Today, I’ll be preaching my final sermon to the wonderful people at Bethel Baptist Church. Tomorrow at 8:10 a.m., we’ll board a plane headed for Orange County, California. I’ve spent a long time thinking about my final words to my congregation.
Almost five years ago now, I preached in view of a call in October of 2005 and used as my main passage, Isaiah 45:22:
Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
Through Isaiah, God called His people to look to Him for salvation. It was under the preaching of this verse that Charles Spurgeon came to Christ. But it’s a hazy verse. In other words, Isaiah thundered it at a time when people were still living in expectation of Messiah but had not seen Him yet. They were looking to Jehovah to provide a Savior.
As we read through the remainder of the Old Testament and into the New, we read the unfolding of the life and ministry of Jesus. Then, His death, burial and resurrection are given to us. And finally, His resurrection and ascension with a promise of His return.
Hebrews 1:1-3 serves as the capstone of Isaiah 45:22. What was once a call to look to Jehovah to fulfill His own promises of a Messiah turns to a call to look to Jesus who is sitting at the right hand of the throne of God where He now reigns over all things.
All of the promises of God concerning a coming Redeemer are fulfilled and complete.
He has come.
He has spoken.
He has lived.
He has died.
He has risen.
He has ascended.
We worship, today, a Savior who is sitting at God’s right hand. This speaks of completion and finality – of a finished work of redemption. Seeing Jesus, sitting at the right hand of God, suggests some pretty awesome truths:
1. All Things Belong to Him.
Yes, He was there when it was created, but it’s more than that. God the Father has given to the Son all things as an inheritance. Jesus, in His perfect life, death and victorious resurrection earned an inheritance that includes all things being fully submitted to Him.
2. All the Mysteries of God and Eternity are Revealed in Him.
God spoke in various ways at various times, but His greatest revelation was in Christ. It was in Jesus that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. As Plato said, “All we can do is float along on the river of life without some more sure word from God.” And God has given us that more sure word – He sent His Son.
How can I be saved?
How can I have peace with my Creator?
What will eternity hold?
All is revealed in Christ.
3. All of His Creation Is Under His Care.
He upholds all things by the word of His power. Can you imagine that? We live in a universe far too large for our wildest imaginations. Scientists will spend their lives trying to explore its vastness only to be left bewildered at the sheer magnitude of all that lies beyond our atmosphere. Others will be baffled by the microscopic world, teeming with life all around us. Oceanographers discover new species in the depths of the seas. Jesus sustains it all by the word of His power.
4. All Who Look to HIM Will Be Saved.
What God promised so long ago has been fulfilled in Christ. And the trust He called upon us to place in Him is fulfilled in Christ’s cross and empty tomb. All who look to Jesus shall be saved.
It’s as simple as that. Cease your working. Give up on religion. Forsake the vain attempts of moralism. Look to Jesus! Trust in Jesus! Rest in Jesus and be saved, all the ends of the earth!
photo credit: midiman