Summary: Man need to see that there is hope. The only One who can give us true hope is God himself. We will glance through history to see the plan of God for the salvation of mankind.
In 1952 a famous swimmer, Florence Chadwick, attempted to swim from an Island to the California coast, 50 km away. Long-distance swimming is not new to her; she is the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.
But the water was cold that day and there was a fog. It was so thick that she could hardly see the safety boats nearby. She swam for more than 15 hours before she asked to be taken out of the water. She came to know that she was only one km away from shore. She had already swam 49 km. She said, "I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen the land I might have made it."
It wasn’t the cold or exhaustion that caused her to give up. It was the fog. She could not see the shore. She felt there was no hope of reaching land.
Two months later she tried again, the same channel and the same distance, but minus the fog. She set a new speed record.
People give up when they cannot see a solution to their problem, a light at the end of the tunnel, or an end to their pain.
• People give up when they cannot see HOPE. The reality may not be so, there can be an answer to their problem, but they cannot see it.
• The world is longing for hope. Everyone, everywhere is searching for hope. Hope for peace. Hope for a better life. Where can we find it? Who can give us HOPE?
The truth is, only God can give us true hope. All our human hopes are just wishful thinking, because only the One who is in control of all things, can give us lasting hope. God can.
• Many pray when a disaster strikes, because somehow, they want to believe that God can help. They do not know who He is, but they pray.
• How can we trust a God who cannot be seen? We can’t. That is why Jesus must come. God allows us to see Him when Jesus Christ was born.
John 3:16-17 NLT: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son JESUS, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
There is more to life than what we are seeing. God has a plan for us. We are made to have a relationship with God.
• God did not send Jesus into our world to judge the world. He came to save us.
• His coming at Christmas more than 2000 years ago isn’t a myth or a legend. It is not accidental and it is not by chance.
• God planned it. It happened one day in history, in a specific time and place.
Do you know when this plan was birth? It did not start at Christmas?
• It started way back, right after God created this world. It begins in the Garden of Eden, according to the book of GENESIS.
• When the first man and woman disobeyed God (tempted by Satan) and sinned against Him, man’s relationship with God was broken.
But God did not give up on mankind. He announces a plan of salvation in Genesis 3:14-15 (>4000 years before Christmas).
• The Lord said to Satan (represented by the serpent): "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
• 15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
God revealed His rescue plan:
1. It is centred on a specific person and he would be a man (offspring of a woman).
2. He will enter the human race by being born of a woman.
3. He will do battle with Satan (the one who tempted man to disobey God).
4. But Satan can only strike his heel, that is, he cannot defeat Him.
5. This man will defeat Satan and his power. He will crush his head.
This SAVIOUR will not be an angel. He will enter this world, born of a woman.
• Gal 4:4 “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman…”
• This is the hope for mankind. God will send SOMEONE to save us from our sin and reconcile mankind back to Himself.
• But who is He? How and where and when will He come?
God unfolded His plan gradually over the centuries. We will not be able to go through all the details in one service.