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Christian Life Church

June 11, 2023 at 8:30am & 10:00am

June 11, 2023 at 8:30am & 10:00am


Locations & Times

Christian Life Church Columbia

2700 Bush River Rd, Columbia, SC 29210, USA

Sunday 8:00 AM



While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. “Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. He will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord.” (After a number of years) John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began precaching. His message was, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. (He said,) “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be His slave and carry His sandals.” The crowds asked, “What should we do?” John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you? He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.” “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?” “No,” he replied. “Are you the Prophet we are expecting?” “No.” “Then who are you?” John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’” The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Then John testified, “…when God sent me to baptize with water, He told me ‘The One on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that He is the Chosen One of God.” John also publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done. So Herod put John in prison… Herod respected John; and knowing that he was a good and holy man, he protected him. Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him. John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” And he added, “And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.” After John’s disciples left, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds. “I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John.” (Through a series of events Herod) issued the necessary orders. So John was beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a tray… Later, John’s disciples came for his body and buried it. As soon as Jesus heard the news, He left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. Selected Scriptures from Luke 1:11-17; Matthew 3:1-5; Matthew 3:1-12; Luke 3:1-18; John 1:19-28; John 1:29-34; Luke 3:19-20; Mark 6:20; Matthew 11:1-19; Luke 7:18-35; Matthew 14:1-12; Matthew 14:13-21

In a supernatural and literal event, we believe Jesus will return for His people.

We are not sure if this will be prior to the years of tribulation, during, or after.

John was a forerunner for Christ’s first coming. We are forerunners for His second.

1/ A forerunner understands the need for a season of preparation.
“The desert gave birth to a prophet.”
Seasons of obscurity and intimacy impregnant us with humility, clarity of vision, hope for the future, and the heart of God.

2/ A forerunner understands the need for continued sanctification.
John’s outer appearance was symbolic of his inner commitment. His character, life choices, and words bought him an audience with wicked Herod.
For Your presence among us sets Your people and me apart from all other people in the earth. Exodus 33:16, NLT

3/ A forerunner understands the need to know who they are and who they aren’t.
John was never intimidated by Jesus or Jesus’ success.
We must know our part and play our part, understanding the significance of every part.

4/ A forerunner understands the need for practical love and ministry.
Preparing the way for the Lord is about saying and doing.

5/ A forerunner understands the need for discernment.
In an era of mystery, when John saw Jesus, he discerned He was Messiah. God revealed what no human could know outside of spiritual discernment.
In Matthew 24, four times Jesus talks about being deceived in the last days.
As deceiving ramps up, so must our discerning.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8
Spiritual discernment comes from living in the presence of God and the Word of God.

6/ A forerunner understands the need to stand against wickedness.
John was willing to confront the evil of Herod and religious leaders.
Sometimes we need to denounce, but more often we need to simply renounce.
It’s not about if you should confront wickedness, but how you should confront it. Remember Michael and Lucifer.

7/ A forerunner understands the need for sound theology.
The Essenes were diligent in their study and recording of Scripture.
We must anchor our souls in the core doctrines of the faith.
“The ancient man approached God as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man, the roles are quite reversed. He is the judge: God is [the defendant].” C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3

8/ A forerunner understands the need to face rejection.
John was accused of being demon possessed and ultimately faced physical persecution.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12

9/ A forerunner understands the need to wrestle with unmet expectations.
John left this life with unanswered questions and unrealized expectations.
This is not new for the children of God. Consider Egyptian bondage, the death of the disciples, the Babylonian captivity, modern persecution, and the events of Revelation.
“Die, my brother John, in the presence of a God who did not live up to your expectations. And blessed are you if you are not offended with Me.” Gene Edwards, The Prisoner in the Third Cell

10/ A forerunner understands the need to long for Jesus’ coming.
There was a longing inside of John and the prophets of old to see Jesus!
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. Matthew 24:42

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