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When In Doubt



"When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.

Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me." 
Good Morning my beloved,
We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my honor and great privilege to have you here with us today and share God's Word. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website, and social media platforms with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness and commitment to share God's Word with others. We have seen a dramatic increase of people from all around the world, who are responding to God's Word, with more and more coming to Christ. May God richly bless you for your efforts. I want to let each of you know how grateful I am for you.
If you have recently received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please write or text to let us know so that we can pray for you. Also, let us know if you would allow us to share your story. Each one of us have been blessed with a unique testimony. We'd love to hear from you. 

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew has answering the question of, "Who is Jesus Christ?" From His genealogy, to being the anointed Son of God. Matthew has made every effort with great care to validate the claim that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Throughout the first ten chapters, that has been the focus of Matthew’s gospel. Everything points to Jesus Christ as Messiah. Yet, for many today the response is still doubt. How people react to the Authority and Deity of Jesus Christ hasn't changed. Doubt is something that still occurs, even in the life of a believer. Over and over Jesus reminded the twelve not to doubt but to believe. 
Even after His Resurrection Thomas doubted saying "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."
And in John 20:29 Jesus *said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."
In these first six verses of chapter eleven, the concept of doubt among believers is precisely what we’re going to be looking at. Particularly, John the Baptist. I mean if the greatest man that ever lived up until his time had doubts, certainly we can be comforted that we occasionally have doubts.
Let us pray
Heavenly Father,
Father, thank You for Your Word, we ask that You would use it's power to touch every heart gathered with us today. That the hearers may be blessed and all strongholds would be destroyed. May we not be intimidated by the world for our confession of Christ to hostile and unbelieving world. Lord, help us to turn to You when we struggle with weakness and doubt. Strengthen us through Your Holy Spirit that You would be glorified and Christ exalted by our faith. Help me to be faithful to that calling You have bestowed upon me and not conform to the ever increasing demands of this world to compromise the truth. That You for blessing me with these faithful believers, for whom I am grateful.

Soften the hearts of those who are yet lost, that no one in our midst, would go away from Your presence in unbelief. But would come to Christ in repentance of sin, and believe on Him. May we all express our gratitude for the precious gift of salvation by our faithfulness in obedience and a life of service. We ask and pray this in Christ's name, for His sake and Your glory.
Today's Message:When In Doubt
Before we begin, I feel I must address something that the church has been avoiding. For years now, pastors have been hiding behind seeker friendly, non-offensive messages, failing to preach and teach the hard truths, identifying the issue of sin. When Jesus confronted the religious leaders of His day, He knew they would be offended, yet that did not deter Him from doing so. He dealt with the issue of their hearts, publicly rebuking their sin and declared the Truth.
As a result, the problems that plague our world are dramatically increasing, we’re losing our youth and the souls of our nation. The solution to the chaos, racism, hatred and violence is not a mystery, it's found in the pages of our Bibles. The government is not the answer to the sin that plagues our society, the answer is Jesus Christ. Christ died for ALL people, in all nations, of all races.
Only the Gospel has the supernatural ability to bring unity, produce repentance and genuine transformation. Pastors cannot faithfully preach and teach the Word of God without dealing with the issue of sin. All unrighteousness is sin and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.  
Open your Bibles with me if you would to the eleventh chapter in the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew 11:1-6. I invite you to follow along with me as I read, while we open our hearts for what the Spirit of God is saying to us. Matthew chapter 11, verses 1 through 6.  
"When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.

Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me."

In chapter 10, Jesus taught, trained and prepared them to go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel. He knew the church would ultimately depend upon their ministry. After His ascension, they would be empowered by the Holy Spirit and they would become essential to building the whole church.

I find it interesting that at the end of chapter 9, verse 38, Jesus said "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest." After they prayed, they became the laborers. I have found that God often works in that way. When I've asked to God, "Can't You not see what's happening in our world? Why won't You do something?" And before I knew, do you know who He sent Me? He sent me to work on His behalf. In ways we don't often understand, God reveals His great heart for the work. This happens more often than some might hope.

