Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

12/9/2018A.M.

 

Good News Of Great Joy

The Promise of His Coming – Prophecy

 

John 1.1-2 & 14   Philippians 2.6-8   Isaiah 59.2

 

In the beginning was the Word...

And the Word was with God and was God...

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

And we saw His glory as the only begotten of the Father... Full of grace and truth.

 

Who... Being in very nature God...

Did not consider equality with God something to be grasped...

But made himself nothing... Taking the very nature of a servant...

Being made in human likeness... Being found in appearance as a man.

 

Incarnation... The process of Almighty God subjecting Himself to the limitations of humanity...

 

• As a baby... God limited His ability of communication... To crying as a newborn...

• The One who created the universe wrapped in swaddling cloths...

• The One who ruled galaxies... Sleeps in a manger...

• The One who commanded angels... Is born in a barn.

• The One who held stars in His hand to clutches Mary’s fingers.

• God feeds from a maiden’s breast... It’s called incarnation!

 

No wonder we hear Paul say Jesus emptied Himself... Taking on the nature of a servant... God in theflesh?... The God Man?... How can it be... That Thou O God didst come for me?

 

In fact in Colossians Paul writes... He is the image of the invisible God. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth… All things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Listen now… For God was pleased to have all… A-l-l... All His fullness dwell in Him.

 

Incarnation is not Jesus being half God half man... But fully God... Fully man.

 

So... As the world focuses its attention upon Jesus... We  too examine His Coming.

 

In our last lesson... We noted that Our Sin Was.... The Need... The reason... for His coming...This morning... We examine The Promise of His Coming.

 

Here it is church...

• We are a product of hope...

• We are hardwired for hope...

• It is built into our DNA.

 

Every decision we make...Every choice we make... In life is made in hope...

• Hope that things will be better...

• Hope that circumstances will become more favorable to us.

 

So... We note this morning that our Christian hope is... Not in a thing... Genuine Biblical Hope is a person... Jesus Christ!  

 

The hope and promise of Jesus’ Coming is sprinkled throughout the Old Testament...

 

Listen to this from those who know... Conservative estimates are... That there’re over 300 Old Testament passages that in some way point toward the Messiah... Toward Jesus... Telling us... Who he would be and what He would do... 300 plus Old Testament passages.

 

Now here is another fact... The best we can determine is that New Testament writers cite messianic prophecies from the Old Testament some 130 times.

 

For instance...In Matthew alone... Twenty-one prophecies concerning Jesus are said to be fulfilled... Eleven of which contain the words... That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets.

 

Come... Let’s see what we can learn about the promise of His Coming...

 

Everybody agrees that... The first promise of Jesus’ coming appears in Genesis 3.15.

 

You recall that... In the Garden... Adam & Eve had a... Walking... Talking... Handholding... Relationship with God.

 

As far as we can determine...Adam & Eve were created to live forever... No death... Because there was no sin... Their relationship with God was perpetual.

 

But this perfect world came to an end... Because... Like us... Adam & Eve were not satisfied with living in a perfect perpetual paradise...

• So sin entered the world...

• Destroyed their relationship with God.

 

In the fall... God was found saying... I will put enmity between you and the woman... And between your offspring and hers...He will crush your head... And you will strike his heel.

 

The word enmity speaks of hatred and hostility... And this enmity was to extend to the seed of both the woman and of Satan.

 

Now... Identifying the seed of each is no big issue...

 

First John 3.10 identifies the seed of the Serpent... They are the Children of the Devil.

 

John writes... This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God...Nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

 

So... The seed of Satan are those who meet two conditions...

1) Those who do not do right...

2) And those who do not love their brother.

 

Just as the seed of Satan is identified... So is the seed of the Woman... Eve...

Galatians 3.16 reads... The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person... who is Jesus Christ.

 

Satan’s most powerful weapon was death...Both physical and spiritual.

 

In the fall... We see both these weapons come into play... Adam and Eve are subjected to both physical death And spiritual death...

 

• Their years will now be numbered...

