"Double Blessing challenges us to reframe our perception of blessing, seeing God's gifts as opportunities for increased generosity." —Pastor Louie Giglio

Sermons

Summary: Christ is creator of heaven and earth. He is not, as some, even in ancient times contended, an angel. Christ was not created; He is Creator. Therefore, He is worthy to be praised and worshipped.

“‘You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,

and the heavens are the work of your hands;

they will perish, but you remain;

they will all wear out like a garment,

like a robe you will roll them up,

like a garment they will be changed.

But you are the same,

and your years will have no end.’

“And to which of the angels has he ever said,

‘Sit at my right hand

until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?’

“Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?”

B

elieve it or not, there are religious groups—cults that are masquerading as Christian—that teach that Jesus our Lord was an angel. These religious societies teach a variety of theological errors, including the heresy that our Saviour was created, that He never claimed to be divine, that He was not God in human flesh. They instruct their adherents that we sin against the Living God whenever we ascribe to the Son of God His rightful position as very God in human flesh. For the most part, these groups are characterised by vigorous efforts to make themselves acceptable to the Living God. Their goal beyond this life, the hope they offer deluded adherents, is dependent upon how well they can fulfil the duties they imagine God has imposed.

Heretical groups such as the one I’ve just described are able to deceive the unwary primarily because pastors of Christian churches do an abysmal job of teaching the doctrine of Christ the Lord. Pastors are under pressure from multiple sources to deliver sermons intended to make people feel good about themselves. Pastors are cautioned not to be controversial, not to make people uncomfortable.

Consequently, people are ignorant of what God has done and of who the Son of God is. We wouldn’t expect the unsaved to know Christ and His character since we have failed to reach them with the Word; however, many of those who affiliate with cults claim they were once members of Christian groups. Many would claim that they were once identified with evangelical churches, including Baptist churches. That is a blot against the pulpit of these churches.

In my estimate, one of the saddest charges found in the pages of the Word, is the divine lament delivered through Hosea. As he opened the fourth chapter of the book bearing his name, Hosea was guided by God’s Spirit to write:

“Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel,

for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land.

There is no faithfulness or steadfast love,

and no knowledge of God in the land;”

[HOSEA 4:1]

Then, Hosea would reveal the LORD’s deep sorrow and grief when he wrote the lament, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” [HOSEA 4:6a].

Isaiah, a contemporary of Hosea, would speak on the LORD’s behalf, lamenting,

“My people go into exile

for lack of knowledge.”

[ISAIAH 5:13]

The LORD God has no pleasure in the pain brought to individuals through their disobedience. God grieves when it is necessary to discipline His people. However, because He loves His own, He will discipline them for their own good.

In another place within the prophecy, Isaiah has recorded the words of Hezekiah after God had healed the king.

“O sovereign master, your decrees can give men life;

may years of life be restored to me.

Restore my health and preserve my life.’

“Look, the grief I experienced was for my benefit.

You delivered me from the pit of oblivion.

For you removed all my sins from your sight.”

[ISAIAH 38:16-17 NET BIBLE]

Hezekiah had been sick, so sick that everyone anticipated that he would die. And he also anticipated that death was stalking him! The LORD, in mercy sent Isaiah to confirm that the end was near. Hezekiah didn’t receive this information with joy. He pleaded with God for healing. The LORD graciously sent His prophet back to the king to tell him that his plea was heard. Hezekiah would have another fifteen years to live.

After this, Hezekiah recognised that the sorrow attending his life was a blessing in disguise. His pain provided a canvas on which the LORD God could reveal divine mercy. This raises the question—how do you view your own struggles? What is your response to the pressures you face each day? Do disappointments or reversals in your life bring you to the point of despair? Does grief lead you to doubt God’s goodness? Are you able to confess that despite the trials you are passing through that the Lord is working to the praise of His glory. Too often we are focused on our own condition rather than seeing that the Living God is at work bringing glory to His holy Name.

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