THE FIRST NOEL AND THE LAST NOEL
LUKE 1:31-33

LUKE 1:31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. LUKE 1:32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of The Most High; And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; LUKE 1:33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end."

INTRODUCTION:

                    THE FIRST NOEL AND THE LAST NOEL

T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE FIRST NOEL. FOR MARY AND JOE,
THEY HAD TRAVELED ALL DAY, AND HAD NO PLACE TO GO.
THE INN CLERK SAID, "SORRY BUT WE ARE ALL BOOKED,
BUT, SURELY THERE'S SOME PLACE, WHERE YOU HAVE NOT LOOKED.

T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE FIRST NOEL, AND COUSIN ELIZABETH KNEW,
THAT ANY DAY NOW, MARY'S PRECIOUS BABY WAS DUE.
SO SHE SAID "BEFORE WE RETIRE AND BLOW OUT THE LIGHT,
ZACH, WHY DON'T WE PRAY FOR JOSEPH AND MARY TONIGHT?"

T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE FIRST NOEL, AND AT GABRIEL'S COMMAND,
THE ANGEL CHOIR OF HEAVEN, DEPARTED AS PLANNED.
GABRIEL SAID "I'LL MAKE THE ANNOUNCEMENT, AND WHILE THEY ALL GAZE,
WE WILL SING OUR CANTATA; OF GLORY AND PRAISE."

T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE FIRST NOEL, THE CATTLE WERE VERY, STILL
THE FIRST CRY, OF THE BABY, GAVE JOSEPH AND MARY A THRILL!
THEN GABRIEL, DELIVERED HIS MESSAGE TO THE SHEPHERD MEN,
THE CHOIR SANG PRAISE, AND WENT BACK TO HEAVEN AGAIN.

IS IT NOW, THE NIGHT BEFORE THE FIRST NOEL, WILL JESUS SOON APPEAR?
ALL THE PROPHETIC SIGNS; TELL US, HIS COMING IS NEAR!
THE BANQUET IS READY; AND YET, THERE IS ROOM, FOR GOD CAN ADD PLACES,
MAY I URGE YOU TO CALL ROMANS 10:9; AND GET YOU, ONE OF THOSE SPACES?
 
 

I.    PROPHECIES OF THE FIRST NOEL. 


A.    INVOLVES A CONCEIVED SON. v. 31 a
        "And behold, you will conceive in your womb

B.    INVOLVES A CRADLED SON. v. 31 b
        "and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus."

C.    INVOLVES A COLOSSAL SON. v. 32 a
        "He will be great,"

D.    INVOLVES A CALLED SON. v. 32 b
        "and will be called the Son of the Most High;"
 
 

2.    PROPHECIES OF THE LAST NOEL. 


A.    INVOLVES A THRONE, v 32 c
        . . .and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;

B.    INVOLVES A REIGN. v. 33 a
        ". . .and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever;

C.    INVOLVES A KINGDOM.  v  33 B
        ". . .and His kingdom will have no end."
 

APPLICATION:

THERE WILL BE A LAST NOEL.
 
 

III. CONTRASTING THE FIRST AND SECOND NOEL 



CONTRAST

THE FIRST NOEL                                                                 THE SECOND NOEL

THE DOOR OF THE INN WAS CLOSED                                                 THE DOOR OF HEAVEN IS OPENED

JESUS CAME AS A BABY                                                                       HE COMES AS SOVEREIGN LORD

HE CAME IN WEAKNESS                                                                       HE COMES IN STRENGTH

HE CAME RIDING A DONKEY                                                                HE COMES ON A WHITE HORSE

AS A LAMB TO BE SLAIN                                                                       THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH

AS A SERVANT                                                                                     AS KING OF KINGS

CAME TO BE JUDGED                                                                           COMES AS THE JUDGE

HE CAME TO DIE                                                                                   HE COMES TO REIGN
 
 

4.    COMPARING THE FIRST AND SECOND NOEL 


A.    Compare the Spirit
        1.    A Wonderful spirit can Surround Christmas.
        2.    Never Praise and Rejoice Like This.
                a. My wife Christa said,
                        1) "I am going to direct the Hallelujah Chorus"
                                a) Her mother will sing in it.

B.    Compare the Decorations.
        1.    What a Festive Time Now.
        2.    No Comparisons can be made. Look at what Paul reported.
1CO 2:9 ". . .eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And {which} have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him."

C.    Compare the Gifts.
        1.    Gifts Received,
                a. Something the giver made
                b. Something you could not buy for yourself.
                c. Something that is a lasting gift.
        2.    We Will Receive A Crown or Crowns.
                a. A crown of life
JAMES 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which {the Lord} has promised to those who love Him.

                b. A crown of righteousness
2 TIM. 4:8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

                c. A Soul Winners Crown.  (These people were lead to the Lord by Soul Winners)
                        1) Lester Lewis
                        2) Betty Hanks
                        3) John Hardin
                        4) Fred Pepper
I THES. 2:19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the
presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?

