Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Wild One

I recently heard a podcast entitled, "Your role in the Christmas story" by Dr Tom Mullins of Christ Fellowship (Florida), who said that the Christmas Story starts not with Jesus, but with John the Baptist.

My daily reading is all about John the Baptist - (I think God is making sure I get the point).

Isaiah 40:3 says,

"A voice of one calling in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for Him"

John's life mission and ministry was to prepare the hearts of the people for Christ's coming.

There had been hundreds of years since God's people had heard from a prophet, and now John was commissioned to get people ready - the messiah was coming. Their hearts had to be ready to receive Christ.

The religious leaders had created a 'religion' of rules, regulations, hypocrisy and an absence of love. John's message cut all that away. John called for "personal purity and individual righteousness, seen as a refreshing change fron the ritualistic and institutional religion which has developed over the centuries" (Commentary from "The Daily Bible")

Of course, the message of John was that of the Messiah, and more specifically, the lamb that will take away the sins of the world. The King that will remove the religious laws, and replace it with a kingdom of love, grace and a gift of righteousness.

The cross was God's design for our salvation since the beginning of time. Revelation 13:8 describes Jesus as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world"

The point for us is this: Christ is coming again. He is coming back. Our role in the Christmas story is to prepare the hearts of people for Christ's return. Our whole mission is to "go into all the world and make disciples"

Greg Laurie says this, "A number of years ago, I had the privilege of having lunch with Billy Graham. While I had a lot of questions I wanted to ask, there was one thing I was especially curious about.

I said to him, "If you knew then as a younger preacher what you know now after all these years, what would you do differently?"

Without hesitation, he replied, "I would preach more on the cross and on the blood. That is where the power is

We need to cut through a 'religion' that has developed over the years of self-help, me-first, and 'what feels good - do it'. Humanism seems to be so popular, and it can be likened to Christianity without Christ. Yet, the message of the cross is the only message that will get the hearts of people ready for Christ's return

What if we don't? What if only give our mission a half-hearted effort? I'm still pondering over last week's Westlife message on Hell, and the horror that people will be destined for if they don't know Christ.

Christ is coming back, and we must prepare the way.

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