The Best Is Yet To Come

When Cyrus took over Babylon in 538 B.C. and established the kingdom of Persia, the Hebrews came under a Persian governor. Permission was given for the exiles to return and restore their temples. After the death of Cyrus, and of his son Cambyses, Darius became ruler and continued the benevolent policies of Cyrus. Then Darius appointed Zerubbabel as governor with the specific responsibility of resuming work on the Temple, begun earlier by Shesh-bazzar.

Introduction

Background

Holman Bible Dictionary

When Cyrus took over Babylon in 538 B.C. and established the kingdom of Persia, the Hebrews came under a Persian governor. Permission was given for the exiles to return and restore their temples. After the death of Cyrus, and of his son Cambyses, Darius became ruler and continued the benevolent policies of Cyrus. Then Darius appointed Zerubbabel as governor with the specific responsibility of resuming work on the Temple, begun earlier by Shesh-bazzar.

Apparently the adjustments required of the returning exiles were so difficult that rebuilding their own homes and the Temple at the same time put a strain on their resources. They despaired of ever restoring the Temple to its former glory. Work on the Temple ceased. Haggai, along with Zechariah, helped Zerubbabel gain the support and help he needed from the returning exiles to carry out his assigned task.

Haggai’s answer was that if it was right for them to rebuild their own houses, it was also right for them to rebuild the Temple. Haggai noted that in rebuilding their own houses they had done well, but they were still not happy. His diagnosis was that they had neglected their spiritual lives. He said the way to correct their neglect was to rebuild the Temple.

  • Haggai directed his exhortation and prophecy to everyone at all levels
    • Who
      • Zerubbabel (Civil Leadership)
        • Son of Shealtiel
        • Descended from the royal line of David
        • Friend of Darius
          • Successfully competed before him in contest to determine the strongest thing in the world: wine, kings, women, or truth
            • Demonstrated truth was the mightiest of all
            • Became known as the king’s “cousin”
            • Granted permission to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple after the exile (537 BC)
          • Appointed Governor of Judah
          • Also served as Tax Collector
      • Joshua (Spiritual Leadership)
        • Son of Josedech
        • High priest
        • Returned from exile with Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple (537 BC)
          • Head of Levitical house which had oversight of the workmen in the temple
          • Led in rebuilding the altar
          • Led in restoring sacrifice
      • Lay People
        • Remnant
        • Those who would return/come
    • Action
      • Actively participate
        • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NASB)
          19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
      • Actively seek the participation of others
        • Active Believers
          • Colossians 2:6-7 (NASB)
            6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, andoverflowing with gratitude.
        • Inactive Believers
          • 1 John 2:3-6 (NASB)
            3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
        • Unbelievers
          • Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB)
            18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
          • Ezekiel 33:7-9 (NASB)
            7 “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. 8 “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. 9 “But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.

Questions

  • Do you find yourself dwelling on and trying to recapture past glories?
  • Are you tired and discouraged?

Good News

  • God Is with You
  • The Best Is Yet to Come

Scripture

Haggai 2:1-9 (NASB)
1 On the twenty-first of the seventh month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet saying, 2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people saying, 3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison? 4 ‘But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 5 ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’ 6 “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. 7 ‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. 8 ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 9 ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, all good things come from You. Through this sermon, please make plain to us how the best is yet to come. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Proposition

Be strong, work, and fear not for God is with us and the greater glory is yet to come.

Probing Question

What should we do when we are tired and discouraged?

