Summary: Are we frightened into a relationship with God out of fear of hell or are we fascinated with having a personal relationship with God? This sermon looks at both Isaiah 43:1-7 and Luke 3:15-17; 21-22 to find an answer to this question.
Frightened or Fascinated
Intro: We all have expectations of relationships, children, marriage, children, and even the church.
I. Israelites had expectations – VS 15 – Needed to be expectant if God’s salvation was to appear.
A. Expected to be the “chosen” people.
B. Expected to overthrow Romans and govern themselves.
C. Expected the Messiah to raise an army and establish “utopia” and live “happily ever after.”
II. John had expectations.
A. Expected people to come to the wilderness where he was – frightened the people into salvation.
B. Expected the kingdom to be achieved by some catastrophic act of God.
C. We expect God to answer yes to every request. – Like children who submit their “wants” to Santa.
III. Jesus had expectations.
A. There was at that time an unprecedented movement towards God in which Jesus wanted to participate. – reason for baptism.
C. Jesus expected a spiritual kingdom. The divine possibilities in human life through the presence of the Holy Spirit. – fascinates people even today.
Conclusion: Frightened or fascinated. Will your fascination with Jesus make you willing to live, work, suffer and die for the Father’s purpose as Jesus expects? --- Or are you frightened into faith?