The Coming of Christ

Here are the sermon notes from December 16th, 2012.

We are in the season of Advent.  Advent is a time of preparation.

I.  Prepare the Way Isaiah 40:3-5

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth;
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

During the ministry of John the Baptist, he was asked if he was the messiah.  He replied that he was not the messiah, he was the “voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord…”.

The Lord, of course, is Jesus.  At Christmas we celebrate the coming of Christ into the world.  We prepare for Christmas in a whole multitude of ways.  We make our plans and travel arrangements.  We shop, and bake, and wrap presents.  We decorate our homes; inside and out.  It is a busy time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

II.  More to Come

At Christmas we celebrate that Christ came into the world, but there is more to prepare for than the celebration of the first Christmas.

Christ promised to come again someday for His people.  We can prepare for that coming in two ways.

Proclamation:  Mathew 24:14

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

There are still people who have not heard the message of Jesus the Christ.  We can share in the proclamation of the gospel by sharing it ourselves with those whom we come  into contact.  We can also support those who go around the world preaching the gospel.  We can support them through our prayers and through our financial support.

Cleansing: Ephesians 5:25-27

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

We help to prepare for the coming of Christ by cooperating with the Holy Spirit as He works in our lives the work of sanctification.  As certainly as a bride prepares for her wedding day, we should prepare ourselves for the Lord’s return.

There is one more coming of Christ that it is appropriate to think about during the advent season.  That is the coming of Christ into the hearts of new believers.  This coming of Christ is very important to each one personally because without Christ, we cannot be saved.  We help to prepare for this coming by living out the lives that Christ would have us to live.  By our actions and our words we can help to either draw people to Christ, or drive them away.

I Corinthians 3:5-6

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

We recognize that the success of our efforts ultimately is up to God, but we are still asked to faithfully do our part.

May God help us as we seek to prepare, not just for Christmas, the celebration of the first coming of Christ into the world; but also for the return of Christ, and even more important, the coming of Christ into the hearts of the unsaved.

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