What does a loving father always do?
Who could it be?
What’s up the holdup?
The textbook prophet with one of the most important scriptures of the Christian church.
Prophecies fulfilled and yet-to-be.
If we are in Christ Jesus, if we are His, we have no cause for fear the end times.
Do we need a prophet like Joel today?
Some background on this important book.
Most of you probably know that 1Cor 13 is called the love chapter. It’s one of the most popular chapters in the Bible. But we’re not going to talk about that today. I want to look at chapter 14:1-25, where Paul said that all the spiritual gifts are great, and that we should desire them all, but that the gift of prophesy is the one to desire the most. And remember, there is much more than telling of future events with this gift.
The gift of prophecy is the telling of God’s message. Paul said that “the person who prophesies speaks to people for edification, encouragement, and consolation. 4The person who speaks in another language builds himself up, but he who prophesies builds up the church. 5I wish all of you spoke in other languages, but even more that you prophesied. The person who prophesies is greater than the person who speaks in languages, unless he interprets so that the church may be built up.”
One of the common themes in scripture is “other centeredness”, the opposite of self centeredness. Paul said in this chapter that speaking is tongues is great and all, but it really just builds up the person doing the speaking. Prophecy builds up the church.
The Christian life is not, and it has never been about doing for one’s self. It’s about serving others and helping the lost to find a relationship with the God of the universe. It troubles me deeply when I see preachers become wildly wealthy from their congregation. I don’t have a problem with them if they earn a living that is comparable with the people they minister to, but a few of them become far wealthier than that. Seems very self serving to me.
Your job and mine is to serve others. And to have the gift of prophecy, the ability to accurately and effectively communicate God’s message is at once an honorable and humbling calling.
In Matthew 12:17 we’re told that Isaiah 42 is about the Messiah. After reading the chapter I’m sure you’re not surprised. As you probably know, the Old Testament is replete with Messianic prophecies.
The Jews for Jesus website lists 365 of them, and of those 365 prophecies, 132 are in the book of Isaiah. The vast majority of these prophecies were fulfilled during Jesus’ first incarnation, and only a small handful remain to be fulfilled at His second coming.
In chapter 41, God, speaking through the prophet Isaiah makes a point of asking how many prophecies the false gods and idols made and had been fulfilled. Of course, since they were only made made, the answer is none. God made a point of telling mankind part of His plan in advance so that we would know that He is indeed God.
Imagine the mathematical odds of just the Messianic prophecies being fulfilled in the life of just one man. The odds are astronomically high. So high as to be impossible, unless the one in whom they were fulfilled was, indeed the Messiah. I don’t know about you, but I’m satisfied that Jesus is who He said He is.
And if He is who He said He is, then every word He said must be true, because God is incapable of being wrong or lying. If I had to pick just one thing He said that every person needs to understand, it would be this, from John 14:6: I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one can go to the Father except by Me.
There is no other way to God. Jesus is the One Way. Think of it this way. There are millions upon millions of cel phones on the planet. Each one has its own phone number. If you want to phone me, you can only call the number associated with my phone. If you misdial even one digit, you will not get me. It’s the same with salvation. There are many purported paths to God, but only one way is the right way. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good person. It doesn’t matter if your intentions are right. It doesn’t even matter if you are sorry that you have wronged someone. All that matters is that you have a relationship with Jesus.
This is not me saying this. It is Jesus Himself. He is the only way to the Father.