Summary: A sermon that uses primary scripture Ezekiel chapter 37 1-11 as a lesson on hope.
Purpose is our
A philosopher of last century, Bertrand Russell was an outspoken atheist. He even wrote a book called Why I Am Not A Christian. When Russell was 81 years old, he was interviewed on a British Broadcasting Corporation radio talk show. The interviewer asked him what he had to hang onto when death was obviously so close. Russell responded, "I have nothing to hang onto but grim, unyielding despair." What an honest yet hopeless response. You see, when you live only for this life, when you invest your life in the flesh, when you think that this is all there is, you can’t help but live in despair.
The Christian though is not like this
There is cause for hope for the follower of Jesus Christ.
But we live in an era of flabby Christianity – The middle age spread of token Christianity has robbed millions of the opportunity to hear the gospel while those caught in the current of token faith are haunted by a mood of low hope.
But there is no need for this and we in the Riversdale – Waikaia Presbyterian Church can together find cause for hope.
This morning I want to show you three reasons why, a Christian Church caught in the secular tide of the early 21st century, can nevertheless find great reason for hope.
This Morning I would like to look at Ezekiel chapter 37 verses 1 – 10.
EZE 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"
I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."
This is a hopeless situation. We have a valley full of dry bones and yet God asks the Prophet “Son of man can these bones live?”
The answer of the Prophet is a profound answer for those of us who are looking for hope – He says:-
"O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."
You see if we want to know the truth of a situation we would need to acknowledge that it is better to get God’s view of it rather than our own.
Charles L. Allen (1913- ) - When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God.
Purpose is our
The main source of hope for the Christian should be the fact that God is on our side – He wants us to succeed.
There are bible verses that can encourage us to that end.
In our Bible verse this morning we read of Israel being rescued from, beyond death by God.
But God’s heart is bigger than Israel.
In John’s Gospel chapter 3 and verse 16 we read – For God so loved the world – He loves the whole world and what is more you are part of the world and he loves you!!!
PS 139:13 says:-For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
PS 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
PS 139:15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
PS 139:16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Further to that when we commit our lives to Jesus Christ we join God’s team.
John chapter 3 and verse 16: Quote.
When we are born again we take on a whole new life We pass from death to life!:-
EZE 37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
When we get on God’s team all of heaven celebrates.
If you understand that God created you and that you are important to him it will release hope into your heart.
God wants you to know that He loves you!!!
Secondly – Allow the spirit of God to breath life into you.
In the reading from Ezekial we read:-
EZE 37:9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ " 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet--a vast army.