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Born to Reign, Part 4

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
December 21, 2023 10:00 am

Born to Reign, Part 4

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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December 21, 2023 10:00 am

Human history is a record of brokenness, oppression, conflict, and corruption.  How we long for peace and justice, even as we see the violence and instability raging in our world today.  The good news is that the Great Ruler Jesus will one day soon set up his reign.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Human history is a record of brokenness, oppression, conflict, and corruption. How we long for peace and justice, even as we see the violence and instability raging in our world today. The good news is that the great ruler Jesus will one day soon set up his reign. The government that he sets up will bring peace and justice as no earthly government has ever been able to do. So while we wait for that sure and beautiful day, we can surrender our hearts to the Prince of Peace himself, and live life remembering what he has promised to do. Let's listen to this message titled, Born to Reign.

Good morning, everyone. Would you take your copy of the scriptures and open to Isaiah's prophecy in chapter nine? Isaiah chapter nine.

Very well known passage of scripture in Isaiah's prophecy of the Messiah who would come, and he prophesied this seven centuries before Messiah actually came. We're looking at two verses. Verse six, For to you us a child is born, to us the Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace, there will be no end on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness. From this time forth and forevermore, the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. We're looking at verse seven today. We looked at verse six last week, To us a child is born, a son is given, and we considered what those names mean. And today we're looking at verse seven, Of the increase of his government and peace, and of there will be no end.

Let's talk about his government for a moment. We sing Christmas carols at Christmas time, don't we? A lot of them. Do we actually listen to what the songs are saying? Sometimes I'm so used to singing them, you sing them without even thinking about what they're singing at all. One of them is, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

You know that? Now the tune's flowing through your mind, right? So it's a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and it was later set to music. He wrote the poem, and later it was set to music, and it was written over Christmas in the middle of the Civil War, or as some of you would call it, the War of Northern Aggression. Because we are in the South, you understand. All you transplants need to figure that out, right?

It was the bloodiest war in American history. And the carols' first verse is familiar and peaceful. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. They're old, familiar carols play. In music's suite, the tones repeat, there's peace on earth, goodwill to men. But the carols not just cotton candy, like we think about Christmas carols sometimes.

It's a beating heart laid bare. And the third stanza, and in despair, I bowed my head. There is no peace on earth, I said, for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men.

We could sing that today, could we not? Longfellow wrote to his friend Henry Budwich in 1866. And I quote, the death of the young men in the war makes my heart bleed whenever I think of it, how much I have felt for you, particularly on that cold December night when I came back with my son and saw you at the train station and knew that yours would come back to you no more. But Longfellow brings the gospel to bear in the triumphant final stanza, then peeled the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead, nor doth he sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth, goodwill to men.

We can say that with confidence because of the text before us and because of the text that Thomas read. This is history, it was foretold history. And yet you look back at human history, you look at the rise and fall of governments through human history, all of them eventually fall, there are no exceptions. And they fall why? Well, because of oppression, because of intrigue, infighting, selfishness, oppression.

Those are things that bring a government down. But to us, a child is born, a son is given, and he is the prince of peace. And he will have a vast unending dominion over all of the created order, that's the promise. And some of us might be saying, I'm not seeing that yet. Well, it's not God's timing yet. But it is to come. Ephesians 1 10 makes that very clear.

It says the plan for the fullness of time to unite all things in him, that's Christ, things in heaven and things on earth. Because God is infinite. He's an infinite being. There is nowhere that he is not. Think about that. Think about Mary with hay and animals surrounding her, and there's the baby Jesus, and she touches his face.

She's touching the face of God, the very one that created her. But God is infinite, like Psalm 139 says, Where shall I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there.

If I make my bed and shield, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me and the light about me be night, even the darkness is not dark to you.

The night is bright as day, for darkness is as light to you. See, people need to understand this, and there are many, many who reject God and the gospel message today. And it's those who demand life without him. They demand life on their terms.

Because of the problem that we're born with, the problem of self preeminence, I am the greatest and most important reality. And for those who demand life without God, in the end will get what they want. They will be eternally separated from his loving and satisfying presence. But, but, what they need to understand and what they will unfortunately find out is that they cannot escape him.

Because God's holy presence will be a consuming fire for them for eternity. It's not a pretty sight. Say, Rich, this is Christmas. Let's be encouraging. Well, there's a reason why the encouraging news is encouraging is because there is bad news. And the bad news is you are broken.

You are a sinful individual and you need Jesus Christ. That's why he came. Otherwise, what would make the good news good? Many people don't see it as good news because they're saying, I don't need Christ.

So what makes Christmas good news? It will be true in the end that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. There are no exceptions to that statement.

Understand that. Isaiah said that, the same Isaiah that wrote the text we just read, 700 years before Christ. It was also repeated in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul repeated that. Philippians Chapter two.

Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. So let's look once again at Isaiah Chapter nine, verse seven, of the increase of his government and of peace, there will be no end. In human history, governments rise and fall, but of this one, this will be the final government. That's good news, by the way.

And look what it says. Of the increase of his government and peace, there will be what? No end. There will be no end.

This will be the chief characteristic of his government. It's the word shalom. Shalom meaning completeness, soundness, a state of soundness, everything put together well. We will exist in a state of favor, it will be a life of prosperity, and that prosperity has nothing to do with material things. It will be a prosperity of the soul.

Yeah, there will be plenty of wonderful good things to enjoy, but that will not define our prosperity. Of peace, there will be no end. And this peace is the thing that every one of us longs for deeply.

You and I, many of you have come in here today, there's deep trouble going on inside and you long for peace. Here's where you find it, in this one, this Prince of Peace. It can only be found in union with the one who is the Prince of Peace. That union comes through submission to him. The only appropriate response to sovereignty is what?

Surrender. Then you find peace. And it says there will be no end to his peace, no end.

Governments rise and they fall, not this one. There will be no end. When we get there, we will not be moving towards a destination, we will not be on a journey to continue finding peace. We will have arrived. The ultimate purpose for which God has designed us and intended his created order is this peace of which he speaks, that we are in union with him, enjoying him in a state of soundness and enjoying and delighting in his favor.

That's this child, this one that Isaiah prophesied seven centuries before. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, 7 Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. 7 Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace, weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-21 12:18:08 / 2023-12-21 12:22:34 / 4

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