Sermons

Summary: We must illumine the darkness of the world by bearing witness to the light of Jesus so that others may come to faith.

AMERICANS SEEM TO BE FASICNATED WITH LAW AND JUSTICE. ONE ONLY NEEDS TO LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF DETECTIVE AND COURT-ROOM PROGRAMS ON TELEVISION TO SEE WE ENJOY THE SUSPENSE OF SEEING THE TRUTH FINALLY REVEALED.

WE FOLLOW THE STORYLINES OF OUR FAVORITE PROGRAMS AS EVIDENCE IS PRESENTED, TESTIMONIES AND ARGUMENTS ARE HEARD AND THE JUDGE BANGING THE GAVEL TO RENDER THAT FINAL VERDICT: GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY!

IT ALWAYS MAKES FOR A GOOD ENDING WHEN ALL THE MOUNTING EVIDENCE IS PIECED-TOGETHER, TRUTH IS REVEALED FROM WITNESSES, AND THE PROPER SENTENCE CAN BE RENDERED SO THAT JUSTICE CAN BE SERVED.

EVEN IF IT IS THE GUN-SLINGING COWBOY MOVIES OF JOHN WAYNE OR AUDIE MURPHY, WE HAVE QUICKLY LEARNED THAT JUSTICE CANNOT BE TRULY SERVED UNLESS THE REAL WITNESSES COME FORWARD AND PROCLAIM THE TRUTH TO SILENCE THE “BAD GUYS” FROM LITERALLY “GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER.”

IT IS A GREAT INJUSTICE IF THOSE IN POSSESSION OF THE TRUTH REMAIN SILENT OR, PERHAPS, LIE OR MISLEAD THE JURY. WE HAVE LAWS AGAINST THAT….IT IS CALLED PURJURY, WHICH IS “THE OFFENSE OF WILLFULLY TELLING AN UNTRUTH IN A COURT AFTER HAVING TAKEN AN OATH OR AFFIRMATION.”

THERE IS FREEDOM IN KNOWING GOD’S TRUTH: JOHN 8:31-32, “JESUS SAID TO THE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVED IN HIM, “YOU ARE TRULY MY DISCIPLES IF YOU REMAIN FAITHFUL TO MY TEACHINGS. AND YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.”

LEARING THE TRUTH. ACCEPTING THE TRUTH. LIVING THE TRUTH. PROVERBS 30:5-6, “EVERY WORD OF GOD PROVES TRUE. HE IS A SHIELD TO ALL WHO COME TO HIM FOR PROTECTION. DO NOT ADD TO HIS WORDS, OR HE MAY REBUKE YOU AND EXPOSE YOU AS A LIAR.”

LEARNING AND GRASPING GOD’S WORD TO US IS CRUCIAL. CHRISTIANS MUST EDUCATE THEMSELVES BY DIGGING INTO SCRIPTURE, GLEANING ITS TEACHINGS, LEARNING ITS TRUTH, AND ADAPTING IT TO OUR LIVES TO LIVE IT OUT AND DO WHAT IT SAYS.

JOHN THE BAPTIST MADE THAT CLEAR IN JOHN 3:30, “HE MUST INCREASE, BUT I MUST DECREASE.” THE GREEK WORD FOR “DECREASE” STILL IMPLIES “DIGNITY” AND WORTH OF THE PERSON, BUT MEANS “TO MAKE LESS” IN AUTHORITY, POPULARITY, OR RANK.

WE MUST SURRENDER OURSELVES AND FALL UNDER THE AUTHORITY AND LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST. WE MUST MAKE THE WILFUL CHOICE THAT IT IS NO LONGER ABOUT “US,” BUT ABOUT JESUS. THIS IS THE SAME ATTITUDE DESCRIBED OF JOHN THE BAPTIST IN JOHN 1:8, “HE WAS NOT THE LIGHT, BUT CAME TO BEAR WITNESS ABOUT THE LIGHT.”