Transitional Sentence

When tired and discouraged, we should…

Main Points

1. Be Strong

Haggai 2:4a (NASB)
4 ‘But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord…

  • What?
    • Meanings
      • Be(come) Strong
      • Strengthen
      • Prevail
      • Harden
      • Be Courageous
    • Connotation
      • Prevail
      • Be Courageous
  • Why?
    • Haggai 2:4b (NASB)
      …for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts.
  • Illustrations
    • The Lion’s Tail (Source Unknown)
      Adrian Rogers tells about the man who bragged that he had cut off the tail of a man-eating lion with his pocket knife. Asked why he hadn’t cut off the lion’s head, the man replied: “Someone had already done that.”
    • Courage is … (Eddie Rickenbacker, Bits & Pieces, April 29, 1993, p. 12)
      Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.
    • “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne
    • “True heroism is remarkably sober, very un-dramatic.  It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever the cost.” – Tennis Star Arthur Ashe
  • How?
    • Have faith
      • Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)
        5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
      • Philippians 4:13 (NASB)
        13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

2. Work

Haggai 2:4a (NASB)
4 ‘But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work…

  • What?
    • Meanings
      • Do
      • Fashion
      • Accomplish
      • Make
    • Connotation
      • Do
      • Make
      • Used with a sense of ethical obligation
        • Covenant people frequently commanded to “do” all that God commanded
        • Goes beyond mere mental abstraction and translates into obedience evidenced in a demonstrable act
  • Why?
    • Haggai 2:4b (NASB)
      4 …for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts.
  • Illustrations
    • “Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience.  Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from Grace.” – Thomas A. Kempis
    • “One step forward in obedience is worth years of study about it.” – Oswald Chambers (Our Daily Bread, March 4, 1993)
    • “The cost of obedience is nothing compared with the cost of disobedience.” – Anonymous
    • “It is a great deal easier to do that which God gives us to do, no matter how hard it is, than to face the responsibilities of not doing it.” = Dr. B. J. Miller (MBI’s Today In The Word, November, 1989, p.11)
  • How?
    • Demonstrate your faith in God through obedience to Him
      • James 2:14-26 (NASB)
        14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without thespirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

3. Fear Not

Haggai 2:4-5 (NASB)
4 ‘But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 5 ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’

  • What?
    • Meanings
      • Fear
      • Be Afraid
      • Revere
    • Connotation
      • Fear
      • Be Afraid
      • Emotion of fear
      • Intellectual anticipation of evil without emphasis upon the emotional reaction
  • Why?
    • Haggai 2:4b-5a (NASB)
      4 …for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 5 ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst…
  • Illustrations
    • Fear of Ridicule (Today in the Word, October 17, 1993)
      Anytime we are engaged in a work for God, we are likely to encounter the poison-tipped arrows of ridicule. A barrage of truth mingled with lies, innuendo, malicious gossip and implied threats is the normal experience of leaders. Malice arises from fear. And fear is a common response to someone else’s success. So expect to have your faults thrown in your face, your folly mocked and your real progress belittled. When this happens, by all means allow yourself to be cut down to size, but do not let yourself be dismayed or intimidated. Remember that the chorus of contempt has a diabolical conductor whose aim is to make your knees buckle. He likes tongue-tied, ineffective Christians and plays on your secret fears and inferiorities to make you one of them.
    • “I am full of fears and chasms of inferiority. Whenever I have listened to the enemy pointing them out I have stopped working for the kingdom. Yet in those moments when I have refused to listen to him and have feebly walked in obedience, I have been astonished at what God has done with my feeble performance.” – John White
  • How?
    • Persevere in your obedience to God through trust in Him
      • 2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB)
        7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
      • Matthew 10:28 (NASB)
        28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
      • Hebrews 13:6 (NASB)
        6 so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”
      • Romans 8:31 (NASB)
        31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who isagainst us?

Conclusion

God encourages people to be strong, work, and fear not for He is with us and the greater glory is yet to come.

When we are tired and discouraged we should:

  • Be Strong
  • Work
  • Fear Not

Because:

  • God is with us
    • Haggai 2:4b-5a (NASB)
      4 …for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 5 ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst…
  • The best is yet to come
    • Haggai 2:6-9 (NASB)
      6 “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. 7 ‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. 8 ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 9 ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, almighty God, thank You for Your promise to never leave us nor forsake us. Because of Your presence and watchcare over us, we can be strong, serve You, and not be afraid. Thank You for Your promise to give us life and life more abundantly. Thank You that the best is yet to come. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

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2011 Christmas Series Part 2: A Savior Promised – Prophesies of a Messiah

God created a perfect world.

