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A Shepherd’s Surprise - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
December 26, 2023 5:00 am

A Shepherd’s Surprise - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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December 26, 2023 5:00 am

Pastor Skip reminds us that plenty of folks today hear about Jesus, but never come to Him.

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Can you imagine being the one shepherd that didn't go to Bethlehem to check it out? Maybe there was such a shepherd, just a legend, but maybe, you know, they had to leave the sheep with someone. Maybe he said, yeah, you guys go. I'm not into that religious stuff. And he didn't go.

There's a lot of people like that. A lot of people hear sermons, watch other people have their lives changed, hear their stories, but they don't go themselves. They don't come to Christ themselves. An encounter with Jesus changes everything. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip wraps up the message, A Shepherd's Surprise, where we discover that God reveals himself to ordinary people doing ordinary tasks to be his spokespersons. Now, here's more about this month's resource package that brings you inspiring teaching to deepen your faith and understanding of Scripture.

It's a fact. Many people look forward to regular Bible teachings on Connect with Skip Heitzig. If you benefit from this program, we'd like to ask you to consider an end-of-year gift to support the costs and expansion of this program. As we roll toward the end of 2023, there is still time to make a tax-deductible gift to Connect with Skip Heitzig. And for this final week of the year only, we are offering a special resource package to thank you for your gift. This set includes 10 of the most popular guest speaker messages that Skip has invited to fill his pulpit, such as Joel Rosenberg, J. Vernon McGee, and Tim LaHaye. This end-of-year collection also includes five excellent books, such as Is God Real? by Lee Strobel. Here's Lee to explain what motivated him to write this book. I was talking to a guy I know who's a real techie, you know, and he said, Lee, I've discovered something really fascinating. I said, what? He said, I've learned that 200 times a second, around the clock, someone on planet Earth is typing into a search engine. Basically the question, is God real? That's fascinating.

And I thought, but then again, isn't it logical in a sense because everything hangs on that question? The five-book collection also includes We Will Not Be Silent by Erwin Lutzer and The Word for Today Study Bible, featuring notes from Pastor Chuck Smith. Bound in genuine leather, this new King James Study Bible has definitions of Hebrew and Greek words, pages for notes, color maps, cross references, and introductions to each Bible book. Here's an invitation from Pastor Skip to encourage your end-of-year giving to help this program expand into more major markets. Hi there, Skip here. Well, we entered the final stretch of 2023, and I've got a very important request for you. I'm asking you for your best gift by December 31st to help connect with Skip Heitzig finish the year strong and ready to reach more people for Jesus in 2024.

Your support today will help connect with Skip Heitzig grow so we can reach even more people across the globe with the timeless wisdom of God's word that speaks to every aspect of life. So please give your best gift today and help seize every opportunity in 2024 to share the unchanging truth of Scripture with more people in an ever-changing world. I thank you for your gift of $100 or more with my prized pulpit package. This exclusive collection brings you preaching, teaching, and apologetics from influential speakers that we've had speak here at the church, people like David Jeremiah, Josh McDowell, Eric Mataxas, and others that I've invited over the years at Calvary. And if you give $500 or more, I'll also send you five books that our team has carefully selected from some of these speakers. These resources are sure to help you deepen your understanding and love of God's word in the year ahead. So be sure to request them when you give today, and thank you for your generosity.

God bless you. Give your support of $500 to Connect with Skip Heitzig, and you'll receive the full pulpit package audio by download or on CD and the five-book set, including the word for today, Leather Study Bible. Call 1-800-922-1888. That's 1-800-922-1888 with your gift. Or give securely online at connectwithskip.com. That's connectwithskip.com. This offer expires at midnight on December 31st, so please act now.

Call 1-800-922-1888 or go to connectwithskip.com. Okay, let's get started. We're going to be in Luke 2 as Skip begins today. The first thing out of the angel's mouth is do not be afraid, right? Because they know that there's a reflexive fear that any human is going to have if they see an angelic being. So it's almost like, okay, cue up the do not be afraid.

