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WISE MEN SEEK CHRIST

 

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, December 24, 2000

 
 

"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, 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" (Matthew 2:1-2).

 
Wise men from the East came to worship Jesus at His birth. It is quite interesting to see that this is still happening in our day. This story appeared on the front page of the December 15, 2000 Los Angeles Times:
"ILLEGAL" HOUSES OF WORSHIP TARGETED IN CHINA CRACKDOWN                                       
     Officials in southern city confirm closure or razing of
     churches…
     Scores, perhaps hundreds of churches and temples in the southern city of Wenzhou have been shut or destroyed in a religious crackdown that residents say has been intensifying over the past several weeks.                               
     Especially hit hard in Wenzhou, residents say, have been the city’s "house churches," groups of Christians who have not registered their fellowships with the government, as Chinese (Communist) law requires.                                
     "We’re under heavy pressure right now," said one member of a house church, who asked not to be identified. He said his (church) had received an official notice from authorities to disband last Monday.                                           
     State-run media have reported that as many as 100 (churches) have been shut down. One newspaper in Wenzhou published a small photo of a man taking a sledgehammer to an "illegal" church.                          
     The U.S. Embassy in Beijing officially registered its concern with the Chinese government on Wednesday.
     The crackdown has been escalating over the past several weeks, say church members in Wenzhou, who estimate the number of Christians in just one small district of the city to be about 200,000.                                               
     The local (Communist) authorities there, and indeed the central government in Beijing, have been alarmed by the rapid revival of religion in a nation still officially atheistic.
     There was another crackdown in 1997. Like the current crackdown, the 1997 crackdown occurred around Christmas.  
           (Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2000,             
                   pp. A-1, A-24).
There you have it! The Los Angeles Times reports a "rapid revival" of Christianity that the Communists can’t stop! People by the tens of thousands are coming to Christ and coming into the local churches. Nothing stops them! Even though many of them are sent to prison for being Christians, thousands more convert to Christ every week. Evangelical evangelist Billy Graham has estimated that there are 500 conversions to Christ every day in the People’s Republic of China. Others say that it is an even greater number than that! Wise men from the East still seek Christ!
Oh, how I wish America would experience such a revival! Oh, how I wish the people in our country would seek Christ and let nothing stop them from coming to church – like those wise people in China do! People say they are too busy or have a family reunion here. They have no time to be real Christians.
One day those Chinese people will be in Heaven, while the Americans will be burning in the everlasting flames of Hell. Jesus said:
"I say unto you, That many shall come from the east… and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 8:11-12).

Yes, many Chinese and Africans and others will be in Heaven, while thoughtless Americans, with all their luxury now on earth, will then be burning in Hell. Every person in this room is rich when compared to a poor Chinese or African peasant, but "the rich man…died…And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments" (Luke 16:22-23).

Oh, I caution you this Christmas Sunday morning, do not be like the lazy, foolish Americans, who say you can be a Christian without being in church. Don’t listen to them! Don’t be like them! Be in church every time the door is open! Why be lonely? Come Home – to Church!
Our text says, "there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem" seeking Christ. I hope you will follow the example of these eastern wise men in four ways:
    1. They sought Jesus.
    2. They persevered in their search for Him.
    3. They entered in to Him.
    4. They worshipped Him.

I. They sought Jesus.

 
How very, very wise these wise men were! They did not say, "I’m a Catholic, you have nothing to say to me." They did not say, "I’m already an evangelical, leave me alone." No, these men actually sought out Jesus Christ. It wasn’t enough for them to have religious beliefs. They wanted to find Jesus Christ for themselves!
How about you? The pre-incarnate Jesus said:
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).

Will you search for Jesus Christ with "all your heart"? Or will you be content to call yourself a Catholic, go to Mass occasionally, and then go to Hell when you die? Will you be content to say you are a "born again" Protestant, or Baptist, and go on like you are until you find yourself burning in the flames?

Or will you search for Christ until you actually find Him? If you do really find Christ, His death on the Cross will pay for your sins and His precious Blood will wash your sins away, and you’ll be born again and ready for Heaven!
Oh, be like those wise men from the East! Look for Christ Himself until you find Christ, Himself! Only Christ can forgive you and save you, and give you meaning and purpose in your life.

II. Then, secondly, these wise men persevered until they actually found Jesus Christ.

They travelled a long time. Dr. John R. Rice thought they may have travelled for more than four months to get to Jerusalem, to find Christ. Dr. Rice said:
Perhaps they rode camels. They had to cross a great desert or go around it. It would take many weeks to make the journey. It took Ezra and his companions four months to come from Babylon back to Jerusalem (Ezra 7:9). These men may have taken as much time.                                   
          ("How Wise Men Found Jesus" by John R. Rice, in
          Great Preaching on Christmas,                  
          Sword of the Lord, 1988, pp. 92-93).
The fact that these men kept on and on, week after week, until they got to Christ is an important lesson in perseverance. You, too, must keep on searching for Jesus until you actually find him in a real conversion. John Bunyan, our great Baptist author, wrote about a person doing just that in Pilgrim’s Progress. Go on until you find Christ. Don’t be satisfied with a quick prayer, or raising your hand, or just walking down an aisle and getting baptized. Oh, no! That will not save you! You must search out Jesus Christ, Himself, and then He will forgive you and save you.

III. But, thirdly, these wise men actually entered in where Christ was.

The Bible says, "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child" (Matthew 2:11). You, also, must come all the way in where Jesus is. The Bible repeatedly tells us that Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God, up in Heaven. Christ, Himself is not in the "air all around us." That is a new-age teaching. If you believe it, I am afraid you are still lost. The Bible says,
"Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1).

That is where you must go, and put your trust in the real Jesus. That is where you must look – to Jesus Christ in Heaven! And you must enter in to Christ in Heaven by faith in Him

"that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life" (John 6:40).

IV. But, fourthly, when the wise men entered in, they worshipped Christ.

The Bible says, "they saw the young child…and worshipped him" (Matthew 2:11). And they were right to worship Him, because He is God in human flesh, Emmanuel, which means "God with us." As Charles Wesley put it,
Veiled in flesh the God-head see,                             
Hail the incarnate Deity…                                   
Hark! the herald angels sing,                                 
Glory to the newborn King.                             
            (Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing,
O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
           (Latin hymn, Trans. by Frederich Oakeley, 1802-1880).

Come to Jesus Christ. Worship Him. Be in church every Sunday as His follower.

God bless you! And Merry Christmas!

Scripture Read Before Sermon: Matthew 2:1-12.

Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "We Three Kings"

 

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet

at www.realconversion.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."

 

THE OUTLINE OF

WISE MEN SEEK CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"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, 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" (Matthew 2:1-2).

       

    1. They sought Jesus, Jeremiah 29:13.
    2. They persevered in their search for Him, Ezra 7:9.
    3. They entered in to Him, Matthew 2:11; Colossians 3:1;
           John 6:40.
    4. They worshipped Him, Matthew 2:11.