Summary: Let’s see what is significant and important about this stone. 1- He was rejected by men 2- He was chosen by God 3- He was accepted by saints
INTRO.- A stone. How about a headstone on a grave? Guess what is the largest cemetery in the US?
ILL.- The largest cemetery in the United States is Arlington National Cemetery, situated on the Potomac River in Virginia. It covers 612 acres, and more than 240,000 members of the armed forces are buried there.
Among the many famous and distinguished people buried in the cemetery are presidents William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy; a number of supreme court justices, including Chief Justice Earl Warren, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and Thurgood Marshall; explorers Robert Peary and Matthew Henson, etc.
ILL.- As Mr. Smith was on his death bed, he attempted to formulate a plan that would allow him to take at least some of his money with him. He called for the three men he trusted most: his lawyer, his doctor, and his preacher. He told them, "I’m going to give you each $30,000 in cash before I die. At my funeral, I want you to place the money in my coffin so that I can take it with me."
All three agreed to do this and were given the money. At the funeral, each approached the coffin in turn and placed an envelope inside. While riding in the limousine back from the cemetery, the preacher said, "I have to confess something to you fellows. Brother Smith was a good member all his life, and I know he would have wanted me to do this. The church needed a new baptistery very badly, and I took $10,000 of the money he gave me and bought one. I only put $20,000 in the coffin."
The physician then said, "Well, since we’re confiding in one another, I might as well tell you that I didn’t put the full $30,000 in the coffin either."
"Smith had a disease that could have been diagnosed sooner if I had this very new machine, but the machine cost $20,000 and I couldn’t afford it then. I used $20,000 of the money to buy the machine so that I might be able to save another patient. I know that Smith would have wanted me to do that."
The lawyer then said, "I’m ashamed of both of you. When I put my envelope into that coffin, I put in my personal check for the full $30,000."
Today, we want to think about the living....THE LIVING STONE! Obviously, thinking about headstones of those who have passed is not a pleasant thing to think about. BUT THERE IS A LIVING STONE WHOM WE MUST CONSIDER, THINK ABOUT, DWELL ON, AND LIVE FOR!
PROP.- Let’s see what is significant and important about this stone.
1- He was rejected by men
2- He was chosen by God
3- He was accepted by saints
I. HE WAS REJECTED BY MEN
4As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him.
7 But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone," 8and "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
ILL.- A young woman teacher with obvious liberal tendencies explains to her class of small children that she is an atheist. She asks her class if they are atheists too. Not really knowing what atheism is but wanting to be like their teacher, their hands explode into the air like fleshy fireworks.
There is, however, one exception. A beautiful girl named Lucy has not gone along with the crowd. The teacher asks her why she has decided to be different.
"Because, I’m not an atheist." Then, asks the teacher, "What are you?" "I’m a Christian."
The teacher is a little perturbed now, her face slightly red. She asks Lucy why she is a Christian. "Well, I was brought up knowing and loving Jesus. My mom is a Christian, and my dad is a Christian, so I am a Christian."
The teacher is now angry. "That’s no reason," she says loudly.
"What if your mom was an idiot and your dad was an idiot. What would you be then?" Lucy paused, smiled and said, "Then, I’d be an atheist!"
Obviously, there are plenty of people in our world who reject God and atheists are just one group. There are others! There are those, however, in every sphere of society that reject God and Christ! Many more reject Christ than God. And we know that if a person rejects Christ, they also reject God the Father.
I John 2:22-23 "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also."