Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
March 30, 2014 at 10:45 AM
Subject
The Heavenly Glimpse
Description
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday March 30, 2014
The Heavenly Glimpse
“And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” Lk. 2:26
The birth of Christ is a topic of varied interests. Although it
was intended for the salvation of humanity ( John 3:16 ), that
birth has since become highly politicized and heavily
commercialized. The Christian/Islamic conflict symbolizes the
politics of Christ’s mission while the money aspect of Christ’s
birth reflects the commercial dimension of that event.
Although America was founded, in part, to maximize
spiritual opportunities, this nation has become the place of
massive commercialization of Christmas. Thus, the current
social structure contains activities, events, and extensive
travel - all centered around the event of Christ’s birth.
While these experiences are gratifying, a crucial question -
especially for Christians - becomes - “What is the view that
Christ sees of us as he takes a Heavenly Glimpse of humanity?”
Our sermon today, in this connection, will explore
implications of this hypothetical question; it has been entitled,
“The Heavenly Glimpse”. It is anchored by the single purpose of
helping us to take a “still” frame or picture of how we appear in the
heavenly glimpse.
The sermon will examine The Heavenly Glimpse at three
different periods in history; they are:
1. At the birth of Christ
2. During the present time
3. At the Eternal Judgment
Prior to analyzing these period, attention will be focused on
the announced subject, The Heavenly Glimpse. This expression
refers to the power of God to view actions of human kind. The Holy
Bible contains numerous references to that divine capacity. In
Zachariah 4:10 it is recorded that the eyes of the Lord run to and
fro. The Psalmist, David, was keenly aware of those divine eyes;
thus, he penned, “ Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither
shall I flee from thy presence” ( Ps 139:7 ). Many years later,
Saul - on the Damascus Road - experienced the presence of those
all seeing eyes. That reality was reflected in his inquiry, “Lord what
would thou have me do? ( Acts 9:6 ). Numerous are the other
accounts that tell of God’s all seeing eyes. Suffice it herein to
indicate that those eyes are yet open and, frightening though it
may sound, we are under the scope of that heavenly glimpse.
Against this background on the all seeing eyes, let us now
turn to the three considerations involving the heavenly glimpse; the
first is that of The Heavenly Glimpse at the birth of Christ.
Prior to the birth of Christ, the Jewish people had experienced
periods of success and failure. Perhaps their most recounted
experience was that of being freed from Egyptian bondage and the
wilderness struggled that followed. That event was the core of
the Israelite’s history; it was told and retold to each generation; it
was the basis of their identity as the Children of Israel and it was
the foundation of their title as the Chosen group. With that
ideology, or set of beliefs, the Jews were shocked whenever they
encountered disappointments. They were, especially, baffled by
by their political adversities, their later captivity, and their
subordination to the Roman Empire. Thus, they commence to
recall the prophecy of Isaiah that a child would be born into their
group and he would have the government upon his shoulder. As
they awaited that anticipated event, the Jewish yearning was
a foreshadow to the song, O Come, O Come Immanuel and ransom
captive Israel, make safe the way that leads on high and close the
door to misery. God, in the meantime, moving in accordance with
his divine plan dispatched the Angel, Gabriel, to the virgin Mary
with shocking news for her. Mary was informed that - through
the heavenly glimpse - she had come to God’s attention. Further,
she was told that God had found favor in she and that she would
bring forth a child and call his name Jesus. That glorious event
occurred as described in the Bible when in the fulness of time
God brought forth his son. Implications of that birth will be
highlighted in the third scene of the sermon. Let us now turn to
the second concern, namely, The heavenly glimpse during
contemporary times. Beloved, geography, humanity, morality,
and human relations - all have undergone drastic changes since
the time of Christ’s birth. The heavenly glimpse will detect an
array of social problems, crime and delinquency, racism, hunger,
unemployment, cults, diseases, international conflicts, and a
selfish individualism. The glimpse will, further, disclose family
tension, parent-child conflicts, sexual promiscuity, and violence
in the streets and well as homes.
In the midst of these disturbing problems, the heavenly
glimpse will find religious diversity and confusion. Whereas the
Gospel was once proclaimed as recorded in the Bible, it is now
being promulgated by self appointed persons with various titles,
styles, and messages. Additionally, contemporary religion is
becoming stylistic, permissive, and capitalistic. Within this context,
few - if any - moral constrains are imposed by religion. Hence,
many Christians have become part of the world rather than to
live in but not become part of the world.
Beloved, the heavenly glimpse of contemporary times,
discloses a bleak picture for both personal salvation and cordial
human relationships. There is a bright prospect, however, and
it was made possible by the birth of Christ. It is that of receiving
forgiveness for sins and transgression; it is that of find peace in
a world of confusion; and it is that of experiencing the eternal
presence of Christ in one’s daily life. Beloved, it is herein
recommended that each of us will take a moment to our
stewardship of life. This need is urgent for at least two reasons:
1) we are under the heavenly glimpse and 2) we have the change
to correct and/or receive forgiveness for our transgression. These
two reason carry eternal significance as will be explored in the
third, and final, consideration of this sermon; it is that of the
heavenly glimpse at the eternal judgment.
Our Bible has many references to events after death. The most
frightening one is that of the eternal, or great white throne
judgment. The hymn, that awful day will surely come the appointed
hour make haste when I must stand before my judge and pass
that solemn test. The Book of Revelation contains the most vivid
account of that judgment scene. It tells of the Book of Life being
opened and all whose names found therein will be welcomed into
eternal existence with the Father. In contrast, those whose names
are not found will be cast into a lake of fire. Beloved this somber
narrative is found in Revelation 21: 12 ...“ And I saw the dead
... stand before God; and the books were opened: and
another book was opened, which is the book of life : and the dead
were judged our of those things which were written in the books,
according to their works...and whosoever was not found in the
book of life was cast into the lake of fire ( Rev. 21:15 ).
Friends such an eventuality need not befall us because we
can have access to salvation by accepting Jesus as Lord and
Savior. In closing, the crucial question facing each of us today
and the rest of our life is - How do I appear under the heavenly
glance? Amen!

 

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