Tue, Dec 25, 2001

Here Comes the Son! - Christmas 2001

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Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.
HERE COMES THE SON!
MATTHEW 1:18-25
CHRISTMAS 2001
 

Good-morning and welcome once again on this Christmas morning 2001. Some of you may have opened your presents already, while others will be opening your presents later today. Now some of you may be aware of this already, and to others, this may come as a shock to you. But, as a public service, I feel the need to make you all aware of this recall that has gone out, considering all the gifts that are being given this day. It is so important that you need to not only listen but you need to respond to this recall, if need be, for it is a matter of life and death! That is how serious this is. The notice of this recall goes like this:

NOTICE OF RECALL

The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to the serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units that were code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.

This defect has been technically termed, "Sub sequential Internal Non morality," or more commonly known as SIN, as it is primarily expressed.

Some of the other symptoms are as follows:

[a] Loss of direction

[b] Foul vocal emissions

[c] Amnesia of origin

[d] Lack of peace and joy

[e] Selfish, or violent behavior

[f] Depression or confusion in the mental component

[g] Fearfulness

[h] Idolatry

[i] Rebellion

The manufacturer, Who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect.

The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee.

The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component. No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:

[a] Love

[b] Joy

[c] Peace

[d] Patience

[e] Kindness

[f] Goodness

[g] faithfulness

[h] Gentleness

[i] Self-control

Please see the operating manual, the HOLY BIBLE, for further details on the use of these fixes. As an added upgrade, the Manufacturer has made available to all repaired units a facility enabling direct monitoring and assistance from a resident maintenance Technician, the HOLY SPIRIT.

Repaired units need only make Him welcome and He will take up permanent residence on the premises!

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids the Manufacturer’s warranty, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.

For free emergency service, call on JESUS.

DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace.

The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice.

Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Jude 1:2.

Now as cute and as funny as that might be, it is very true! Some of you may be thinking, "What in the world does this have to do with Christmas?" Everything! You see, when people today think of Christmas they think of gifts, meals, family gatherings, parties, the hustle and bustle of getting gifts, but none of those things relate to what Christmas really is all about. Think of it this way, HERE COMES THE SON, not SUN but SON. And we will be developing that more as we move on in a few minutes.

But first, let’s get into our text this morning in Matthew chapter 1, beginning in verse 18, and see what the Lord has for us on this Christmas morning 2001.

MATTHEW 1:18-25

Prior to the marriage of Joseph and Mary, during what we might call the engagement period, Mary becomes pregnant, and not by Joseph. We are told that the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and she was pregnant with child.

As Joseph found out, he could have put her to death, for even during this engagement period, this was considered adultery. But Joseph was a good man, a fair man, and he was just going to put her away, hide her so she would not be put to death for this act, or what Joseph thought had happened.

And as Joseph pondered all these things an angel of the Lord appeared to him and explained that what Mary said was true and they will have a Son named Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins! And all these things were predicted several hundred years earlier by the prophet Isaiah. This was not a chance happening!

Joseph is also told that His name will be called "Emmanuel" or "God with us." It is not a personal name, but more of a descriptive title of what His earthly ministry was all about - GOD WITH US! And Joseph not only listened to the angel of the Lord but he obeyed what he was told, marrying this young girl he was engaged to - Mary! And this couple had a Son and they called Him Jesus.

Now in regards to the first coming, Jesus is called the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world - it is what His name imply’s, Jesus or Joshua means YAHWEH IS OUR SALVATION or YAHWEH HAS BECOME OUR SALVATION. It is as Peter proclaimed in Acts 4:12, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

So God became flesh, dwelt among us with the purpose of dying on the cross of Calvary to pay in full the penalty for our sins. You see, as in the story of the recall notice, we all have inherited sin - through Adam, and acquired sin- through our own efforts, and it is that sin that separates us from a holy God.

The Scriptures tell us that we were created in the image of God but as you look at man today you see all kinds of evil, immorality, violence, abuse, and the list can go on-and-on. What happened? SIN! When Adam and Eve were created they were perfect and they had a free will, to obey God and stay away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or to disobey God and partake of it.

They decided to ignore what God said and they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and as soon as they did, they were separated from God and the death process began in their life, the second law of thermodynamics, where these bodies of flesh move towards disorder and finally to death. Now when we look at man, we don’t see a true reflection of God, but a distorted picture, as sin has distorted us. And is as Isaiah 59:1-2 says, "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."

Not only that, but all creation was affected by this sin. Prior to their sin all life lived in harmony together, all the animals were vegetarians. But after the fall, after sin entered this world, some of the animals became meat-eaters, carnivorous. They no longer lived in harmony together. Now even the vegetation was affected as we have thorns and thistles growing, weeds chocking out the good vegetation. And now Adam and Eve are kicked out of the Garden of Eden so they would not partake of the tree of life to live in this sinful condition for eternity.

And ever since that time, Adam and Eve’s descendants have been lost in sin with the only hope for them being a Savior. In Romans 5:12 we are told of this inherited sin from Adam, for Paul says, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned." Now some of you may be feeling that you are not that bad, that God has to accept you like you are. You haven’t murdered anyone! You help little old ladies across the street. You hold doors open for people. Yes, you are not perfect, but you aren’t that bad! Wrong! Paul said that sin spread to all, not just to some!

