Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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Who Is the Reason for the Season?
Matt 1:1-17
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.     2 To Abraham was born Isaac; and to Isaac, Jacob; and to Jacob, Judah and his brothers;    3 and to Judah were born Perez and Zerah by Tamar; and to Perez was born Hezron; and to Hezron, Ram;     4 and to Ram was born Amminadab; and to Amminadab, Nahshon; and to Nahshon, Salmon;    5 and to Salmon was born Boaz by Rahab; and to Boaz was born Obed by Ruth; and to Obed, Jesse;   6 and to Jesse was born David the king. And to David was born Solomon by her {who had been the wife} of Uriah;    7 and to Solomon was born Rehoboam; and to Rehoboam, Abijah; and to Abijah, Asa;     8 and to Asa was born Jehoshaphat; and to Jehoshaphat, Joram; and to Joram, Uzziah;    9 and to Uzziah was born Jotham; and to Jotham, Ahaz; and to Ahaz, Hezekiah;    10 and to Hezekiah was born Manasseh; and to Manasseh, Amon; and to Amon, Josiah;    11 and to Josiah were born Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.    12 And after the deportation to Babylon, to Jeconiah was born Shealtiel; and to Shealtiel, Zerubbabel;     13 and to Zerubbabel was born Abihud; and to Abihud, Eliakim; and to Eliakim, Azor;    14 and to Azor was born Zadok; and to Zadok, Achim; and to Achim, Eliud;     15 and to Eliud was born Eleazar; and to Eleazar, Matthan; and to Matthan, Jacob;    16 and to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.   17 Therefore all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to {the time of} Christ fourteen generations. NAS

I like the emphasis Jesus is the Reason for the Season. This week my pastor friend Bob Aubuchon said "Jesus is not the reason for the season; we are the reason for the season." He focused on the fact that Jesus came because of our sin. Sin caused Jesus to come to this earth therefore we are the reason the Reason for the Season.

Then I notice a sermon thought by a Reformed Church Pastor and those two thoughts were used by God to guide me to the sermon Today.

The Sons of Abraham are the Reason for the Season.

Gentiles are the Reason for the Season.

Pronounced Sinners are the Reason for the Season.

1. Hebrews are the Reason for the Season. v 1-2

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 To Abraham was born Isaac; and to Isaac, Jacob; and to Jacob, Judah and his brothers;

A.    Jesus Came for the Hebrew Nation.  Matt 10:5-6
        5 These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them, saying, "Do not go in {the} way of {the} Gentiles, and do not enter {any} city of the Samaritans;    6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (NAS)

Rom 1:16
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (KJV)

Illustration by Jay Sekulow. On Jews for Jesus Web Page
The parents of Jay Sekulow nominally practiced their Jewish Faith. Jay was born in Brooklyn New York but his parents moved to Atlanta. When he graduated from High School he attended a Junior College and after one year decided he wanted to change to a four year school. Atlanta Baptist College was close by and he enrolled their.

Jay became friends with a student named Glenn Borders who really lived his Christian Faith. He challenged Jay to read Isa. 53 and to tell him why he felt it did not talk about Jesus. Jay read this passage about 500 times in many different Bibles. He checked the interpretations given by the Rabbis'. Nothing seemed to change the growing impression that Jesus was the Messiah/

Glen invited Jay to a concert by a group from Jews for Jesus. He was surprised and pleased to see so many Jewish people who believed Jesus was the Messiah. When the concert ended an invitation was given and Jay responded. On the way down the isle some one said if you get kicked out of your home you can sleep at our house. Jay had never given that a thought. But he was very close to his parents and said "I will tell them when I get home". Then he thought what if they do kick me out or disown me? He tried to go to sleep but at about 2:00 o'clock in the morning he went in a woke up his dad and said "dad I have decided Jesus is the Messiah". His dad said "you have decided?    Well talk about it in the Morning".

But it was not until 3 years later that the discussion took place.    By that time Jay was in law school and an ad in the news Paper by Jews for Jesus brought about a brief discussion. Jay went on to finish his degree and graduated in the top 5% of his class.

He went to work for the IRS and 18 months later he and a partner set up their own law firm. In less than a year he was having great success. He became the Jews for Jesus General Legal Counsel. He began a real estate development firm which grossed over $20 million after the first year. He has also defended a case before the Supreme Court of the United States.

The verdict on that case was unanimous. The decisions of the lower circuit courts were upheld, and the Supreme Court declared the airport's resolution to curtail first amendment rights unconstitutional. Since the trial is over, however, I can devote myself to C.A.S.E: Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism. That is what we've named the new organization which will be defending the legal rights of individuals and organizations who are telling the gospel--specifically in issues relating to access, as in parks, college campuses, street corners, and of course, airports.


Hebrews are included in the Reason for the Season.   Ben Gelber of St. Louis

2.    Gentiles are the Reason for the Season. v 5

5 and to Salmon was born Boaz by Rahab; and to Boaz was born Obed by Ruth; and to Obed, Jesse;

A.    Ruth was a Gentile.

Friday Night we had the annual Pastors and Staff Members Christmas Fellowship. The couple sitting across from Christa and I were the Pastor and Wife from Bakersfield. There town is about 30 miles from West Plains, Missouri and 30 miles from Mountain Home, Arkansas. The wife works in West Plains but they go to Mountain Home frequently.

