Sermon:
Set Me on Fire, God!
*Todayís church needs a good dose of Holy Ghost fire!
Text: Luke 3:1-17
- v. 16 - "I baptize you with water, but One is coming who is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to untie the strap of His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
Introduction: If we intend to come out of this conference with anything more than we came in with, we must experience Holy Ghost fire. Witnessing it will not suffice. We must experience that fire burning the crud out of our inmost being if we intend to leave with any change whatsoever. The world is headed towards hell fire because the church has lost Holy Ghost fire!
Between Malachi and Mathew youíve got four hundred years of complete blackness - no prophetic light - no prophetic voice. And then suddenly, dramatically, unexpectedly out of this blackness, out of this stillness appears this strange man, John the Baptist. John calls him a "burning and a shining lamp." Jesus said, "There was no man comparable to John Baptist." He was a remarkable, one-of-a-kind character.
Scripture tells us he appeared in the wilderness. You must understand this was not only a geographical wilderness. He stepped into a moral wilderness, a political wilderness, a religious wilderness. John appeared at a time when the world was in complete chaos and turmoil. Our world, in all its technology, all its religiosity, all its free-spiritedness, is truly a dark, bleak wilderness.
A key point to understanding John and his effectiveness is in understanding his individuality. The church wants to organize a bunch of people together to carry things out. When you spend all of your time with a group, you never get alone with God. Consider: God took Moses to the backside of the desert to prepare him. He took David out on the hills with his sheep to prepare him. If you ever intend to do anything powerful for God, you must first get the power from God and the only way you do that is by getting alone with God! John was in the wilderness alone until the day God gave him the message to proclaim. The wilderness experience created a wild man out of John - he became wild for the cause of Christ because heíd gotten alone with his Creator and been baptized by the fire of the Holy Ghost.

Consider, if you will, the:
I. The Religious Wilderness John Was Born Into
- vv. 1-2 - "In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, Godís word came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness."
A. "during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas" -
1. This is an illegal scenario.
2. Godís design was for one man, chosen by Him, to serve as high priest.
3. Godís design was thrown out - manís design was taken in.
B. The church of today is not