Summary: This is an Advent sermon.
Intro: Preparations for Christmas: decorations, shopping, food, company, travel, programs, parties, etc., etc.
Read Luke 3:1-6.
John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus’ ministry. Misconceptions about the Messiah’s first coming. Thought to be political and military. Reality it was spiritual. Oppression of Rome v. oppression of sin.
Imagery of clearing the way for a king. Tour the land or go to war. The roads had to be smoothed for travel.
Jesus v. the military king. How does all this apply?
I. Fill in the valleys of indifference.
Valleys are dangerous places. Hiking in valleys.
We cannot be indifferent about Jesus. Either we believe in him or we don’t.
We have to make the decision to follow Jesus.
II. Flatten the hills of pride.
Mountains are as dangerous as valleys.
All we accomplish is by the grace of God. We cannot think too highly of ourselves.
III. Straighten the crooked ways.
“Old Highway” v. “New Highway.” Straighten out the road.
Always be honest. No shady dealings.
IV. Smooth out the rough places of sin.
We have to become more like Jesus.
Stump removal from the field.
All humanity will see that Jesus is the source of all salvation. It will either be now or later.
At Christmas we look back at the birth of Jesus. We must also look forward to the Second Coming. We must also stop and remember the cross.