As I was studying for this message, I couldn't help but to think about John the Baptist. He must have been a pretty lonely. He was living a life of simplicity in a remote place, he was restricted in fellowship to his disciples. Then, I began to think about his relationship with Jesus. To kick back, late at night, fireside, having in depth spiritual conversations about the future plans for ministry and the Kingdom, that must've taken place. How amazing it would have been to have Jesus put His arms around him before going to bed. Then I think about how John was arrested early in Jesus' ministry, so the opportunity for contact ceased to exist, except through the disciples.

Let's look at verse 1, "When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities."

Now that the twelve are sent on their first mission, Jesus return to His ministry. With the exception of Judas, the rest of them were from Galilee. Since at the synagogue any Rabbi could speak, He would go into the synagogue, open the scroll, read the Old Testament Scripture, exposit the meaning and apply it to Himself. Then, He would go to the streets and the hillsides, preaching and proclaiming the Kingdom of God, everywhere He went. Forgiving sin, performing healing miracles, casting out demons were part of His days work.

As Christ is ministering, two disciples of John the Baptist's disciples approach Him. Verses 2 and 3, "Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" Keep in mind, John had already known Christ, he was the forerunner of Christ, announcing His coming. He had already affirmed that he believed in Christ, he baptized Him and declared "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

Even though he had known about Christ, he had affirmed his belief, he sends these two disciples to ask, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" Reflecting there was still doubt. How encouraging is that to us when we have doubts? Even he though knew all these things about Christ, and witnessed the Holy Spirit descending upon Him and the voice from heaven saying "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased," he doubted. Perhaps it was because he was troubled by his own imprisonment, he wanted affirmation.

By the way, the Expected One or the Coming One is a Messianic title, like the King of kings or the Seed of David. It was a common title for the Messiah. Expected or Coming is the Greek verb "erchomenos." And "é," is a disjunctive conjunction, the declarative statement. John commonly used the term The Coming One or Expected One to refer to the Messiah. So what John is asking is very simply, "Are you the Messiah?" In other words, "Am I wrong in believing that? Should I believe something else?"

John was perplexed, he had some doubt, so he went to the right source. Let me just say this; whenever we have doubts who better to go to than the Lord Himself. That's exactly what John did here, he went right to the Lord to ask his question. In spite of some have claimed, John hadn’t lost his faith in Jesus or he never would have asked "Would You assure me that You are the Messiah?" He'd already proclaimed that he believed that to begin with. John was having doubt, I believe everyone of us have had that at one time or another. Those moments when everything is confusing and you begin to think, "Is Jesus really Who He says He is?" 

Difficult circumstances tend to make us doubt. And we do just what John did, we take are concerns, our doubts to the Lord for reassurance.  John was confused, like us, because there were so many things that he didn’t know. We certainly don't know everything either, so we  shouldn’t be surprised when we come up against something we don't understand. So we go to God for clarity. I do that when I'm studying a passage in Scripture and the meaning isn't readily understood. I read the commentaries, and they don't make sense, so I go to God in prayer and ask Him to help me understand, give me the wisdom and Spiritual knowledge that I need. Graciously, He does. I thank God for that because I'm not some mastermind, I don't infinite wisdom of all spiritual things. I need God Himself to show me. Even the prophets studied their own writings to figure out what they were saying. They didn't understand it. God spoke and said "Now go tell them," and they did, without question.

So John was this fiery, aggressive, bold man who preached exactly what needed to be said and never had any fear saying it, which resulted in his being imprisoned. When John the Baptist heard about Herod Antipas divorcing his own wife to steal his brother’s wife to marry her, he went right to Herod Antipas face, and told him he was an adulterer, a vile sinner. By the way, Herod Antipas, was the ruler of Galilee. I guess you’ve really got to be careful who you rebuke. As you can imagine, that didn't go very well and Herod immediately threw him in prison. He would have killed him, except the people thought he was a prophet. And he was afraid of the people, so he put him in prison, called Machaerus, which was five miles east of the northern tip of the Dead Sea. All his life, he had lived in the open, now, he was confined to a dark, stuffy, hot dungeon in the middle of desert. With nothing to do but wonder, questions began to arise. Isolation does that to the mind. Doubt comes from our inability to mentally process difficult circumstances. 

