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The Cup; The Cross; The Crown
Jesus the Christ; First Begotten From The Dead
Revelation 1:4-9

Introduction:

1. Soon President Elect Bush will be President indeed Bush and he will have
a message that he will give to our nation.

2. Long ago The Savior elect Jesus came to this earth with a message for the
nations.

3. He proved withour a doubt that He had been elected by God to this exalted
position when He conquered sin and the grave and freed mankind from their
bondage to sin.

4. If we select Him as our Lord we will be raised with HIm in the first
resurrection and have His Holy Presence in our lives.

5. In John's Gospel he declares that Jesus was with God in the beginning
indeed was God and without Him nothing that exists was brought into being
except through Him.
John  1:1-3
    He spoke and the primordial darkness became light
    He spoke and separated the light from the darkness and named them day &
night.
    He spoke and the sun, the planets, the stars, the galaxies were hung in
space.
    He spoke and the oceans sloshed into existence and water covered the
earth.
    He spoke and the mountains reared their craggy heads and fruited plains
appeared.
    He spoke and upon the earth sprouted forth a greening in pristine
perfection.
    He took a bit of red dust and breathed into it an man became a living
soul.
    He took this man's rib and spoke into existence a perfect help-meet for
him.
    And then .....they sinned and fell from perfection and in need of saving
grace.
    And God became a man, Jesus, His final Word, to show us the way home
again.

6. He loved man and worked signs, wonders and miracles beyond measure but
the ones recorded were written that we might believe and believing have life
in His name. John 21:30,31

7. The Father spoke and the Son obeyed His words even to death on a cross;
for us.

8. R.C. Foster the seminary professor at Cincinnati Bible seminary was once
asked this question, " What is the most profound thing which you have
learned in all of your study?  " His reported reply; Jesus loves me this I
know, for the Bible tells me so.

9. Death was no hindrance to Him for He has the keys to death and the abode
of the dead, hades  He is the Lord of Life.

10. His empty tomb is the doorway that leads each of us to life; Our text
declares, " Jesus Christ, faithful witness & first born of the dead! " He is
not only the way Shower, He is the Way.

11. The message of Jesus, the Risen Christ endures the ages.

12. My father told me of the family move from Whitehall to Mondovi. A thirty
mile trip took all day. He and my aunt Florence walked ahead of the open
touring car looking for soft sandy spots as there were no real roads. Today,
I can drive there in a hour from Black River Falls; a fifty mile journey.

13. What a message for our day!
       We can build great highways and bridges beyond belief.
        We can build skyscrapers that touch the clouds & buildings that roll
with the quakes.
        We can build aircraft that go to the stars and vehicles that drive
themselves.
        But we can't live together on this planet in peace.

14. Only the Prince of Peace can show us the Way of Peace.
       A. He shows us the way though His Cup at Gethsemane. Faithful Witness
       B. He shows us the way through His Cross on Calvary.  First Born of
the Dead
       C. He shows us the way through His Crown of Victory. Ruler of the
Kings of earth

I. His Cup at Gethsemane Calls Us To Full Committment To God - Matt. 26:39
  " My Father, If it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless,
not as I will but as You will. "

    1. He wished to be delivered from the cup of death filled to the brim
with our sins.
        A. A dash of blasphemy
        B. A tablespoon of adultery.
        C. A shot of drunkedness.
        D. A pinch of gossip.
        E. A teaspoon of rebellion.
        F. Every sin dredged from the pit of your imagination have settled
in this cup.

    2. In the garden, the sinless Jesus, drew back, His flawless character
revolted at the thought of such shame.

    3. " Nevertheless, not as I will but as Thou wilt, Father. " and He
drank that bitter cup of death that you and I might have life because He was
totally committed to God & His purpose.

    4. If we want life; we must make His prayer our prayer; Nevertheless,
Father, not my will but Thine be done.
        A. This prayer cost Jesus His life.
        B. 2000 years have passed but the cost is still the same.
        C. Death to self will and alive to His will.

    5. The road to Calvary goes first through Gethsemane.
         A. Many want the benefits of Calvary but wish to bypass Gethsemane.
         B. There is no resurrection without death; no death without a
cross; no cross without committment.

    6. The road to salvation is not in a plan but in a person; Jesus the
Christ, the Son of God.

    7. The road to salvation travels first through Gethsemane.
        A. First century Christians were totally committed to Jesus.
        B. Not a few of the leaders but a company of the committed committed
to the great commission.
             " As you are going about your daily business, make disciples of
every person, baptizing them into a relationship with the Father, The Son
and the Holy Spirit, and teach them everything that I  have taught you.
Remember, I will be with you even until the end of the ages. " Matt.
20:19,20

             " and daily in public places and house to house these disciples
kept the hope of jesus alive by constantly teaching Him and His way with
everyone with whom they had an opportunity. "
             Acts 5:42

    8. The question is not, " How are we going to get them to church? " but
" How are we gouing  to get them to know Jesus?

    9. It's time that we quit expecting people to come through the doors of
the church building and high time that we start going through the doors of
their homes with the message of Hope and Life that is only found in the
Gospel of Jesus.

10. We are quick to condemn non-church going people but it is high time that
we start
          condemning the non-going church.

  11. In case you haven't noticed the world around us is going to hell, and
we just keep
            playing church and holding services and expecting people who
don't know Him to join us because we have the Truth.

12. Have we become so comfortable in worship that we are unconscious to the
needs of the masses outside our doors?

    13. Jesus said Go and make disciples but
          A. We are more interested in watching clocks than watching for
Jesus.
          B. We are more interested in saving money than we are feeding the
hungry.
          C. We are more worried about saving time than saving souls.

    14. We blame all of our troubles on :
          A. Preachers, Politicians and pushy women
          B. Presidents: Coming and Going; Past and Present
          C. Terrorists, the communists and the IRS.
          D. The Yuppies, the Yippies and Hip Hop Rappers.
           E. The modernists, the radicals (liberals) or the
fundamentalists.
           F. But the real problem as the great theolgian POGO said, " We
have found the enemy and he are us.! "

    15. We are so involved in other things that we have no time to take
Jesus to the hurting masses.

    16. We are so busy tending to the wounds that we have recieved in the
house of friends that we have no time to tend to the wounds of the poor, the
abused and the broken-hearted.

    17. As divided as our nation now is we can expect it to grow worse
instead of better if we  don't get involved in getting the word out; Jesus
saves.
          A. Riot, revolution and ruin, lie before us.
           B. Murder, mayhem, and mischief stand at our doors.
           C.  We just double lock and bolt them and hope that they will go
away.

    18. The only hope of peace for our world is Jesus and He has left His
hope in us;
           Christ  in you the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27

    19. Will you drink the cup of committment? Will you drink it down to the
last drop?

    20. " O, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me,
nevertheless, not my will but  Thine be done. "

Stopping Place:
You can't have the benefits of the cross at Calvary unless you take a drink
of the cup of Gethsemene.

Many have walked the road behind us that have made the way easier for us to
follow but many have abandoned the narrow way that leads to life to follow
the broad road that leads to destruction

Are you among the company of the committed or just hoping that you will be
mistaken for one in the herafter?

" Therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let
us lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our
eyes upon Jesus, the Authior and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy set
before Him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the
right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such
hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you do not grow eary and lose
heart, " Hebews 12:1-3