Man was placed in a garden paradise to enjoy fellowship with God.

Man fell from grace through disobedience to God, causing sin and death to enter the world.

God already planned a Savior to redeem mankind and restore fellowship with Him.

Scripture contains increasingly specific prophecies pointing to the Savior and God’s plan for redemption.

Introduction

God created a perfect world.

Man was placed in a garden paradise to enjoy fellowship with God.

Man fell from grace through disobedience to God, causing sin and death to enter the world.

God already planned a Savior to redeem mankind and restore fellowship with Him.

Scripture contains increasingly specific prophecies pointing to the Savior and God’s plan for redemption.

Opening Prayer

Our most gracious Heavenly Father, although Your creation was perfect, You knew man would ultimately fail you and so, in Your infinite wisdom, before the very foundation of the world, made plans for a Messiah, a Savior for mankind, in the personhood of Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Your love, mercy, and grace are unrivaled throughout all that exists. Thank You God for loving us despite our shortcomings. Thank You God for providing a path to reconcilliation with You. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Amen.

Main Points

1. The Promised Seed

Genesis 3:15 (NASB)
15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

  • Protevangelium – The first hint of the Gospel (very generalized)
  • Although containing a promise for mankind, it is addressed to the serpent
    • Part of a sentence of judgment passed upon an enemy of God and man
    • It is about God’s rule as much as it is man’s need
  • It is also a prophecy of hostility and struggle
    • Enmity comes from a Hebrew word meaning “to hate”
    • Warns of opposition between Satan and mankind as well as the One who will bring God’s plan of salvation to pass
  • Enmity is with Satan and his seed, not against serpents in general
    • Scriptural use of enmity only occurs between persons and/or morally responsible agents
    • New Testament revelation reveals the figure of Satan behind the serpent

Revelation 12:9 (NASB)
9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

  • The struggle is between Satan and the woman, his seed and her seed, and more specifically, between Satan and an individual of her seed
    • Satan’s defeat and that of his seed (the unbelieving world) would come from the seed of the woman
    • First anticipation of the virgin birth (her seed, NOT man’s, NOT theirs)
  • Two things are stated about the seeds and their enmity
    • Her seed will bruise/crush the serpent’s (Satan’s) head
      • Mortal wound
      • Her seed will be victorious
      • A deliverance is anticipated
    • The serpent (Satan) will bruise her seed on the heel
      • Her seed will suffer
      • It will not be a mortal wound
  • Eve gives birth to Cain and Abel

Genesis 4:1-2 (NASB)
1 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” 2 Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

    • Cain (“gotten” or “acquired”)
    • Did Eve think Cain was the promised seed?
    • God accepted Abel’s sacrifice over Cain’s, could he be the promised seed?
    • Cain soon murdered Abel, so it was obviously neither

2. The Godly Seed: The Line of Seth

Genesis 4:25-26 (NASB)
25 Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then menbegan to call upon the name of the Lord.

  • Seth is from a Hebrew word meaning “to set, place, or appoint”
  • Seth and his line (as opposed to Cain) begin to call upon the name of the Lord
  • Through the line of Seth, we eventually reach Noah
  • Except for Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their wives, the world had become so corrupt God decided to destroy it with a flood
  • After the flood, Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth became the fathers of the entire human race
  • Through the line of Shem, we eventually reach Abram

3. The Call of Abram and the Abrahamic Covenant

Genesis 12:1-3 (NASB)
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

  • A specific portion of land is now in view (Canaan, later to be called Palestine)
    • This land will become the center of the world as God views it
    • The woman’s seed will come out of this land
  • A specific nation is now in view
    • A nation will arise from the descendants of Abram
    • God changes Abram’s name to Abraham meaning “father of a multitude”
  • Universal blessings are promised for all nations of the earth
    • Abraham’s seed will become a channel of blessing to all the world
    • The woman’s seed will come from Abraham’s descendants
  • The covenant is an everlasting, unconditional covenant

Genesis 17:3-8 (NASB)
3 Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, 4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 “No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 “I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. 7 “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. 8 “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

4. The Line of Isaac

Genesis 17:17-21 (NASB)
17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” 19 But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 “As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 “But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.”

