Sermon Transcript – Wilderness Preacher

Series A – Second Sunday of Advent – Sunday, December 4, 2016 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:26The holy Gospel According to Saint Matthew chapter 3 verses 1 through 12.
0:33in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at
0:41hand for this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said the voice of
0:48one crying in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord make his paths straight now John wore a garment of camel’s hair
0:55a leather belt around his waist and his food was locusts and wild honey then
1:01Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him and they were baptized by him in
1:08the River Jordan confessing their sins but when he saw that many of the Pharisees and the Sadducees were coming
1:15to his baptism he said to them you brood of vipers who warned you to flee from
1:20the Wrath to come bear fruit in keeping with repentance and don’t presume to say to yourselves we have Abraham as our
1:27Father for I tell you God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham even now the ax is laid to the
1:34root of the trees every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and is thrown into the fire I
1:41baptize you with water for repentance but he who is coming after me is mightier than I whose sandals I am not
1:47worthy to carry he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire his winnowing
1:52Fork is in his hand and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn but the chaff he will burn
2:00with unquenchable fire in the name of Jesus
2:05all right buckle up this sermon is going to be a bumpy ride if you haven’t figured out for that from the text
2:12you might want to grab a crash helmet some knee pads some protective gear and
2:17by the way this is not a throwaway warning I am telling you the truth Our Gospel text begins with these words in
2:24those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at
2:31hand yeah think of it this way here comes that preacher that no one likes this guy
2:39never has anything positive to say and have you seen what he’s wearing and even
2:45worse have you heard what this crazed homeless person eats I’m pretty sure
2:51that honey doesn’t make locusts taste better #gag me with a spoon
2:59Now by way of contrast I want you to picture in your mind Joel Osteen for a
3:05minute okay got him in your mind now notice his perfectly styled hair
3:12I have a theory regarding his hair by the way and I hope Brianne will help me out with this I my theory works like
3:19this that different hair gels kind of set the hair a little bit harder and I
3:24use the uh well the tornado scale for figuring out how stiff someone’s hair is
3:29F5 that’s the worst category of tornado that you can get I’m pretty sure Joel
3:34Osteen’s hair can survive in F5 so I call it F5 hair gel yeah yeah I think it
3:39worked so his hair is perfectly styled his expensive suit is perfectly pressed
3:46his tie unlike mine has no coffee stains on it and his shirt has no mustard
3:52stains and his teeth oh they’re perfectly pearly white oh in his
3:57messages they’re always designed to make you feel so good about you telling you to look in
4:05the mirror and say things like I am the head and not the tail I am smart I’m
4:11healthy I’m strong I’m wise it’s like the preaching equivalent of a snuggie
4:17now does it bother you that Joel Osteen doesn’t sound anything
4:24like John the Baptist does it bother you
4:29it should now the text continues
4:34regarding John the Baptist this John the Baptist is he who was spoken by the
4:40prophet Isaiah when he said the voice of one crying in the wilderness prepare the
4:46way of the Lord make his paths straight it is John the Baptist’s type of message
4:53that prepares the way of the Lord not Joel Osteen’s type of message Osteen
5:00tells you how wonderful and amazing you are John the Baptist tells you how sinful you are Osteen tells you that you
5:07are a child of the king even though you’ve probably never repented of your sins John on the other hand tells you
5:14that you are a snake and it’s actually a little bit stronger than that okay brood of vipers
5:20kind of roughly translated it’s like a a your mama joke your mama’s a snake is what brutal
5:28vipers means so he tells you your mom is a snake and you’re steeped in sin you
5:33need to repent and the day of God’s Wrath is soon to be Unleashed and if you don’t confess your sins and wickedness
5:39and note this bear fruit in keeping with repentance you will be swept away in the
5:45fury of God’s Wrath and be utterly destroyed as you ought which of course you hear something like
5:51that immediately our mind begins to race a little bit you can feel the heart going whoa whoa whoa this is hitting a
5:57little too close to home and oftentimes the first question that comes up is well what do you mean by repentance what does
6:03that look like let’s make sure we got that one figured out now we’re going to spend a little bit of
6:09time focusing on what repentance is and what it isn’t in our sermon today now repentance the Greek word is metanoia
6:15down at its basic level It is Well it means to change your mind
6:20change your mind it’s in a sense saying well God is right and I am wrong but the
6:26Augsburg confession from our Lutheran confessions actually does a very good job of summarizing what the scripture
6:33teaches regarding what real repentance is and here’s what it says in article 12 of our confessions properly speaking