        3. We receive our gifts
                a. Glorified Bodies
                b. Streets of God
                c. Pearl Gates around the city
                d. Perfect Environment
                e. Perfect Temperature
                f. No more suffering or sorrow
                g. Everybody is family

ILLUSTRATION:
A new Christian was reading in the Book of Second Peter 2 PETER 3:8 But do not let this one {fact} escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Later in his prayer time he ask the Lord about that. "Father how can a thousand years be as one day? The Lord answered "my child time is the making of man. I am from the everlasting beginning to everlasting end. Time is not important to me."

Then the man said how about money Lord is it important to you? No my son money is also man's method of commerce. Well father you know I have a lot of bills. Could you give me a million dollars. Of course my child. Why did you not ask before now?

The new convert was ecstatic. Just think time is not important to God and neither is money He is going to let me have a million dollars. Oh by the way Lord when can I expect this million to come my way. And God said, "oh in a day or two."

In a day or two I'm going to walk on streets of gold. Just after the Last Noel.
 

D.    COMPARE THE GIVING OF GIFTS.
            1. What Gifts Could We Give?
REV 4:10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will
worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, REV 4:11 #"Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created."#
 

CONCLUSION: THE LAST NOEL

This fascinating fiction, written by Richard Wolke.
The story began at the breakfast table where John W. Winston was seated with Betsy his wife and little eight year old Billy. While John read the financial section of the "New York Times," he became aware that Betsy was reading devotions to Billy from "The Daily Light." Though not interested, he heard these words:

"The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared
to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and
worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and
godly, in this present world; looking for the blessed
hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and
our Savior Jesus Christ."

After half-hearing the prayer which Betsy and Billy uttered, John prepared to leave for the office. Betsy reminded him that, since it was Christmas Eve, she would like him to come home early. John replied briskly that it was the day of the office party and he would get home when he could.

While riding the bus, John began meditating, wondering if Betsy might be right about all this Christmas business. He justified his position after all, he had always attended Sunday School, at least until recently when he got too busy. And he knew about Christmas--that baby born in a manger. Betsy just carried things too far. To her, being a Christian made such a difference in her life. She even enjoyed Bible study and prayer. Her life seemed to have new and richer meaning, but it was too much for him.

After a short work day, complicated by a lot of "Merry Christmas" greetings, the party started. By four o'clock the bottles began to do their work. Drab everyday bookkeepers and stenographers blossomed as romantic heroines. Amid the hilarity the singing began with even some sacred carols. When someone suggested singing "The First Noel," one of the men a little under the weather, said with laughter, "Let's sing 'The Last Noel," Nobody thought it too funny, but nobody really cared.

As the crowd dispersed--some to go home, some to do last-minute shopping, and some to further revelry--John chose the latter group. No need to tell what happened that evening.

Next morning John awoke with his head throbbing dully. In a moment he remembered that it was Christmas and wondered why Billy hadn't awakened him. He noticed too, that Betsy was not in bed. When he called to them, there was no answer. He ran downstairs. The Christmas tree was unlighted; the packages were untouched. Fear gripped his heart.

He ran upstairs to get dressed. As he turned on the radio he heard an hysterical reporter babbling about "Millions mysteriously disappearing--reports coming from all over the world of people missing," With panic in their voices, reporters announced:

Disaster has swept this world. Plane crashes, railroad
collisions, automobile crashes by the thousands, as
pilots, as drivers, as engineers have suddenly
disappeared in thin air. What is it all about? NBC
has asked its staff to round up as many as possible who
can shed light on this terrible mishap."

As usual scientists had their explanation:
'This was a mass psychosis combined with a great degree
of auto suggestion resulting in a coordinated transfer
of personality from this sphere into another realm
which may, however, be superintended by religious
attitudes, since it did appear that some parts of the
country were affected worse than others. The area
which seems to have lost the greatest number of citizens
is the 'Bible Belt.'

Some Religious leaders however were quick to point out:

This should not be confused with any teachings from
the Bible--for some had raised the possibility that this
might be what was known as the Rapture, which of course,
was strictly a belief which had been traced back to some
of the early uninstructed Christians, and had nothing to do
with this modern world of ours.

As John listened, he remembered something he had heard the morning before. He ran downstairs and found Betsy's devotional book opened to a page where he read:

"The Lord Himself shall descend with a shout. . ."
John broke down and wept. In spite of the vain comfort being offered on the radio, he knew that this was indeed "The Last Noel." Jesus had come for His church!

The idea for this sermon came as I was reading a book of Christmas sermons published
a Bible Conference speaker named Lew Miller.