Summary: Four things we must do to prepare for an encounter with the King.
Prepare The Way
Woodlawn Missionary Baptist Church
February 5, 2006
(I found chapter 2 in Ian Malin’s book "Preparing For Revival" helpful in preparing this message.)
Read Luke 3:1-3
We all have our heroes, don’t we? Each of us have people whom we admire. We wish we could know them and spend time with them. I am thinking this morning of famous dignitaries: kings, queens, presidents and great rulers. If you could entertain any one of them from past or present in your home, who would it be? (Allow for answers) How would you entertain them? How would you prepare? I don’t know exactly what preparations you might make, but I know that many of you cannot stand to have any kind of company in your home without cleaning and rearranging and putting some things away.
In ancient times, when a king was to visit a city, a messenger would go before, telling the people to get ready. The people of that city would then get busy preparing the road along which the king would travel. Hundreds of years before Christ came on the scene; Isaiah prophesied that there would come a man who would be that messenger. His name would be John, sent of God to tell the people to get ready for a visit from the king.
His message was plain, but not easy. His instructions were clear, yet difficult. All of humanity would see the glory of God, and the time to prepare for it was now. Isaiah said that while our lives are short lived, that message would never change.
God created man to be a perfect reflection of His glory. Everything He has ever done, is doing or will ever do in the future is done so He might be glorified. But man has sinned and marred God’s image. Man is no longer a reflection of God’s glory. We have exchanged the glory of God for our own affections. We have determined to live for our own glory. We even resent being told that is our purpose. What kind of God is that who demands glory? What kind of God do you serve who is so selfish?
I’ll tell you: He is the only true God! Beside Him there is no other. God said in Isaiah that He would not share His glory with another. In Exodus He said His name is Jealous. God is the only God. He is the high, holy and majestic One who is worthy of all glory! And when He says that all of us will glorify Him and were in fact created solely for that purpose, He is justified in doing so because He makes the rules!
The very fact that we resent being told what to do is evidence of our sinful natures. To live for any purpose other than to magnify and exalt the God of heaven is to reject God’s purposes and even God Himself. God is at work, and in fact has always been at work making us into people that rightly reflect who and what He is. He is at work making us into the worshippers we were created to be. He is at work changing our hearts and minds so we come to understand that the more we delight in magnifying His glory the more we are blessed for doing so.
We were created to be worshippers! That’s why verse 6 can say that all humanity shall see the salvation of God. Look at Isaiah 40:5 in your outline.
“And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
In Luke we’re told that all of humanity is going to see the salvation of God. In Isaiah we’re told that all of humanity is going to see the glory of God. The salvation of God and the glory of God are none other than Jesus Christ! Did you know that every man or woman, every boy or girl ever conceived is going to see the glory of God? Every member of the human race is going to behold the salvation of God? Paul told the Philippian church that…
“God also hath highly exalted him (Jesus), and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
There is coming a day when everyone is going to acknowledge and see and know the salvation of God. I do not mean that everyone will be saved. To the contrary, most will spend eternity in the everlasting lake of fire in a place called hell, but all will see and know the salvation and glory of God.