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About this series
The Hope of Christmas
Hope has tremendous power - the power to heal, to help you keep going, and to inspire! 700 years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah wrote to the people of Israel who needed hope: "For unto us, a child is born, unto us, a Son is given. The government will rest on His shoulders and He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The hope of that message was for them then, and it's for us today! In this series, Chip reminds us that Jesus is all those things. Those are titles God gave Him and titles He claimed. If you need hope, join Chip for these messages. You'll be comforted, encouraged, and inspired!More from this series
What do you expect this Christmas? Good or bad, consciously or unconsciously as your mind travels through: Okay, I get shopping done, do this, Christmas Eve, Christmas day, a day or two before, a day or two after. Just, what do you expect it’s going to be like?
And for some, it might be, Oh, man! I expect it to be great. It’s going to be warm and I’ve got family coming in. Our whole family is going to be together. Or, Some of the kids are coming back from school. Or, All of our families are in different parts of the country and my three roommates, we are going to go do this and it’s going to be great.
And for others, you’re going to go travel somewhere and be reconnected and your expectations are like: Christmas is going to be wonderful and warm and rich and deep.
And for others, your expectations are a little different. You basically – it’s not that you’re being negative, you’re just realistic. You’re thinking, This is not going to be good. This is the first Christmas that I have been single since the divorce. This is the first Christmas since maybe one of my parents, or my brother, or one of my kids died.
This, for many, is a Christmas like it’s just chaos. You’re going to have to go to your in-laws and the one guy always wants to talk politics or religion and you’ve got a brother-in-law who is a jerk and you’re just praying, Here’s my expectation: God, give me enough grace just to be nice for two and a half days. And, right?
And for others, it’s just a really depressing time. You’re thinking, I don’t know what I am going to do. Now, I want you to get thinking about what your expectations are, because here’s the principle, you might even write it on the notes I put there.
What you consciously or unconsciously expect to happen, even how you think God will work or might work, can blind you to God actually working in a way that is different than you expect. See, if you have this expectation like, Oh, it’s going to be great. It’s going to be this, it’s going to be that. And there are some struggles or difficulties or pain and all of a sudden, Well, God, where are You?
Or, the flip side, I just want to endure. He always has a bad attitude. God couldn’t be at work. What if, if your antennae was up, This is a breakthrough Christmas. What if God is going to intervene in some ways and use you?
See, what you expect consciously, or unconsciously can blind you to the very thing God might want to do. And you know what? You’ll miss it.
I learned this the very hard way my very first Christmas with Theresa. We had just gotten married, gotten married in the middle of December. Went on our honeymoon, it was cut short because of a family emergency. So, we went back to see her dad’s brother, who was in critical condition.
And then we had our little Christmas and we didn’t have any premarital counseling, and my expectations of marriage were somewhere between unrealistic and lunatic-ic. And because of our various backgrounds we had decided we were going to be sexually pure and we were going to do this God’s way. And I had this formula that if you did it God’s way, it’s going to be awesome. And she was the sweetest, nicest, most wonderful person. I was head-over-heels.
And so, it’s Christmas, this is going to be oh-so awesome. And I’m not even going to tell you what the issue was. But the day after Christmas we had our first argument. We didn’t have any arguments dating. We didn’t know what we were doing.
And I remember having feelings inside of me toward this beautiful, sweet, lovely woman that I didn’t think I could ever have. Like, “She is so ticking me off!” And then she actually said a couple things that I never dreamed would come out of that sweet, wonderful mouth to make me feel like this! And I remember walking out the door and getting in my car and driving around for about an hour thinking, Have I missed it? Is this the wrong person?
And it was – and instead, God was doing a breakthrough. And He wanted to crush some of those unrealistic, crazy expectations and started us on a journey of: you need to learn to communicate, you both have a lot of baggage, you’ll need to resolve some anger. You just have to…
And I would have completely missed if my little Hallmark Christmas wouldn’t have gotten interrupted by God.
You say: Well, what does this have to do with the Hope of Christmas? At the time that Jesus was born, I want to give you a background of Judaism. If you are a Jew living in the Roman Empire, you are deeply oppressed. It’s very – economically, it’s over the top. One of the Herods that was put in place over the Judean area wanted to make a lot of points with Rome, so he had all these building programs he was doing and naming them after Caesar. So, the taxes are off the chart.
