A VISION ACTIVATED BY FAITH
INTRO: I Sam 3:1* And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious (Scarce) in those days; there was no open vision.
Illus: Our Vision - U.S. Total Population: over 327,000,000. One estimate says that over 225 million Americans do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. That means 2 out of every 3 Americans are unsaved. Another report says that the number of lost people increases by 2 million people every year. Only 4 nations in the world have a greater population than America.
Truly, America is a great mission field and you are a Missionary in your own land.
Prov. 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
I. WHAT IS A VISION?
A. English Word Vision occurs 86 times in the O.T. - 1/3 of these are in Daniel
B. English Word Vision occurs 15 times in the N.T. - Mostly in Acts [11 times]
C. English Word Vision in our Text means, a spectacle, an inspired appearance - a pictorial revelation.
II. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A VISION? There are basically 3 types of visions and each has a different purpose:
A. Visions of Judgment - these out number the other two put together
1. Examples: Grasshoppers Amos 7, of the seething pot Jer 1, of the flying Scroll Zech 5:1-3, of Satan bound for 1000 years Rev. 20
2. Dedication and Repentance Prov. 19:25 Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge. 29 Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.
a. Christians - for service
b. Unsaved - repentance then service
B. Visions of Souls (in the balance)
1. Examples: the dry bones Ezk 37, Jacob’s Ladder Gen 28, of the man in Macedonia Acts 16, 2 Witnesses Rev. 11, 144,000 Rev. 7, 14.
2. Winning Souls is the Purpose
a. Christians - fulfill the Great Commission
b. Unsaved - to be saved then win others
C. Visions of the Glory of God
1. Examples: the Ancient of Days Dan 7; glory of the Lord Ezk 1; Lord and His glory in the temple Isa 6; Transfiguration Matt 17; Paul's Vision of Christ Acts 9
2. Godly living is the Purpose Isa 6: 5 Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts
a. Christians - live separated lives
b. Unsaved- sal. then Godly living
III. WHAT IS OUR VISION? We have the complete Revelation of God.
A. We have all these visions of the past penned in this Divine Book for our edification
B. We have the vision of the future set forth in the Rev and Dan and other books.
C. Most of all we have a Vision, which ties these all together. This Vision is the HEARTBEAT of the BIBLE THE CROSS of Calvary. The cross pictures all three visions - judgment, souls, and the glory of God all in one.
1. Glory of God - The Blessed Son of God - came in the flesh - Holiness, Justice, Righteousness Mercy, Grace and *Love
2. Souls in the Balance:
a. Soldiers - indifference vs. one saying surely this was the Son of God
b. Malefactors - one railing, the other repenting
c. Pharisees - Jews shooting lips in hatred, others in fear trembling
d. Bystanders – some mere curiosity seekers others seeking answers
e. Disciples – one already sold him out the others scattered
f. Shedding His blood for the Whole World
3. Judgment of God -
a. Bearing the Sins of the World
b. Suffering the awful physical Agony
c. Suffering the awful separation from His Father
d. Pouring out His blood for you and me
e. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom - Spared not His own Son
CONCLUSION: This is the greatest vision ever given - I say vision because we only know and believe this reality by FAITH. Prov. 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.'
ILLUS: Charlie Pace - criminal on death row in England. Chaplin - Consolations of Religion. Pace "If I believed what you claim to believe, I would walk over glass or burning hot sand on hands and knees to save just one soul from hell." Yet many a Christian today won't lift a finger to call and invite someone to church, or give up one evening a week to take the gospel forth, or give up a TV program to pray for the lost