Irresistible Peace – Jesus is drawing every person. No one is immune to the draw of Jesus. Every person experiences the draw to the kingdom of God. There should be no contest on Sunday when we wake as to if we will go to church or not. It was this way with Jesus. Multitudes came to him. Children flocked to him. Church should be so enjoyable it is SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE. It should be that way, but sadly, it often is not. Why? It is because some people never open up and help make church that way. If every person opened up and did what they should do, nothing could stop the church, not even hell.
Simply Irresistible Kingdom
by Delbert Young
Scriptures: John 12:32, 1 Timothy 3:15, Luke 9:27, Mark 9:1, Luke 16:16, Matthew 11:12, John 3:3, 5, Luke 12:32, Matthew 24:21, Matthew 21:31, Matthew 21:43-45,Matthew 23:13, 33, 35-38,Matthew 24:21-22, 20, 34, Matthew 24:2, Daniel 7:13-14
We want to continue in our series called SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE.
[John 12:32] And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will DRAWALL MEN unto me.
Matthew 16:18-19 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Nothing can resist the advancing kingdom when we allow Jesus to place us and build us into his church. He gives IRRESISTIBLE keys that unlock heaven and unlock earth. These keys are important and I want to talk about a key today. Today, I want to talk about IRRESISTIBLE PEACE. Peace is a large part of the kingdom of God.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and PEACE, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Paul gives three keys for the kingdom – righteousness, peace, and joy. People must see those three things in our lives if we properly display the kingdom. When we are not in peace, we are not in the kingdom of God, etc.QUESTION: WHEN DO WE NEED PEACE – WHEN THINGS ARE GOOD OR WHEN THINGS ARE NOT SO GOOD? I said that Jesus was IRRESISTIBLE, but was he IRRESISTIBLE only in good times? Was he also irresistible when things were not so good?
Question: What is your greatest fear? What is it that robs your peace, removes you from the kingdom, and damages your witness? In the movie “Batman Begins,” Bruce Wayne (Batman) had to face his deepest fear. Do you know what his deepest fear was? It was bats! As a young boy, he had fallen into a cave hole and bats attacked him. It was not until he faced his deepest fear that he reached his highest potential. I know that the movie “Batman Begins” is a Hollywood production, but the principle remains true. Our deepest fear, and sometimes not even our deepest fear, but fear alone, will stop us from reaching our highest potential. WHAT IS YOUR DEEPEST FEAR? We all have one.
The deepest fear of Jesus was the cross. That fear attempted to overwhelm Jesus in Gethsemane. It attempted to stop him from coming to his highest potential. However, for the kingdom to exist, Jesus had to face his deepest fear. Had Jesus not had a peace to go to the cross, there would not be an irresistible kingdom of God today. There would be no church and there would be no salvation for us. That is the importance of peace. Peace was a key for the kingdom then and peace is a key for the kingdom today.
We talked about the IRRESISTIBLE BEST. We talked abouthow the kingdom of God has spread today to its largest growth in history. More people are Christians today than ever. The church and kingdom are larger, more powerful, and more irresistible than ever. However, there are negative things happening at the same time. We live in a world full of pandemonium and chaos. If not already that way prior to September 11, 2001, it definitely became that way afterwards. We now have new terms in our vocabulary – Al Qaeda; suicide bombing; dirty bombs; anthrax; bio-chemical; homeland security; high alert, etc.America invaded Afghanistan. We were at war with Iraq. We are at war with terrorist. North Korea is building nuclear weapons. The projection of the media is that more and more of the world hates America and Americans. The economy bottomed. The reporting of child molestation is at an all time high. Some high schools now use metal detectors to guard against weapons brought to school. It is no longer a big deal for high school students to use condoms.
On top of all that “world” chaos, we have our individual personal fears – health, finances, family, children, parents, job security, school, future, etc. If we allowed them to, all these concerns would drive us insane. What does the future hold? What is around the next corner or over the next hill? What is behind the next sunrise? Where is peace? Fear attempts to get us from every side. It seems that nearly every person we talk with is worried about, or angry about, something. Worry consumes Christians so, that it takes their peace and they do not even come to church. How does that translate to others when trying to present an IRRESISTIBLE Kingdom?