You’re living under oppression. The political situation is dismal. The religious leaders are carnal. So, you’ve got economic pressure. A Roman soldier at any time could tell you, “Here, pick up my bag. Go for me.” The tax collectors were Jews that weren’t faithful and they would double charge you.
Life was difficult and painful. And there was like this big thumb of Roman oppression. And what you were praying was, God, deliver us!
And unlike us, when we see the little Christmas card, right? It has, it’s blue, dark blue and has the sparkly, little things and it’s a picture of a manger and you can see Joseph and Mary and there’s a little sheep and everything. And then underneath in beautiful handwriting it says, “Unto us, a child is born. Unto us, a Son is given. And the government will rest on His shoulders. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
See, unlike us, when they knew seven hundred years earlier when Isaiah said that, their hope was God was going to send a Wonderful Counselor and a Mighty God. That word Mighty God is used in Deuteronomy chapter 10, verse 17 for YAHWEH; for God. They were expecting the Messiah to come who would be a mighty God.
Do you know what the word Mighty God means in Hebrew? “Deliverer,” “Rescuer,” “Irresistible Champion,” “the All-Powerful One,” “the Warrior who goes and defeats the enemies for you.”
So, if you’re a Jew growing up in Jesus’ day and you’re waiting for the Messiah, you’re expecting someone pretty close to Superman with a cape. Cleaning things up, putting Rome down, and then what does the rest of that say? “And He will rule on the throne of David.”
And so, you have got this picture: the Messiah is going to come and He is going to take down our enemies. We are oppressed; it’s unfair. And not only that, He is going to set it up like David’s kingdom. “Remember when David was in charge and we were the world power, then Solomon and people came from the ends of the earth?” Their picture is: this Mighty God is going to take care of all of our problems.
Now, so, Jesus shows up. And, now, is He a Wonderful Counselor? Even the religious leaders said. They were astonished with the authority. But they are waiting for a Mighty God and He doesn’t fit the bill.
Because, see, what they wanted was a political and physical deliverance. Make my life work today. Jesus came to bring a spiritual and an eternal deliverance. He wanted to make everybody’s life work forever.
I want you to open your Bibles to Mark chapter 4, because one of the biggest challenges I believe in Jesus’ ministry, especially for the disciples – I want you to think about: you are one of the Twelve. You are following Him around.
You’re learning. But you’re a good, Jewish boy or girl and your picture and your expectations of the Messiah are what everyone else’s are.
It’s what you have heard since you’ve been a little child. And now you’re following this itinerant preacher and He is amazing and He does amazing things and they are miracles that are undeniable, but could He, in fact, be the Messiah? Is He the Mighty God?
As you open to Mark chapter 4, I would ask you to look at where it opens up and it says, “Again, He began to teach by the sea,” and this is the most pivotal parable of all Jesus’ teaching. He does lots of teaching, but when He gets done with this parable, He says something unique. He says, “If you can’t understand this parable, if you don’t, you can’t understand any of the others.”
Because His mother and His brothers, His ministry has come, and His mother and brothers had just come and they are standing outside and they want to see Him. And He uses this as a moment to educate people about His purpose. He says, “Who are My mother and My brothers?”
And then He looks down at a group of disciples and He says, “Whoever does the will of God, these are My mother and My brothers.” So, Jesus was saying more than fleshly relationship, people’s response to Him and they who do the will of God that raise the question: so, how would you know the will of God?
And so, as you look at chapter 4 and it opens up, this parable is one where He calls Himself the Son of Man. It’s a Messianic title. And He says the Son of Man comes and He gives this parable of the seed falling on four different types of soils: hard soil, shallow soil, thorny soil, and good soil.
And then privately, He says – the disciples say, “Well, what does that mean?” Because He says to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” He says to the disciples, “Don’t you understand? If you don’t understand this one, you won’t understand anything.”
The seed is the Word of God, the Sower is the Son of Man – the Messiah. When the seed of the Truth of God’s Word goes to a human heart that is hard, the enemy takes it away. Sometimes it’s sown in a human heart, the Word of God, and they sprout up and they respond to God initially, but when there is persecution or the cost goes up, they fade away.
Other people respond deeply to God and they begin to grow and they begin to flourish and then the worries of the world and the deceitfulness of riches – and just the cares of other things that begins to choke out the truth of God’s Word.
But He says, “There are those,” and He is speaking to them, “who have a good and honest heart and they receive God’s Word,” Me, “as the Messiah,” as He connects Himself with the Torah and the Word of God, and He says, “their life will multiply thirty, sixty, a hundred-fold.” And He says, “This is what the kingdom of God is like.”