Genesis 21:12-13 (NASB)
12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. 13 “And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant.”

  • God will make nations from both Ishmael and Isaac
  • However, Isaac will be the line through which the covenant is established
    • Isaac has two sons, Esau and Jacob
    • The Deliverer will come from one of these lines

 5. The Line of Jacob

Genesis 25:21-26 (NASB)
21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.” 24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.

  • God reiterates the Abrahamic covenant through Jacob

Genesis 28:10-15 (NASB)
10 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. 12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 “Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

  • God changes Jacob’s name to Israel, which is where the nation gets its name
  • Jacob has twelve (12) sons which become the twelve (12) tribes of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, and Benjamin

6. The Tribe of Judah

Genesis 49:10 (NASB)
10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall bethe obedience of the peoples.

  • On his deathbed, Jacob pronounced his blessings on his sons, indicating the royal line would be in the tribe of Judah
  • Judah means “praise”
    • Through this tribe God would do things to cause men to lift up their voices in praise
  • The “scepter” and the “ruler’s staff” refer to Judah’s right to rule and to it being the royal line
  • “Shiloh” is a messianic title referring to the woman’s seed or the coming Deliverer
  • Jacob’s blessing prophesied that
    • Judah will become the royal line
    • The right to rule will always remain with Judah until the Deliverer comes

 7. The Family of Jesse

1 Samuel 16:1 (NASB)
1 Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.”

Isaiah 11:1,10 (NASB)
1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. … 10 Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.

  • God informs Samuel that He has selected a king from among the sons of Jesse
  • Isaiah also prophesies that one of Jesse’s sons will bear much fruit, becoming a signal for the people
    • Prophecies are moving away from the general toward the more specific
    • Could one of Jesse’s sons be the promised deliverer/redeemer?

 8. The Line of David

  • The people of Israel demand a king

1 Samuel 8:4-10,19-22 (NASB)
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; 5 and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. 8 “Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9 “Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.” 10 So Samuel spoke all the words of the Lord to the people who had asked of him a king. … 19 Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the Lord’s hearing. 22 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

  • God had already planned to give them a king
    • One after His own heart
    • One who would rule under God’s authority with God ruling over his heart
  • Due to Israel’s impatience, God gave them a king
    • Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, NOT Judah as had been prophesied by Jacob (Genesis 49)
    • God’s sovereignty and providence despite Israel’s impatience
      • Judah sinned and had illegitimate sons, Perez (firstborn) and Zera (Genesis 38:6-30)
      • Being the firstborn, Perez was the seed or royal line (Matthew 1:3; Luke 3:33)
      • However, illegitimate sons are prohibited from entering the congregation of the Lord until the tenth generation (Deuteronomy 23:2)
      • Perez, and any of his descendants, until the tenth generation, were therefore prohibited from serving as either a king or a priest
      • Jesse, David’s father, was a ninth generation descendent of Perez
      • David, was a tenth generation descendent, and, as such, was eligible to serve as king
    • God gave Israel Saul until David could come of age

1 Samuel 16:12-13 (NASB)
12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

  • King David was well liked and had won the hearts and minds of the people
  • Many probably began looking to him as the fulfillment of the prophesy
  • Through his sins (e.g., Bathsheba), they discover that David can not the chosen one, they must look to his descendants

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NASB)
6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of Hisgovernment or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

  • God affirms this through the Davidic Covenant

2 Samuel 7:12-17 (NASB)
12 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.””‘ 17 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

  • The royal line passes from David to his son, Solomon

1 Chronicles 28:4-5 (NASB)
4 “Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. 5 “Of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons), He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel.

