TEXT: Matthew 2:16-18:
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
After preaching the Gospel every day for 367 days straight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, I am preaching the Gospel every day throughout the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term. If you think a new president being in office is the only thing needed to save America and ‘make America great again’, you are woefully deceived. The church must follow through and “keep the main thing the main thing: and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,’ and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to ‘pray without ceasing’ for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders.” So, we encourage you to pray for the new president, but not to get caught up in the political happenings like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord. And that is what this campaign is all about.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 42, day 409 since Jan. 1, 2016.
J. C. Ryle said, “The rulers of this world are seldom friendly to the cause of God.”
After Herod tells the wise men to go to Bethlehem to find the Child King, we can imagine him waiting anxiously for them to return. Bethlehem is only five or six miles away. He knows how long it would take them to get there and back. We can imagine him pacing in his throne room, growing more agitated as the minutes tick by. He had thought it would be easy to get rid of the child whom others revered as the new “King of the Jews.”
Some might wonder why Herod would feel threatened by a child. But, in that day and time, the birth of a child in any family connected to royalty did not go unnoticed by those who were in power. And here we have child born into the line of King David. A birth that had been heralded by angels. A birth so significant it moved the heavens and sparked a star. A birth certified as the fulfillment of five-hundred-year-old prophecies by the scholars and religious leaders of Judaism. A birth recognized by foreign astrologers who then traversed five hundred miles to pay homage to the child. No wonder Herod was worried. Being king himself, he recognized the signs of legitimate authority — an authority greater than his own. He saw this Child as a threat that needed to be eliminated.
It didn’t take Herod long to figure out that the wise men would not be coming back to tell him what they had found. The Bible says he became “exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under.” This slaughter was the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s words, “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” At the beginning of the life of Christ, we see two stories juxtaposed: On one hand, we have shepherds rejoicing; on the other hand, we have mothers mourning. We have the promise of peace on earth amidst the bloodshed of a massacre. We have the promise of deliverance and salvation for the world, yet there is no one to deliver and protect innocent baby boys from being slain.
The great evil of Herod reminds us of the reason Jesus had to be born. He was born to save poor people like the shepherds, common folk like Joseph and Mary, wealthy people like the wise men, and, yes, even sinful men like Herod. As Birdie Bell aptly puts it in her hymn,
The world needs Jesus! The sick and sad
Must have His presence to make them glad;
The weak and weary would find His rest;
The lone and friendless in Him be blest.
The world needs Jesus! No other way
From earth to heaven, from night to day,
His love is boundless, His mercy sure,
Through years eternal His words endure.
The world needs Jesus! He came to save,
He paid the ransom, His life He gave;
A free salvation in Him is found,
Though sin and darkness on earth abound.
The world needs Jesus! The one true Light,
The Star of glory in earthly night,
The tender Saviour, the loyal Friend,
The One whose mercies will never end.
You probably haven’t done anything as terrible as Herod, but you have sinned, and any sin, no matter how small, is enough to send us to Hell. But that is why you need Jesus the Savior. He came in order that you might be saved from your sins and the punishment of sin. Here is how you can place your faith and truth in Him for your salvation.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at email@example.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.