Study # 14
December 7, 2003
Lincolnton, N.C.

<030> Thesis: Being willing to wait for the fulfillment of the Promise, while entertaining curiosity and accepting divine revelation, is the solution to sinking into despair. Introduction: This morning we have a text before us that is unusually suited for our time in history. We are situated in history in the Christmas season at the latter end of an enormously long period of hope-denied. The One Who first came at the original Christmas to bring us to life promised when He left that He would come again, but He has tarried for almost 2000 years. Many have taken this long period of denial to mean that the hope of life is bogus. Some have let that death of hope drive an anger that is raising up a dangerous time in the world as men jettison the Promise and seek to make life happen by their own devices. Others have let that death of hope drive a despair that makes its presence known by the annual increase of suicides committed after Christmas. It is quite ironic that the celebration of the coming of the Promise of Life is actually the catalyst of the death of many who insist on engaging in the chronic disbelief that actually characterized Zacharias. In our studies so far, we have seen how God used Gabriel to bring Zacharias back to the triumph of the joy of hope. This morning we are going to look into Luke's record of how the people at the temple that day reacted to the events that took place there and ask ourselves "So What?". What is it that is contained in Luke's record to Theophilus of the reaction of the people that day that means anything at all to us?