Ready? Do not be afraid, because they're shuddering. They're in terror when they see an angel. So do not be afraid. These angels are grabbing their little hearts, seeing this.

But notice what it says after that. Verse 11, for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord. We have here a mini Christology. Do you know what a Christology is?

Christology means the theology about Christ. This is a nutshell description of who this baby is. We sing it every year. What child is this who laid to rest in Mary's lap is sleeping. That's always a question. What child is this? Who is this baby? Who is this baby who divided time? Who is this baby who changed the way we do our calendar? Who is this baby who is the most famous child ever born in history? Who is this child who would influence more people than all the influencers in the world put together?

Who is this child? Angel says he's the Savior. Savior means one who saves.

That's what it means. One who saves. A rescuer. One who rescues. One who's saved. What do we need to be saved from?

Our self-esteem. Is that what we need? No. The angel said to Joseph and Mary, you shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sin. Sin.

Sin. We need to be saved from sin. Now here's the thing about saviors and saving. Only people who admit they need saving get saved.

It's just the way it works. If you don't think you need to be saved, you usually don't look for saviors. Only sinners look for saviors.

But the angel knew that is our need. And so you will call his name Yeshua, God saves, where he will save his people from their sin. So that's the first title, Savior.

But notice what's next. Who is Christ? Now just so you know, Christ is not Jesus' last name. It's not Jesus H. Christ.

I know some people say that. Christ is not a name. It is a title. It is the name or title of Messiah. That's what Christ means. Messiah. Mashiach. Christos is the Greek.

Christ is the English. Messiah. The chosen one.

The anticipated one. The one that Scriptures foretold would come. The deliverer long awaited by the Jews. That is the Christ.

What an exalted title to give a baby born in poverty in such humble surroundings. Christ. And then something else.

There is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ. And then what's next? The Lord. The Lord. Not a Lord. The Lord. Not a Lord. The Lord. Definite article.

Definite article. Now there is a sense in which the term Lord is simply a term of respect, sort of an exalted human being who deserves respect. They still have them in England, lords and ladies. Yes, my Lord. Yes, my lady. That is not this Lord. That is not this Lord. This is the Lord. And because of this designation as the Lord, every Jewish person would understand what that is saying.

It is more than elevated human designation. It is saying, He is saying, the angel is saying, this baby born in Bethlehem, who is the one to save people from sin, the long anticipated Messiah is God in a human body. The Lord.

The Lord. What an incredible announcement to shepherds. To shepherds. Let's look at the anthem that they proclaim.

Verse 13, and suddenly, like all of a sudden, out of nowhere, there was with the angel singular a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying glory to God in the highest on earth, peace, good will toward men. A multitude. How big is a multitude? Well, more than five. More than 50. I'm guessing more than 500. If I were to compare this to Revelation 5, where John the apostle sees and hears a multitude, it goes on to describe that multitude of angelic beings.

It says there were 10,000 times 10,000 and thousands of thousands. So, in heaven, there were 100 million plus, plus, plus angels. Now, it's my belief that the multitude here with the shepherds designates every single one of God's angels.

I don't think it's just a few of them are joining in a choir because they sing really well. I think they all burst out in an anthem of praise and proclamation. And they say glory to God in the highest, verse 14, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Now, that baffles us a bit because, well, the world has never seen peace, ever, ever. The world has never seen a prolonged era of true peace. So, where does the angel get off saying, on earth peace? Is that just his wish for this nutty, crazy world?

No, this really isn't translated very well. It should be peace among people on whom God's favor rests. That's a different meaning. Or the New American Standard renders it peace to people in whom God is pleased. So, this is the peace that is the result of being saved, of taking in the Savior. Peace will come as you give glory to God in the highest. Peace, that's the anthem.

Now, I'm going to take you a little bit somewhere that you didn't anticipate, if you don't mind. This will give you at least a little insight into how I read Scripture. So, look at verse 10, and I need your participation, so get ready to talk to me. Verse 10, it says, Then the angel, what's the next word? Said, the angel said to them. And then verse 13, and then verse 13, And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying. So, we have said and saying, they're speaking right now. Go down to verse 17, And when they had seen him, they made widely known the what?