 9. The Messiah to be Preceded by a Forerunner

Isaiah 40:3 (NASB)
3 A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

Malachi 3:1 (NASB)
1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.

  • Prophecy predicted the Messiah would be preceded by a forerunner who would prepare the hearts of the people for the Lord

10. The Messiah to be Born of a Virgin

Isaiah 7:13-14 (NASB)
13 Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

  •  Virgin is the translation of the Hebrew word, hm;l][“ (`almâ), meaning “a mature, young, unmarried, and chaste woman” representing a young woman, one of whose characteristics is virginity
    • Long before any Christological controversies, the Septuagint used the Greek word, parqe/noj (parthenos), meaning “virgin”, in two of the seven occurrences of the Hebrew word, hm;l][“ (`almâ), including Isaiah 7:14, which is what the angel quoted to Joseph as a prediction of the virgin birth (Matthew 1:23)
    • There is no instance where one can prove that hm;l][“ (`almâ) designates a young woman who is not also a virgin
    • hm;l][“ (`almâ) is the only Hebrew word that unequivocally signifies an unmarried woman
    • It is sometimes argued that the Hebrew language has a more precise word for “virgin”: hl;WtK] (bethulah); however, this word may also indicate a betrothed virgin or one who is already married (Joel 1:8)
      • In such a case, the birth of the child might be viewed as the result of the normal husband/wife relationship
      • Instead, Isaiah is speaking of a young, unmarried virgin who conceives miraculously

 11. The Promise Preserved, Despite Royal Line Being Cut Off/Cursed

Jeremiah 22:28-30 (NASB)
28 “Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out And cast into a land that they had not known? 29 “O land, land, land, Hear the word of the Lord! 30 “Thus says the Lord, ‘Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.’ “

  • The Royal Line is cut off and cursed
    • No physical seed of Coniah (Jeconiah) could ever occupy the throne of David
    • Included in the royal line of David, through Solomon, was Jeconiah
    • Consequently, the royal line of David, through Solomon, was cut off
  • The Promise preserved
    • Through the virgin birth
      • Jesus was the legal son of Joseph by adoption
      • Jesus was the physical son of David though Mary
    • Joseph was in the royal line of David through Solomon, giving Jesus legal title to the throne by adoption (Matthew 1:1-17)
    • Mary was a descendant of Nathan, another son of David, which made Jesus a literal son of David (Luke 3:23-38)

12. The Time of the Messiah’s Birth

Daniel 9:24-27 (NASB)
24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25 “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will comeone who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

  • Indicates when the Messiah will appear on the scene: 69 weeks of years, or 483 years (Daniel 9:25), commencing upon the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in 445 BC (Nehemiah 2:1-8)
  • Indicates the Messiah will be rejected by His people
  • Indicates the Messiah will be cut off temporarily (a reference to the cross)
  • The words “…until Messiah the Prince…” refer to a time when the Messiah would be manifested as the Prince of Israel (although debated, probably refers to the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday when He presented Himself and was recognized by the people as Messiah Prince – ca. 30-33 AD, placing His birth around 0-4 AD)

13. The Place of the Messiah’s Birth

Micah 5:2 (NASB)
2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Toolittle to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”

  • The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem

14. The Messiah’s Birth to be Celestially Announced

Numbers 24:17 (NASB)
17 “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.

  • God would provide a celestial sign, announcing the birth of Christ

Conclusion

  • The Bible is not a simple collection of semi-related books
    • The Bible reveals the character and nature of God
    • The Bible provides a theological history revealing:
      • God’s creation of a paradise within which He desired to have a relationship with mankind, whom He created in His image
      • Mankind’s fall from grace through sin, plunging him and creation into death and despair
      • God’s plan for redemption and restoration through a deliverer, redeemer, savior
  • From Genesis through Revelation, the Bible provides progressive revelation of God’s plan for redemption and restoration
    • First revelation given immediately upon the fall of man
    • Initial revelations are vague and non-specific, but, with each successive revelation they become clearer and more specific
  • Initial fulfillment came in the form of the birth of Jesus Christ
  • Final and complete fulfillment will occur when Jesus returns
  • Will you be ready when He comes?

