First Baptist Church Wiggins, FBC, 39577
The Hope of Advent
Hope, hope in the Lord in whatever situation you are facing.
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  • First Baptist Church Wiggins
    219 2nd St N, Wiggins, MS 39577, United States
    Domingo 8:00 AM
The Advent is a very rich tradition in our church.

First Baptist Church does Christmas well
we do the advent candles, the special service to kick off advent, Bethlehem every two years and a Christmas eve service.

Traditions can be problematic for two reasons though.
1- Traditions can become routine and when that happens, they can lose their meaning.
2- Traditions must be taught to the current future generations if we hope for their meanings to be retained.

Those who have been here for years, knew what was happening but those who have only been here a short time probably never really caught up to what happening this morning. They probably didn’t catch all the words that were read, why the candle was being lit or what the meaning was.
- All they knew was that something different had happened.

I will preach and teach on the reading that corresponds to the candles each week.
- This way, we will be reminded of the meaning behind each candle in the wreath AND those who never knew will be taught the meaning for the first time.

Pray that through this, we will celebrate the birth of Christ and the true meaning of Christmas more fervently than ever before.
This morning, we lite the candle of hope. This is where we start, because the advent season is indeed a season of hope… a season of expectancy.

We seek to get into the pre-nativity mindset of the shepherds and kings.
- They were there in a dry and barren land of darkness waiting for the light to come, hoping in the promise of God.
- Before Christ’s coming there was only hope.
- There were only shadows of Love, adoration, and joy… HOPE was the only thing that was real and concrete.

To understand the full measure of hope in Jeremiah’s epistle to the captives, we have to have to tell you what it meant to the people of Jeremiah’s day, the people of Jesus’ day and finally for us in our day.
I. In Jeremiah’s day- It was hope for a home-going.

Some 600 years earlier, God had led His people out of Egyptian slavery and into the promise land of Palestine.
- He established them there as a nation and He promised them that as long as they followed Him and were obedient to the covenant that they had made with Him, then they could dwell happily in the land.
- They were not obedient.
- So God did as he had promised… He scattered them.

Far away from home… the captives were being misled by some false prophets who were telling them that they would soon be going home in Glory.
- The Lord called Jeremiah to write and tell them, “hey… not so fast… you have been sentenced to this captivity for 70 years.”

In this judgment there was hope. God would not stay angry forever…
- After the 70 years he would bring them back.
- He would give them a future and a hope… rd11
- He would be there for them… rd12-13
- He would restore their fortunes… rd 14

When we read the books of Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah we see that God did exactly as he promised.
- Hope in that promise of a home-going was all that the early captives had.
II. In Jesus’ day- It was hope for a home-coming.

The people in Jesus’ day were home but home for them wasn’t home at all.
- Shortly after the return from captivity, the people did what people do… they lost their way again.

They were conquered again. First by the Persians… then by the Greeks… then by the Romans.
- This time God did not speak to them through a prophet, no, he just didn’t speak at all for 400 years.

Still they hoped in the words that they already had in Scripture.

Scribes faithfully copied the promises over and over again.

The people were reminded over and over again, that God had promised to send a savior.
- If God had been faithful to deliver them in the days of Jeremiah wouldn’t He be faithful to deliver them in their day as well.

They still had hope... in fact hope was ALL they had.
- Hope that light would shine into their darkness and bring peace and goodwill back to them.
Hope was realized in the little town of Bethlehem that first Christmas morning.
God had again come through and proven that His promise was true. They had a future and a hope. Their home would again be home. God would be with them… LITERALLY with them.

Many would search and find Him.
Many would pray to Him and be answered.

Jesus, the Son of God, would make their home… His home with them.
III. In our day- It is hope for eternity.

We live in the age after the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ. As such we live in a time of great hope in the living Christ.

We can identify with the Israelites in Babylonian captivity.
- We are held captive by a society who doesn’t know our God.

We can identify with the the Shepherds and Kings waiting for the coming Savior.
- We wait for the light to shine out of the darkness… for Him to make His enemies His footstool. For the Satan and death himself to be cast into the deepest pit of hell never to return and plague us ever again!

Even in this present evil age, in these difficult days, when evil men are going from bad to worse. When many are departing from the faith. When many are being led astray by false teachers.
- When thousands of unborn babies are murdered every year.
- When thousands upon thousands die of drug overdoses each year.
- When suicide claims the lives of thousands more.
- When wars and rumors of wars plagues our souls.
- When persecutions persist.
- When mass shootings are in the news every single month.
- When loss upon loss is felt in our immediate and extended families.

WE-HAVE-HOPE!
Hope that does not disappoint.
- He has poured out His spirit into our hearts of faith.
God has never made an empty promise!

From the time that He promised Adam and Eve that He would send a Savior to crush the serpent’s head…

To the time that He promised to make Abraham a great nation…

To the time he promised to deliver the Israelites into the promised land…

To the time that He promised through Jeremiah to relieve them of their captivity…

To the time He promised that He would die and be raised from the dead…

To the time that he promised to bring salvation to every nation…

To the time that He promised to return and receive us to Himself.

He has been faithful to fulfill every promise even in the darkest of circumstances.
If God has been faithful up to now, what reason do we have not to continue to hope in Him?

What reason do we have not to hope in Him in the midst of our strivings and fears, in the midst of our deep personal losses, in the midst of persecution and spiritual famine.
- For if God is for us… who can stand against us?

Throughout the Advent season, as this candle burns brightly, may God ever restore the flame of the hope that burns within us.