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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20111211:"Having A Light Christmas"

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HAVE A "LIGHT" CHRISTMAS

SERMON STARTER

 

          My sermon today emphasizes the reality that Jesus is the Light of the World. We walk in darkness with Him and His wonderful Light. Our concern as evangelicals is for those who walk in darkness. The message challenges us to see the contrasts between light and darkness and point others toward His light.

 

Pastor Phil  <><<

 December 11, 2011 – Third Sunday of Advent

Pastor Phil Roland - Sheepfold Ministries

 

HAVE A "LIGHT" CHRISTMAS

Isaiah 9:1-7

 

"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

I.  TYPES OF DARKNESS:

            A. Experienced Literal Darkness Once

                        1. Shenandoah Caverns of Harrisonburg, VA

                        2. Descended a few hundred feet to see Endless Wonders

                        3. Turned Off all Light for three minutes at Conclusion

                                    a. Profound Darkness: palpable, penetrating, shivers

                                    b. Just You and the Cold Breath of the cave

            B. The World's Figurative Darkness / Absence of Christianity

                        1. France has twice as many Muslims as Protestants.
                        2. There are more spiritualist healers in Paris than medical                                        doctors, priests and pastors combined.
                        3.
Europe is the only continent where Christianity is growing                                  more slowly than the population.

            C. Most of Humanity Lives in the World's Figurative Darkness

                        1. The Shameful Deeds of Darkness - Ephesians 4:31-32

                        "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put

                         away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another,

                         tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave                            you."

                        2. Sins of the Darkened Heart and Tongue - Ephesians 5:1-7

"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love,

                         as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering

                         and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication

                         and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named

                         among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish

                         talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of

                         thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor

                         covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the                                        kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty

                         words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon

                         the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with

                         them."

            C. Three Hours of "Crucifixion Darkness" - Matthew 27:45,46

            "Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all

             the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice,

             saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have

             You forsaken Me?"

1. Liberals claim it was an "eclipse"

                        2. Eclipses last from one minute to four and a half minutes

HAVE A LIGHT CHRISTMAS, cont., p.2

            D. "Crucifixion Darkness" accompanied by Miracles - Matt. 27:50-53

             "And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

             51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom;

              and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were

              opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the

 holy city and appeared to many."

            E. Wikipedia Completely Debunks the Notion of a Solar Eclipse

             http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_darkness_and_eclipse

 

II.  GOD'S CHRISTMAS LIGHT CAME THAT FIRST CHRISTMAS

          A. Instances of Light in the Christmas Story

                        1. Wise men followed "A Star" - Matthew 2:1,2

"Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of

                         Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,

                         saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we

                         have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."

                        2. Angels Appeared to Shepherds - Original Light Show

                         "Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the

                         fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an

                         angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord

                         shone around them, and they were greatly afraid."   Luke 2:8-9

                                    a. Before the Development of Fireworks

                                    b. No electric Lights, LED's, Incandescent Bulbs

                                    c. God sent His own Special Light Show

                                    d. It was Minus Gunpowder and Smoke

 

III.  GOD'S CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPELLS DARKNESS- Jn. 14:4,5

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the

darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

            A. Spiritual or Physical Light Always Dispels Darkness - John 3:19-21

        "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness

             instead of light because their deeds were evil.

            20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light

             for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth

             comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done

             has been done through God."

                        1. Light has a Polarizing Effect

                        2. Men and either drawn TO the Light or AWAY from it

            B. Darkness cannot Overwhelm Light

                        1. World's Light - Buddha - The World's "Enlightened One"

                        2. World in it's Darkness seeks "Understanding"

                        3. Light is seen as "Truth" "Shedding the Light on something"

C. Jesus boldly proclaimed the He was the "Light of the World"

             John 8:12 (NKJV)

            "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He

              who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

            D. Jesus has put His Light in us - Matthew 5:14-16

HAVE A LIGHT CHRISTMAS, cont., p.3

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

             15 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. 16 Let your light so shine

             before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in

             heaven."

1. We are to Allow His Light in us to Dispel Darkness

                        2. We are not to hide His Light or put it under a bushel

                        3. Closing Illustration: Moody Illustration

            E. Poem: John H. Sanford

 

 

 

 

 

HAVE A "LIGHT" CHRISTMAS

CLOSING ILLUSTRATION

From his book Daily Gems comes this story by D.L. Moody: "A blind man in a great city was found sitting at a street corner with a lantern beside him. Someone went up to him and asked him why he had the lantern, since he was blind and the light of if was the same to him as the darkness. The blind man simply replied, 'So that others will not stumble and can find their way.'"

Like that man, we too must be providing light so that those who are lost can find their way to heaven. Without the light of Christ shining through us, His followers, they will stumble in their search for peace and satisfaction. Think of the plight of those not reached by the Gospel. Millions will never know anything but spiritual darkness because no one has shared with them the Light that has come into the world. I came across a poem this past week that speaks to this:

 

They Never Heard of Christmas!

Why have we not heard of Christmas?
Why have you denied us light;
We who long have groped in darkness
Chained by sorrow, sin and night?
Why have you refused to tell us
Of this Son born from above?
Why have you withheld such tidings
Of God's condescending love?
When was it you learned of Christmas?
Has this story just been heard?
Can it be that God would send Him
Just for you who hold His Word?
Will you still deny us Christmas?
Will we still reach out in vain?
Can it be that we must perish
Never having heard that Name?
All our fathers died in torment,
Racked with anguish, fear and pain;
Never knowing of a Savior,
Never breathing Jesus' Name!
Hear the words of hopeless millions,
Dying where no light has been:
"Won't you share this Christ of Christmas,
Let Him save us from our sin?"

-- John H. Sanford

 

HAVE A "LIGHT" CHRISTMAS

Isaiah 9:1-7 (NKJV)
1 Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed, As when at first He lightly esteemed The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, And afterward more heavily oppressed her, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, In Galilee of the Gentiles.
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.