I ask if they had been over to see the Heaven Gate's and Hell's Flame's Drama. They said yes and about 30 people they had taken over had made decisions for Christ. You see Gentiles can get saved.

Last Monday I heard Lyn Ipock went forward in Church for salvation. Last Monday Night I went by Don and Carletta home to talk to them about the decision they made for salvation. I want to tell you gentiles can be saved and most of us here can say a big amen.


What Gentile do you know who needs salvation. When will you share with them? They are included in the Reason for the season.

3.    Pronounced Sinners are the Reason for the Season. v 3 & 5

    3 and to Judah were born Perez and Zerah by Tamar; and to Perez was born Hezron; and to Hezron, Ram; 5 and to Salmon was born Boaz by Rahab; and to Boaz was born Obed by Ruth; and to Obed, Jesse;

A.    Judah, Tamar, and David were Adulterers.    Gen 38:24-30
    24 Now it was about three months later that Judah was informed, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the harlot, and behold, she is also with child by harlotry." Then Judah said, "Bring her out and let her be burned!" 25 It was while she was being brought out that she sent to her father-in-law, saying, "I am with child by the man to whom these things belong." And she said," Please examine and see, whose signet ring and cords and staff are these?" 26 And Judah recognized {them,} and said, "She is more righteous than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah." And he did not have relations with her again.

B.    Rahab was a Harlot.   Heb 11:31
    By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace. (NAS)

Matt 1:5 and to Salmon was born Boaz by Rahab; and to Boaz was born Obed by Ruth; and to Obed, Jesse; and to Jesse was born David the king.

C. Ruth was a Mobitess. Deut 23:3-4
        3 "No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of their {descendants,} even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the LORD,    4 because they did not meet you with food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. (NAS)

Illustration The story about Ricardo from the Book Fresh Wind Fresh Fire.
One Sunday afternoon about half an hour before the afternoon service, Terry knocked on my office door. "Pastor Cymbala! We've got twenty-seven guys here today from the 'salt mines.' Isn't that great!" "How did that happen?" I asked

Walking down the center aisle, I bumped into an attractive woman in a black dress, with blond, shoulder-length hair, nicely done nails, black stockings, and high heels. "Excuse me, ma'am," I said. She turned. . .and this low voice with a heavy Spanish accent replied, "No, that's okay, man." My heart skipped a beat. This was not a woman after all. But neither was it a sloppy transvestite. This was a knockout of a "woman"--bone-thin, no body hair thanks to hormonal treatment. As I took closer notice, the only visual giveaway was the Adam's apple. His name was Ricardo

He sat in the meetings, and it dawned on him that maybe he could be different. I will never forget the Tuesday night we introduced him to the congregation. The congregation couldn't help but cheer and praise God for this miracle. Ricardo stood there perplexed at the noise. Why were all these people applauding him?

Ricardo eventually moved to Texas. I was in Dallas one summer and ran into him. It was great to see the transformation. He had gained weight and was every inch a real man. I hugged him, and then he delivered a new shock. "Pastor, I wish you could come back in two weeks. I'm getting married!"

A few years later, at Christmastime, while I was in my office just as the Sunday afternoon service was beginning, I received a message that said Ricardo was dying. He wanted to talk to me.

I slumped in my chair, and as I picked up the phone, Betty's voice greeted me. "Hello, Pastor. . . .When I put my husband on the phone, you won't be able to hear much, because he's very weak. But he still remembers all that you and the church did for him."

In a moment I heard a fragile, wispy voice say, "Pastor--Cymbala--so--glad--to--hear--you."
I choked up. Ricardo continued, forcing out the breathy syllables:

My ministerial instincts then revived, and I prepared to make a comforting little speech, to tell him he would be going to heaven soon, that he would get there before me but I would see him on the other side for all eternity. . . .

The Holy Spirit stopped me. No! A voice seemed to say. Fight for him! Cry out to me!
I changed course. "Ricardo, I'm going to pray for you right now. Don't try to pray along
with me; save your strength." I began to intercede with intensity, fighting against the death that loomed before him. "O God, touch Ricardo with your power! This is not his time to die. Restore him, for your glory, I pray." I remember even hitting my desk a couple of times with my fist.

When I finished, I marched directly into the meeting and stopped it. "I've just gotten off the phone with Ricardo, whom most of you know," I said. People looked up expectantly all across the building. "He's very sick with AIDS--but I want us to pray for his recovery."

I called Betty two days late. "Pastor Cymbala, it's incredible!" she reported. "He went to sleep after the two of you talked--and the next day, all his vital signs had done a U-turn. He began to eat, after taking almost nothing for days."

Within three weeks, Ricardo actually flew to New York and came walking unannounced into a Tuesday night prayer meeting. The crowd gasped with joy.


I want to tell you Pronounced Sinners can be saved.

Jesus Is the Reason for the Season.  And we Are the Reason for Jesus.