And then as you look, then notice He gives three quick parables where what He is doing is He is describing the kingdom of God that He is ushering in and He connects Himself with the Torah and Moses. John would even say, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and the Word was with God.” And he speaks, “And Jesus is the Word.”
And so, now He says to them, “The kingdom of God,” notice the first one, it’s like lighting a lamp in a room. You don’t put a basket over it. But the kingdom of God, God’s Word comes into the world to illuminate, make things clear. Its purpose is to be shared. And what does light do? It reveals darkness and it reveals truth.
Then the next parable, He says the kingdom of God is not something that is just immediate. He says it’s like a mysterious seed. The seed is planted then the stalk comes up and then the leaves and then the fruit. And He says, “And it grows in and of by itself.” And no one understands exactly how spiritual growth occurs, but the power of God’s Word in a human heart brings transformation, over time.
And then the third little parable, He says, “Now, the last one is like a mustard seed,” which is the smallest seed. And He says the kingdom of God grows and it starts very small. People respond to the truth, then they respond to the truth.
And then it has exponential growth where, over time, it creates impact that is just super-structured where that little seed becomes a tree and provides shelter for others.
So, they have got now: Okay, man, Your teaching is awesome. I believe You are the wisdom of God. I believe You are now connecting Yourself with the Torah, the Logos, the Word of God, all that Moses said. Here’s the question: can you trust Him? Is this really the Messiah?
So, what I want to do is I want to take you on a little journey, I want you to keep your Bibles open, because I am going to walk through the story. But what He is going to do, He has been in the lecture hall. Now, He is going to take them on a field trip. And He is going to take them to four specific, impossible situations. They are very specific and they are not hard and they are not difficult – they are impossible.
And what He is going to demonstrate is the almighty power of God that He has over every situation. And notice, the author wants to be very clear that this connects to what He has just taught.
So, notice if you will, verse 33. “With many such parables He spoke to them. He didn’t speak to them without a parable. But privately to His own disciples, He explained everything.” Look at the next line, “On that day when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let’s go over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd, they took with Him the boat, just as He was, and other boats were with them. And a great wind arose. And the waves were breaking onto the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ And He awoke, and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Instantly, the wind ceased.” Whoo. There was calm from this roaring ocean to glass.
“And then He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this? Even the wind obey Him!’”
Now, they are professional fishermen. They have been in lots of storms. They know what to do in a storm. This is the kind that they realized: We are done. It’s impossible. Don’t You care?
And what does He do? He has power over the natural realm and how does He express His power? He speaks. What has He been teaching about for the last whole chapter and before? “My Word, My Word, My Word, My Word, My Word.” When the Old Testament talks about: how did God create the world? “In the beginning, God said, ‘Let there be light.’” He spoke the world into existence.
Jesus is connecting Himself and now He speaks; waves and wind and nature obey Him because He has authority over them because He created them. He’s God.
Scene number one is a drowning fisherman who, on behalf of other fisherman, in desperation cried out. And notice what happens. An ah-ha, “Who is this?” And they are afraid. And in a reverential fear, they ought to be. Can you imagine being in that boat?
Scene number two: the boat lands. Chapter 5 opens up. It’s a very rocky area. The history behind it is there is actually a demonized maniac. This person, you can glance and read it very quickly if you want to, even as I’m speaking. And Jesus comes there and this man is naked and runs around naked.
And he has supernatural strength. And as you read very carefully, it will say, “No one,” or, “nothing could bind him.” They would put chains on him and he would break them. They tried to stop him. No one could break him. This was a wild-eyed, demon-possessed man who had a legion of demons in him. Apparently, as you read this story, that Jesus had spoken to him and he comes out and he says, “Do not torment me, Son of the Most High God!”
Interestingly, the only person in all four of the impossible situations who know who He is for sure are the demons. And then the man comes, the demons plead, “Don’t send us to the abyss,” the place of nothingness. They beg, “Send us into that herd of pigs,” there are two thousand pigs. And I think He gives them permission because He wants the disciples to see verifiable proof. It would be one thing to say, “Demons, go away!” And you go, “Well, did that really happen or not?” So, He says, “Yes, I give you permission.” The demons go into these two thousand pigs and they run off a cliff, smashing into the ocean.
There’s a little Greek play on words. The word there for the bottom of the ocean is like the abyss.
