Summary: This is the 5th sermon in the series "A Time To". This sermon also has a Halloween section and a voting section.
Series: A Time To¡K (Haggai) [#5]
A TIME TO BE RECOGNIZED
God¡¦s promise to Zerubbabel was that the promised Davidic King would come from his family line. He would be like God¡¦s signet ring. Jesus is God¡¦s signet ring. Jesus came to show us who God is. Jesus is God in the flesh.
A signet ring was used to seal letters. The wearer of the ring would place the ring in hot wax and then would press it on the letter to seal it. This did two things: 1) It sealed the letter; (2) It identified the sender.
Some people would try to say that this means God chose who was going to be saved and who wasn¡¦t; but 2 Peter 3:9 (quickview)  tells us that God is patiently waiting for that last person to come to Christ. He is waiting because He wants all to be saved and not perish.
God¡¦s Chosen Choosing (Halloween)
As we have discussed this morning, as God¡¦s chosen people we put God¡¦s reputation to this world on the line each day.
Today is the most popular holiday of the year in the United States. How should God¡¦s chosen react to this holiday? What is the holiday all about?
The Celtic festival of Samhain is probably the source of the present-day Halloween celebration. The Celts new year began on November 1. A festival that began the previous evening honored Samhain, the Celtic lord of death. The celebration marked the beginning of the season of cold, darkness, and decay. It naturally became associated with human death. The Celts believed that Samhain allowed the souls of the dead to return to their earthly homes for this evening. On the evening of the festival, the Druids, who were the priests and teachers of the Celts, ordered the people to put out their fires. The Druids built a huge new year¡¦s bonfire of oak branches, which they considered sacred. They burned animals, crops, and human beings as sacrifices. Then each family relit its fire from the new year¡¦s fire. During the celebration, people sometimes wore costumes made of animal heads and skins. They told fortunes about the coming year by examining the remains of the animals that had been sacrificed.
Many of the customs of the Celts survived even after the people became Christians. During the 800¡¦s, the church established All Saints¡¦ Day on November 1. They made the old pagan customs part of this Christian holy day. The Catholic Church later began to honor the dead on November 2. This day became known as All Soul¡¦s Day. The Catholics believed that you could pray the dead out of purgatory.
The Jack-o-Lantern originated with an Irishman named Jack who loved to play pranks on the Devil. Legend is that he was made to wander the world carrying a lantern to show him the way, going to neither heaven nor hell. Hollowed out pumpkins with candles lighted inside were supposed to scare evil spirits away.