Summary: Christ came and will come again, and even if the time seems to go slowly, we are empowered to work for the day of His second coming.
Sermon: "Behold the Lamb of God" D. Anderson
Listen again to the cutting Words of Christ,
our Priest and King, but also our Prophet,
from the Gospel record of John:
17 For God did not send his Son into the
world to condemn the world, but to save the
world through him. 18 Whoever believes in
him is not condemned, but whoever does not
believe stands condemned already because he
has not believed in the name of God’s one and
only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has
come into the world, but men loved darkness
instead of light because their deeds were
evil. (John 3 NIV) These are Your words,
Lord Christ, renew us in Your Word, For Your
word is eternal Truth. Amen.
My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,
grace, mercy and peace to you as the Holy
Spirit increases faith and confidence within
you concerning all the promises of God-- and
especially, in the Second Coming of Jesus
Imagine that this evening I had startling
news that Charlton Heston would be coming to
perform a scene from the movie “The Ten
Commandments.” He could not give us the
exact day, because it had to be worked into
his schedule, but he would be coming.
Excitement and enthusiasm tingled up your
spines. The next few months showed
electrified activity within our parish. Mr.
Ash’s long awaited dream of a stage in the
gym was quickly realized, even though it was
NEXT AN ELABORATE SET WAS MADE FOR THE STAGE.
Al, Fred, John with parish handymen where
swinging hammers while Lori, Barb, Jeanne,
Pam and other gifted arts-and-crafters
decorated the set. Judy, Nancy, Linda and
Dorcas women were busy sewing costumes. IT
BECAME AN ELABORATE AFFAIR.
Soon all was done-- we were ready for the
call from Charlton Heston announcing the day
of his arrival and our special performance.
Days past... weeks... past... months past.
At first calls came in daily to the office.
"Any news yet?" "Have we heard from Heston’s
agent?" Yet as time past, fewer and fewer
calls reflected a decline in our enthusiasm
The stage set became dusty, and even
reflected some damage from gym activities
which accidently came in contact with the
stage area. Our people no longer wanted to
keep things us... the costumes, once hung
pressed and ready to go, where tossed around.
Arguments began to flair. "Why did we spend
that money anyway for that new stage!" some
snapped. "I’ll not give another cent toward
that gym," returned another. "I think it was
all a trick from the beginning... just
another trick to get more money from us."
said a third.
The whole parish had been electrified and
motivated by the coming of a big personality,
but when his coming was delayed, enthusiasm
converted to disgust, and motivation to
Israel, God’s chosen people, experienced a
time of great blessing and prosperity under
King David. After his death, however, the
country disintegrated, became divided, and
was finally was devoured by foreign powers.
Faithful prophets tried to explain Israel’s
downfalls in terms of its sin against God.
Ezekiel, Haggai, and Zechariah also sought to
build up the hope of the displaced people of
The temple was rebuilt by a people
electrified and enthusiastic-- there was a
confidence that the Messiah would be coming
soon. Confident of the Messiah’s imminent
coming, two crowns were made from the gold
and silver of returning exiled Jews.
One crown was placed upon Israel’s high
priest, and the other upon Israel’s reigning
king. These crowns would not leave the
temple, but remained a symbol of Israel’s
confident expectation that the Messiah, both
priest and king, was soon to arrive.
BUT TIME PASSED... AND PASSED... AND PASSED.
"Where is the coming Messiah?" people began
to grumble. "Why did we build this temple
anyway!" exclaimed others. "I’m not going to
worry about supporting the temple anymore,"
By the time of the prophet Malachi, Israel
was spiritually bankrupt. The failure of the
Messiah to come quickly, as expected, had
brought about two very serious spiritual
People didn’t see the importance of God to
daily life. They saw no profit to religion.
They stopped tithing to the Temple.
Israelite men divorced their Jewish wives--
treating them shamefully, in order to marry
The other problem was worse. Many in Israel
doubted the presence of God on earth. When I
traveled to Israel in the early 70’s to study
Biblical archeology, our guide was a Jewish
man who had been a tank commando in the army.
He was very frank to say that many Jews were
not religious, but identified with their
heritage. He was not a religious Jew. I saw
in him the Jew of the time of Malachi, who no