And so, Jesus demonstrates He has power over the spiritual world. You are living in a world, I am living in a world where there is good and there is evil. You get that today like never before. The author of evil is Satan himself. A third of the angels in a coup were taken and there is this powerful angelic being, seeking to destroy mankind. And Jesus says, “I have power over them.”
When the people came from the town, they were so terrified by what they heard and saw, they asked Him to leave. And as He was getting ready to get in the boat, the person who was cured, he was clothed, sitting in his right mind, completely transformed. He said, “I want to go with You.” Jesus said, “No, go tell,” he’s a Gentile, “go tell your family what God has done for you.”
And he goes to these ten cities and he begins to tell them, “I met a Man who spoke and the demons came out of me. The Messiah has come.”
Scene number three. First, He is the Lord of the natural world. Second, He’s the Lord of the spiritual world. Now, as you follow the text, He goes back over the Sea of Galilee to the other side. And when He gets there, there is a Jewish ruler named Jairus. And Jairus is desperate.
At this time, Jesus’ popularity has grown significantly. So, if you were to say, as a Jew, “I believe Jesus is the Messiah,” or, “I follow Him,” the religious leaders are going to kick you out of the synagogue. Because they are threatening the stability.
But here is a ruler of a synagogue whose little girl is dying. And when He gets out of the boat, he comes and, literally, it says he falls before Him. It’s interesting, when Jesus speaks, the waves and the wind fall before Him. The demon falls before Him. And now, the leader of the synagogue comes before Him and says, “My little girl is dying. Will You please come help?” And Jesus says, “Yes.”
And so, He is walking, but as He is walking toward the home where the little girl is dying, He is swarmed.
And He stops and He goes, “Who touched Me?” And Peter and James and the disciples, “What do you mean, ‘Who touched Me?’ Man, there are hundreds of people around here!” He said, “No, no. I felt power,” or, “virtue go out of Me.”
And then you can see a little clearing. Some people step back and here this woman comes and she is trembling and she is at His feet and she confesses, “It was me.” And we learn she had an issue of blood. And for many, many years, the text will tell you exactly how many years. Over a decade she had spent all her money trying to be cured. And now she is broke, she has no hope, but she had heard about Jesus. She had heard Him teach.
And she thought, If I could just come and touch the edge of His robe, then I would be healed. And she does, and she is healed! And remember what He says to her? “Daughter, your faith has made you well.” To the disciples, “You still have no faith?”
And so, as He was ready to go, some runners come from the house. “Hey, it’s too late. The little girl is dead.” And, by the way, it’s not like on cell phones and stuff. So, proximity is not very close. There is a good bit of time. She is dead. “There is no use; don’t bother the teacher.”
Can you imagine the look on that dad’s face? His last hope was Jesus. And now, she is gone. And Jesus turns to Him and says, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” There must be something to faith and believing and trusting that Jesus has power over nature, that He has power over the spiritual world, that He has power over the physical world in this bleeding woman.
And so, He goes and by the time He gets there, I know it’s a bit of time, because mourners have already showed up. And in the culture, they would come and sit on both sides and they would wail. When we mourn, this isn’t like people going, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m so sad.” They even actually had professional mourners and it was a sign of real concern for a family. And they would wail and mourn and, “Oh!” And so, Jesus comes and He goes, “Stop!” And everyone is silent. “The girl is not dead. She is just asleep.” And they start laughing. They start mocking. “What? No, we have all seen. She is dead!”
“Mom, Dad, Peter, John, James – you all five. Come with Me. Everybody else, stay out here.” He goes in there. The little twelve-year-old girl is laying there, dead. “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” Whoo. He has authority over life and death. He is the Almighty God. He has authority over eternity, over nature, over demons, over the physical life and health of people. He is all-powerful.
Those disciples were experiencing the child that was born, but the Son given by God has grown up and He is a Wonderful Counselor in His teaching, and now, He has verified He is the Lord and the all-powerful One over all aspects of life. So they can trust Him.
And He takes those three leaders and they get this experience and the Mount of Transfiguration and those are the three He takes when He prays because those three will lead the Church for the movement that you’re involved in that is spreading across the world like no other movement, ever.
And they will have to believe that He is all-powerful and all-wise to the point of giving their life. And all three of those do, except John, who gets exiled. And that’s the hope of Christmas. God doesn’t want to just give you wisdom for your decisions. He doesn’t want to just help you work through relationships and follow Him. He doesn’t want to just help you understand what to do with your finances or how to deal with a difficult employee or a boss or whether you should put your kids in this school or that school or what is your purpose for your life?