6:41true repentance is nothing else to the than to have listen to these words Contrition and sorrow or even Terror on
6:50account of your sins and yet at the same time to believe the gospel the
6:56Absolution namely that sin has been forgiven and Grace has been obtained
7:01through Christ and this faith will Comfort the heart and set it at rest amendment of life that’s bearing fruit
7:09and keeping with repentance and forsaking the sin would then follow these must be the fruits of repentance as John the Baptist says bear fruit that
7:18befits repentance so the idea is this repentance really is
7:24I have sorrow fear Contrition over my sins and at the
7:31same time I believe that Christ is bled and died for me the two go together and
7:37from that flows the amendment of Life the mortification of the Flesh in fact
7:43the person who says oh I’ve repented and there’s no amendment of life
7:49hmm we’ve got a problem now we’re going to look at Two Old Testament examples of
7:55repentance one is not repentance and one is we’re going to start by looking at the
8:02first two kings of Israel King Saul and King David if you’d like to flip over to
8:08First Samuel chapter 15 we’ll begin our first study of what repentance isn’t by
8:13looking at Saul and you’re going to note when we get to the end of this passage Saul confesses he’s a sinner but he’s
8:20not absolved and there’s a very specific reason why he will not hear an Absolution when we
8:28get to David David will confess his sin and he will receive an Absolution first Samuel chapter 15. here’s what it says
8:36Samuel the prophet said to Saul Yahweh sent me to anoint you King over his
8:41people Israel now therefore listen to the words of Yahweh thus says Yahweh of hosts Yahweh savior in the Hebrew I have
8:48noted what amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt now go and strike amalek
8:55and devote to destruction all that they have do not spare them but kill them
9:00both man and woman child and infant ox and sheep camel and donkey in other
9:06words God has determined that amalek is to be judged for their wickedness for their idolatry and their evil and the
9:12means by which God’s judgment will be exacted is King Saul in the armies of
9:18Israel so saw some of the people numbered them in telaim 200 000 men on foot ten
9:25thousand men of Judah Saul came to the city of amalek lay and wait in the valley then Saul said to the canites go
9:31depart down from among the amalekites lest I destroy you with them for you
9:37showed kindness to all of the people of Israel when they came out of the out of Egypt so the canaits departed from among
9:43the amalekites and Saul defeated the amalekites from havilah as far ashore which is east of Egypt and he took agag
9:50the king of the malachites alive what
9:56why did he take him alive God said devote everyone and everything to
10:02destruction the command of God was clear agag should have died by now
10:11so already we’ve got a problem and this little fact will help us to know
10:16that Saul is not telling the truth when he’s confronted with his sin so he took agag the king of the
10:22amalekites alive and devoted to destruction all the people with the edge of the sword but
10:28Saul and the people spared Ag and the best of the sheep and of The Oxen and of
10:34the fatted calves and the Lambs and all that was good and would not utterly destroy them all that was despised and
10:40worthless they devoted well that to destruction you see that Ganky little sheep over there with the three legs and
10:46the blind eyes we’re gonna kill that one but whoa that little fat one over there oh boy that one’s gonna make a good meal
10:51we’ll keep that one lamb chops tonight we got a problem
10:58the good sheep are to die with all of them according to what the Lord said so God’s not happy the next text
11:05continues the word of the Lord came to Samuel I regret that I have made Saul King for
11:11he has turned back from following me and has not performed my Commandments
11:16whoops God talked like this right before the flood by the way where he said that he regretted that he had made man on the
11:23Earth these are words of judgment so Samuel was angry and he cried to the
11:29Lord all night and Samuel Rose early to meet Saul in the morning and it was told to Samuel
11:36Saul come come to Carmel and behold he set up a monument for himself and turned
11:43and passed on and went down to gilgal who does that by the way sets up a monument to himself I’d like to dedicate
11:50this statue to Pastor rosebro notice the pose
11:56it’s in honor of just how great of a pastor I am and of course you all know how great I am you’d Stone me right
12:02and rightfully so you should so he set up a monument to himself turned and passed on and went to gilgall
12:08Samuel came to Saul and Saul said to him blessed be your lord I have performed
12:13the Commandment of the Lord and Samuel said what then is this bleeding of sheep that I hear in my ears and the lowing of
12:19oxen that I hear and watch this this is what we call a Pious lie well Saul said well they
12:26brought them from the amalekites for the people spared the best of the sheep and The Oxen the sacrifice to Yahweh your
12:33God liar why is a gag still alive God doesn’t accept human sacrifices like
12:39that we’re going to sacrifice him too
12:48so he said they spared the best of the sheep and The Oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God and the rest we while