 

• Their perfect paradise...Walking... Talking... Handholding... Relationship with God is over... And would never exist again until... Sin... Death... Eternal separation from God...was defeated by the coming Messiah.

 

Our Scripture says... Satan would ultimately bruise the heal of Jesus... Give Him a minor blow... Death on the cross.

 

But Christ would give Satan a major defeat... Jesus’ resurrection defeated Satan and his power over death... So that... IN CHRIST THERE IS VICTORY... Not only for Jesus... But for those who follow Him... Make Him their... way... truth... and life.

 

Listen to Paul as he speaks of Satan’s defeat... In our own resurrection... When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Satan’s ultimate power was that of Eternal Separation from God.

 

But now... In Jesus... That power is gone... Jesus destroyed this death sentence for those who will place themselves under the blood of Christ... Like He was raised by the glory of the Father... We too will be raised to walk in a new life... A different life... an eternal life.

 

Praise God for His Coming!!... Praise God for His restoration of Paradise lost... Amen?

 

The second set of prophecies was made to Abraham and His family.

Holy Scripture foresaw that God would justify both Jew and Gentile by faith in Jesus... That we Gentiles would be... Added... Adopted... Grafted into...God’s family.

 

This promise was made to Abraham three times in Genesis... And is repeated to Isaac and Jacob.

 

Galatians 3.8 and Ephesians1.5 & 7 speaks of this promise made to Abraham some 1900 years before the birth of Jesus... All nations will be blessed through you... He predestined us as Gentiles to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will... In Him we have redemption through His blood... Even the forgiveness of sins in accordance with the riches of His grace.

 

Indeed... Galatians 3.26-29 reads... You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed... heirs according to the promise.

 

Think of it church... We here this morning are the fulfillment of a 4000 year old promise made to Abraham... That faith in Jesus and His coming would be the vehicle for our forgiveness and salvation.

 

Several hundred years after Abraham... Isaiah 11.1 tells us that Messiah would come through the LINAGE of David... Through his father Jesse... A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse... From his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

 

Indeed it happened!... Thirty generations later Jesus was born into David’s lineage.

 

Jeremiah wrote six hundred years before our New Testament saying...The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.”

 

Amazing isn’t it that this progression of prophecies... Given some six to nineteen hundred years before Jesus came... foretold of His lineage... So that the number of people who could have potentially fulfilled these messianic predictions narrows greatly... Being limited to one family that is outlined again in Matthew chapter one.

 

But it doesn’t stop here... Micah 5.2 & 4 tells the place of His birth... That Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.

 

But you, Bethlehem... Though you are small among the clans of Judah... Out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel... Whose origins are from ancient times. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. And they will live securely, for then His greatness will reach to the ends of the earth... From everlasting to everlasting.

 

There would be a ruler who would be One.... from ancient times... From everlasting to everlasting...Who could that be except God in the flesh?

 

Well... We can’t possibly address each of over 300 promises of Jesus’ Coming...

So let me just remind you of some...Ready?...

 

He would be conceived by a virgin.

 

Isaiah predicted His name would be Immanuel...

 

Then the angel told Joseph that the child in Mary’s womb was Immanuel... As promised by the prophet Isaiah.

 

Amazingly enough... As early as Deuteronomy eighteen... God promised to raise up a prophet like unto Moses... But greater than Moses because He would represent God.

 

Jesus is seen as the Passover Lamb... Then John the Baptist... Twice placed the title... Lamb of God upon Jesus.

 

He would be called...Wonderful... Counselor... Mighty God... Everlasting Father... Prince of peace.

 

He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey.

 

Zechariah 12.10... He is the One whom Israel would one day recognize as the One they crucified causing them bitter grief.  

 

In fact... There exists dozens of prophecies concerning Jesus as the suffering Messiah... No fewer than twenty-nine specific prophecies were fulfilled within the twenty-five hours of His death...

• He was crucified... Psalms predicted this a thousand years previous.

• He would be pierced for our transgressions... Crushed for our iniquities.

• He would be crucified with criminals...