Saying, which was told them concerning the child. Okay, so every year we pull this little tune out. Hark, the herald, angels sing. The text never says the angels sang. It says they spoke, they preached, they made a proclamation, but it never says they sang. In fact, do you know there are only two places in the entire Bible where angels are said to sing? One is at creation, and one is after the curse is removed from creation in the book of Revelation chapter 5.

The first time it mentions it, it's a bit cryptic. It's Job chapter 38. God is speaking and says to Job and his friends, Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? He continues, When the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy. Again, that's cryptic, but it seems to indicate that at creation, the angelic hosts were singing.

And the second is Revelation chapter 5, where we are told four living creatures, which is a class of angel, began to sing with 24 elders in heaven. So they sing before the fall at creation, before the fall that brought the curse, and after the curse is removed. Here's a thought.

Here's a thought. Could it be that angels minister temporarily without song? Could it be that they are restrained from singing as long as this earth remains under a curse? If so, that means by the time they get to Revelation chapter 5, those boys can't wait to sing. And so heaven bursts forth in an anthem of song because now that baby is not a baby. In a manger, it is Christ on the throne. And so they sing.

They sing. Now, I'm going somewhere with this. You say, well, you're being really far too technical here. I just want to say, heart the herald angel sing, okay? Okay. But I'm going somewhere with this.

And here's the application. You're not an angel. You're not an angel.

I love you, and you look really good. You ain't angel. So what you are are redeemed human beings saved by the blood of the lamb. The curse, the penalty of the curse of sin has been removed from you, which means unlike the angels, you should sing. You and I should be singers of the gospel.

We should sing, the Bible tells us. In fact, there's a great little verse in 1 Peter where he talks about our salvation, and he says, the things which angels desire to look into. You know, I can just picture angels when they, I think they join our worship services. And I just can picture angels watching some of us during the worship service when there's singing going on, and we might just sort of be standing there like not doing anything, looking around, not singing.

And they're thinking, that numbskull. They have everything to sing about. They can sing. They've been saved. They've been redeemed. None of us have been saved. There's no second chances for angels. They've been saved. They've been redeemed.

I'm looking into this. I'm marveling that they're not filled with praise. So if angels are restrained from singing until the curse is removed, and if the curse of sin's penalty is removed from us, then please sing, even if you have a bad voice. Please, if you have a bad voice, I want you to even sing louder.

Because if you have a bad voice, you know what's going to happen? People are going to go, and you're singing, and they're going like this. You know what they're going to do? They're not going to move away from you. They're going to sing louder than you to drown you out.

So it's just going to make the volume a little bit more beautiful. I had a camp leader who actually said that one time. He said, hey, if you have a good voice, then glorify God with it. And if you have a bad voice, give it back to Him.

All right? Praise Him with it. So sing. Sing. Now, that's the audience, the angels, the announcement, and the anthem.

Let me close with this the affirmation. So what do the shepherds do with this experience? They're not told by the angel or the angels to go into Bethlehem. They're not told that.

They're just told what happened. But we read in verse 15, so it was when the angels had gone away from them into heaven that the shepherds said to one another, now they're processing it, let us now go to Bethlehem and see the thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. And they came with haste. That means in a hurry. They rushed.

This is the first Christmas rush. And found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all the people who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. They did three things.

The shepherds did three things. Number one, they believed. They believed what the angels told them about Messiah. They believed it. They believed by faith that it happened.

Of course, if you see an angel and you don't believe, something's wrong with you in the head. So they believed. For whatever reason, they believed the message. Second, they went to check it out. They responded with quick obedience.

This is always the next step. After you hear a message about Christ, if indeed you believe it, then the next step is to come to Christ. Jesus said, Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden.

Jesus in another place said, All that the Father has given Me will come to Me. So they believed. They came. Third thing they did, they told people.

They told people after finding Jesus, they went to tell others. They heard. They believed. They came. They saw. They went.