12:54we’ve devoted to destruction then Samuel said to Saul stop I will tell you what Yahweh said to me
13:00this night and he said to him speak Samuel said though you are little in
13:05your own eyes are you not the head of the tribes of Israel the Lord anointed you King over Israel and Yahweh sent you
13:12on a mission and said go devote to destruction the Sinners the amalekites fight against them until they are
13:17consumed why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord why did you pounce on
13:23the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of Yahweh and Saul said to Samuel
13:28I have obeyed the voice of the Lord I’ve gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me I brought a gag the king of
13:35amalak and I’ve devoted the amalekites to destruction but the people the people they took the spoil the Sheep The Oxen
13:42the best of the things devoted to destruction to sacrifice to the Lord your God and gilgall
13:48Hmm this sounds a lot like that Garden of Eden incident have you eaten of the tree that I told you not to eat well the
13:55woman the woman that you gave me you gave me she gave me the other fruit and I ate
14:01it’s your fault God notice the buck is passing rather quickly this looks like a UND hockey
14:07game Samuel said has the Lord
14:15as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord
14:21behold to obey is better than sacrifice to listen than the fat of rams and I want you to hear these next words
14:27carefully Rebellion is as the sin of divination divination is witchcraft
14:34Rebellion against God is just like the sin of Witchcraft and presumption
14:40thinking you know better than God well it is as the iniquity of idolatry that’s
14:47exactly what presumption is and presumption is as the iniquity of idolatry because you have rejected the
14:54word of the Lord he has also rejected you from being King tough words the law
15:00speaks the law has condemned him and watch this confession
15:05Saul said to Samuel I have sinned for I have transgressed the Commandment of the Lord and your
15:11words because well because I feared the people and obeyed their voice
15:16is that repentance all right I sin but it’s their fault
15:22they made me do it no that is not repentance that is not
15:29changing your mind and saying you’re right God I am wrong
15:34I’ve done evil I have no one to blame but myself repentance begins really with that frame
15:42of mind and I want you to watch what happens Saul’s going to beg for an Absolution
15:48now therefore please pardon my sin and
15:53return with me that I may bow before the Lord is a prophet or a pastor to absolve a
16:00sinner who is not repentant no
16:05Samuel said to Saul I will not return with you for you have rejected the word of the Lord and the Lord has rejected
16:12you from being King over Israel so he gets no absolution
16:17none whatsoever he hasn’t repented repentance is not okay Lord I’m guilty
16:23but they made me do it I’m guilty but they also participated with me and if it wasn’t for her I
16:30wouldn’t have that’s not repentance that’s self-justification and that will
16:36damn you now compare this with second Samuel chapter 11 we’ll start at verse 27 King
16:43David I won’t recount the entire Bathsheba Uriah the hittite affair but
16:48you know how it went there was this woman bathing on rooftop David was out
16:54on the balcony and went whoa I gotta meet her and one thing led to another she got
17:01pregnant tried to figure out how to make it look like her husband had knocked her up even though he was out fighting in a war
17:09and that didn’t work so he had him killed through a very slick plot well let’s
17:15look at the aftermath 11 27 when the morning was over the morning for Uriah the hittite
17:21bathsheba’s mourning the death of her husband David sent and brought her to his house she became his wife in Bora my
17:27son but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord so the Lord sent Nathan and Nathan is a prophet just like
17:33Samuel so Nathan the prophet is there to confront David and here’s what he said he came into hit to David and said all
17:41right there were two men in a certain city one rich the other poor oh a nice Parable to kind of draw you in the rich
17:47man had very many flocks and herds but the poor man had nothing but one little you lamb which he had bought and he
17:54brought it up and it grew up with him and his children it used to eat from his morsels and drink from his cup and lie
18:01in his arms it was like a daughter to him now there came a traveler to the rich man and he was unwilling to take
18:07one of his own flock or heard to prepare for the guest who had come to him but he took the poor man’s lamb prepared it for
18:14the man who had come to him and day David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man and he said to Nathan as
18:21the Lord lives the man who has done this deserves to die he shall restore the
18:27lamb fourfold because he did this thing and because he had no pity and I like to picture that there’s a
18:34little bit of a pause Nathan for effect kind of just sits there for a second and lets silence cover the conversation
18:42and then the first words that David hears from Nathan r you are the man
18:48I’m talking about you thus says Yahweh the god of Israel I
18:53anointed you King over Israel I delivered you out of the hand of Saul I gave you your Master’s house and your
19:00Master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah and