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, Sovereign of Creation, thank You for knowing in advance that mankind would need redemption through the Savior You provided. Thank You for the progressive revelations of the Messiah so that we could have hope: hope of eternal reconcilliation with You. Lord I pray that those who do not possess that hope would draw nigh unto You and receive the hope and peace that can only come from You. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

Contact Form









 

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Every Sunday Is Memorial Day

Paul exhorted the Corinthians to remember the Lord’s sacrifice with proper self-examination.

Introduction

Encyclopedia Americana, 1991 Edition

Memorial Day is an official holiday in most states of the United States. It was observed on May 30 until 1971, when for federal employees, the date was changed to the last Monday in May. With the exception of Louisiana, all states observing Memorial Day adopted the change. It is also known as Decoration Day.

The custom of placing flowers on the graves of the war veterans began on May 5, 1866, in Waterloo, NY, and Waterloo has been recognized by Congress as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. In 1868, Gen. John A. Logan, then president of the Grand Army of the Republic, declared that May 30 would be a day to decorate with “flowers the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.”

After World War I the day was set aside to honor the memory of veterans of all American wars, and the custom was extended to pay homage to deceased relatives and friends, both military and civilian. The most solemn ceremony conducted on Memorial Day is the placing of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns located in Arlington national Cemetery.

Tomorrow, the United States will celebrate this day.

  • Many people see it as just a day off; a 3 day weekend.
  • For those who have lost someone because of war or military action, it means much more than a day off.
    • Every American ought to recognize this day
      • Out of his patriotic duty to his country
      • In honor of those who spilled their blood to make America what she is today
        • Free
        • Strong
        • A nation worth fighting for
    • Because men have died for this country, we have the right to
      • Preach God’s word freely
      • Live at peace in our own homes
      • Pursue peace, prosperity and happiness
  • Thank God for those who died to make us free.

We celebrate Memorial Day once a year to remember those who died for freedom, but every week is a celebration of the Memorial of Christ. As we prepare to enter into a day to remember those who died for liberty…

  • It is fitting to remember the one who died to set us free from spiritual tyranny.
  • Jesus fought the armies of Hell that we might have liberty in his holy name.
  • Let us parallel our nation’s Memorial Day with the memorial day of Christ.
  • Because for the Christian, every Sunday is a memorial day.

In light of Christ’s battle, let us examine evidence of our memorial in Him as we recognize the likeness of our celebration of our military.

Scripture

1 Corinthians 11:23b-29 (NASB)
23 … the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, almighty God, Creator of all that exists, hallowed be thy name. Your plan of salvation existed before the very foundation of the universe. before You even created man, You knew You would be sending Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to the cross to die for man’s sin. In faithful and relentless obedience to You, Jesus sacrificed Himself to reconcile mankind to You. As we take this special time of year to remember those brave men and women who have sacrificed themselves so that we may live free from tyranny, may we also take time to remember Jesus’ sacrifice so that we may live free from the bondage of sin. Help us to remember that every Sunday, yea, even every day, should be a memorial to Jesus and His atoning work. Please lead, guide, and direct us in Your righteousness and protect us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Probing Question

How should Christians remember the Lord’s sacrifice with proper self-examination?

