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God's New World Now

The kingdom is at hand.

Introduction

Well, I am a bit of a news junkie and so it's a good day for me when I go out to the mailbox at the end of the driveway and there waiting for me is the "The Week" which is this news magazine I get. It's always good to sit down with that. Last week, I opened this issue and the first story I read was "Super Pacs, Funding the Dirtiest Campaign Ever." That ought to help our national political discourse—more underhanded and deceptive videos out there. Then I turned the page to the sports section to read the story about pro football's "Deflategate." At this point, no one seems to know what happened, but at some point someone probably tampered with at least 11 footballs in order to give the New England Patriots an advantage. Well, that's a little shocking, I thought, maybe the international news is better. Instead, I found an article on the recent terrorist attacks in France and another article on 30 people killed by rebel forces in the Ukraine.

Had enough? Yeah, me too. We live in this bad news world. If you have any kind of longing, at times you think, When is this world going to get getter? What is going to change its course and how do we bring about something better than that? This kind of longing for the new world, a better world, is not just with us. I think everybody has felt this in all times, all places.

In this passage, the bad news that everyone was wrestling with was that John had just been arrested. John the Baptizer is the first real prophet to come on the scene in 450 years, and he's the authentic deal. Like a prophet does, he speaks truth to power. So he says to the petty despot over that area, "It's not right for you to be sleeping ...

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Kevin A. Miller is the Executive Director of Ministry Advancement at Christianity Today and senior pastor at Church of the Savior in Wheaton, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

I. Jesus proclaims something new

II. 'Repent and believe'

III. The opposite of 'repent and believe'

IV. The gospel brings change

V. God has a plan for you