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The Message Must Be Told

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The Message Must Be Told

Mark 1:1-8

If  were to select four of you to write an account of what you think of this property, how it was obtained, the condition of the buildings, the people that have been assembled, I think we would get four different reports with a similar message.  The four Gospels are like that.  Even though the subject matter is the life of Jesus Christ, we have four perspectives, personalities, and presentations before us.  You will find that the four are harmonious, and that the differences are included just to present Christ in a different manner to a different audience.  Matthew presents Christ as King.  Mark as the perfect servant. The key verse is found in

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Luke as the perfect man, and John as the Son of God. Matthew and Luke begin with stories of  the lineage of Jesus, and give accounts of Christ birth in Bethlehem.  John takes us to a point in eternity and argues that Christ, being the Son of God has always been in existence. In this gospel account we are going to see over and over words such as immediately, and straightway.  These are words that indicate instant action.  It is one thing to be a called a servant, and another to actually be one.   Here we have Mark that starts us out very abruptly—The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ; the son of God.  We have before us this morning a message.  But if the message does not get told, then it does not do what it is supposed to do. There must be an action applied to this message.  What action are we looking for this morning?  We have a message that must be told.  Anytime you begin to read the gospels, do not lose sight of the fact that there had been 400 years of silence prior to the days of John the Baptist.

1.  Because prophecy declared it.  John is often called the forerunner of Christ.  He went before Him to prepare the way.  The forerunner of old had two primary duties:

To make sure that the roads were not blocked.  The king needed to be able to travel without delays.

The forerunner also announced that the king would be coming through.  People then had the option of preparing for the King’s arrival.

Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

It was during that 400 years of silence that Judaism had grown increasingly cold and calloused.  It had become a mere religion of dead orthodoxy, and was not able to reach out to man in his greatest need.  The gentile world of religion had become a collection of myths and superstitions, and of course there was no power to change the lives of mankind in those tales.  I was sharing with those on visitation yesterday that part of our calling as Christians is to prepare a pathway for the heart to be affected.  Man in his lost condition has laid out a very crooked path.  We can call it perverseness, or iniquity, but man has come to believe that his path is good.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.  So we, like John, have the opportunity of presenting man with the truth of the gospel, and just lay that first stone in the pathway.  We present the truth, but God must prepare the heart.

Proverbs 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.

2.  Because people need it.  We have mentioned on more than one occasion the difference between man’s real needs, and his felt needs.  The program of the post modern or emerging church movement is to address the needs that man feels that he has.  The results are church buildings that are full of people who must be entertained, and preachers who will not tell them what they need to hear.  If you are a lover of the gospel, and have even the slightest understanding of man’s greatest need, you must appreciate John the Baptist.  He preached a message of repentance for the remission of sins.  Do you see what that entails?  First of all he was declaring that man was sinful; and he was right. 

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  Man his missed the mark, wandered off the path, etc.

Secondly he was telling them that the only way out was through repentance.  Repentance is more than just saying I am sorry.  It is a change of mind that results in a changed life.  I hear this a lot in our current society:  Repentance is legalistic, old fashioned, out dated.  Then sir, you are calling Jesus legalistic, old fashioned, and outdated.  Look at Mark 1:14-15.  The problem with preaching repentance is that it goes against the grain of man’s nature.  But everything about John was going against the flow of the current.  His clothing.  His diet.  His message.  The last thing that man needs to hear today is how good he is.  They need to hear about how good God is, and how God can change their lives for the better.  How God is holy and just, and requires our obedience, and repentance. 

The message must be told because it was prophesied, and people need to hear it.

PREACH ON!

If you're preaching from the Bible,

Well, preach on;

If you're longing for revival,

Just preach on.

Preach on sin and condemnation,

Preach for sinners: His salvation,

Preach for Christians: consecration...

But preach on.

If your sermon's from the Lord,

Then preach on.

Never mind if some look bored,

Just preach on.

If the Devil looks down on it,

If the critics frown upon it... Just preach on.

If you step on someone's corns,

Well, preach on.

Take the "bull right by the horns"

And preach on.

Even though we may not like it,

Even though some try to fight it,

Where there's wrong the Lord can right it...

So preach on.

Let not time be a restriction,

Just preach on.

If a sinner's got conviction,

Then preach on.

Christ can save his soul from Hell,

Cleanse his heart and make him well,

(Even if it's after twelve)...

Just preach on!

From the Law to Revelation,

Yes, preach on.

Christ for every situation, oh,

Preach on.

Even if your members doubt it,

And say they can do without it...

Still, preach on.

Think of Christ's own message clear,

And preach on.

There for all who wish to hear,

Oh, preach on.

All are sinners, they must know

That HIs blood did freely flow;

He can wash them white as snow...

Oh, preach on!

In the Holy Spirit's power, oh,

Preach on!

He'll reward you in His hour,

Just preach on.

Broken hearts and sins forgiven,

Blessings here so freely given,

And a crown up there in Heaven...

Oh, preach on!

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