John the Baptist was a pointer; he was sent by God to send sinners to God.
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The Pointer, Not the Point
What is the function of a signpost? They are designed not to be the point, but to point to the point. They declare to you the purpose, the objective of why they exist; it is literally written on them why they are planted on the side of the road. Now some of us have pictures with signposts, or have even seen some that we smiled at or liked — but we don’t go to the Grand Canyon to merely take a picture with the sign and then turn around.
The best pointer ever born of man was John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11). He was a perfect example of what the pastor is called to be: the pointer, not the point. John was a ‘messenger’ who was sent to ‘prepare the way before [the Lord]’ (Malachi 3:1). He ‘came preaching’ (Matthew 3:1) in order ‘to make ready for the Lord a people prepared’ (Luke 1:17). John the Baptist was a pointer; he was sent by God to send sinners to God. John was the server, not the Savior; he is the messenger, but the Message.
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Let us look to the Scriptures, and consider.
God’s Traveling Preachers
One of my favorite texts that I have penned to my heart is Psalm 19. Many of us are familiar with the opening words of David, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Among the many uses of the Hebrew word translated here as ‘proclaim’, it can be found in Job 1:15, 16, 17, and 19 as “to tell.”
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It is never the amount or exercising of our faith, but the object of our faith.
Take the truth of what is better
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The Empty Deceit of Sin
Believer, the delicacies of sin are widely displayed and lifted up for all to indulge upon. From movies to Netflix Originals to commercials to Facebook posts, everywhere we look there are vices set like bear traps — covered up and entrapping in their grip. Like in the life of Samson, sin comes at us like a lion ‘roaring’ (v.5) that we can tear as easy as ‘one tears a young goat’ (Judges 14:6). Then, we pass by the ‘carcass of the lion’ again to see that honey has developed (14:9) and we stop to taste the sweetness of decay, death, and the sinfulness of sin.
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If the resurrection of Jesus is true, then we must either come to him for life, or run from his judgement — but we mustn’t tarry.
If He Did, But If He Didn’t
All of the Christian doctrine, understanding, and the truth of the gospel is upheld by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The Scriptures testify to this themselves; in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul writes this, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain…if Christ has not been raised , your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (v.14, 17) The Christian faith and the preaching of the gospel are worthless if Jesus is dead.
But, if he is alive, then all who hope “…in Christ shall all be made alive…[then] the last enemy to be destroyed is death…thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [over death] through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (v. 22, 26, 57) Our only hope is the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If the resurrection of Jesus is true, then we must either come to him for life, or run from his judgement — but we mustn’t tarry.
Continue reading “Basic Apologetics: the Resurrection”