Summary: First sermon of a six part series. I glean illustrations from multiple places. Many are not my own.
Monuments of Grace - Sermon One - The Monument of Relationship- Gen 28:10-22
Intro. A monument is a stone or a building that is set up to remember a person or an event. On July 3, 1775, he took on what was thought to be an impossible task. He became the commander of an army of rag-tag volunteers that were so determined to throw off the British yoke, that they were willing to war against the mightiest empire of the 1700s. - He is remembered by the tallest structure in Washington D.C. - The Washington Monument - We think of General Washington, on a frigid Christmas night in 1776, along with 2,400 men and 18 cannons, rowing across the freezing Delaware River. The daring offensive took the Hessian mercenaries serving with the British completely by surprise. A British loyalist tried to alert the Hessians, but their drunken commander refused to interrupt a card game to receive the message. More than one hundred Hessians were killed or wounded, and nearly one thousand taken prisoner. Not a single American life was lost. Monuments are built to remember significant events and people.
In the Bible there are some times that stones are set, monuments if you will, of things to be remembered.
Here we see a Heavenly Pathway to an Earthly heart - it is always that way!
I. The Departure - vs. 10-11
A. The Depraved Sinner - (traveled about 48 miles) Jacob fled from the scene of his deception of his brother and his father. But do not be too hard on Jacob:
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;
Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
1. Not a decently honest man, but a trickster, a cheat, a shrewd deceiver
2. Not a seeker of God, but rather a fugitive from justice. - That is good!
Mat 9:13 for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
No, you were not born a Christian! No, you were not raised a Christian!
No, you did not marry into Christianity! No, you did not join Christianity!
No, you were not immersed into Christianity!
If you are a Christian you became one through faith in Jesus Christ!
B. The Dangerous Seclusion - Jacob went alone. We see no one with him
He was a fugitive running from His own errors and actions.
- He was in danger from the Aggressor - Esau
- He was in danger from an Assailant - Thief
- He was in danger from an Attack - wild animals
Without Christ, we are alone and in danger of destruction. Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
C. The Discomfort of Sin
1. Darkness - the sun was set, and he could go no farther - Without Jesus, you only have darkness and depression! Sin may last for a season, but you will always come to the end of the day empty and alone.
2. Dejected Soul - Miserable - Pillows made of stone
We find Jacob far from home, in an open field, on a back road journey - a fugitive
Here was a very unlikely place to have a confrontation with heaven! He was the son of a rich man, but found himself in an uncomfortable situation.
The life of a sinner may bring temporary ease, like that of Jacob thinking he had out run his brother. But now he was alone and uncomfortable.
II. The Discovery - A Visit from God - vs. 12-17 (Oh that we would desire, beg for, seek, and crave a visit from God in our own lives. It may not be in the form of a dream, but God can still visit West Jacksonville Baptist Church)
Here in the midst of the darkness, God cam shining through! 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
A. The Scene - Heaven opened to the Earth - Jacob was alone and friendless, yet heaven was interested in him! Here a glorious staircase descended to earth.