Summary: are you a voice for God
Intro: a man had a hot dog business in a downtown area that had done very well for many years. His son came back from college with an economics degree and decided to help his dad with his business. First he said, your old cart with wheels needs to be up-graded, so they bought a very expensive new cart with a lot of new technology. He said, dad, your hot dogs and buns and everything else cost you too much, so they went out and bought cheaper food. Next the son said, we need a better location, so he moved to a new area. Next he said, we need signs and advertisement all over town, so they spent a lot of money on advertisement. He then said, we need to charge more for our product, so they raised the price. Within a few weeks, the dad had a going out of business sale. Today, we must be careful that we as a Pentecostal church don’t change what got us here. A look at the ministry of John the Baptist is a clear foundation for all Pentecostal churches to use. Our message will come from Matthew 3:1-11, and Matthew 11:7-11
Voices in the Wilderness
Background: Matthew 3 gives us the ministry of John the Baptist, we find that this prophet in the desert had all of Jerusalem coming out to hear him. He preached repentance, and baptism, and the fruit of repentance and great conviction fell on those who came out to hear him. Jesus in Matthew 11 asks, why did people go out to hear John the Baptist. Not just to see his clothes, not just to see a reed shaken by the wind, which they could see in their own back yards, they went out for more than that, and today this is the ministry of those who will be voices in the wilderness.
The three questions today: what did people go out to see, what did people go out to hear, and what did people go out to do.
I. What did people go out to see--- here is the first secret to a strong Pentecostal church, that people come to see something.
a. they don’t come to see our building, our clothes, our cars—they come to see the power of God. They come to see something supernatural. They come to see the life changing power of the Spirit of God.
An old black minister out in the country was packing out his services. A man visited the church but noticed he had terrible grammar. He asked a man, how can he fill this house with such terrible grammar. The man said, when the preachers in the city say they have seen something, we don’t know if they have seen it, but when our preacher says he saw’d something, we know that he saw it.
b. they don’t come to be impressed, they come to be convicted. Most churches are moving away from having a service that convicts people of sin, but people in this wilderness called the last days come to be convicted of sin. Sin is a burden, sin is full of grief and sorrow, so people come to experience conviction.
Ill) years ago I visited a cousin of mine in the hospital who was
Bound by sin in many ways. His liver had gone bad and was in
The hospital for many days. He had listened to hours of television
Preaching and when I came by he said, are you an old time preacher
Or are you one of these newer versions. He said, I have wanted to
Get right with God, but all these new version preachers are all telling
Me that I am all right, that God loves me just the way I am. He said,
I want an old time preacher that tells me I need to get things right,
That I am a sinner, and that I am on my way to hell.
c. They come to get clean, John was baptizing them in the river Jordan---this was a symbol of cleansing, repentance from sin. We live in a world that wants to be clean. Tide may get the dirt out, but only the life changing power of God can get the sin out.
II. What do they come to hear---they come to hear a prophetic
Word from God. They don’t come to hear a time magazine sermon, or a reader’s digest condensed version.
Years ago my dad gave me an outline sermon book. It was sermon starters, outlines. It was called snippy, snappy sermon outlines. People don’t come to church to hear a snippy, snappy sermon, they come to hear a message from God.
a. repent of your sins—people are still sinners—it seems to be that no one wants to call people sinners, but if you live a life of sin, you are a sinner and you will go to hell. If you don’t repent from sin, then you are not saved.