The Lord is going to care for us, He's going to comfort us and all of the sudden an unexpected occurrence happens, like job loss, illness or death and we find ourselves saying, "I’ve been faithful. If You're God, Sovereign over all things, why am I going through this?" Right? At the first sign of trouble, Satan gets in our minds and we really begin to doubt. We begin to doubt that God loves us and cares for us.

Look at verses 4-5, "Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them."

 Jesus says "Tell John to trust Me, I do care. Just look at the kind of people I'm touching; the blind, the lame, the deaf, the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached." Everyone thought that when the Messiah came, He would overthrow the Roman occupation, and give Israel back her land. John had become a victim of the same worldly thinking. John knew his ministry was to prepare the way for Christ. Now, here's Jesus is walking around and nothing has changed. That isn't the way it’s supposed to be. Why hadn’t Jesus called down the wrath of God on sinners? Why hadn’t He dethroned the Romans? His Old Testament view had caused his perception of the Messiah to skewed. All of these things was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy which adds Jesus’ credentials as the Christ. Yet, even today some still won’t believe in Jesus even though He continues to save sinners, demonstrate His miracle working power. They claims He’s a forgery, a fraud.

That brings us to verse 6, "And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me."

And John, if you want to be blessed, don’t let anything cause you to doubt. You will be delivered, maybe not in this life, but in the next. You know, the disciples were fighting doubts about Jesus, asking the same dumb question, "When are You going to bring the Kingdom?" They were affected by the Old Testaments views. 

When Jesus said He was going to die, it didn’t make any sense to Peter. He said "That’s not in the plan, You're not going to die! And Jesus said, "Get behind me, Satan." And when Jesus was arrested, he was so confused he denied Him three times. Peter's expectation was so different from the reality of what was happening. People ask me all the time, "If your God is a God of love, why are people starving and children dying from disease? If your God is all powerful, why doesn’t He just make everything right?" "If we're going to believe in God, we want a god who fits what we want to believe." You know something, God doesn't tell me why.

Romans 9, Paul says "For He says to Moses, will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy." That's you're answer! God Is God, He doesn't owe me or anyone else an explanation. God does as He pleases.


In Closing..

It's mind boggling to me that some people still think Elvis is alive, but God is dead. We are living in the day of grace now, but the time of judgment is coming! So we continue to proclaim the Gospel and offer God’s forgiveness. In hopes that they may change their minds and repent, and come to a saving relationship with Christ.

Sin is running rampant in our society today. Because the world does not know God; the world does not know God's plan; because they do not know Christ, hatred, lawlessness, temptation and sexual immorality have reached epidemic proportion. Perhaps more than at any other time in human history. We are literally living in the days where every evil deed is accepted, condoned and even celebrated. Because of the anonymity of the internet and wireless technology it has allowed people to pursue every wicked deed under the sun. The result of straying from God's designed path has been destructive, far-reaching and devastating. I believe our society is literally unraveling before our very eyes.

I believe it’s important to first say that all sin is intolerable to God. Regardless, whether it's hate, racism, murder or sexual immorality. Allow me to remind you that if, that if a person recognizes and confesses his or her sin, repents and turns away from sin, God graciously forgives that sinner. You don’t need to stay in a state of sin, because God’s grace is the bottomline.

If you are currently struggling with sin in your life, take heart! God is ready and willing to forgive and cleanse all who turn to Him in confession and repentance and faithfully pursue principles of His Word. There is divine help and hope for those who are willing! The Holy Spirit has the powerful resources to enable you to conquer sin, to live a life of purity and possess eternal life. The key is that you must be willing to participate in His work of sanctification.

Only Jesus can deal with mankind greatest problem, sin. But first, they need to know they’re sinners. They need to know there’s hope, through His death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins! Jesus is telling us today not to stumble over the love, compassion and willingness to forgive people. That says a lot about what the method of ministry ought to be. Our mission is to proclaim the Gospel to the lost, to give the blessed hope to a fallen world. I pray we who are called by God will dedicate our lives to that end.

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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