19:05if this were too little I would add to as much more why have you despised the
19:11word of the Lord to do what is evil in his sight you have struck down Uriah the hittite
19:16with the sword have taken his wife to be your wife have killed him with the sword of the ammonites now therefore the sword
19:24shall never depart from your house because you have despised me and taken
19:29the wife of Uriah the hittite to be your wife thus says Yahweh behold I will raise up evil against you out of your
19:36own house I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor he shall lie with your wives in the
19:42sight of the son for you did it secretly but I will do this thing before all of Israel and before the sun
19:51and what does David do watch David said to Nathan
19:59I’ve sinned against the Lord full stop
20:06no yeah but Bathsheba was nah none of that
20:11he owns it and watch what he receives from Nathan
20:17an Absolution the prophet said David the Lord has put away your sin
20:24you shall not die he receives an Absolution Saul did not David did and we know that David takes
20:32full responsibility because no sooner does Nathan leave the palace that well David pulls out parchment and quill and
20:41pens the 51st Psalm which begins with these words have mercy on me o God
20:46according to your steadfast love according to your abundant Mercy blot out my transgressions
20:52Wash Me thoroughly for my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin for I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before
20:59me against you and you only have I sinned
21:04and done what is evil in your sight so that you may be justified in your words
21:10and blameless in your judgment that’s
21:15true repentance I alone
21:20am guilty have mercy on me God and that is what
21:26John the Baptist was preaching for true repentance
21:33we return to Our Gospel text John wore a garment of camel’s hair
21:39a leather belt around his waist his food was locusts and Wild Honey notice he
21:45lives in the wilderness he’s practically homeless he’s totally trusting on the Lord to supply him for his food and the
21:51well the uniform he’s wearing Harkens back to Elijah the prophet himself Jerusalem and algae and all the region
21:58about the Jordan they were going out to him and they were baptized by him in the River Jordan confessing their sins but
22:05when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism he said to them you brood of vipers who warned
22:12you to flee from the Wrath to come religious people who haven’t really repented religious people who think that
22:19they can earn their way to Heaven by their good works and their Good Deeds rather than acknowledging that they are
22:24sinners in need of a savior bear fruit in keeping with repentance John said don’t presume to say to yourselves we
22:30have Abraham as our father I tell you God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham even now the ax
22:37is laid to the root of the trees every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down
22:43thrown into the fire the fire he’s referring to as hell I baptize you with water for repentance but he who is
22:49coming after me is mightier than I whose sandals I am not worthy to carry he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and
22:56with fire his winnowing Fork is in his hand and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his weed into his barn
23:03but the Chaffee will burn up with unquenchable fire now I want you to consider this
23:10the church right now is in her wilderness wanderings
23:16we are between the times of our release from slavery to sin death and the devil
23:21on our way to the true Promised Land the true Promised Land being the new Earth and the New Jerusalem but we are not yet
23:28there and we have been commissioned to preach repentance just like John
23:36in the wilderness how do I know this Luke 24 verses 45 through 47 States Jesus opened their
23:44minds his disciples to understand the scriptures and he said to them thus it is written that the Christ the Messiah
23:50should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead and that listen repentance
23:55and the forgiveness of sin should be proclaimed in his name to All Nations beginning with Jerusalem Norway second
24:04I just threw that in so we are currently in our Wilderness
24:10wanderings as I’ve noted we have been set free from slavery and the tyranny of the Dominion of Darkness baptized in the
24:16Red Sea of Christ’s blood and we are now heading to the New Jerusalem and the new Earth and we’ve been instructed to join
24:23our voices with John the Baptists and to preach repentance and the Forgiveness of
24:29sins to baptize and Make Disciples of all Nations and by the way this is the only message
24:37that prepares the way of the Lord this is the only message that can make
24:42crooked paths straight I asked earlier if it bothered you that
24:48Joel Osteen doesn’t sound anything like John the Baptist I said it should and hopefully the reason it should bother
24:54you is now obvious Osteen doesn’t preach repentance he’s not a Wilderness preacher he’s a palace preacher he’s a
25:02mansion preacher he’s a snuggie preacher he’s not making paths straight Osteen
25:09and every preacher like him is trying to convince you to become comfortable in your sins and convince you that God
25:17really doesn’t care John on the other hand makes us all very uncomfortable with our sins so
