Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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Comforting Communications
Col 4:7-18

7 Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. 8 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, 9 with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here. 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you. 15 Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house. 16 Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, "Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it." 18 This salutation by my own hand--Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen. NKJV

Introduction
Everone enjoys good communicetion.  We enjoy listen to good conversation and we enjoy having good communication.   We need communication.  I want you to  note the comfort of Pauls' communication.
 
 

1.    Comforting Communication from . . Gentile Christians. v 7-9



        7 Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. 8 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, 9 with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here.

A.    Gentile Communication Concerning . . Paul. v 7
        Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me.

B.    Gentile Communication Concerning . . Persecution. v 8
        I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts,

C.    Gentile Communication Concerning . . Particulars. v 9
        "with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here.

Illustration
Do you remember that early Christians were not sure Gentiles could become Christians? The first big church council was held in Jerusalem to discuss this very matter.

Today there are more Gentile Christians than Jewish Christians. That is sad but it is true. Have you ever tried to witness to a Jewish Person.

Application

Today Gentile Communication should include witnesses to Jewish People
 
 
 

2.    Comforting Communication from . . Jewish Christians. v 10 - 11



        10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me.

A.    Jewish Communication Concerning . . Possibilities. v 10
        Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him),

B.    Jewish Communions Concerning . . Proof. v 11
        "and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me.

Illustration http://www.jfjonline.org/testimonies/sekulow.htm
How a Jewish Lawyer from Brooklyn Came to Believe in Jesus So how did a Jewish kid from New York get involved with Jesus? It happened like this.... I was born on June 10, 1956, in Brooklyn, but we moved to Long Island just after I was born and lived there until I was into my teens. My family attended a Reform synagogue in Long Island;. . . "

I enrolled in Atlanta Baptist College with a competitive determination to out study and outsmart "all the Christians." I did well in my pre-law studies, and attacked the mandatory Bible classes with a cynical confidence, certain that it would not be difficult to disprove "their" idea that Jesus was the Messiah.

I met a guy named Glenn Borders, whom I immediately labelled a "Jesus freak." Glenn took his religion seriously. Glenn suggested I read Isaiah 53. My mind was boggled by the description of the "suffering servant" who sounded so much like

I began to research the passage and I started to look for rabbinic interpretations. That's when I began to worry. If I read the passage once, I'm sure I read it 500 times. I looked for as many  traditional Jewish interpretations as I could find. A number of them, especially the earlier ones, described the text as a messianic prophecy.

My last impression of what to expect from the Jewish religious establishment had been in a service where, when somebody sneezed the rabbi said, "God bless you." Then he said, "What am I saying? I don't believe in God."

How did I feel about believing that Jesus was the Messiah? Actually, I was half relieved. Once I'd gotten past the point of not wanting to know, once I took out my paper and pencil and began my lists of why Jesus was the Messiah on one side and why he wasn't on the other--I realized something. I had never felt the need for a Messiah before, but now that I was studying the prophecies and reading about what the Messiah was supposed to do, it sounded pretty good. I'd always thought my cultural Judaism was sufficient, but in the course of studying about the

Messiah who would die as a sin bearer, I realized that I needed a Messiah to do that for me. When I concluded that Jesus was that Messiah, I was grateful. It didn't occur to me that I needed to do
anything about it.

A few days later, one of my Christian friends invited me to hear Jews for Jesus' singing group, The Liberated Wailing Wall. You have no idea what a relief it was to see other Jews who believed that Jesus is the Messiah. Their presentation of "Jewish gospel music" and some of the things they said helped me realize that if I really believed in Jesus, I needed to make a commitment to him. At the end of the program, they sang a song called "I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel" and they invited people who wanted to commit their life to Jesus to come up the aisle to meet with them at the front of the church. I responded to that invitation. It was February, 1976.

Jay Sekulow currently serves as Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice.
 

Application

Today as we witness to Jewish people we should include the communications of Converted Jewish people such as Jay Sukelow.
 
 
 

3.    Comforting Communication from . . Praying Christians. v 12- 13



        12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis.

A.    Communication the . . Fervency of the Praying. v 12 a
        "Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, . . . "

B.    Communication the . . Fabric of the Praying. v 12 b
        ". . . that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God."

C.    Communication the . . Feelings of the Praying. v 13
        13 For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis.

Illustration
As a young man in church together with other young men we would sign up for an all night prayer meeting. We would take the 3:00 AM hour. On one occasion we got back to church a little early and peaked into the worship area and saw our pastor crawling around on his knees and hugging each pew.

It was not any wonder that Tower Grove Baptist Church had more people make professions of faith than any other church in the Southern Baptist Convention that year.

Application

What about the fervency, fabric and feelings of our prayers?
 
 
 

4.    Comforting Communication from . . Christian Epistles. v 14 - 18



        14 Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you. 15 Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house. 16 Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, "Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it." 18 This salutation by my own hand--Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen.

A.    Communicating the . . People of the Epistle. v 14
        ". . . Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.

B.    Communicating the . . Instruction of the Epistle. v 15-17
        15 Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house. 16 Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, "Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it."

C.    Communicating the . . Reminder of the Epistle. v 14
        18 This salutation by my own hand--Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen.

Illustration
All of the apostles were insulted by the enemies of their Master. They were called to seal their doctrines with their blood and nobly did they bear the trial. According to traditional statements, the following is what became of the apostles:

Matthew suffered martyrdom by being slain with a sword at a distant city of Ethiopia. Mark expired at Alexandria, after being cruelly dragged through the streets of that city. Luke was hanged upon an olive tree in the classic land of Greece. John was put in a caldron of boiling oil, but escaped death in a miraculous manner, and was afterward branded at Patmos. Peter was crucified at with his head downward. James, the Greater, was beheaded at Jerusalem. James, the Less, was thrown from a lofty pinnacle of the temple, and then beaten to death with a fuller's club.

Bartholomew was flayed alive. Andrew was bound to a cross, whence he preached to his persecutors until he died. Thomas was run through the body with a lance at Coromandel in the East Indies. Jude was shot to death with arrows. Matthias was first stoned and then beheaded. Barnabas of the Gentiles was stoned to death at Salonica. Paul, after various tortures and persecutions, was at length beheaded at Rome by the Emperor Nero.

Did you know Judas is the GREEK equilivent of the HEBREW word Judah? Did you know Judah meansaise and therfore Judas also has praise as one of it's meranings

JUDAS [JOO duhs] (praise of the Lord) - the name of five
men in the New Testament: (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible
Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

JUDAH *** Meaning 1 *** (joo'-da) (yehudhah,
"praised"):(from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft)

JUDAH *** Meaning 2 *** JU'DAH (ju'da; Heb. Yehuda,
"may he," i.e., God, "be praised"; "Judas" in the KJV of
Mt 1:2-3). The patriarch and fourth son of Jacob and Leah,
and whole brother to Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, older than
himself, and Issachar and Zebulun, who were younger (Ge
29:35), about 1950 BC (From The New Unger's Bible
Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago,
Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)

Comforting Communications from:

. . Gentile Christians. v 7-9

. . Jewish Christians. v 10 - 11

. . Praying Christians. v 12- 13

. . Christian Epistles. v 14 - 18