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Christmas Candlelight Service 2016

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John 3:19 NLT
And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.
One gift is from Jesus and one gift is from Satan. Which one is which?
I. Consumerism
- Says the gift from Christ is the iPhone
A. Consumerism is a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. A consumer culture can broadly be defined as a culture where social status, values, and activities are centered on the consumption of goods, services, and experiences. A large part of what you do, what you value and how you are defined revolves around consumption. What you own and what you experience.
B. After World War II, consumer spending no longer meant satisfying an indulgent material desire. The American consumer was praised as a patriotic citizen in the 1950s, as someone contributing to the ultimate success of the American way of life.
C. This is how industry was able to survive after the war. The factories that made weapons did not have anything to make anymore. Something had to change. There was much to lose for many. Edward Burneys, Sigmund Freud’s nephew came up with a solution to change things. Consumerism. We need to get people to buy things they don’t need with money that they don’t have to keep up with the Jones’. He used propaganda, or advertisements to accomplish this. He was hired by a Tabacco company to get more women to smoke… he used ads to do this. And he succeeded, over night with the torches of freedom. In many ways, we not just told about where to buy, but with sales and promotions, we are told what to buy. Ads that promises a better life, relieve pain, get the girl, and get the guy.
E. Do we not see people in competition with each other… the bigger and better. One upping! To get stuff to have society see us in a certain level of prestige and coolness. We acquire and acquire and the more we do, the more we throw away. Right? It’s getting worse. Look at what is happening. I read the stories as to what parents do for their children. The whole tickle me Elmo doll phenom. We used to simply buy and buy to get approval from peers, now we added, buying and buying to get approval from our children?
F. And if you watch society, we are falling deeper and deeper into it. Into what? Consumerism? No. Idolatry. Huh? And the worst part about all of this, is that it is now and has been for a long time, in the church. Consumerism is not really a philosophy, but an actual religion. It is Idolatry. And it is all around us, whether we believe it or not. It is the worship of Self. Mix it with individualism and now we have a monster of an idol. This one is not easy to be rid of. Many of us don’t realize we are affected by it. Many of us do, but don’t or won’t do anything about it.
H. It is the worldwide idolatry of the masses and a real temptation and stumbling block for Christians today. Are we caught up in it? Very much so. We have got to take note of what is going on around us. I wish I did not have to talk about things outside of these walls, but the connection of other things of Christianity still get in… books, blogs, facebook, tv, and radio. Consumerism has infiltrated the church. Don’t believe me? Hillsong’s sleezy silent night is proof. How many churches did we see canceling services on Christmas Sunday 2016? Every church that cancels service is proving to everyone what they really are. But many people don’t even realize this. Many people will not go to service even if their church is having service. Showing us all what is important to us.
I. The religion of consumerism. The store catalog is the scripture of this religion, the prophet is Edward Burney’s, the church is the mall, the arch bishop is the legacy of Alan Greenspan. The priests are talk show hosts, with the high priestess being Oprah, communion is taken at Starbucks, baptism is shopping, the church bulletin are spamming email, tithes and offerings is paying interest, the community groups is social media, the revival meeting is the sale, and its Easter is Black Friday.
J. Now many of these are not bad in themselves. But if it is done in the way of worship, then that’s what it means to you. This is why true experience of the holiday season for many does not ever happen, including Christians. Consumerism is a false religion. It has many in its grip. It is one that has a rope around your neck. (Throw out the rope) We think we are free, but we have become slaves and we will be controlled by evil and greedy men and women, controlled by the pattern of this world, and continue to be trapped in the clutches of sin and fall deeper and deeper into the world of sin and death, but we let them because of how all of this makes us feel. They feed the flesh. Slave to gotta have it.
II. The Gospel
- Says that the gift from Christ is the knife
A. It is the baby born in the manger that is not there to adorn the nativity scene thought of as a neat story. But it is the baby that is essentially the scissors. Our deliverance. Our freedom. Our deliverance. The Savior has Come. Christ the Lord.
B. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among Us. God was born of a virgin. He became human to live a life of true obedience to achieve that righteousness that He has put on our account so that we become the righteousness of God. He had to be human to represent us as mankind before the Father. And He had to be a man so that He could actually die. This is the reason for this season. The King born in Bethlehem.
B. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among Us. God was born of a virgin. He became human to live a life of true obedience to achieve that righteousness that He has put on our account so that we become the righteousness of God. He had to be human to represent us as mankind before the Father. And He had to be a man so that He could actually die. This is the reason for this season. The King born in Bethlehem.
C. Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures and He was buried…
D. If you are not a Christian… the promises…
E. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, not because of anything we have done, but because of His great mercy. We cannot be delivered from the Idolatry of consumerism and all of the other things that easily traps us, but our own efforts. We can’t. If we could we would already be free. If we could we could turn if off, then we already would have.
G. Let us begin the candle light part of the service… lights. As we light the candles take this time to reflect on our lives, to repent of our sins, and ask the Lord for freedom from any bondage, any darkness, and to give you the light of life. Let us stand.
John 8:12 NLT
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
Matthew 5:14–16 NLT
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
H. Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
H. Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
I. Let us worship Him and receive His wonderful gift as we sing Silent Night.
III. Benediction
Matthew 5:14 NLT
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
A. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
A. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
B. Remember these Words from our Lord as we go tonight and worship the Lord and tell of His wonderful love to all. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.
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