Today marks a major shift in our study of God’s plan for His people. Up until now we have looked at the things the Bible says about God’s people in the context of history: what happened to God’s people.
Today, and through the rest of our Old Testament survey (which ends the last Sunday of this month) we begin looking at God’s plan for his people from the view point of prophecy: what God tells them to look forward to.
These next three lessons are taken from the prophets who tell of: 1. the coming king, 2. the coming servant and, 3. preparing the way.
By the way, Lord willing, next year, Januay 1, I hope you will join me in reading through the New Testament in 90 days. This will take less than 10 minutes a day, on average to read through your entire New Testament. How many of you were here in 2008 when we read through the entire Bible in 90 days? If you remember, this church led the way for the entire community to join with us and do that. Ten of our neighboring denominations promoted it and joined with us and practically every business up and down the street displayed signs saying: We proudly support the reading of the Bible in 90 Days! We even got endorsements from our Mayor, and also Bob Corker and Zach Wamp. I have the advertisements that we put in the paper laminated.
Well, this year, the elders have asked me to try to get the area churches to join us in reading the New Testament at the same time. At the present there are 5 who have joined this effort. The goal is to encourage anyone in our community to read the Word of God. Certainly that is a worthy effort!
Would you do two things: First, pray that this will go forward and many of our neighbors and friends in this community will read God’s word and hear His will and obey the gospel of Christ. Second, commit to read the New Testament yourself and talk with neighbors and friends about it asking them to join you in doing so.
To encourage this, our Sunday morning lessons from January to March will be drawn from each week’s readings and our group ministry will have discussion guides to help you share with one another what you’ve covered. I hope and pray that this also open doors for us to talk to our neighbors and friends about God’s word and work to spread the gospel.
May God bless the reading and obeying of His word!
(Greet one another)
Tonight’s discussion is about the coming King. The texts all come from Isaiah.
This morning I want to invite you to look with me at the fulfillment of Isaiah’s words in Jesus Christ. Isaiah spoke 800 years before Jesus was born. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the records that show us who Isaiah spoke about all those years before. Just think of it. That would be like someone back in the 1300’s writing accurately about events taking place today. That’s a long time ago. Yet Isaiah’s words are so amazingly precise that they supply us with great confidence in the inspiration of the Bible. Only God could have such knowledge. Yet some of Isaiah’s words about the coming King and what He will do are still to come.
Isaiah points to a coming King. The other prophets join Isaiah telling us that this king will establish a kingdom and will rule over all nations. He will rule in justice and righteousness. All His enemies will be put under His feet. His kingdom will never end. When all is said and done, this King will be King of kings and Lord of lords and will judge all the nations including all who have ever lived on this earth.
Does that sound like a fairy tale or wishful thinking published by poor Jewish preachers? It is not. It is the truth.
One thing about the message of God in scripture, it is filled with surprises. Who would have thought that the King of the universe would take off His glory and cloth Himself in human likeness? Who would have thought that the Ruler of all nations would lay down His scepter and dwell as a peasant among the poor? Who would have figured it out that the Creator would allow His creation to crucify Him, no, I take that back, the Creator planned and predetermined that this would happen. He even wrote about it hundreds of years before it occurred in specific detail and it was carried out by the very people who read His words and studied them in deep detail and yet did not see what they were doing as they executed the plan exactly according to their scriptures.
Who would have ever guessed?
We read the gospels and we see that the King comes to us, humble and riding on a donkey. That’s how He first entered, but it is not how He will finish.
Go with me to Matthew 25:31f.
What does this King look like? What is the test to see who will join this King in His eternal kingdom?
Do you and I pass the test? Is Jesus Christ truly the King of our lives?