“An Inextricable Link”
1. What you think about Jesus matters.
Matthew 16:13-14 NKJV When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" 14 So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
Jesus' question is both penetrating and very personal.
- No one has more of a right to ask it than Jesus.
- No one has more of a reason to ask it than Jesus.
According to Jesus, what you think about Him carries eternal ramifications.
John 8:21-24 NKJV Then Jesus said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come." 22 So the Jews said, "Will He kill Himself, because He says, 'Where I go you cannot come'?" 23 And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
2. What you say about Jesus matters.
Matthew 16:15-16 NKJV He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Matthew 10:27-33 NKJV "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
3. What is revealed about Jesus matters.
Matthew 16:17 NKJV Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
revealed (apokalupto) = to take off the cover, disclose
4. What is revealed by Jesus matters.
- I will build My Church, even though opposed.
Matthew 16:18 NKJV And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Church (ekklesia) = a called out assembly ek = from, out (involves motion/action) kaleo = to "call" aloud, bid, name
- People will accept or reject her message; thus sealing their eternal fate.
Matthew 16:19-20 NKJV And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.
- Access in requires both grace and suffering.
Matthew 16:21-23 NKJV From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" 23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."
We can be a part of "a" church without being a part of "the" Church.
Universal (Invisible) Church
- Reborn (saved)
- In heaven and on earth
- Added by God
- Listed in heaven (Book of Life)
- Never removed
- Together forever
Local (Visible) Church
- Born or Reborn (lost or saved)
- On earth
- Added by humans
- Listed on earth
- Removed at death
- Together temporarily