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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sermon 11272011 Advent 1

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, our rock and our redeemer!!  AMEN!!

Let us pray!  As we embark upon our series of Prophets, their prophecies and their fulfillment during this Advent season, may our hearts be stirred up to understand the true role of the Prophet, Priest and King we call Jesus Christ.  For though these prophecies are from the Old Testament and find fulfillment in the New Testament, may we begin to see and understand them as applicable for us today here in Goodland, KS for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.

This morning we embark upon a journey.  Unlike any other journey, our destination is not a place, but an opportunity of preparation of our hearts for the coming Messiah.  This is the season of Advent, a time at the beginning of the church year where for four weeks we prepare for the coming Messiah.  Unlike at Wal-Mart where the Christmas decorations already have dust gathered around them from before Halloween, our four week preparation here in church will include both Sundays and Wednesdays.  On Sunday we will hear of the four different biblical prophets that will be main characters in this years Children’s Christmas Program.  Then on Wednesday night we will hear and learn how the prophecy introduced on Sunday is fulfilled in the New Testament. Thus, just as an artist paints with one color with each brush stroke, the sermons we hear will help paint clearly the picture on the canvas of the many prophecies the Old Testament prophets foretold.  And the complete picture will only be revealed with the coming of the Christ Child in the manger to His parents, Mary and Joseph as the beginning of the ultimate fulfillment found on the Cross of Gologotha.  So let us begin, with the Prophet Daniel.

Hear the prophetic words of Daniel 7:13-14:

13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a (A)Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 
14 “And to Him was given (
B)dominion, Glory and (C)a kingdom, (D)That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. (E)His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; 
F)And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.

Daniel the prophet is undeniably one of the most famous Old Testament characters who is known for his faith in God, even in the face of his persecutors who threw him in a den to face the hungry lions.  And the prophecy we have just heard is clear, “One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.  The prophecy is of the coming Messiah, the one who would set the people of Israel free.  Unlike what we call an inauguration of the President of the United States, the coronation of the King of England or any monarch, the prophecy that Daniel speaks of is of the “formal inauguration of the Messiah as King of His eternal kingdom”.  The King comes to take charge of His eternal Kingdom.  Not just a small piece of land or property, but the entirety of the Kingdom.  But what is the entirety of His Kingdom?  Simply it is the entire World which Father, Son and Holy Spirit created at the dawn of creation from nothing.

The Son of Man comes and Daniel is clear, “to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom”.  The Son of Man reigns supreme in Glory and majesty, dominion and power over His Kingdom.  And Daniel tells us that “all peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed”.

Clearly, there is a choice that is to be made, hence our free will.  And this prophecy of Daniel is a warning for the people of the Old Testament time that the Son of Man was coming. Hence it is man’s free will to avoid believing the prophecy of Daniel and do so willfully.  Are we any different than the people of Daniel’s time?  Do we avoid the truth that Daniel tells in our own way?  Do we only look to God when someone we know and love is sick or on their death bed?  Do we only pray to God when we believe He is our last option?  Do we come to worship in God’s house only when it is convenient or at the major events like Christmas and Easter, funerals and weddings?  If we answered yes to any of these questions, we are no different than the people Daniel speaks to in his prophecy of the coming Son of Man.
For it is the coming Son of Man we know as Jesus Christ.  It was His life, death and resurrection that fulfills the law perfectly for each and every one of us.  For it was on the Cross at Golgotha, that Jesus died in order that we might live with Him in His Kingdom.  It is this Kingdom that Jesus is King of that will not pass away and which we as believers in Jesus Christ sacrificial death on the cross partake of and are ushered into when we enter eternal glory.  But the choice is ours, to ignore Daniel’s prophetic call or to listen and head Jesus Christ call which is for all mankind and especially for all of us Saints here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.
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