SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2010-12-05: "Jesus the Light of the World"

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When I was in primary Sunday School, we learned to sing a little chorus:

"This little light of mine

I'm gon'na let it shine!

This little light of mine

I'm gon'na let it shine!

Let it shine

Let it shine

Let it shine!

Put it under a bushel, No!

I'm gon'na let it shine!

Won't let Satan blow it out!

I'm gon'na let it shine!"

Let it shine

Let it shine

Let it shine!

We had no idea what this meant, but we loved to sing the song with finger and hand motions.

Light is important to all of us. My grandkids love any and all flashlights. They are amazed at how the light shines into the shadows and darkness and brings things into view. This sermon highlights Jesus description of Himself as the world's light.


Pastor Phil  <><<




December 5, 2010 – Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland



ISAIAH 9:2-7 – Matthew 4:12-20




"The world walks in darkness and longs for the light of Jesus Christ. Jesus has come to bring God’s light into our hearts. We worship and follow Him.”

                       Pastor Phil Roland


Isaiah 9:2

“The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.”             Isaiah 9:2



          A. The God-Wars battle over Christmas escalates each year

                        1. Christianity is under attack nationwide

                                    a. Christmas is a celebration about Jesus’ Birth

b. 18% of young people surveyed knew that fact

                        2. World-Wide attacks on Christianity are escalating as well

                                    a. Dangerous to be a Believer in Iraq or Afghanistan

                                    b. India and Pakistan are dangerous to Christians, too

          B. The Christ-haters hide behind “Political Correctness”

                        1. Must be careful not to OFFEND or DIS-COMFORT people                                 2. The Advent of Jesus’ Birth offended the Vain and Proud

                        3. His message has always caused an offence – Matt. 11:6

                           "And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."

                        4. Darkness hates Him, so they hate us - Matthew 10:22

                          "And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who

                           endures to the end will be saved."

            C. The Pharisees were OFFENDED by Him and planned his death

                 Matthew 15:12

     “Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the

       Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?"

            1. Jesus publicly condemned their hypocrisy – Matt: 15:14

               "Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the

     blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."

            2. Is Light afraid of Darkness?

            3. We who walk in the light, walk without fear – 1 John 1:6,7

   “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness,

     we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as

     He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the

     blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”






      "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

       "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it

        gives light to all who are in the house. "Let your light so shine before men,

        that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

            A. Jesus says HE IS the world’s Light, then says WE ARE – John 9:5

                "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

                        1. Is this a paradox?

                        2. No, both statements are consistent and true

            B. Jesus has promised to be IN His followers - John 14:15-18

               "If you love Me, keep My commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and

                He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--the

               Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees

               Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will

               be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you."

                        1. He was WITH THEM then as He was speaking

                        2. His Promise is to be IN THEM through His Holy Spirit

                        3. Inductive Logic Process

                                    a. If He is the Light, and He is

                                    b. When we accept Jesus into our heart/His light is in us

                                    c. Therefore, we, too are the light of the world



            A. The darkness at His time of birth

                        1. The heavy hand of Roman oppression

                                    a. Extortive taxes

                                    b. Ruled subjugated nations w/an iron fist

                        2. Rome appointed Herod with his wickedness

                                    a. From a line of Edomite Kings

                                    b. Guilty of crimes of unspeakable brutality

                                    c. Murdered his wife and two sons

                                    d. Ordered the slaying of Bethlehem's children

                                    e. Failed attempt to kill infant Jesus

                        3. Herod's descendants continued his evil w/ Rome's consent

                                    a. His son, Herod Antipas, 33 years later, killed John

                                    b. Grandson, Herod Agrippa I, Killed James 14 ys. later

                                    c. Great Grandson 16 years later tried Paul - Acts 25

            B. Jesus was born into one of the world's darkest times - John 1:1-5                    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the

                  Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things were made

                  through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him

                  was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the

                  darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

                        1. What about the darkness in your heart?

                        2. Are you willing to allow His birth / re-birth in your heart?


ISAIAH 9:2-7

9:2  The people who walked in darkness Have seen a

great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.

3  You have multiplied the nation And increased its joy; They rejoice before You According to the joy of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

4  For You have broken the yoke of his burden And the staff of his shoulder, The rod of his oppressor, As in the day of Midian.

5  For every warrior's sandal from the noisy battle, And garments rolled in blood, Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.

6  For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7  Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.


MATTHEW 4:12-20

12  Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.

13  And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,

14  that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

15  "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles:

16  The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned."

17  From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

18  And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

19  Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

20  They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
















HANUKKAH - Festival of Lights



Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated for eight days, commencing on the 25th day of the month of Kislev (November/December), to commemorate the victory of the Jews over the Hellenist Syrians in 165 BCE.


Following their victory, the Maccabees, sons of the Priestly Hasmonean family which led the Jews in their revolt against the Syrian overlords, entered the Holy Temple in Jerusalem defiled by the Syrian invaders, cleansed it and dedicated it anew to the service of God. Then, in memory of their victory, the Maccabees celebrated the first Hanukkah. (Hanukkah is the Hebrew term for dedication).


