Hence, there is no longer any need to talk about sin or find a way to deal with something which the culture either ignores, disavows, or just, plainly ridicules. After all, when bad things happen, there are multiple causes and specific reasons, so much so, that psychiatrists have a thick medical resource book chucked full of all kinds of fanciful and technical names to describe this or that condition or mental malady "disease." There is no need to personally confess (so-called) sins to God, Himself; publicly; privately; or, to other Christians; or, to a pastor or priest. All a distressed person needs to do, is either seek out the local mental health clinic; hire a psychiatrist (or, "analyst' / counselor) -- or, commit his or her life into the keeping of a "life coach."
Furthermore, there is no need to investigate the claims of Christ and the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures, which specifically prophesied Christ, several hundreds of years before His arrival. There is no need to investigate the Christian New Testament which bears witness to Christ's life, death, burial and Resurrection. There is no need (so the prevailing cultural consensus), to take seriously what Christ stated about sin, repentance, forgiveness, judgment, hell, or even, heaven. There is no need for all of this -- except to question and to expose part of Holy Scripture for Hollywood entertainment and skepticism.
Modern Culture will capriciously use the Divine Revelation, and, (at the same time) dishonestly, despise it
Some time ago there was marked an assault opon the historic Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, with the announced book and soon-to-be released [movie] TV “Discovery” piece, about the (supposed) burial site of Jesus Christ and His family.
Isn't it a "hoot" that unbelieving skeptics who ridicule the Christian Faith and the historic documents of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, -- isn't it ironic, that these same skeptics always conveniently utilize only portions (pickings and choosings), of The Scriptures, to establish their springboards of ridicule and skepticism -- and then, (adding insult to injury), cloak their "investigative" reporting, book or movie, as, a "documentary?"
Distressed people generally look in the wrong direction to deal with their various depressions and rejections
It is no small wonder why distressed people (sinners of all degrees and mental conditions) do not look to the only source which can give them eternal relief. Rather, the distressed populace of our culture will mistakenly turn to various "modern" forms of relief to assuage the guilt and rejection of a heavy soul. [“Looking for love in all the wrong places.”]
Everyone truly desires to be loved, to be a part of a close knit association which will be, accepting. When, this common human trait / desire, to be accepted and loved, is marred by activities, events, situations, circumstances, (and, shall we dare say, “sin,”), -- there is the common malady that surges through, (oftentimes in "locomotive" fashion), into a person's inmost being. That awful feeling and reality (malady) is: "Rejection."
Rejection can be varied (of different sorts)
Rejection can take on many forms. One of the most prevalent forms of rejection, is the feeling of not being loved; that persuasive feeling of having to stand alone in one’s circumstance, situation, community and world. This rejection can "eat away" at a person's mental and physical well-being -- so much so, that people who feel rejected, are easily liable to withdraw, become hostile, depressed, do drugs, or just plain, take their own life.
During the Easter season, I find myself playing one of my favorite CD's -- "Handel's Messiah." My father once made the comment about this classic piece of music: “That if there ever was anything [Biblically] ‘inspired’ outside of Holy Scripture; it had to be ‘Handel's Messiah’ musical masterpiece.” My older brother must have remembered Dad's statement, because he made sure that Dad had the recording of this magnificent musical masterpiece, playing during the week long vigil at Dad's hospital deathbed.
Even though we admired my father (and mother) as the perfect “Ozzie and Harriet” model parents, Dad was still a sinner in word and deed –- first, by birth; second, by practice. "Handel’s Messiah" – because it is all Scripture, set to high class music, gave my father, I am sure, the extra comfort to die a more peaceful and blessed death.
Ultimate Rejection -- Experienced, by Christ
One of Dad’s favorite selections in Handel’s Messiah, was, the soprano’s part: “He [Christ] is despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” [Isaiah 53.3] The universal reality is, that God, in the God-man person of Jesus Christ, truly, fully and completely, experienced, ultimate rejection.
This experience of Christ, being rejected, was no ordinary rejection. This rejection (according to the Gospel record and the prophetic Isaiah 53:1f and Psalm 22:1f chapters), was the rejection of family, community, race, country and, cosmos. This rejection was also from God, the Father, Himself. It was an eternal rejection for damnable human sin, which resulted in Christ, sacrificing Himself, for His creation, and, (actually) experiencing the punishment for sin - hell itself!
You who are rejected, who have “bought into” the latest aberrant fads and fleeting fashions of the culture – you who seek relief from your heavy burden of guilt, sin and shame:
Recognize the eternal Christ, who was “delivered up because of our offenses” [Romans 4.25] and sacrificed for our sins. Confess your sins before the Lord and turn (repent) from them. Believe Christ’s Words: “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” [John 12:46] -- (thereby avoiding the ultimate eternal rejection of self inflicted eternal damnation). John 3.15-21
And, if all this is foreign and strange to you, realize that the Triune God who created you, [Genesis 1.26] can illumine your mind and heart – so that you can (trustingly) and truly believe in Him. [John 1:1f] Seek His Revelation in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10.17
Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:
Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins
Related Scriptures To the Above Message
Isaiah 53:1f / Psalm 22:1f – The rejected Christ Messiah / Savior, prophesied
Psalm 118.22 -- The Messianic [Christ] prophesied. The “Savior ‘stone’” rejected.
Gospel: Matt. 21.42 / Luke 17.25 – The rejected Christ, fulfills (Old Testament) Messianic prophecy
Epistle: 1 Peter 2.4 – Christ, the “living stone” – rejected, but chosen of God
Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
Please note: Topical Messages, by subject
Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel
Please also note:
The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.