Transitional Sentence

Christians should remember the Lord’s sacrifice with proper self-examination by…

Main Points

1. Mourning the Loss

1 Corinthians 11:23b-26 (NASB)
23 … the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

  • We remember the loved ones who died, wish they were here and not gone; here to share with us, to hold, to talk to and to see, but because of death, we can not
  • When people die, we naturally think of the “If Only’s”
    • “If only I had told him I loved him”
    • “If only I had kissed her one last time”
    • “If only I hadn’t spoken so harshly”
  • We replay those doubts over and over in our minds, but we ultimately know those “If Only’s” would not change a thing
  • On the Lord’s Memorial Day, we are to examine our responsibility to Christ’s death
    • The Christian must recognize that he is very responsible for His death
    • “If only we had not sinned He would not have had to die”
    • But we are to blame
      • We must examine ourselves as we meet around his memorial as if we would stand before a mirror and realize the truth in…

Romans 3:23 (NASB)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

      • We are the ones to blame
      • We caused all his shame
      • He was publicly humiliated, beaten, spit upon, and treated as a sinner because we are sinners
  • As we mourn the loss of Christ
    • Realize that we are the guilty ones
    • Know that if there only be one sinner who was lost, Christ still would have died – His love is that great

Matthew 18:12-14 (NASB)
12 “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? 13 “If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. 14 “So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.

    • We are that lost sheep and Jesus found us.
  • Mourning the loss is the first thing we must do as we celebrate the memorial of our Lord
    • This is why Jesus gave us the bread at communion
    • The first thing you do with the bread as you partake of this memorial is break it
    • Whether you physically break it with your hands or you chew it, you break the body of Christ, just as our sin broke the physical body of Christ

2. Remembering the Life

1 Corinthians 11:27-29 (NASB)
27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.

  • Part of our emotional healing in the process of grief is to remember the lives of the loved ones who have passed
  • The headstones we put on the graves are a testimony of who those people were
    • The epitaphs provide some remembrances of those who died
    • Epitaphs in our cemetery:
      • “May They Rest In Peace”
      • “Son of…”
      • “Daughter of…”
      • “At Rest”
      • “Gone But Not Forgotten”
      • “In Loving Memory”
      • “Wife of…”
      • “Gone To Soon”
      • “She Was The Sunshine of Our Home”
      • “Gone Home To Be With Jesus”
      • “Precious Lord Take My Hand”
      • “You Left Us Too Soon”
    • All of these messages tell us a little about the one who is buried under that headstone
    • Likewise the epitaph that Jesus left tells us something about Him
    • Inscribed on just about every communion table I have ever seen are the words “Do This In Remembrance of Me”
  • What must we remember about Jesus?
    • How He lived
    • What He taught through His life
    • He set a glowing example of how to live in love
    • Our life should reflect that love
  • The bread that we break is a reminder of the body of Christ
    • We are vividly reminded each time we observe this memorial that we are a part of the body of Christ
    • When we physically eat this bread it becomes a part of our body
      • Our body uses this bread for our nourishment
      • But Jesus doesn’t only want us just to be physically nurtured as we meet around the table, He also wants us to be spiritually edified
  • This remembering is not simply the recalling of historical facts, it’s a participation in spiritual realities
    • At the Lord’s Table we don’t walk around the monument and admire it
    • We have fellowship with a living Savior as our hearts reach out by faith
    • If we approach this memorial in the proper attitude we will experience spiritual growth, just as our physical body grows when fed properly
    • The opposite is also true – if we approach the table in a haphazard manner then we take something that is of the highest of religious ceremonies and make a mockery of it, and there will be Hell to pay for the one who cares not for what his Savior has done
    • Do not make light of this Memorial Feast, “Do this in remembrance of Him”

3. Being Thankful for the Sacrifice

1 Corinthians 11:23b-26 (NASB)
23 … the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

Illustration

“Stories from the Heart”

It was a few weeks before Christmas 1917. The beautiful snowy landscapes of Europe were blackened by war.

The trenches on one side held the Germans and on the other side the trenches were filled with Americans. It was World War I. The exchange of gunshots was intense. Separating them was a very narrow strip of no-man’s-land. A young German soldier attempting to cross that no-man’s-land had been shot and had become entangled in the barbed wire. He cried out in anguish, then in pain he continued to whimper.

