Sermons

Summary: John the Baptist doubting.

Pastor Allan Kircher

Shell Point Baptist Church

February 3, 2013

Matthew 11:1-22

The prison of Doubts

Intro:

• Shall we continue in our prison experiences/found/Bible.

• We looked already/Joseph/Samson…..

• I want draw/attention/experience/John the Baptist.

• He came preaching in the Desert of Judea

• “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

• Spoken of by the prophet Isaiah 700 yrs. earlier

• Prophesied by Malachi in 400BC

I want to draw/attention to John the Baptist/languished/ prison.

• Find/why he was there--what he was facing.

• John was cast into this prison because of his preaching.

Herod

• Who/king/fourth part/Roman province of Palestine

• had taken his brother’s wife

• Woman/name of Herodias/married her.

• John had preached publicly against this vile and unlawful relationship

• Arrested and thrown into prison by the king.

Herod would have executed John/he feared/public backlash

• all the people accepted John the Baptist as a prophet sent from the Lord.

While in this prison

• John began/doubts/concerns about Who Jesus was

• And what He was doing.

• John’s doubts worked against his faith

• Caused him to question the person and work of Jesus.

I want to join John in this prison, because I believe that many of God’s children pass through it as well.

• There/times/we all experience doubts and fears.

• times when we wonder about our salvation

• times we wonder about our faith.

During those times of doubt and fear, we ask ourselves some pretty deep questions.

• “Am I really saved? Am I really secure?

• What if I made a mistake?

• What if Jesus isn’t really the way to Heaven?

Most of us wouldn’t admit it out loud, but we have found ourselves assaulted by questions like these.

• Ever wondered about your faith?

• When/allowed questions to rise in our hearts

• We find ourselves locked/same prison/John found himself.

Let’s join him there today and consider what he did and what he experienced in The Prison Of doubts.

I. v. 2-3 THE DECEPTIONS OF THIS PRISON

A. What John Doubted In This Prison

“Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

In his prison, John had come to doubt the very person of Jesus.

This is the same John who was so bold in his preaching concerning Jesus.

• Notice these verses: John 1:29-36.

• There/time/when/no doubt in John’s mind

• But when he was thrown into the prison, he began to doubt.

B. What John Discovered In This Prison

He discovered/absence does not make the heart grow fonder.

Verse 2 says, “When John heard in prison what Christ was doing…”

• John is locked up

• He can no longer see/Lord Jesus as He heals/ministers.

• He can no longer hear the Lord’s voice/He preaches/teaches.

• John is removed from the sights/sounds/ministry of Jesus

• His heart has become clouded with doubts and questions.

C. What did John Do In This Prison

• When doubts arose in John’s heart

• he did the right thing,

• he turned to Jesus for the answers he needed.

• Instead of wondering and worrying there in that prison

• John turned his efforts toward getting an answer from the Lord.

• That is where help will be found in a time of doubt!

Why did John find himself locked in this prison of doubt?

I think/many reasons---three that I want to share with you today.

1. Discouragement

• Things weren’t going his way anymore

• You ever been there, done that?

• John/man used/wide open spaces/desert

• Now he finds himself locked away in a dungeon.

• John was used to his liberty,

• Now he finds himself bound in chains and fetters.

John couldn’t change this confinement so it caused him to entertain doubts that normally wouldn’t have entered his mind.

How many times have we found ourselves here?

We find ourselves…

• in a situation we cannot change.

• with a problem we cannot solve.

• in a prison from which we cannot escape.

When that happens, we sometimes begin to doubt too.

• Beware of discouragement; it can devastate your life. Discouragement can cause you to doubt everything you know and believe!

2. Disappointment

Surely John imagined that Jesus would come and set him at liberty.

• After all, Jesus was the Messiah!

• He possessed scepter of David.

• Jesus could do anything;

• Surely He could have set John free.

• When Jesus didn’t rescue John

• Perhaps he became discouraged and began to doubt.

• After all, wasn’t that one of the ministries/Messiah?Isa. 61:1

______________________________________________

We probably wouldn’t admit it

• but when/Lord doesn’t do what we think He will do

• or what we ask Him to do

• there/tendency for us to become disappointed with Him.

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