The Talmud, the body of Jewish oral law, relates how the Judean heroes, led by Judah Maccabee, were making ready to rededicate the Temple and were unable to find enough undefiled oil to light the lamps. However, in one of the Temple chambers, they finally came upon a small cruse of oil which, under normal circumstances, would have lasted only one evening.


Miraculously, this small amount of oil kept the Temple lights burning, not for one night, but for all the eight nights until new oil fit for use in the temple could be obtained. This is the miracle commemorated by the kindling of the Hanukkah lights.


"If the son shall set you free, then you shall be free indeed!"


ADVENT - The Coming of Christ


Advent marks the beginning of the Christmas season and the Church year for most Western churches. The word "Advent" means "arrival" or "coming" in Latin and represents the approach of Christ's birth (and fulfillment of the prophecies about that event) and the awaiting of Christ's second coming. It is composed of the four Sundays before Christmas day, starting on the Sunday closest to November 30th, which is the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, and ending on Christmas. Because Christmas is on a different day from year to year, Advent may last anywhere from 22 to 28 days.

In the 4th and 5th centuries, Advent was the preparation for the "Epiphany" rather than Christmas. (Epiphany is celebrated in early January and focuses on various events in Jesus' life such as the visits of the magi, His baptism and miracles.) It was also a time for new Christians to be baptized and welcomed into the church, while members of the church examined their hearts and focused on penance. Religious leaders exhorted the people to prepare for the feast of Christmas by fasting. Some say that early documents show that those leaders treated Advent as a second Lent.

Sometime in 6th century Rome, the focus of Advent shifted to the second coming of Christ. In the 9th century, Pope St. Nicholas reduced the duration of Advent from six weeks to the four weeks we currently observe. And finally, sometime in the middle ages--approximately the 1500's--an additional focus on the anticipation before Christ's birth was added to that of His second coming. For a more in-depth perspective, visit The History of Advent.



1. Both holidays use light to symbolize God's miraculous intervention

2. Both occur at nearly the same time on the calendar

3. Both are attacked by a secular culture attempting to remove them from the public's consciousness













Christmas Under Attack Nationwide

Summary: Images of Jesus Christ and Christmas trees are being censored again this Christmas season across the U.S.

The secularist/ACLU war against Christianity continues to be waged all over the U.S. this Christmas season. The ACLU has sued in various communities to ban the display of Christmas trees as "religious symbols" and a library in Connecticut has banned art that portrays Jesus Christ.

Library officials in Meriden, Connecticut, have banned five paintings of Jesus by local artist Mary Morley. The library is allowing paintings of Moses, David and Goliath, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Mother Theresa and Pope John Paul II, and other religious figures but not Jesus.

According to Morley, library officials told her that paintings of Jesus "would cause too much upset and outcry. Isn't Jesus a historical figure?" The library says it can ban displays that are "inappropriate" or "offensive" to "any segment of the community."

Morley has contacted The Rutherford Institute to consider filing a lawsuit against the library for religious discrimination and violation of her freedom of speech.

In Pennsylvania, a school district and parents are arguing over whether or not to ban all Christmas celebrations, including the singing of Christmas carols.

In Colorado, the ACLU has threatened to sue a school district over Christmas celebrations, including the singing of "Jingle Bells." The ACLU claims that Jewish students don't feel "safe or welcome" in the school when Christmas is celebrated.

The attacks on Christmas are not limited to the ACLU. Corporations are now becoming "politically correct" and many are deleting any mention of Christmas in their advertising or stores. Instead, they are using words like "winter holiday" to describe the Christmas season.

In New York, public school officials are denying that Jesus was a real historical figure so they can ban Christmas!


In a Texas classroom, children were told to draw a tracing of their foot, and then put a message on the drawing. One little girl wrote “Jesus Loves Me” on hers. What happened next shows the abysmal state of religious tolerance in America.




As Fox news anchor John Gibson relates in his new book, The War on Christmas, the child’s teacher ripped the tracing off the board. “Don’t you ever do this again,” she said. The little girl burst into tears.

When her outraged father called the school, nervous officials told the child to make another tracing. She did so—but this time, instead of scrawling “Jesus Loves Me,” she drew a tiny cross that was so small it was almost invisible. This little girl had learned her lesson well. Her Christian faith was something shameful—and she should keep it to herself.

And this little girl is not the only child learning this ugly lesson. In a Plano, Texas, classroom, a teacher told students not to write “Merry Christmas” on greeting cards for soldiers in Iraq because it might offend someone. They were even forbidden to say “Merry Christmas” to their classmates. And this in Plano, Texas?
The truth is that the left has put such a left handed spin on the Political Correctness crowd that the idea of religious tolerance has turned into religious suppression.


In a New York school, the halls were decked with menorahs and Kwanzaa candles. When a father asked why there was no Christmas tree, the principal said, “Oh, we’re trying to make sure we don’t offend people.”
So African and Jewish is OK but CURSE the Christians who make up 90% of the population, including African descended Christians!

I’m offended by the exclusion.