They told. By the way, that is the same staging that happens after the resurrection. 33 years later, Jesus dies on a cross, gets buried, gets up from the grave. The women come to the tomb, and the angel says to them, Come and see the place where the Lord lay. Now, go and tell His disciples that He's risen from the dead.

You see the staging? Come see, go tell. That's the natural response. If you indeed get saved from sin and there's supernatural change, you want to tell people. You want to tell people about it.

As soon as I got saved, I thought, I got to tell all my friends, these Christian crazy friends of mine who've been telling me about Jesus. I'm going to tell them what happened to me. I couldn't wait to tell my parents.

They weren't too excited about it. My brother wanted to beat me up, but nonetheless, I wanted to tell people. I'm motivated to tell people. Sadly, this passion to tell others tends to diminish over time. Who is it who wants to tell people? Who is it that wants more than anything else to tell people what happened to them when they got saved? Tell me.

New converts, newly saved people. But then, as we get older and more mature and more crusty, more crusty, we lose our zeal. We lose our passion. It's like a slow leak in a tire.

Just sort of goes out. Just that, eh. So it's not enough to hear about Jesus. It's not enough to just peek inside the manger. It's not enough to say, oh, I love Christmas. It gives me such a warm feeling.

No, we need to believe in Him and come to Him and experience that change of life. There's a legend, and it's just a legend. The legend says that 40 years after the birth, the shepherds, now old men, gathered together, and they were talking in the tent about that night 40 years earlier. Grandkids were around listening, and one little grandson said to his grandpa, grandpa, interrupted him, grandpa, tell me more about that.

Is that true? Grandpa didn't pay any attention. They kept talking, talking, talking. He interrupted again, grandpa, tell me, did that really happen? And the grandpa hung his head and had to say to his grandson, I don't really know.

I never went to see. Can you imagine being the one shepherd that didn't go to Bethlehem to check it out? Maybe there was such a shepherd, just a legend, but maybe, you know, they had to leave the sheep with someone. Maybe he said, yeah, you guys go. I'm not into that religious stuff. And he didn't go.

There are a lot of people like that. A lot of people hear sermons, watch other people have their lives changed, hear their stories, but they don't go themselves. They don't come to Christ themselves.

I just want you to know this. A lot of people, the angels could have come to. He did not come to the elite. He came to those who had a past, who had a background. He came to those that nobody really cared much about.

Jesus would hang out with such people, tax collectors and sinners, marginalized people. Hey, Jesus, how come you keep hanging around those people? Because they need me. That's why. And they know that they need me and they're willing to admit that they need me.

That's why. That's his whole life. So no matter who you are, what you've done, what you would love to do differently, I just want you to hear this. God loves you. God is madly in love with you. Here is good tidings of great joy, which will be for all people.

For unto you, this day is born a savior. It's for you. You.

You. Which means you are given an opportunity to say yes to him, to respond to him. That's Skip Heitzig with a message from the series Into the Night. Find the full message as well as books, booklets and full teaching series at connectwithskipp.com. Now, here's Skip to tell you about a trip to the Holy Land coming up in 2024. We will be touring Israel from May 1st through May 12th. I hope that you'll join us firsthand to see some incredible sites like the Sea of Galilee.

I'm sure you've always wanted to see that. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the Garden Tomb, the place many people believe is where Jesus rose from the dead. The final deadline for registration is December 31st, so there's still time to take action and join Lenya and I for the trip of a lifetime.

Find full Israel information at connectwithskipp.com. God has revealed himself through his word so that we can know him intimately and personally, and we share these messages to help you know God better as you connect to him through his word and grow in your walk with Jesus. When you give a gift to support this ministry, you help keep these teachings you love available to you and so many others around the world so they too can grow and connect more deeply with God. Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskipp.com slash donate. That's connectwithskipp.com slash donate. Thank you. Come back tomorrow as Skip shares a message about the men from afar who came to worship the King. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-26 06:48:56 / 2023-12-26 06:58:19 / 9

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