Summary: GOD HAS A PLAN AND HE KNOWS WHAT IT IS!
GOD’S GOSPEL PLAN
CELEBRATION SEVICE AT TURING POINTS COMMUNITY CHURCH
INTRODUCTION: THINGS JUST DON’T ALWAYS MAKE SENSE! TSUNAMI, EARTH QUAKES, HURRICANS, CANCER, HEART ATTACKS, CAR WRECKS, DIVORCE, ADD, ADHD, BI-POLAR, DEPRESSION, LAYOFFS, NO JOBS, A FAILING GRADE, A HARD CLASS, A LONG PAPER, THE FLU, A CHURCH SPLIT, GRUMPY CHRISTIANS, SOMETIMES LIFE JUST DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. IS IT JUST ME, OR DOES SOME ONE KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT? WHY ARE THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE?
TRANSTION THOUGHT: GOD’S WAY OF WORKING OUT OUR SALVATION IS AT A MINIMUM CONFUSING TO US!
THESIS SENTENCE: GOD HAS A PLAN AND HE KNOWS WHAT IT IS!
WHERE TO BEGIN? LET US READ FROM GOD’S WORD: JEREMIAH 29: 1-14
THE STORY OF JEREMIAH AND THINGS BEING COMPLETELY OPPOSITE OF HOW THEY LOOK!
A PROPHET OF DOOM AND GLOOM: WHO CAN’T QUIT CRYING!
A STORY OF EXILE AND PUNISHMENT FOR SIN!
A PROMISE OF HOPE?
HOPE IS EXPLAINED: LIVE WHERE YOU ARE!
SOME CONFUSING GOSPEL STORIES:
JOHN THE BAPTIST: I WILL PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD!
After his unique birth, we don’t hear about his life until we read that he has received the word of the Lord in the desert and goes about preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). We are told that he was the one prophesied about in the book of Isaiah as the one to come and prepare the way of the Lord (Isaiah 40:3).
When John first sees Jesus (John 1:29) he says of him, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” He then has the privilege of baptizing Jesus, though he protests to having to do so because he feels so unworthy (Matthew 3: 13-17).
We find out that John is a troublemaker: HE TELLS THE TRUTH: HE TELLS IT LIKE IT IS! He gets in trouble with the Religious crowd by calling them a brood of vipers (our text today). He gets in trouble with the power broker, the Main Man, Herod, by telling him that sin is sin and that He should not be with his brother Philip’s wife. So Herod had him thrown in jail (Luke 3: 19-20).
At the end of the life of John we find him in prison and wondering if Jesus is really who HE says HE is (Matthew 11: 1-6). The final chapter of John’s life is a grim picture of him being beheaded by Herod because of Herod’s drunken lust (Matthew 14: 1-12). One thing John says about himself brings a little clarity to the whole story: “He must become greater, I must become less (John 3: 30). “He must increase, but I must decrease (kjv).
CAN I TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT THE LIFE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST, THIS JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO ME!
CAN I TELL YOU SOMETHING ELSE I KNOW? GOD HAD A PLAN AND THIS WAS PART OF IT!!
ANOTHER GOSPEL PERSON THAT I OFTEN THINK ABOUT IS PETER:
Peter was the one who wanted to walk on water and did (Matthew 14:28-29)!
Peter was the one who answered the big question: Who do you say that I am: You are the Christ (Matthew 16:15-16).
But Peter was also the one who just couldn’t get it right: “Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men (Matthew 16:23).’”
Peter was also the one who couldn’t decide if he wanted Jesus to not wash his feet or if he wanted Jesus to wash His whole body (John 13: 6-10).
One thing Jesus says to Peter seems to bring a little clarity to this confusing situation: “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand (verse 7).”
One last thing that gets me about Peter is the whole denial thing. Peter promised Jesus that if he had to he would die for Jesus. Jesus told Peter before the cock crowed twice he would deny HIM three times. Peter denied Jesus three times (Matthew 26: 33-34 & 69-75).
CAN I TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT THE LIFE OF PETER? THIS JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO ME! HE WAS WITH JESUS AND HE STILL STRUGGLED TO GET IT!
CAN I TELL YOU SOMETHING ELSE I KNOW? GOD HAD A PLAN AND THIS WAS PART OF IT! THIS IS THE PART PETER HAD TO PLAY.
WELL, I COULDN’T FINISH WITHOUT THE MAIN CHARACTER! JESUS IS THE GOSPEL AND LET ME SHARE JUST ONE LAST PART OF THE STORY WITH YOU!
Jesus has told the disciples that the time has come for Him to Die. They haven’t really understood, so they argue about what it means. One Gospel says they begin to argue about who is the greatest (Luke 22: 24). This all takes place around the Lord’s Supper. The next scene is Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Each of the Gospels references this event. This was the most critical point in the whole story. Jesus came to a place of decision and yet He did not want to go the way God had intended for Him!