Sunday, February 10, 2008

John the Baptist

Listen to this sermon (MP3)



SCRIPTURE READING

Mark 6: 14 – 16
14 King Herod heard about this, for Jesus' name had become well known. Some were saying, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him."
15 Others said, "He is Elijah."
And still others claimed, "He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago."
16 But when Herod heard this, he said, "John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!"

I. Jesus’ name becomes well known
a. Some thought John the Baptist had been raised from the dead.
i. But it was Jesus really Jesus.
b. Some thought it was Elijah.
i. But it was Jesus.
c. Some thought He was a prophet, like one from long ago.
i. It had been over 400 years since Malachi.
d. Herod believed Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead.

We can see from the scriptures that Herod felt troubled, and had a guilty conscience for putting John to death.

But Herod was convinced that Jesus was John the Baptist brought back to life.


II. John the Baptist died serving God
a. Many have died serving the Lord.

There are many accounts of those who have died for serving the Lord.

Their message of God and His saving grace and love, caused their demise.

Millions of Christians died during the Crusades because they were considered enemies to the Pope.

b. Many die even today.

China has martyrs die daily.

Millions of Christians have been murdered in the Sudan, and Darfur, Sudan’s West Region.

c. Yet we are afraid to speak of the only name on which we are saved.

We are afraid…someone may laugh at me.

Someone may not like me any more.

Someone may make fun of me for my beliefs…

Matthew 16:24 - 25
"If anyone would follow me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”
Does this mean we must die a martyr to be saved? No.

It means that to be a Follower of Christ, you must deny yourself…

DENY YOURSELF
† Anything that starts with “I”

I want, I need, I think, I will…

Deny yourself and YOUR WILL.

Jesus says if YOU try to save your life, you are going to lose it.

But if you deny yourself “FOR CHRIST”, for His Names Sake, you will find “LIFE”

Life eternal!

Denying yourself is humility.

BUT, it must be for Christ!

There are many humble people in the world who have sacrificed SELF for the greater good of others. This denying of self that was not done in the name of Christ, although helpful to others, still lead to eternal death.

There are many who live humbly, who give to the needy, who help those around the world.

But this is not what saves people.

None of those “things” removes sin.

Those “works” can not save.

Romans 10:13
for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Acts 4:12
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Only what is done in the name of Jesus, counts to Jesus.

And Jesus Himself tells us:
Romans 10:6 – 13
“…righteousness that is by faith says: … "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

We are not put to shame…

That means by God, not man.

We are not to care if man is ashamed by us, but if God is.

A Pastor was once asked what he thought about God.

His answer was, “More importantly, what does God think of me?”

Is the Lord being put to shame because you confess Him with your mouth, but live for the world?

Will He truly say to you on the Great Day of Judgment, “Well done!”

Or will His words ring out through all eternity for you, “Be gone, for I do not know you…”

We do not follow the Lord for fame and honor.

But to serve and worship Him alone.

III. John was hated because of the Truth
a. Jesus says, “They hate me…”

Matthew 10:22
All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.


We are to expect a cold response from others when it comes to the Word.


b. The Word of God separates bone from marrow.

Hebrews 4:12 – 13
12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

c. The Word of God judges.

d. The Word of God is a two edged sword.
i. It condemns.
ii. It sets FREE!

Is Jesus’ name becoming well known because of you?

Are you willing to sacrifice all you are and have to serve Him alone?

John was hated because of his message, are you ready to be hated?

Make that commitment today.
Decide in your heart, right now, that you will Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, your entire mind, and all your soul.

2 Timothy 2:14 – 19
14 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."

In everything you say and do, be a living testimony of the Power of God.

Make Jesus’ name known everywhere you go.

Show that light that God has given to those who have submitted their lives to Him, and received His Holy Spirit.

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