Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 12 Apr 2015
(We were honored that the king of the Zulus, king Goodwill Zwelithini, visited us. The king gave a touching message that he and his house will serve the Lord Jesus Christ and strive to do what is right for the nation. His wish was that his nation would do the same and serve the Lord Jesus Christ and do what is right. He mentioned what a shame and disgrace it was that governments place human rights like abortion etc., above the Word of God. He said that at KwaSizabantu he saw how to serve God practically. We must each one continue to serve God for He has the answer for mankind. He also prayed publicly for Kenya to be comforted in their loss of 147 university students who were murdered by Al Shabab.)
Frederick Madondo also gave his testimony before the service. He was a Muslim, and as a black he hated the whites. He got involved with gangsterism and drugs, and eventually even murdered and assassinated people to support his lifestyle. He went to jail and was sent from jail to jail until he ended in Westville prison. After his release he eventually heard of the Concerned Young People (Umphakathi Okhathazekile) and came to KwaSizabantu where he received help and deliverance.
The family of the last person that they killed, killed his brother. But now that he met God he knows that he must forgive and even go back to that family and ask forgiveness for what he has done. He is now also able to go back to the jails where he was an inmate and preach the Gospel and tell of the power of God to deliver a person from sin.
Rom 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes …”)
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first of the sabbaths, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, Peace to you!
20 And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21 Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you. As My Father has sent Me, even so I send you.
22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 Of whomever sins you remit, they are remitted to them. Of whomever sins you retain, they are retained.
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said to him, We have seen the Lord. But he said to them, Unless I shall see the print of the nails in His hands, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days the disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst and said, Peace to you!
27 Then He said to Thomas, Reach your finger here and behold My hands; and reach your hand here and thrust it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and my God!
29 Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen Me you have believed. Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed.
30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book.
31 But these are written so that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life in His name.
This is a great matter indeed! The disciples were in the room at night, behind a locked door for fear of the Jews. Suddenly Jesus was among them saying, “Peace be with you”. Jesus needs no key to enter the room. Even if there’s no door, He can go right through the wall. Then He showed them His hands and feet.
You’ve heard how his majesty said unashamedly that Jesus is His Lord before the whole world. Jesus said that he who is ashamed of Me, of him I will be ashamed before the Father and His holy angels (Luke 9:26).
A certain very prominent judge in Germany has said that if all the evidence and witnesses in the Bible be judged in a court of law, the verdict would be clear that indeed Jesus had risen from the dead! If you refuse to believe after all the evidence had been laid out before you, no wonder that your condemnation in hell will be just.
When Jesus had said this He breathed upon them saying , “receive the Holy Spirit”. It reminds one when Adam was just clay, and God breathed on the dead body and Adam became a living soul! Note that Jesus said this before Pentecost, for they needed the Holy Spirit to understand what He was about to say to them that, “if they forgive the sins of any they are forgiven and if they retain the sin of any it will be retained”. Now the intent of the Greek is rather, that which you forgive has been forgiven in heaven. It starts in heaven. Like the preacher who went to a bunch of prostitutes and drunkards, laying hands on them and declaring their sins forgiven. When he left they went straight back to their sins. There was no contrite and broken spirit asking God for forgiveness. It was just a circus. Once your sins are forgiven you must also go back and make right with those whom you’ve wronged. What does it help if a disciple of the Lord Jesus declares a person forgiven but that person is not forgiven in heaven, or vice versa? God’s child must be in constant communion with heaven to know the mind of God on a matter.
There are those who commit adultery and say that David also sinned. They dance for joy at David’s sin but forget his deep repentance and that he never returned to his sin again.
When Jesus said this about forgiving sins He had given them His Holy Spirit. They had the mind of heaven, and weren’t doing their own thing. They were one with heaven and in communion with God.
The prophet Nathan was in communion with God in heaven, and when God forgave David he knew it and passed the message to David. Never again do we read that he sinned with a woman. Even when he was old, and couldn’t get warm again, his servants looked for the most beautiful girl they could find to keep him warm. Yet even there David didn’t touch her (1Ki 1:4). He was indeed forgiven and victorious over that sin.
At first Thomas said that he won’t believe unless he put his hand in the hands and side of Jesus. But when Jesus revealed Himself to Thomas, he fell down and worshiped Him. We people always want to see to believe, but Jesus said that blessed is the one who doesn’t see but yet believe. Some claim that they will never believe in Jesus unless an angel from heaven comes down and reveals Him to them. That is a disease from hell and you will be left in your unbelief. God’s word and evidence is sufficient. You are blessed if you believe having received His Word.