Summary: There is a real problem; I believe many people are pretending to believe in Jesus!

ILL>> I played Santa this week at the nursing home - The outfit was fine but the beard was rank, so I had to spray it with something. - I hugged - asked if they were good little boys and girls, passed out gifts and even danced with some of the ladies. I couldn’t tell who really believed in Santa and who was just playing along with me. It was really fun.

Some older children play along, just for the fun of it. Christmas is fun and nothing is wrong with pretending about Santa.

There is a real problem I believe many people are pretending to believe in Jesus!

Do you pretend to believe in Jesus?

ILL>>> Santa - do you really believe or just pretend , like the Pharisees?

When our family knows we have company coming we work frantically for several hours so our house will be ready for company. You don’t do that do you? Then it takes about 20 minutes to mess it up again.

Jesus is coming to you in 2004, how will you prepare for Him? Would you clean up?

ILL>>>The problem is when you teach kids how to clean up their room and than go back later they say. “It’s clean” but when you walk in you notice several things that are still a mess. Kids must be taught what clean is.

ILL>>> I was a Veterinarian clean-up man my last year in High School. Know why I was assigned those the jobs? I was the only guy who was willing to do it. The other guys who worked there did a terrible job of cleaning anything and pretended that was the best they could do. So guess who got all the nasty clean up jobs?

Do you know what clean is? Of course all of us say yes - I am an adult. But do you know what a clean life is? When you compare you rightousnesses with Christ what do you see? Do you pretend your ok? Do you pretend to believe in Jesus?

John the Baptist prepared the world for the coming of the King. Here is what he said...

I. Prepare for the King 3:1-6 (by repentance for the remission of sins. ) v3

A monarch traveling into the wilderness would send a crew of workmen ahead of him to clear a path, straighten the roans fill valleys and top off mountains and hills

John is the herald that goes before that king. A VOICE - SAYING PREPARE YE ...

A. This year get your life straight before God, by repenting. - Everyone needs to repent!

Do you pretend to believe in Jesus? - If you believe you will repent!

One of Jesus first sermons was (Mat 4:17 KJV) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

B This year get you life leveled with God - Valleys and Mountains -- What do you need?

(Luke 11:2 KJV) And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Am I a kingdom person? If not, how can I be? If so, how should I live?

ILL>>>> Preparing for large Christmas Eve family gathering, a mother had been giving out orders like a drill sergeant: "Pick up your things! Don’t get your clothes dirty! Put away those toys."

Well, her 4-year-old daughter had been underfoot all day, so she sent her to the next room to play with their wooden Nativity set.

As the mother scurried around setting the table she overheard her daughter talking to her toys in the same tone of voice the mother had used: "I don’t care who you are, get those camels out of my living room!"

C. This year make crooked places straight in your life and rough smooth.

Dr. Morris Chapman talked about EKG during the 2003 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Chapman also introduced Dr. Ken Hemphill as the national strategist for Empowering Kingdom Growth. Empowering Kingdom Growth is an all-out concentration on the Kingdom of God.

Tonight I will ask the deacons to help me create a ministry team that will investigate ways to help our church grow. I hope to have this team represented by every section of the church. The goal will be to plan for growth. That brings me to my next point. As Christians we must ...

I. Prepare for the King

II. Produce for the King 3:7-14

Matthew Henry---By the fruits of repentance it will be known whether it be sincere or no.

By the change of our way must be evidenced the change of our mind. -

Do you pretend to believe in Jesus? - If you believe you will repent!

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