Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Mid-week Advent 3

Advent Mid-week 3
December 19, 2001
Isaiah 35:3-4

“Farewell to Fear”

INTRODUCTION:  Fear, FDR reminded a terrified nation “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” In the past three months as a nation, a society, and as a people we have dealt with the topic of fear. How is it that we address our doubts and our fears? 

We live in a unique time.  What will the future bring?  How do we face the future?  Is it possible to eliminate fear?  In the prophecy of Isaiah the Lord directs us to a point in time when our fears will all disappear.  That time has come as God has come to visit His people. These are certainly words of comfort and hope as Isaiah bids us to say farewell to our fears. Listen again to Isaiah’s comforting and encouraging words: “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear…” How can we be so bold? Isaiah assures us

I.                    Your God will come.

A.                 Jesus came into this world the first time as a mere baby. That was His first Advent.  He came for a specific purpose, which was to save people from their sins. He came wrapped in flesh to be our substitute; to take our place under the Law, to redeem us who are under the curse of the Law. As Jesus lived the perfect life as He went to the bloody cross and broke from the sealed and silent tomb He gives to us salvation and life.

B.         But that was only His first Advent. King Jesus has promised that He will come for a second time as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Lo! He comes with clouds descending
Once for ev’ry sinner slain;
Thousand thousand saints attending
Swell the triumph of His train
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Christ the Lord returns to reign.
[ Lo! He comes with clouds descending Hymnal Supplement ’98 #802 stanza 1]

II.                 When He comes it will be with vengeance. 

A.                 Isaiah reminds us that He will come with divine retribution.  There is still one score to settle.  Those who have denied the Savior, those who refuse to depend upon Him; those who seed to destroy His children because they bear His name and bear up under His cross will be visited.  Jesus reminds us “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12) The matter that will be settled.  All will be made right when Jesus comes in sight.  When He opens His mouth death meets its death.

Every eye shall now behold Him
Robed in glorious majesty;
Those who set at naught and sold Him.
Pierced and nailed Him to the tree,
Deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
Shall their true Messiah see.
[Lo! He comes with clouds descending Hymnal Supplement ’98 #802 stanza 2]

B.                 We need not take matters into our own hands. We need not try to force the Savior’s hand. We need not try to settle the matter. Christ will settle things in His own way and in His own time. We as His children are to content ourselves and, to the best of our ability, should live in peace. God is at peace – with you and with the world – for He has sent Christ, the prince of peace into this world, to win for us his true and abiding peace.

III.               The prophet tells us clearly “He will come to save”

A.                 Already He has save the world once – at the cross when Jesus suffered and died for your sins and for mine. Because of the cross and empty tomb we can say without any hesitation that there really is peace on earth good will toward men!  In Jesus Christ all sin is forgiven period!

Those dear tokens of His Passion
Still His dazzling body bears,
Cause of endless exultation
To His ransomed worshipers.
With what rapture, with what rapture,
Gaze we on those glorious scars!
[Lo! He comes with clouds descending Hymnal Supplement '98 #802 stanza 3]

B.                 The Lord’s peace will again be realized and perfected in us by either one of two realities.  Either you and I will be transferred from this vale of tears into the kingdom of glory or our eyes shall behold Him face to face when we see Him in the clouds of heaven.  Whatever it may be we can say now without any hesitation: “it is well, it is well with my soul.

Yea, Amen, let all adore Thee,
High on Thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the pow’r and glory,
Claim the kingdom as Thine own.
Alleluia, alleluia,
Thou shalt reign, and Thou alone!
[Lo! He comes with clouds descending Hymnal Supplement ’98 #802 stanza 4]

CONCLUSION:  "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32

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