WHEN KINGS BOW
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5) INTRO: Last week we preached a message addressing the question of “Who was the Baby in the Manager?” Today we will look at Who He is and Why He came?
We live in a wondrous but difficult age. We have seen great events take place that have altered the course of history. Each year new advances are being made in science and medicine. Some of the world's most dreaded diseases are now relegated to the history books.
Modern medicine does marvelous things in healing, and science holds out the promise that in a few years such dreaded diseases as cancer, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and even AIDS will be curable. Yet, we have been hearing that for decades...yet no cures yet. People are still getting ill. Dealing with health problems is one of the major problems mankind faces. We still have diseases and these diseases are being coming harder to cure. New diseases are appearing that are resistance to antibiotics that once cured.
In the last few years we have seen computer technology advance so that computers that will fit in the palm of your hand have the power of those that used to fill entire rooms and buildings. Every business now uses computers. Most families have one or more in their homes. Your children learn how to use them in elementary school and play games on powerful compact computers.
But for all the good they do computers have given us a host of serious problems. They have done away with personal freedom and privacy. In a few short years every thing will be done by computers...shopping, banking, schools, and most things we do.
We are constantly under surveillance everywhere we go. Someone is always watching.
Carl Sagen said man through technology would overcome his problems and evolve into the stars. Do you think he understood that space is totally hostile to life.
But there is a problem few men overcome. The problem is universal and effects all men rich or poor, no matter what is one’s social status, training or intelligence. That problem is that man is born a sinner with a sinful nature. Sin in a person’s life if always destructive.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
The problem that mankind has a sin problem. Can you think of any problem our society has that is not rooted in sin. The seed of man’s destruction is born when a human being is born. That destructive flaw is that all men are born with a carnal nature which causes us to sin.
Technology is wonderful it used right, but carnal men are using technology for their self serving purposes and it is killing and causing abject suffering for millions. Nothing than man can devise or invent came eradicate this flaw. His science and technology fails.
However, there is a solution to man’s problems and that solution was provided by our God and Creator. It is a supernatural solution that only God can provide.
God promised the solution when man failed in the Garden of Eden and through disobedience, seeking godhood, disobeyed God and brought the carnal nature on us all. God promised to send a Savior, a Messiah who would provide the cure for sin. (Gen. 3:15)
But God in His time brought about the most wondrous event in history. THIS IS WHY HE CAME. 2000 years ago God poured out His love, mercy and grace and came to this earth to provide the ultimate cure. Our Holy God and Creator left the portals of heaven and became a flesh and blood human being, God incarnate in man. (Incarnate means having a body) It is the greatest event in the history of the world.
It was a supernatural event that was foretold by the prophets centuries before. For centuries people speculated as to when the promised Messiah would come and who He would be. Finally the time for His birth arrived.
How did people receive Him? He came preaching peace and repentance from sin. He preformed untold miracles of healing the blind, the lame, and every disease. But how did they respond? The Bible gives us the answer. Sadly, nothing has changed.....man is still responding as they did at His birth.
In these passages we can see some responded with Antagonism, Apathy, and Adoration.
I. ANTAGONISM and REJECTION AT CHRIST’S BIRTH. WE CAN SEE IT PLAINLY IN HEROD’S RESPONSE. Matthew 2:3.
He murdered his own family including his wife, three of his sons, and his brother, and the chief rabbi as well as 45 other men he considered a political threat.
"Troubled" means he was "agitated" or "stirred up." Herod heard that another king was born and he saw that as a direct threat to his rule. The Wise men came seeking the baby who they understood was the King of the Jews. He did not want anyone to be called "King of the Jews" except himself. Herod was greatly troubled, and he stirred the entire city up with him.
When he learned that the Old Testament in Micah 5 said Jesus would be born in Bethlehem he had all the male babies born there killed who were under two years of age. (Matt. 2:16-18)
A couple of weeks ago on Shaw AFB, Sumpter, SC. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation praised officials at Shaw Air Force Base for removing a Nativity scene located near Memorial Lake on Friday. The traditional Nativity included plastic statues of Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus and an assortment of animals.
Todd Starnes, a reporter said “Apparently, an undisclosed number of Airmen were so emotionally troubled by the sight of a manger scene that they immediately notified the MRFF” He further said “I can only imagine the psychological damage they must have suffered as a result of glancing at the plastic statues. I hope no one needed hospitalization, God forbid.” (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/12/09/air-force-removes-nativity-scene/)
Stores do not display signs that say Merry Christmas, but rather Happy Holidays. Carolyn was told when she worked at the ALCO to answer with Happy Hollidays.
Officials at Ralph J. Osgood Intermediate School removed several religious references, including “holy infant” and “Christ the savior,” from the popular Christmas Carol “Silent Night.”
Christmas slogans and signs are being called “hate speech.” Atheist are putting up signs and bill boards calling Jesus Christ and God a myth.
We cannot decide for them to respond in faith to Christ and receive salvation. As much as we care for them--as concerned as we are that they receive Christ, we can't do that for them.
Atheists know God is real. How do you know? Mention God and they get angry. How many of you believe that Mickey Mouse is a myth and does not exist? He is a fictional character. You know he is a myth, but if someone mentions Mickey Mouse, do you get angry?
I heard a Pastor I recently meet on the phone preaching a message on this subject. He said is the Road Runner and the Coyote fictional characters? You know they are, but do you get mad when the Coyote tries to capture the Road Runner. Do you get mad at the Road Runner for pulling so many tricks on the Coyote? Nope. You don’t get mad when fictional characters are mentioned. You know they are fictional characters.
