Faithlife Sermons

Preparation

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We are looking at the time of Advent. Advent means to expect something, to be looking forward to something.
The Israelites were looking foreward to the Advent of the Messiah, we are looking foreward to the Second Advent of Christ. The establishment of the kingdom.
When we look at meeting with God, we must always consider His holiness, and our sinfulness.
Last week we looked at the hope of the Advent of Christ. This week we are looking at preparation.

Preparing Ourselves

Israel to prepare themselves before meeting with God.
Exodus 19:10-12
Exodus 19:10–12 ESV
10 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death.
God is Holy, therefore the people had to be ready to come before a holy God.
They were called to consecrate themselves, to be made holy to meet with God.
It seems that the way they were called to prepare themselves was to wash, both cloths and themselves.
This hasn’t changed, we still must be pure before we can come before God.
How can we become pure or clean?
Malachi 3:2-4
Malachi 3:2–4 ESV
2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
Jesus is the one who refines us, who cleans us.
Through Jesus we will be able to offer acceptable sacrifices.
Revelation 7:9
Revelation 7:9 ESV
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
In the NT the place that speaks of those who have washed their clothes.
Revelation 7:14
Revelation 7:14 ESV
14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
In exodus the people washing their garments was a type, It finds it’s fulfillment in Christ where we are not washed by water, but by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
This means that it is not our righteousness that cleans us and that people see, but it is the righteousness of Jesus that we are standing in.
Know the Truth
2 Timothy 4:3-4
2 Timothy 4:3–4 ESV
3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
You need to know the bible so you aren’t led astray.
You need to make sure that the teaching you are listening to is sound teaching.
Not just that they are using bible verses. I have heard pastors misuse scripture.
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
2 Thessalonians 2:11–12 ESV
11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
God will send a strong delusion, why? So if you don’t love the truth, you will fall away.
There is apostasy happening right now. People who think they are following the truth but are following lies that are being told by wolves in shepherds clothing.
Christ is either all, or He is nothing. Make Him the all so you aren’t led astray.

Preparing the World

John prepared the way for the Lord
Malachi 4:5
Malachi 4:5 ESV
5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
Nothing prepares people for the coming messiah like repentance.
With repentance comes the healing of families.
Luke 3:7-9
Luke 3:7–9 ESV
7 He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
v.8
There can be no devotion to God or Jesus without repentance. They go hand in hand.
There is nothing we can hold onto for justification other than Jesus. The Jews held onto their identity as children of Abraham, but that had no standing with God.
v.9
The immediacy of the statement. The Lord is coming, the axe is laid to the roots. Time to start producing fruit or be burned.
John’s is calling for the people to prepare themselves for the coming of the messiah.
Are we getting people ready for the coming of the Lord as John was?
How do we prepare the way?
Matthew 28:19-20
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
GO!! and make disciple!!
This isn’t a commission for only the apostles and none other.
In the same way, this isn’t the pastor’s job, and not anyone else’s.
You are called to make ready the way of the Lord, you are called to make disciples.
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