LISTEN: The Sign and the Wonder (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 28 with Daniel Whyte III / Day 395 since Jan. 1, 2016)
TEXT: Matthew 2:1-2:
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
After preaching the Gospel every day for 367 days straight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, I am preaching the Gospel every day throughout the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term. If you think a new president being in office is the only thing needed to save America and ‘make America great again’, you are woefully deceived. The church must follow through and “keep the main thing the main thing: and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,’ and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to ‘pray without ceasing’ for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders.” So, we encourage you to pray for the new president, but not to get caught up in the political happenings like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord. And that is what this campaign is all about.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 28, day 395 since Jan. 1, 2016.
D. James Kennedy said, “The star of Bethlehem was a star of hope that led the wise men to the fulfillment of their expectations, the success of their expedition. Nothing in this world is more fundamental for success in life than hope, and this star pointed to our only source for true hope: Jesus Christ.”
We often note the quiet manner in which Jesus came into the world. He flew under the radar as He breached the bounds of Heaven to touch the hearts of men. His arrival was not attended by any of the fanfare that is thrust upon society every year at Christmastime. But if we look closely at the accounts of the advent, we will find that the excitement and fanfare did occur, just not in the places that most people would think to look. It did not happen in any of the big population centers of the day. It did not happen in the palaces of the Roman or Roman-backed governmental authorities. It did not happen under the watchful eye of the Jewish religious leaders. Instead, the thrilling announcement of Jesus’ birth was delivered to humble shepherds in the countryside near the little town of Bethlehem. The sign and the wonder of Christ’s birth came not to Jewish scholars, but to Gentile “wise men” from the east.
The Greek word used to describe these wise men is “magi.” Who are the Magi? The InterVarsity Press Commentary on Matthew states: “Magi were astrologers from the royal court of the king of Persia. Part of their job description was to make the king of Persia look good, but here they come to promote another king. These Magi are astrologers, which is why they noticed the star to begin with. Many sources from this period report the skill of Magi in divination. Although the Bible forbade divination, which includes astrology, for one special event in history the God who rules the heavens chose to reveal himself where the pagans were looking.”
These wise men not only saw the star in the east, but they acted on the sign that had been given to them. They followed the star. Some people miss out on salvation because they are always seeking more information and not acting on the knowledge they already have. They end up seeking enlightenment for enlightenment’s sake, always pursuing a sign or some other revelation, but totally missing what is being revealed right in front of them.
The wise men followed the star to Jerusalem, and when they got there, they began to ask, “Where is the King of the Jews?” I think the problem the wise men had is that they could not understand why nobody seemed to know what they were talking about. After all, these were the Jews! This was their King! How come nobody seemed to know anything? They, like us, expected a lot of celebration over the new King’s birth, but they found none. However, they did not let this discourage them. They kept looking. Eventually, they went to Herod who summoned the chief priests who were able to tell the wise men where the Messiah was expected to be born. Armed with this information, they finally found the young child Jesus and when they came before Him, they worshipped Him. The Bible says, “When they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” They paid honor and homage to the Son of God, the newborn King.
I doubt that the wise men grasped the significance of what was happening. They probably thought, just as the Jews did, that this Messiah was destined to be a great political ruler. But the tenacity of their search for the King of the Jews — and the fact that God chose to give them who were Gentiles a sign — should inspire those who remain outside the family of God today. God is still giving signs of His presence that can lead people to Him. The King is even in the world today, seeking to bring men and women into His kingdom. And those who seek the King will find Him.
The hymnwriter James T. East wrote:
Wise men seeking Jesus,
Traveled from afar,
Guided on their journey
By a beautiful star.
If we too desire Him,
He is close at hand;
For our native country
Is our Holy Land.
He is more than near us,
If we seek Him well;
For He desires ever
In our hearts to dwell.
Are you seeking Jesus? Then know that He is seeking you. He came to save you from your sins and the punishment of sin. If you want to place your faith and trust in Him, here is how you can do that today:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.