But mention Jesus Christ or God with a self-proclaimed Atheist and he get angry? Why...He know Jesus Christ is not a fictional character and he knows he is a sinner and will one day face the one he denies exists. Psalm 53:1 says what about the Atheist?
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.”
They have the right to reject Him and the right to join Herod in the hell that has been prepared for all those who refuse Christ as their Savior. There are other ways people can respond to the Lord. Like the religious leaders with.
Two things bother me. One is when professing Christians act like God is dead. They say they believe, but they act like He does not exist. The other is I know the eventual end of those who reject Jesus Christ our God and Creator. I know the reality of Hell as God has revealed it to us.
FRIENDS....THINK WITH ME. HEROD THE GREAT REJECT JESUS CHRIST AND TIRED TO KILL HIM. WHERE IS HEROD AT THE VERY MOMENT?
READ ROMANS 1:18-24
2. In the Old Testament it is referred to by the name E-ph-rath ( Ef rath). This is were Jacob buried his wife Rachel and also where Ruth and Boaz met, fell in love and married.
3. For generations the city had been called the "city of David" because it was here that Ruth and Boaz's grandson David was born and tended his sheep. Micah 4:8 revealed even the exact place in Bethlehem where Jesus would be born.
“And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:8) 4. Bethlehem means "house of bread." Years later people would finally discover why the little village where Christ was born was called "house of bread."
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
They said they believed in Jehovah God, but they acted like He did not exist. They ignored His word and sinned against Him fully knowing their sin. They were busy going through the rituals and routines of their religion. They did not have time for the the Truth or the Messiah.
Sadly, most have gone to false churches and populated the emerging church movement that also acts like God is dead. The compromise and deny His word and sin against Him all the time claiming to worship Him.
Mr. and Mrs. Scott LeDuke were raised Methodist. They turned from their church because they were asked to tithe 10% of the family income. Now they say they "pray at home." Mrs. LeDuke said, "At this point, I guess our bodies are our temples."
Kelly Harris was a Southern Baptist but turned from their church because of their strong feelings against alcohol and rock music which her SBC church practiced.
A friend of mine left the SBC church he was attended because the church compromised on same-sex marriage.
Monte Paulsen said he had been a "born-again Baptist missionary." He quit because he said they only wanted to know how many people "he had saved." Now he says his religion is "deep ecology” which means just sociology.
Ron and Judy Winter find fulfillment meditating together. Judy said, "We relax, talk things over and help each other. I guess you could call that our religion."
We should be reminded that these are not necessarily "bad" people. In fact, they may well represent Main Street America (or any other country). They may be good moral people who simply have no room, no time, or no interest in Jesus.
What will happen to them? Surely a loving God will not send them to hell for their apathy– OR will He?
The Bible says (John 3:17-18), "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
B. They are often referred to as "kings." This probably grew out of the prophecy of Psalms 68:29 which says, "Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee." They were certainly among the leading citizens in their culture.
They were oriental scientists or wise men. One night as they watched the sky God showed them a special sign. Though we do not know where they came from, most scholars assume they came from the orient because the Bible says they came from the East.
These Kings bowed before the Lord and honored Him as the Messiah, the Savior of the world. God says that all men will bow before Him.
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
How tragic it is that some many reject Him, oppose Him, look on Him with apathy. They will one day bow before Him and confess He is the Savior, our God and Creator, but it will be too late, because most will confess Jesus is Lord at their judgment.
Yet, what a wonderful thing it is for those who believe....and bow before Him in faith. To whom He is now their Savior, Comforter, Lord, and Friend.
Sometimes I wonder if there wouldn't be more people turning to Christ in faith if He required that we make some long pilgrimage or perform some great to show our devotion. Certainly the long journey and its hardships did not deter the wise men.
Yes, many are turning to religion as in the modern emerging church movement. Rock and Roll music has replace the hymns of the faith. Psychology has replaced preaching the uncompromised word of God. Sin and sinful lifestyles are accepted in this churches as normal as the seek to bring everyone, with their money, into their church events.
He has given us just such a star. He has given us His Word. The Bible is our guiding star. Psalm 119:105 says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
--gold--A symbol of wealth and value. Throughout history it has been considered the most precious of metals. Gold is also the symbol of royalty.
--frankincense--An expensive incense that was only used on very special occasions. Some times it was used as part of a special offering in the temple to show the desire of the worshiper to please God.
--myrrh--An expensive perfume that was commonly used in preparing a body for burial. Certainly this pointed to the coming sacrificial death of the Savior. Gold for His royalty, frankincense for His deity, and myrrh for His humanity.
What kind of Gift does the Lord expect from us? What can we give Him that is a worthy Gift for a King? He wants our heart. He wants us to commit ourselves to Him without reservation. If we give Him our heart then we are also giving Him all that we have.
Colossians 1:18 says Jesus should have preeminence in our lives. That means first place. Yet sadly for many their church takes second, third or further place. They only attend when it is convenient and they are the worst for it.
3. These godly men bowed down and worshipped the Savior. Matthew 2:10--When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy--God guided their journey with the divinely placed star. He led them to the Jesus.
4. Matthew 2:11--And when they were come into the house--They did not go into the stable for the birth had been several months earlier. They found Jesus in the house.
--they...--worshipped him--They showed their faith and sincerity by bowing to Jesus.
2. How will you respond to Jesus. Will you respond with antagonism, apathy, or adoration? There are people today who will respond in one of these three ways. 3. Some bow up with antagonism (like animals bow up when they feel threatened). Some bow out in apathy (they just don't care enough to get personally involved so they take themselves out of the situation).
4. Some bow down in adoration. Will you bow down to Him today?
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