Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Recall those days of the Western Movies when the White Hat guy rode in? Jesus Christ is our Redeemer.

Mark 1:4-11

How do you keep faith when your hopes seem hopeless? Consider when God sent John the Baptist into preaching how that provided their symbol of hope during a time that seemed hopeless. Maybe if you can envision the hope the good people felt in our old Western movies when the white hat cowboy rode into town. What ever happened with those good old Western books and movies?

America enjoyed reading western stories, and the real treat was watching a good shoot them up movie. There was excitement seeing the movie poster that promised a new release coming soon.

Western movies had more to offer than being Hollywood’s attempt to manufacture entertainment. They spoke volumes to foreigners about the success of American’s society. A country that moved from the rural western gun slinger towns portrayed in the movies to a world superpower.

Was it a myth or was it truth that foreigners thought America was built by good clean living folk that lived by a code of good morals. The white hat good guys understood peace talk with a desperado was worthless. The only thing a person whom had crossed the line from good to evil understood was the feeling of hot lead. The white hat good guy had to have the courage to pull a gun and shoot the evil oppressor dead.

In the Western’s movie some themes did not change and what fed the good peoples social need was to believe in hope for the strength of goodness when all else was hopeless. Each Western contained at least one white hat wearing good guy whom lived by a code of good moral living. Our white hat hero was not afraid to stand up to the black hat low life that robbed and made life oppressive for the everyday good people. When the black hats had their guns drawn their single purpose was to intimidate and oppress the good hard working folks. Our hope was restored knowing these good folks would soon be rescued by a strong character wearing a white hat that lived life by the code of goodness. Whatever happened to those good ole Western movies?

How did the common everyday Jewish folks keep their faith when their hopes to know an experience with God seem hopeless? God had not spoken in hundreds of years; they had lost possession of their homeland. They were burdened and oppressed. Had God forgotten the promises?

John the Baptist was the man who lived by a code. He did not wear a white cowboy hat but he wore the garments known to be in keeping with the prophets of old. The people knew from their history the prophets of old reminded them of God’s glory and strength. It was John’s God given task to announce to the good people that their hero was coming.

John the Baptist offered a way to keep your faith in knowing God to a people whom lived in a hopeless situation. It was more than just talk; John’s call was announced it’s time for action. Get yourself prepared for meeting God, our God who created heaven and earth.

Mark 1:4-8

4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

What we saw in the old Westerner movies was the good people being physically rescued from the oppressive grip evil had on their lives. What we felt inside our soul was confirmation of the strength good guys had by living the code of goodness. Living the code meant the good guys were there for their family and neighbors. John the Baptist called the good people to it was now that God would fulfill the promises.

In answering the call people responded, there was a mass exodus from the city life into the wilderness to where John’s preached at the Jordan River. Preaching introduces an opportunity to experience a relationship with God. John proclaimed he who is mightier is coming, and he will baptize with the Holy Spirit.

To this very day, modern day people need to perform action that allows the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit into their lives. This experience must come through belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Redeemer of our souls. This is the only way into life everlasting and to have God’s presence with us during the troubles of this life.

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