He wants to be a Wonderful Counselor, but He says, Look, I am an Almighty God. I want to powerfully, supernaturally intervene in your life. I am for you! And I love you.
Your body language at this point says, I would love to believe that, but that sounds like it’s, you know, that was then… Can I tell you that same God is available and all-powerful today?
I put a little summary for you. And the summary here is what God has done.
Jesus is the Mighty God, the Lord over the natural realm, He’s the Lord over the spiritual realm, He’s the Lord over the physical realm – the woman with the issue of blood. And He is the Lord over the eternal realm.
Now, here’s what I want to do. That was then, right? I want to take just a moment and walk through in today, each one of those. I could give you many illustrations on this, but the most dramatic one that I remember.
It was shortly after, remember the tsunami that occurred in Asia – early 2000s?
And at the time, I had the privilege of leading Walk Thru the Bible. And I arrived in India six days after the tsunami. It was chaos everywhere. And we did ministry in Indonesia and India. And I still remember getting in the cab and the guy with the big turban and he happened to be a Muslim. And he just asked me, “Who is your God?” I said, “Why?” “Because ours aren’t working right now. If you’ve got a good God that has more power, ours aren’t working.”
And then we did a bunch of training and then we had about two hundred of our leaders from all over India and parts of Indonesia and they came together for training and we did some sharing time of some testimonies and this isn’t hearsay, this isn’t what I heard from someone who said to someone who heard about something, something, like some crazy story. These are our guys. These are vetted. These are our employees. These are people that would take our teaching all around the world and would teach it multiple times and then we…
And so, in testimony time, a guy from the bottom part near some, near Sri Lanka, said, “We experienced God’s hand like I have never seen it.” And they said, “Well, what happened?” He said, “Well, I was at a village and the church is near the village here and we saw this huge wave in the distance and we got in front of the village and there was no hope. We just prayed and we asked God to spare us. And we watched a wall of water come and go around our village.” It was just, he said, “I was just…”
Now, that’s one of those where, like, your body language, doubting Thomas, right? If I see that, I believe it, right? So, the God that created the world could never violate what we would call the laws of physics for His glory and His purposes? Is that what you’re saying? Of course He can. Does He do it very often? No. It would be miraculous if He did. And then, if you’re going to ask me, “Well, why didn’t He do that for other villages?” I don’t know. When you get your universe, you get to make the rules, but this is His. And He has purposes and He has knowledge. And I don’t understand, but I will tell you this is that God, on occasion, will supernaturally – He can change weather, He can change anything. He’s God.
The second is spiritually. The world is up for grabs. And evil and good are fighting one another like never before in dramatic ways, correct? For some of us, if you live in the American cocoon, you think, Wow, Christianity is dying in America. We have got these radical people blowing up things. All the world is turning to Islam. That is sort of the American perspective.
Let me read an article, not the whole article, obviously, but let me read a portion of a Washington Post interesting piece. It says, “Think Christianity is dying? No, Christianity is shifting dramatically. While Christianity may be on the decline in the United States, the world is becoming more religious, not less. While rising number of nuns, those who claim no religious affiliation, claim the attention of today’s pundits, the world tells a different story. Religious convictions are growing and shifting geographically in several dramatic ways. Today, the Christian community in Latin America and Africa alone account for one billion people.”
Asia is very similar. Asia has double the growth of Christians to the population base. There is an explosion – Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
You have a picture here of God working in explosive ways all around. Here is what has changed: America and Europe have nearly dropped out in terms of Christian growth.
You are a part of the very tiny, small, negative growth in a movement that started by the Almighty God that is going around the world like never before. And using technology like never before. And getting it in language and tribes and tongues every year that people have never heard about Jesus like never before. He is the Lord of the spiritual world.
He is the Lord of the physical world. You know, God, will choose, at times, to supernaturally intervene in people’s lives and heal them, physically.
Now, by and large, He uses doctors and He uses counselors, He uses medicine. But what has happened is, over time, we get a little box and we think, Oh, God can do these things, but unconsciously, you and I think, Well, cause and effect and I do this and this happens. And I would just ask you: do you believe that the God who is all-powerful wants to and can intervene?
Here’s what I want to ask you: do you have a supernatural worldview?
I’m not saying God heals everyone. In fact, there is lots of bad teaching in the Prosperity movement, or if you just believe something hard enough that’s all based on your faith. I can open the Bible and show you people that were healed that didn’t have any faith and other people, it’s because of their faith.