The Bible tells us about the night before Jesus would go to the cross. The cross was less than twenty-four hours away. Jesus was alone with his disciples. He told them that it was time for his betrayal, and arrest. It was time for him to be brought before the authorities. It was time for his beating, scourging, and crucifixion. As we read about that conversation in St. John chapter 13-17, we see that Jesus had total PEACE. It was an IRRESISTIBLE PEACE.
But, what if Jesus had not had peace? What if he had said, “Oh my God! How horrible this is. I am going to be arrested. Oh my God! I am going to be beaten. I am going to be crucified! Why me? What have I ever done to deserve this? Oh my God! Get around me guys and lay hands on me and pray for me that I can make it through this! Oh my God!” However, that was not what he did. He had peace, and because of that peace, he brought his disciples to the place they needed to be to bring forth the IRRESISTIBLE KINGDOM.
An amazing part of this was that Jesus told them some horrible things would happen to them, but they were able to accept it, even though they did not understand it. Amazingly, he told them their greatest fears were just ahead.
John 15:18 If the world HATE YOU, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
John 15:20-21 …If they have persecuted me, THEY WILL ALSO PERSECUTE YOU
John 16:2-3 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever KILLETH YOU will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
The Jews would hate the disciples, throw them out of the synagogues, persecute them, and kill them. For the kingdom to continue, fill the earth (Dan 2:35, 44), and be irresistible, they would have to somehow move beyond their deepest fears. It was key – essential and crucial – that they got beyond their fears. What was it that took them beyond their deepest fears? Jesus said to them,
PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU; MY PEACE I GIVE YOU. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
A little later in the same conversation, Jesus said again,
These things I have spoken unto you, THAT IN ME YE MIGHT HAVE PEACE. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. [John 16:33]
It’s an irresistible peace. THE KEY AT THAT MOMENT IN HISTORY FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD TO EXIST AND ADVANCE WAS THEIR HAVING PEACE. Their understanding all that would take place in the next days or years was not the key. There was no way they could understand, even with Jesus explaining it. The key was the IRRESISTIBLE PEACE that only Jesus could give. Today, a key to the advancement of the kingdom of God and our reaching our loved ones is that we have an IRRESISTIBLE PEACE. You will never understand all you face or why you are facing it. UNDERSTANDING it is NOT the KEY. If we truly want to reach people and have a SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE church we must have an IRRESISTIBLE PEACE.
Did you know that every disciple, except one, died a martyr’s death? Herod killed James the brother of John by a sword (beheaded). Thomas was killed in India. Simon was crucified in Egypt. Matthew was beaten, crucified, and beheaded in Armenia. Andrew was crucified and burned in Archaia. It is said that John was boiled in oil, yet lived to write the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Stephen was stoned. Philip was stoned. Jewish leaders threw James from the roof of the temple. The fall did not kill him, so they crushed his skull with a club. Peter was crucified upside-down. The Romans beheaded Paul because of the Jews. The disciples and apostles went all over the then known world preaching the kingdom of God. Amazingly, not one of them, though faced with certain death, renounced Jesus. To me, that is one of the greatest proofs of the resurrection and kingdom of God. Each one had theIRRESISTIBLE PEACE that only Jesus gives. This peace made the kingdom of God SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE.
Think about that. You are watching a man facing execution. His hands are tied behind his back. He kneels to his knees at a chopping block and lays his head upon it. He can see and smell the blood, on the block, from people executed before him. He knows that this is no joke. He knows that in a few moments, the axe will come down and slice through his neck, severing his head from his body. He knows without a doubt that he is about to die. The command comes, “Renounce Jesus as the Christ and you will be freed and live.” Instead of denying Christ, he proclaims with a loud voice, “JESUS IS THE CHRIST AND JESUS IS KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” The axe comes down and his head rolls away with eyes open. For several seconds, it can still think. His body collapses, jerking and quivering. What affect would that execution have on you? Either that man was an idiot, or Jesus is real! We could see maybe one, or even two, of those disciples being that fanatical about Jesus if Jesus was not real, but not EVERY ONE of them. It made the kingdom IRRESISTIBLE. “PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU; MY PEACE I GIVE YOU.