Between the shells all the Americans in that sector could hear him scream. When one American soldier could stand it no longer, he crawled to that German soldier. When the Americans realized what he was doing they stopped firing, but the Germans continued. Then a German officer realized what the young American was doing and he ordered his men to cease firing. Now there was a weird silence across the no-man’s-land. On his stomach, the American made his way to that German soldier and disentangled him. He stood up with the German in his arms, walked straight to the German trenches and placed him in the waiting arms of his comrades. Having done so, he turned and started back to the American trenches.

Suddenly there was a hand on his shoulder that spun him around. There stood a German officer who had won the Iron Cross, the highest German honor for bravery. He jerked it from his own uniform and placed it on the American, who walked back to the American trenches. When he was safely in the trenches, they resumed the insanity of war!

  • That German soldier was thankful for that American soldiers sacrifice.
  • All the heroic acts done on the battlefields throughout history have made our country what it is today
    • We are free
    • We are wealthy
    • We are respected around the world
  • I am proud to be an American and I have the luxuries of this country because men and women have died to give me what I have.
  • Similarly the price Jesus paid afforded us salvation
    • We have the promise of salvation and we did nothing to afford this luxury
    • For this we must be thankful
    • This is why Jesus gave us the cup
    • When we drink the juice, we remember our forgiveness
    • It is the blood of Jesus that He spilt in order to clean our hearts from sin

Hebrews 9:13-14 (NASB)
13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

  • When you were immersed, a lost, unclean sinner stepped into the baptistery
    • The preacher announced your intent and declared that he was baptizing you for
      • The forgiveness of your sins
      • The gift of the Holy Spirit
      • The promise of eternal life
    • Three (3) unmerited gifts given to you
    • The grace of God was poured out onto you
  • Now that is something to be thankful for!

Conclusion

Christians should remember the Lord’s sacrifice with proper self-examination by

  • Mourning the loss
    • Mourn the loss of the body of Christ
    • Examine your responsibility to it as you break the bread
  • Remembering the life
    • Remember the life of Jesus as you compare your life with His
    • Eat the bread and realize that you are one with His body
  • Being thankful for the sacrifice
    • Be thankful for His sacrifice, because it is through His sacrifice that you have received salvation
    • Partake of the cup and be thankful for His sacrifice that offered you forgiveness

This Memorial Day, remember your Savior and His Memorial.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the brave men and women who have sacrificed themselves for our freedom. May we never forget the price they paid for us. Even more so, thank You for Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our eternal freedom. May we never forget the price He paid for us. We pray these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

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How To Become a Christian

Admit your sinful ways and desire to turn from them and be delivered from the judgment they bring. Acknowledge what Christ did for sinners on the cross, which was confirmed by His resurrection from the dead. Receive Him as the only means of eternal life. Appropriate His rightful claim as Lord of your life. And, pray the Sinner’s Prayer.

Admit your sinful ways and desire to turn from them and be delivered from the judgment they bring.

Romans 3:10,23 (NASB)
10 as it is written, “There is none righteous , not even one; … 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Acknowledge what Christ did for sinners on the cross, which was confirmed by His resurrection from the dead.

Romans 5:8 (NASB)
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 11:25 (NASB)
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,

Receive Him as the only means of eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

John 1:12 (NASB)
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

John 6:40 (NASB)
40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

Appropriate His rightful claim as Lord of your life.

Romans 10:9 (NASB)
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

Philippians 2:10-11 (NASB)
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Pray the Sinner’s Prayer.

Holy God, be merciful to me: a sinner. Please forgive me. I want Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I believe He lived a sinless life, died upon the cross in payment of my sins, and conquered death so that I could have eternal life. Help me to live for You from this day forward. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Jesus Is Lord

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything. “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:3). Therefore, He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority.

Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. However, the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him.

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything. “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:3). Therefore, He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority.

Philippians 2:10-11 (NASB)
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection – the Pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son.

Romans 1:4 (NASB)
4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Acts 17:30-31 (NASB)
30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15) and “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31).

It is not enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they do not love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That does not mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.

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