God doesn’t heal everyone all the time.
But I think in more conservative, Bible-oriented churches like ours, what happens is we get a closed system, as Francis Schaeffer would say. And you just, you think it’s cause and effect and every problem is: a doctor can do this or a medicine can do this. And you don’t really believe that God wants to or would intervene in supernatural ways.
As one guy said, “When God shows up, He shows off.” He wants to get glory, He wants to make His name great. And that’s behind why He does certain things at different times. But for some, we have never asked, nor do we expect.
A lady in the last service came up and she had cancer, breast cancer, fourteen years ago and they just found out three months ago that she has it again. And they gave her treatment options and she goes, “Well, just let me pray.” And she said, “I wanted to, I felt like God was telling in this case, Pray and ask Me before you go through.”
And she was in her, probably, mid-to-late seventies. I think she felt like the very difficult treatment…
And she just said, “I came up to tell you, I just had my mammogram. There is no cancer anywhere!” So, God answers! But there is something very interesting about each of these stories. Those fishermen were desperate, but they knew it. That father was desperate, and he knew it. That woman was desperate. You know when you pray for supernatural intervention, if you’re a parent, when one of your kids is in ICU and the doctors say – what? “We don’t give you any hope.” Or a friend.
Daniel, sent me an email December 1. It says, “Prayer changes things. When Lisa and I served oversees, our colleague Maria partnered in Kazakhstan with a new believer named Aida. When Aida’s brother died unexpectedly, she implored the family not to bury him immediately, per Islamic tradition. She prayed and fasted for three days. And on the third day, her brother sat up in the hospital morgue and asked for a glass of juice. That’s the power of prayer. It changes things.”
He gives another example. And then there are two pictures of the people. I love his last line, “These aren’t urban legends, culled from the Internet. Here is a picture of Aida and Maria and John in the lower hand corner.”
See, God wants to intervene and the hope that you have for every area of your life is there is wisdom available, but there is power available. And I would challenge you on this day to not unconsciously think, If you do this then God will do that. And you need to do A, B, C, D…
We are not saying at all that you shouldn’t use all the wisdom, doctors, and all those things. But have you asked God to…? I believe in counseling; I have been in it. But have you asked God to intervene, supernaturally, in your marriage? Have you asked God to intervene in a wayward child? Have you asked God to intervene in a health issue? Have you asked God to intervene and do something dramatic in your boss’ heart? Have you asked God to…?
The God who created all this, these people that you care about that they always say no, they never want to come to a Christmas this or a Christmas that – have you asked God, I want to touch the hem of Your garment. I believe; I’m stepping out. I am not telling you that God is going to do something supernatural in ways beyond what you have never seen for everyone. But I am telling you that if you don’t ask and believe in that way, He never will.
I want you to lean back, because what we have said is that in the days of Christ on the earth, He was the Lord over – what? Nature, the spiritual world, the physical world, and the eternal world. I have given you examples of how He is that today.
And I want you to lean back, because I want to close our time with a reminder that that was the past; this is today. But there is another day coming where God and the person of the Lord Jesus will demonstrate that He is Almighty.
Revelation chapter 19 gives us the close of human history. I’d like you to lean back. This is not a note-taking time. I want you to try and picture in your mind as I read: this is the God who came to earth, who is the Child, who grew up to be fully God and fully man, and who is the Wonderful Counselor, and who is Almighty, who was Almighty, and will be.
And if you’re a follower of Jesus, His Spirit dwells inside of you. Lean back as I read. “Then I heard and then saw heaven open, and behold, there was a white horse. The One sitting on it is called Faithful and True. And in righteousness, He judges and makes war. He is clothed in a robe that is dipped in blood and the name that He is called by is the Word of God. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: King of kings and Lord of lords. And then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it and from His presence, the earth and the sky fled away and there was no place found for them.
“And I saw the dead great and small standing before the throne and the books were opened. And then another book was opened, which is the Book of Life, and the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name is not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
“And then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and the sea was no more. And I saw a Holy City, the new Jerusalem come down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be their God, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death will be no more; neither shall there be any mourning, or crying, or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’
“And He who is seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And then He said to me, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ And He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” And Jesus is introduced in the very first chapter as the Alpha and the Omega.
The Spirit of the Living God who is the Creator, that has all power – past, present, and future – dwells in you and wants to help you.