead. That would be the same for whenever the Gospel is preached. We should continue praying this prayer that Paul prayed. Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” If the gospel is preached, signs will follow, but for most, Easter has passed just as in years gone by. Year after year, service after service and still there is no power. Don’t mistake a service that is well-done for the power from on High as it should look like Jesus.
This examination, if done honestly, will show that the church is powerless, so therefore the gospel is not being preached which also mean the church has not turned back to God’s word. If the gospel is not being preached, then what do people think they are being saved into? Jeremiah said, Lamentations 3:40 “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. 41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: 42 “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven. 43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain without pity. 44 You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through. 45 You have made us scum and refuse among the nations. 46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths wide against us. 47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls, ruin and destruction.” 48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed.” Most do not want to admit to the desolate condition the church is in as it is easier to say that was a really good service and be satisfied with tickled ears. 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
Paul said to make sure you are in the faith. 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” Unfortunately, the church has failed the test and has followed other gospels, which is why there is no power. Jesus asked the question, Luke 18:8“when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Paul also said to do this examination before participating in communion. Whether you had communion or not, Easter Sunday is a celebration and remembrance of what Jesus did for us. If you are going to celebrate and remember what Jesus did for us, it has to be done in a worthy manner. 1 Corinthians 11:27 “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.”
Tomorrow we will be looking at being examined by God. During our Lenten Journey, we spent 46 days preparing to meet our God and we do not want to fall short. If you are seeking God and waiting for Him to turn His face back to the church, keep persevering and do not give up. Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”