• But not a bone would be broken...

• People would cast lots for his clothing...

• He would not retaliate...

• He would pray for His executioners...

• Would be denied by a trusted friend.

• He would be forsaken by His followers...

• The price of His betrayal would be thirty pieces of silver...

• He would be offered vinegar and gall for his thirst.

• He would die among the wicked... Be buried with the rich.

• He would be resurrected... For God would not allow His body to decay.

 

Somebody says... Well...

There are two possible explanations for these fulfilled prophecies...

 

One... Jesus could have manipulated situations and circumstances so that it would look like He was fulfilling all these prophecies.

 

But consider this... Jesus could not have controlled His... Birth date... His Parents... The Place of birth... The shepherds coming... The Wise Men’s star or gifts... His hatred by King Harod... His being called out of Egypt.

 

He could not have precisely picked the moment of His death or all the prophecies surrounding His suffering.

 

And needless to say... He couldn’t have arranged His resurrection.

 

TWO... Others maintain that these prophecies were fulfilled by accident...

 

HUM... Not likely!!

 

Let me share something with you... Dr. Peter Stoner... An astronomer and mathematician... In his book... Science Speaks... Offers a mathematical analysis showing the impossibility of such precise statements about the One to come could be fulfilled in a single person... by mere coincidence.

 

He says the chance of... only eight... Only eight... Of these 300 prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one man has been estimated to be one in ten to the 17th power... That would be one chance in one with 17 zeros.

 

Stoner goes on to help us understand what that might look like... Take 10 to the 17th power in silver dollars and lay them on the landscape of Texas... They would cover the state two feet deep.

 

Mark one of the silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly... All over the state... All 260,000 square miles... Two feet thick.

 

Now blindfold a man and tell him he can travel anywhere on the state he wishes... He is to pick up one silver dollar... And it must be the marked one.

What chance would he have of getting this right?

Stoner reasons... The same chance that the prophets would have had of writing only eight prophecies and having all come true in any one man.

 

Now church... If this holds true for only eight of the 300 plus prophesies concerning Messiah...  What would it look like if we upped it to include 48 of the 300?

 

Applying the same Science of Probability...The chance would be one to the 157th power or one followed by 157 zeroes.

 

Here it is... Only God... Only God... Is able to control all events sufficiently enough to cause these 300 prophecies to be written hundreds of years before they were fulfilled in one man… Jesus.

 

As Peter proclaimed to his Jewish audience in Acts 3.18... These things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets... That the Christ would suffer... That He... Jesus...Has fulfilled... .

 

It was Paul who affirmed in First Corinthians 15.3 & 4 that... Christ died for our sin according to the Scriptures... And that He was buried... And He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

 

Indeed... Our Hope is in a person… Jesus…

• Prophets predict His coming...

• God prepared the world... At just the right time... For His birth...

• A virgin miraculously conceived to make possible God in the flesh...

• His coming was accompanied by Heavenly signs...

• Righteous people were given... Visions... Dreams... Prophetic utterance...About His birth.

• Angels announced it...

• Shepherds attended and praised God for His coming...

• Wise men traveled hundreds of miles to honor His Coming.

 

The question becomes... What are we going to do with Jesus?

Are we gonna... Deny His coming?... Ignore it?... Make fun of it?... Respond to it?...

What impact will His Coming have on my life and yours?... ANY?

Has our life been changed?... Will it Be changed tomorrow?

Are we different?... PECULIAR... Holy... Priestly...God’s person...

The choice is ours this morning.

 

We can believe in Him...Confess His name... Authenticate our repentance by striving to conform to His image... Have His Heart... Disposition... And behavior...

 

Will we be born again to this new way of life IN Biblical BAPTISM?...

 

Or will we just go on living the way we’ve always lived... In the way we choose instead of submitting to His choice... Regardless of His incarnation and ultimate death on the cross?

• How are we doing?...

• What do we need to do this morning to properly respond to His Coming?

 

Accept His incarnation...Respond to His Coming... As we stand and sing together.