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Christmas Forecast

Scripture: Isaiah 65

I. Your Christmas forecast depends on who you are.

A. You can answer the question, “Who am I?” in many ways. God speaks first to Gentiles – a nation that was not called by my name (vs. 1). But Jewish and Gentile Christians have the same identity in 1 Peter 2:9-10: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

B. After addressing Gentiles in vs. 1, Isaiah addresses Jews beginning in vs. 2. God’s chosen people were rebellious (vs. 2). God had not forgotten them. They had forgotten Him. He pleads with them to turn away from rebellion and sins that are named in vs. 3-5. The holy God must repay sin (vs. 7).

Your Christmas forecast depends on where you are going.

A. Isaiah 65 makes it clear that there are two and only two ways to live. You can seek the LORD (vs. 10). Or you can forsake the LORD (vs. 11). If you are seeking God, your forecast is great.  But He says to those who have forsaken the LORD: “When I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not listen” (vs. 12). The deadly sin for the people in Isaiah’s day was neglect of God’s Word. And the same thing is true today.

B. God told Isaiah what He wants us to do with the Bible in Isaiah 50:4: “The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.” God wants us to start each day by opening the Book. The people going toward God are people who love the Bible.

Your Christmas forecast depends on what awaits when you get where you are going.

A. God will create a new heavens and a new earth (vs. 17). What will that new creation of heaven be like? Perfect. The New Jerusalem of heaven will be a world of joy and gladness (vs. 18). God will be glad to live in your presence (vs. 19). God will see heaven as one eternal family reunion. All the sorrows that we have endured on this earth shall not be remembered or come into mind (vs. 17). Death and sin will be destroyed (vs. 20). Your hard work in heaven will be rewarded (vs. 21-22). You will be totally secure (vs. 22-23) and totally at peace (vs. 24-25).

Let your future world change your perspective on life in this current world this Christmas.

The book of Isaiah
Commentaries by J.A. Motyer, Derek Thomas, David Jackman, Bob Fyall and Tim Chester.

Sermon Discussion Questions

1) What does God do when His people sin and rebel? What does the non-response of His people indicate?
2) How does God show grace to His sinful people (vs. 8-10)? What is the difference between those who seek the LORD and those who forsake the LORD? What are their differences in belief, behavior and ultimate destiny?
3) How are the blessings of heaven described in vs. 21-25? What is transformed in heaven and what is the one thing that is not in vs. 25?