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Summary: I was on the internet recently and was discussing the Christian faith with someone who had posted some remarks that were simply not accurate about what Christians believe. After writing back and forth with this individual I learned that she was an atheis

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Finding God at Christmas

“If God is with us, then Show me a Sign”

Matthew 1:18-23

I was on the internet recently and was discussing the Christian faith with someone who had posted some remarks that were simply not accurate about what Christians believe. After writing back and forth with this individual I learned that she was an atheist. Doesn’t believe in God. Yet she was writing about what Christians believe and putting them down for believing it. As you know, there are many people who choose not to believe in God and we have come to call those people atheists. Another term we use is agnostic. Let me give you a couple of quick definitions to help us all understand these two words and how they are different. Simply put, an (1) atheist is someone who does not believe that God exists. (2) an agnostic is someone who believes that there could be a God but if there is, it is not possible to know Him; to have a relationship with Him.

Now if you are here today and either of these words describe you I want you to understand that we are very happy you are here because it tells me you are looking for God and that’s a good thing. I also know that there are some here today who firmly believe that we can have a relationship with Christ and you have started one but I know that some of you are not satisfied with what you have. You may even look at other believer’s and wonder why them seem so strong in their faith and wonder why you don’t feel the same way.

Then there are some who have really found joy in knowing Christ, He has really changed you and you cannot imagine what your life would be like without Him. Whichever group you find yourself in today I hope you will let this message speak to you.

There is a word we find only one time in the NT and it is the word Emmanuel. It is formed from two Hebrew words that mean God with us. The OT writers prophesied that this child named Emmanuel would be born—that He would be the Savior of the world. Then the gospel writer Matthew announces the birth of Jesus Christ and tells us that He will be called Emmanuel-God with us.

Now the title for this message today is this….If God is with me, then please give me a sign… show me where He is. I am sure that you would agree with me that there are many people if not most who will go through the entire Christmas season without thinking about the One who it is all about. Have you ever asked God to give you a sign? I have. Gideon did. The scripture calls it a fleece. A fleece is a piece of lamb’s wool. Gideon put it out on the ground and he said to God…show me a sign Lord—if I lay out this piece of wool, and there is dew on the fleece tomorrow morning but the ground is dry then I will know you are going to save Israel. Just like you said you would. Next morning the fleece was wet and the ground was dry. Amazing. So what do you think Gideon did? He put out another one. Judges 6:38.

Don’t be angry Lord but please allow me one more sign. This time make the ground all wet but let the fleece be dry. And God did it. He sent the sign. And what did Gideon do? Lord send me another one. Even though the first time was a miracle Lord, I just need to check on you so do it again—now in this way. The question I think about is this—how many signs do we need before we will believe?

The Bible gives us hundreds of signs—over 300 in the OT that point to the birth of Jesus. They were written down over a period of 1000 years long before the birth of Jesus and all of them are fulfilled in Jesus. He gave us these prophecies of the coming Messiah for at least two reasons. (1) to help us identify Him when He did come.. to make it obvious he was and (2) to make it impossible for a false messiah to come along and deceive us. With these things in mind let’s look at 3 of these prophecies/signs.

(1) Genesis 3:15. This is the first evidence that we see of the gospel. Just 3 chapters into the Bible we find it. If you take an acorn it can turn into an oak tree. Take Genesis 3:15 and it will turn into the entire plan of salvation. Jesus is in this verse. He is the seed of the woman who would one day crush the serpent’s ugly head. He would be wounded in the process but Satan would be destroyed. Here is what happened. God created a beautiful place called the Garden of Eden. God said do what you want but don’t eat the fruit of the tree. So it’s like that bench or wall that has just been painted and has a sign on it…..wet paint, do not touch and what do we do? We touch it. So they ate the fruit and sin entered the world. And suddenly the garden is completely changed. God passes judgment on the serpent and from that point on he is forever removed from God’s plan of salvation. Eve and the serpent will never get along. Right ladies? But we have to look at this word “offspring” or “seed.” This refers to every generation that will trace their heritage back to Eve. Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David…all the way to Christ. Now Satan has a seed also. In every generation. He has his people. Cain killed Abel. It was wicked in Noah’s day. Herod tried to kill the baby Jesus. Every generation has had it’s share of evil and we have it today. Do I have to describe life in 2011 for us to understand that Satan is still alive and still at work? So who is behind all of this? The seed of the serpent himself. Satan.

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