The Bible tells us "...‘There is none righteous, no, not one.’Romans 3:10. And, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. That is where all of us are at outside of Christ. We fall short of God’s glory, of His perfection. Yes, we are not perfect, even though some are better than others, and that is the problem, we need to be perfect to be accepted by God! Paul continues on in Romans by saying "For the wages of sin is death, but the [free] gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23. Which then leads us to our condition in Christ, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

As I have said, the Son of God has come to set us free from our sins, to pay the penalty for us, which was accomplished on the cross of Calvary! And thus, Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:7, "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Now, as you are in Christ, in a positional sense, as God looks at you, you are perfect for the blood of Christ covers you. Again, Paul said in II Corinthians 5:21, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." Now practically speaking, we do sin, but the blood of Christ is continually washing us, keeping us clean, keeping us as white as snow!

I pray that is what you are thinking of this Christmas 2001, how a loving God became flesh, born in a manger, with the purpose of going to the cross to be crucified for our sins. You see, when God says He loves us, it is not with empty words or feelings, it is much more than that. When God says He loves us it is seen as an act of His will, it is displayed in action. God gave His life so we might live in Him! How do you love God, with empty words, or empty feelings, or is your love based in action, an act of your will? It needs to be!

Now some would like to change that phrase, "Here comes the Son!" to "Here came the Son!" putting it in the past tense. And yes, Jesus did come once, but make no mistake about it, He is coming again. The first time He came as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world and for almost 2,000 years now we have been living in the age of grace, unmerited favor towards us. But that day is coming to an end and we will once again hear that phrase "Here comes the Son!" only this time He is coming as the Lion from the tribe of Judah!

Why is He coming back? Because He is not finished with the redemption process, this earth with the animals and vegetation will also be redeemed, as will these bodies of flesh that we struggle in today. Jesus is coming back to take that which was taken from Him and that which He has purchased back with His life, this earth. You see, when Adam sinned the title deed of the earth was given to Satan by Adam and today we read of Satan being the "...god of this age..." II Corinthians 4:4, "...the prince of the power of the air..." Ephesians 2:2, the "...ruler of this world..." John 14:30.

And as you get to Revelation chapter 5 you see Jesus take the scroll or title deed of the earth out of the hand of the Father, for He alone is worthy to take the scroll and unseal it for He purchased it with His blood!

And during that period of time known as the tribulation period, Jesus will pour out His wrath on a Christ rejecting world, after He has taken the church, His bride, believers, home with Him. And after those 7 years of tribulation are completed, Jesus will return to set-up His kingdom and rule and reign for 1,000 years from the throne of David, as He promised His people He would do.

And as I have said, this whole world will be redeemed by Jesus, restored to the way it was in the Garden of Eden before the fall. In Isaiah 11:6-9 we are told of this day, we read "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea."

Again in Isaiah we read, "‘For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed....The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,’ says the LORD." Isaiah 65:17-20, 25.

Do you see that the Lord is not done yet! He came the first time to save us from our sins. He is coming again to put down the rebellion against Him, to put away the wicked, and establish His kingdom in righteousness! Don’t leave Jesus as a baby in a manger, that was only one part of His life that led to His goal of saving us from our sins and the future fulfillment of redeeming this world.

Let me share with you these thoughts from the editor of Decision magazine back in December of 1998. The editor says:

Christmas is the season of the year when we scurry around trying to find gifts to buy and give to our families, friends and others. Sometimes we buy the "perfect" gift for someone ("It’s just exactly what she has been searching for. She’ll love it!"), and sometimes we buy a "desperation" gift, a last-resort gift, for someone ("At least he’ll have a package to open. He can always take it back to the store.").

This is also the season of the year when we celebrate the very best gift of all: Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Because of the birth and death of Jesus, we can have the gift of salvation, the gift of life eternal. Jesus is God’s "indescribable gift" to us.

Jesus is our "perfect" gift - in all of our searching in life, Jesus is perfect to meet all our needs and wants. And Jesus is our "desperation" gift - often it is in desperation that we turn to him as a last resort (but he is a gift we don’t return!).

If God has given us a gift so wonderful, so "indescribable," what can we possibly give him in return? We can scurry around and scurry around and never find anything that even approximates the value and significance of his gift to us.

But we don’t need to look for something to give him - we already possess what we can give to God. And Christina Rossetti, a 19th - century poet in England, knew that too:

"What can I give him,

Poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd,

I would bring a lamb;

If I were a wise man,

I would do my part;

Yet what I can give him -

Give my heart."

So, at this very special time of the year, have you received God’s perfect and "indescribable gift" of Jesus? And have you in turn given him all that you have: your heart?

- Decision Magazine, From the Editor, Christmas Gifts, Kersten Beckstrom Interim Editor, December 1998

With all the gifts you have purchased for others, don’t miss out on the most precious gift that God has for you, the free gift of life that is wrapped in Jesus and all you must do is receive that free gift into your life by faith. Give Him your heart for He has given His life for you!

As I begin to close this morning listen to these words from that famous philosopher, from the comic strip, B.C.. In this comic a man is sitting under a tree and writing some words down, and they go like this:

It seems to me that since the "fall" - without even thinking it odd - that man has had no trouble at all believing that he can be God. How he would do this I cannot conceive, tho, he certainly thinks that he can - and yet, he cannot bring himself to believe, that God can become...a man.

Please don’t let this day pass you by without thanking God for what He has done for you. In John 3:16-21 Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."

Receive that free gift into your life. Ask Jesus to be Lord and Savior. And, if you already have, and your walk with Him is lukewarm, may you get fired up again and thank the Lord for all He has done for you and is going to do for you. Jesus came to set man free from his sins, and He is coming again to rule and reign. You can begin to hear the words being shouted out, "HERE COMES THE SON!" The question is "Are you ready!"

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