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Summary: Must read! We look at John the Baptist and the battle that tried to hinder his full touch of Jesus’ hands. I may not understand today, but I have to press on and try again!

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DOWN? WHY AM I HERE? DID I MISS IT?

By Wade Martin Hughes, Sr. Kyfingers@aol.com

If you can preach this sermon with out tears, please don’t preach it!

I have an OSCAR THE GROUCH, remember he lives in a garbage can? On the side of Grouch’s garbage can, it says: UNWELCOME TO GROUCH LAND?

And a TICKLE ME ELMO. I use these to be the introduction to this lesson.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

I. YOU WILL NEVER KNOW ---?

DO YOU EVER FEEL THE NEED TO WEAR A MASK TO HIDE YOUR HEART?

HAVE YOU EVER HURT SO BAD THAT UP SEEMED TO BE DOWN AND DOWN SEEMED TO BE UP? HANG ON MY FRIEND.

Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

II. A SUPREME, DIVINE REVELATION.

PERSECUTION SEEMS SO MEAN AND CRUEL, YET GOD GROWS THE CHURCH. HOW QUICK CAN PRAISE BECOME AN INTRODUCTION TO BEING DOWN? NO BODY KNOWS?

Thanks Terry Crigger for this thought.

A. Elijah had preached and told of John the Baptist coming hundreds of years prior. John was a crude man, not in fancy clothes, and not friends with the

political crowd.

B. John was born of a MIRACLE BIRTH TO OLDER PARENTS.

Elisabeth, John’s mother greeted Mary, and JOHN WAS FILLED WITH A PURPOSE BEFORE HIS BIRTH.

C. JOHN, THE FIRST REAL MAN OF GOD TO CATCH THE SUPREME REVELATION THAT JESUS WAS BORN OF A VIRGIN, AND THAT JESUS WAS THE MESSIAH FOR WHICH THEY HAD BEEN WAITING. JOHN KNEW JESUS WAS GOD’S SON

INCARNATE IN MAN.

D. The little people loved John and would meet him out in the wilderness. The WHO WHO’S and RELIGIOUS CROWD HATED JOHN.

III. MY GOD HAS A PLAN! GOD’S PLAN IS NOT ALWAYS EASY, BUT GOD’S PLAN IS BEST! YOU HAVE TO TRUST HIS PLAN AND PURPOSE EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND IT!

A. John had a simple message crying from the wilderness:

GET READY, PREPARE YE THE WAY... GOD’S SON IS COMING!

REPENT --- VIPERS ---- REPENT AND CHANGE.

MAKE STRAIGHT PATHS.

B. There is ONE COMING, I am not worthy to untie His shoes. I WILL BAPTISE WITH WATER! GOD’S SON WILL BAPTISE WITH FIRE!

C. JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS TRUE TO HIS CALLING! HIS LIFE WAS NOT ONE OF GREAT EASE.

D. WHAT IS A PRISON?

Confinement. A place of punishment. Forced, cruel manual labor.

A place where prisoners and criminals are kept.

Often old cisterns, no light systems, moist and damp.

Cold, loss of freedom.

Miry clay floors?

E. Part of the terror of prison is who is in the prison with you?

Depravity? Reeking human smells?

IV. I AM DOWN BUT NOT NEGLECTED!

DO MEAN, CRUEL PEOPLE PUSH US TO DEFEAT?

A. WHAT WAS HIS CRIME? PREACHING THAT SIN IS SIN.

YOU BETTER REPENT.

B. THERE WAS A LADY NAMED HERODIAS THAT HATED JOHN’S

MESSAGE AND THUS SHE HATED JOHN! Herodias was bitter, angry, and unrepentant!

C. Herodias was a mean cruel woman. She had a sexual affair with the KING! Herodias loved the power of her BROTHER-IN-LAW MORE THAN HER HUSBAND! Herodias would do and use what ever it took to advance her cause.

D. JOHN NOTICES HEAVILY ARMED SOLDIERS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS MOVE IN TO ARREST HIM. Why?

E. John’s reward for STANDING FOR THE RIGHT WAS A PRISON SENTENCE.

V. MY OPINION IS NOT THAT JOHN WAS HEAVILY DOUBTING JESUS, HE WAS DOUBTING HIMSELF? HE DOUBTED HIS CALL? IF I HAVE OBEYED GOD --- WHY AM I HERE?

A. HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY AM I HEAR? AFTER SERVING THE LORD, SEEING THINGS GO MUCH DIFFERENT THAN I PLANNED?

WHY? WHY AM I HERE?

B. I hope you know it was dark in the prison? John was treated mean and cruel?

C. WITH A BROKEN AND CRUSHED HEART JOHN’S MINISTRY IS COMING TO A QUICK END.

D. WITH A BROKEN HEART JOHN CALLS TWO OF HIS BEST DISCIPLES

TO THE JAIL CELL ... HELP ME UNDERSTAND?

E. JOHN LOOKS OUT OF THE PIT, AND IN A BROKEN HEART, DREAMS DASHED, HOPE GONE, JOHN THE BAPTIST SAYS:

Luke 7:19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

VI. CAN YOU HEAR THE PAIN IN GOD’S MAN’S HEART?

A. MY EYES ARE FLOODING AS THE MAN WITH THE FIRST DIVINE REVELATION OF GOD’S SON IS LAYING IN MUD AND FILTH, AND HE CRIES OUT? HAVE I MISSED IT?

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