Peace was/is a key to the kingdom of God. Do we have that kind of peace? Do we have a peace like THAT? Many of us do not have enough peace to keep from fighting with our spouses, or worrying about our children. Some of us are so consumed with finances that we can’t get out of bed and be on time for church. WHERE IS THEIRRESISTIBLE PEACE THAT ADVANCES THE KINGDOM AND MAKES IT IRRESISTIBLE? It requires a peace that passes understanding.
Philippians 4:7 And the PEACE of God, which passeth all understanding, shall KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS through Christ Jesus.
I see our hearts and minds not kept. Is a mind “not kept” a lost mind? We lose our minds when we lose our peace. Here is what I want to say. People are watching us. As it was with the disciples, it is when others see that peace of God operating in our lives, that the kingdom becomes IRRESISTIBLE. It’s irresistible peace. Your neighbors are watching you. Your families are watching you. That person that you have been praying to receive Jesus and come into the kingdom is watching you. People you do not even know watch you. It is not your blessings and how well you do they want to see. People are jealous of that. They are watching, and sometimes even wanting, to see you have bad times. They say “You say you are a Christian. Well let’s see if you really are.”
When you handle bad times well, with peace, they say, “I want what you have.” They want the peace you have. They do not know that is what it is, but they know there is something IRRESISTIBLE about you. To present a kingdom that is SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE, we need an IRRESISTIBLE PEACE. IRRESISTIBLE PEACE is KEY. It draws (drags) people in. We have all seen it. We all want it.
We try to sit down with some people before we do each series and talk about what I want to express. We throw ideas around and come up with thoughts that I need to cover. We did that with this series. One of the people (Doug) said that we needed to include IRRESISTIBLE PEACE in the series. He reminded me of a time in 1990 when he experienced some serious, life threatening, health problems with total peace. He said that without that peace, he would have gone crazy. I have watched many of you express that peace. Others saw that peace in you! They saw the God of peace in you! They saw the kingdom of God in you! It impacted their lives!
Not long ago Judy (my wife) was at a Life Group meeting. The doctors diagnosed Richard Wible with lung cancer and Lily, Richard’s wife, was having heart problems. Lily commented about how she and Richard felt. She said that God was going to heal them, but they had talked, and if God did not heal them, they had lived long and good lives. They had a peace that passed understanding. It is the peace that Jesus gives. It is kingdom peace. It is a peace that crushes Satan’s attacks on us, our children, our families, and anything else that he attempts to destroy.
Romans 16:20 The God of PEACE will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
It is a peace that GROWS, and is ONLY in believers through Jesus. You cannot buy this peace and no medication will give you THIS PEACE.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness
Peace grows like a fruit. It matures and becomes sweet giving nourishment.
It is a peace that we receive from the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 6:15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of PEACE.
It is a peace that rules in our hearts NO MATTER what we face. We have that same peace that Jesus had and the disciples experienced.
Colossians 3:15 Let the PEACE of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Jesus has a special peace to give you. What is your greatest fear? What is it that robs your peace? There is anIRRESISTIBLE PEACE in the kingdom of God. It will get you through ANYTHING, and when others see it, it will DRAW them to the kingdom of God. It makes the kingdom and church SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE. Jesus is saying to you today, “PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU; MY PEACE I GIVE YOU… DO NOT LET YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED…” How many want that IRRESISTIBLE PEACE today? Simply do what the disciples did. Receive his peace and then allow it to grow.
Other Related Sermons:
Jason Freeman, The Peace of Christ
Foxe’s Christian Martyrs of the World, pages 5-9