25:24uncomfortable that we can actually begin to feel the heat from the fires of the hell of hot the fires of Hell blowing on
25:30our faces and it’s quite unnerving and this should make you feel guilt and
25:36shame maybe even Terror but this causes us to run to Christ
25:42to confess our wickedness to blame nobody but ourselves and to seek
25:47Christ’s Mercy and then the good news is that Christ forgives us
25:54you see John is the law Jesus is the gospel and the church has been ordered
26:00commanded by Christ to preach both the gospel and the law repentance and the Forgiveness of sins
26:07not one or the other you don’t get to say well I’m going to preach the law and see if we can get people to get be really good but I’ll withhold the gospel
26:16or I’m going to preach the gospel and never tell anybody about well repenting or their sins in fact I no longer will
26:23tell anybody that God that there’s hell or that God that has wrath or anything like that I’ll just make love into God
26:30mm-hmm you don’t get to do that either so let’s try this on
26:39and please note that when I’m preaching to you I am also preaching to myself
26:45so I joined my voice with John the Baptist and I say to you repent
26:52you are not as holy as you ought to be neither am I
26:57you do not keep God’s law as you ought and neither do I
27:04so don’t become comfortable in your sins because I’m going to assure you this there are people who are suffering in
27:09the Flames of hell right now for far less than you are guilty of you have not loved god with your whole
27:16heart you have not loved your neighbor as yourself you have loved yourself sought
27:22your own Glory while coveting your neighbor’s belongings spouse while gossiping about him or her destroying
27:28their good name you’ve murdered your neighbor in your heart and well with
27:33your words and you’ve stolen from your neighbor and don’t even get me started regarding sexual immorality
27:41you and I are guilty and if you’re trusting in your own
27:46repentance and your piety and your good works
27:52you’re trusting in the wrong thing and don’t think for a second that you can pass the buck
27:59and say well but my husband or yeah but my wife or you don’t even realize how
28:04difficult my children are or if you had my boss what would you what would you have done knock that nonsense off and
28:12don’t even begin to say well listen I’m a child of Lutheran Norway trust me when I tell you this God can
28:20raise up Norwegian lutherans from the sugar beets growing in the fields out here
28:29so repent repent say the truth about you
28:37you’re guilty bear fruit in keeping with repentance the day of God’s Wrath is coming in fact
28:44Christ is right at the threshold and when he appears he will have his winnowing fork in his hand and all the
28:50chaff will be gathered up and burned in the fires of hell so repent
28:55and if this type of preaching sounds like God is opposed to you and hostile to you because of your wickedness and
29:01your sin and your transgressions well good you’re finally starting to catch on because he is
29:08but Christ and see that’s the thing
29:14God is at war with us because of our sin and we are at war with him because of our sin but Christ in Ephesians 2 13 it
29:22says this but now Christ Jesus in him you who once were far off you
29:28have been brought near to God by the blood of Christ for he himself is our
29:34peace he is the one who is our peace with God he has made us both one and has broken
29:42down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility the dividing wall of hostility between us and God by abolishing the law
29:50and the Commandments expressed in ordinances so that he might create in himself one new man in place of two
29:57so making peace and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the
30:03cross thereby killing the hostility remember the words of the prophet Samuel to obey is better than sacrifice
30:11remember those words Christ did both
30:16he obeyed perfectly for you and he offered himself as a sacrifice for your
30:21sins suspended on the cross between Heaven and Earth he is the one who broke down the
30:27hostility between us and God through his atoning sacrifice bearing your sins and
30:33taking the full wrath of God in your place Paul writes it this way in Romans 5
30:39starting at verse 6 for while we were still weak at the right time God Christ
30:44died for the ungodly and if you don’t think that’s you you still haven’t repented
30:50for one will scarcely die for a righteous person though perhaps for a good person one would dare to die but
30:55God demonstrates his love for us and that while we were yet sinners Christ dies for us
31:03since therefore we have now been justified by his blood his blood shed for us on the cross much more shall we
31:10be saved by him from the wrath of God for if while we were enemies and this is what we were because of our
31:16sin we were enemies of God if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God
31:21by the death of his son how much more now that we are reconciled shall we be saved by his life more than that we
31:28rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have now received reconciliation
31:35so I say repent repent of your sins
31:40and be forgiven Christ has made peace with God for you do you believe this good news
31:49then hear the word of the Lord through the prophet Nathan God has put away your sin
31:56you will not die in the name of Jesus amen [Music]
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