Sermons

Summary: The lights that lead people to the Savior today are called CHRISTIANS

The 21st Century Christmas Star!

Daniel 12:3 & Matt 2:1-12

When I was a youth, the planetarium had an annual program that explained the “Star of Bethlehem”

Johannes Kepler, a Reformation era astronomer and mathematician, calculated that Jupiter and Saturn aligned in 7 b.c. This rare light became the reason the wise men left in search of Jesus.

Others believe a comet in 5 b.c. was the guiding light.

While both theories assume that the Gospel account is true, the natural explanation misses the mark.

The Biblical account of those who followed the miraculous star cannot be reduced to mathematical equations.

This star did things that no ordinary star can do:

1. It led from the east to Jerusalem

2. It disappeared for a time

3. It led from the north to Bethlehem

4. It identified the specific house where Jesus and His family resided

Why doesn’t God use guiding stars today? – Answer “He does” They are called Christians (Dan 12:3).

During Jesus’ ministry, a demoniac from Gadara terrorized his community. Jesus transformed the man. The Bible says the people begged Jesus to leave them alone. As He entered the ship, the man begged Jesus to let him become the thirteenth disciple. Instead Jesus said, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.” 20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel (Mark 5:19-20).

Every born again Christian becomes a light in the night sky we call earth. Each light points to the Savior, not to the star.

The Light of the World (Jesus) has strategically placed many guiding lights that are needed now. If you are a believer, you are one of them.

Matthew 5:14-16

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

If your light is shining, three strong reactions will follow!

I. Wise Men Will Rejoice – Matt 2:10

A. God is Light – 1 John 1:5-7

The first creative act of God was LIGHT

B. Our world is wrapped in darkness

Since the fall, man has learned to either …

1. Cope with the darkness

a) Looking everywhere for light – Acts 17:27

27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

b) Embracing false gods who promise light

2. Embrace the darkness

Darkness and sin are natural

C. Jesus Is that true light–

1. John 1:9-12

a) It matters not your standing

(1) Shepherds found that light

(2) Wise men found that light

b) What matters is your courage to embrace that light

2. John 3:19-21

The light attracts and repels.

D. Today, we are like the star of Bethlehem –

1. Wise men seek him, but they will do so through our actions, attitudes, and acknowledgement of Jesus

a) What we are really matters

b) Our walk and talk must agree

(1) Our actions are meaningless without profession

(2) Our professions are meaningless without action

2. To turn many to the right way, a star requires two characteristics

a) It must be fixed. Its position must be established – Character

(1) Principled rather than pragmatic

(2) A planet moves and leads astray – Jude 13 “wandering stars”

b) It must be visible. Its identity must be known or else the darkness will cover it. – Witnessing

(1) Being a “silent” witness does not cut it.

(2) 1Peter 2:9 “… shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

A witness that is both visible and audible (Ps. 51:15; 71:15; plus 11 others in OT involve the mouth).

3. Let your light so shine before men … Matt 5:16

E. That light will be a god-send to any who is groping in the darkness.

1. It will be a beacon even though it is small

2. Do people see your light?

3. Do they know that God energizes that light?

4. Wise men will rejoice when you shine!

II. Demons Will Tremble – Matt 2:3

Herod was not happy; Jerusalem trembled

It appears that the true light of Christmas is being purposefully and progressively dimmed. To recognize the birth of Christ is an offense that public institutions are not willing to endure.

A. The War on Christmas?

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