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS FOR CHRISTIANS: IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS. PERIOD. WE DO HAVE JOBS, FAMILY, EDUCATION, GOALS AND MANY OTHER TASKS OF DAILY LIVING. HOWEVER, THESE VERY IMPORTANT DETAILS OF OUR LIVES SHOULD NOT BE LIVED OUT INDEPENDENTLY FROM OUR FAITH. RATHER, OUR FAITH SHOULD BE THE HUB WHERE THESE EVENTS EMANATE OUT FROM OUR LIFE.

IT HAS NEVER BEEN ABOUT US ANYWAY! 2 CORINTHIANS 5:20, “SO WE ARE CHRIST’S AMBASSADORS; GOD IS MAKING HIS APPEAL THROUGH US. WE SPEAK FOR CHRIST WHEN WE PLEAD, “COME BACK TO GOD!” GOD’S PLAN. GOD’S WAY. GOD’S MESSAGE. GOD PERIOD!

THE ROLE OF AN AMBASSADOR IS TO REPRESENT THE COUNTRY IN WHICH THEY ARE FROM. THIS KEY POSITION IN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS, FOR THE PRESIDENT, THE HIGHEST RANKING RESPRESENTATIVE. THE AMBASSADOR REPRESENTS THE PRESIDENT’S INTERESTS WHEREVER HE IS SENT.

THIS SOUNDS A LOT LIKE JOHN THE BAPTIST, DOESN’T IT? JOHN 1:6-7, “THERE WAS A MAN SENT FROM GOD, WHOSE NAME WAS JOHN. HE CAME AS A WITNESS….” GOD’S PLAN WAS TO SEND JOHN AHEAD OF JESUS TO BE HIS REPRESENTATIVE OR “AMBASSADOR” TO ANNOUNCE THE COMING LIGHT OF JESUS THE MESSIAH.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY IS NO DIFFERENT! WE TOO HAVE BEEN SENT OUT INTO THE WORLD AS GOD’S AMBASSADORS. WE HAVE BEEN “SENT OUT” TO BE ILLUMINED WITNESSES, LIKE JOHN, TO TELL AND SHOW OTHERS ABOUT THE LIGHT OF JESUS. WE ARE TO, AS STATED IN MATTHEW 28:19, TO “GO, MAKE, BAPTISE AND TEACH!”

THIS IS WHY JESUS SAID IN JOHN 8:12, "WHOEVER FOLLOWS ME WILL NEVER WALK IN DARKNESS." WHAT JESUS MEANT WAS THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES HE IS THE CHRIST AND CHOOSES TO OBEY HIM WILL BE SAVED. JESUS WAS SPEAKING OF SALVATION!

WHAT HE WAS ALSO TRYING TO EMPHASIZE WAS THAT THE LIGHT HE WAS OFFERING WAS NOT FOR THE WORLD, PHYSICALLY, BUT FOR THEM PERSONALLY. THE WHOLE WORLD, OF ITSELF, IS IN THE DARKNESS OF SIN AND SATAN. JESUS WAS THE LIGHT THEY NEEDED TO ESCAPE THE DARK. ONLY THOSE WHO WOULD CHOOSE TO FOLLOW JESUS WOULD BE DELIVERED FROM THE DARKNESS AND ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF THE LIGHT OF CHRIST.

JOHN 1:4-5, "LIFE ITSELF WAS IN [CHRIST] AND THIS LIFE GIVES LIGHT TO EVERYONE. THE LIGHT SHINES THROUGH THE DARKNESS, AND THE DARKNESS CAN NEVER EXTINGUISH IT."

IF WE ARE EVER TO HELP OTHERS OUT OF THE DARKNESS, TO HAVE VICTORY OVER SIN IN THEIR LIFE, AND TO LEAD THEM TO JESUS, WE HAVE TO BE READY AND CAPABLE OF OFFERING THEM THE LIGHT OF JESUS AT ANY MOMENT AND IN ANY PLACE.

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