Summary: A New Year sermon that can be edited and preached at any time!
A Forecast for the New Year
Book of Jude, verses 1-25
January 2, 2011
Throughout my life, I’ve always dreamed of being a weather forecaster. Growing up, watching the news was part of my daily schedule. My favorite part of the newscast was not the sports segment, but the four to five minute weather segment. Patterns come and patterns go. Storms come and storms go. There is always a new development.
God has allowed part of the dream to come to fruition in my life. He’s allowed me to preach this morning and grant you the forecast for this church, on this date, in this new year. For some of you, you will turn off your hearing aides immediately after this introduction. For others, you will be motivated to make a difference for Jesus Christ.
Friends, the forecast is simple. For the Christian in the house – a person who has genuinely trusted Jesus Christ to be his or her Lord and Savior – your forecast is Sunny. Heaven will be your home. Thus, your ultimate forecast is a beautiful life and a beautiful eternity in Heaven. For that, you must be thankful and also, you must desire to see others go to Heaven as well. I question the salvation of individuals who do not want churches to grow or to see other people come to know Jesus. If you’re truly a Christian, you’ll want to see others come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
For the unbeliever in the house – a person who has never trusted Jesus to be their Lord and Savior – your ultimate forecast is one of Storms, eternal storms. As a matter of fact, eternal damnation in a Devil’s Hell. You may have good days – you may even have fun from time to time – but your destination is secured through your unbelief in Christ. The sad thing is this – there are church members in this room today that have never genuinely trusted Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Pastor, how can you make that proclamation today – your actions speak louder than your words.
For the church universal – this church and every other Christian church – the forecast is not as cut and dry. You see, each church is filled with two types of people – those who are Saved, and those who are Lost. There is no in between. There are saved persons who are on the rolls of a church – there are lost persons who are on the rolls of a church. That is why so many churches struggle to maintain. We are constantly fighting over nonsensical issues, never truly concerned with what is really important – winning lost souls to Jesus Christ. For the church, the forecast is cloudy. Cloudy, with a 50% chance of Storms.
Today’s text comes from a book that is right in the vestibule of the book of Revelation, the book of Jude. Jude composed his text as a response to the Gnostic cult that was in the midst of being formed in the newborn Christian church and Christian culture. Gnosticsm was a full blown pagan cult attack on Christianity, questioning everything about Christianity. It always had excuses instead of answers. This same cultic behavior is present in our churches today – and especially in the world. Let’s go ahead and dig in this morning.
Let’s break this down – expositionally this morning.
I. Jude is CHALLENGING believers to BE STRONG, BE FIRM, and BE COURAGEOUS.
a. “To those who are called”
b. “To those who are sanctified by God the Father”
c. “To those who are preserved in Jesus Christ”
3 aBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as bHe chose us in Him cbefore the foundation of the world, that we should dbe holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 ehaving predestined us to fadoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, gaccording to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, hby which He 1made us accepted in ithe Beloved.
7 jIn Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to kthe riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and 2prudence, 9 lhaving made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure mwhich He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of nthe fullness of the times oHe might gather together in one pall things in Christ, 3both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 qIn Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to rthe purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 sthat we twho first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.