Complete Sermon Notes

The Darkness Before the Dawn

 I’m optimistic, but like many, i fight bouts of depression and discouragement.

  • Concern is biblical “if” it leads to action!


Jeremiah – Cursed be the day in which I was born! /  Nehemiah /  Jesus – Oh, Jerusalem…


Schools – God is dead; evolution is a fact

Legal – Bills to punish people who use the wrong gender…you can’t Bake-a-cake

Entertainment – evil is good

Sports – idolatry is rampant; we are sacrificing our families on the altar of…

Sex-slave trade and massacre of children is common


“Grandpa, tell me ’bout the good old days – take me back to yesterday… Did lovers really fall in love to stay – Did families really bow their heads to pray – Did daddies really never go away? – Oh, Grandpa, tell me ’bout the good old days…” ~ The Judds


Being the light of the world means that we are surrounded by darkness.

         Examples from Paul’s life –

ACTS 28 ends with: “Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”

WHY DARKNESS? 1. Evil 2. Enemy – Colossians 4:17, “See to it that you complete [carry out & fulfil] the ministry you have received in the Lord.”

Context – For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light…For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face.


2 Cor. 11:22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. [False prophets don’t have the wounds and the scars].


24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;


  • We will encounter the same perils [danger, darkness] – waters … to false brethren.


Tozer – “It is doubtful whether God can use a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”


…27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.


Being the light of the world means that we are surrounded by darkness.


  1. In weariness and toil – little recognition, hard work.

  2. Sleeplessness – when we are tired we want to give up.

  3. Hunger and thirst – not by choice.

  4. Fastings often – by choice; I chose to stay broken before the Lord.

  5. Cold/naked – lacked provision.


… “besides the other things, what comes upon me daily.” … “my deep concern for all the churches.”


People were drifting from the faith – Colossians 1:23 . .  .

People were drifting from the faith – Colossians 1:23 paraphrased – Continue in the faith [walk the straight and narrow regardless of how you feel]. Stay grounded [well balanced, on the right foundation] and steadfast [firm]. Do not be moved away from the hope of the gospel.


It’s misleading to only focus on the “positives” – To say “Peace, Peace”…


Jeremiah 6:10, “To whom shall I speak and give warning, That they may hear? [Those who have an ear – let him hear]. Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, And they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them [displeased with the Word]; They have no delight in it….” [pleasure and delight]


  • Is your ear uncircumcised?

6:13, “Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is given to covetousness; And from the prophet even to the priest, Everyone deals falsely. 14 They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination [disgusting]? No! They were not at all ashamed; Nor did they know how to blush….”

  • “Because you speak My Word – I will make My words in your mouth fire and this people wood – it will devour them” (Jeremiah 5:14). “Is not My word like a fire?”


“I have set watchmen” – not cowards, not pacifist, not truth negotiators.

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I can hear it now – “But we are New Testament Christians!”


  • “These things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” ~ Paul in Corinth


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CLOSING – it is demoralizing, and discouraging, to only focus on the “negatives”.

  • DARKNESS is always SEASONAL for the Believer:  “This is your hour; when darkness reigns.”

The earth shook – the dead were raised – the veil was ripped – the soldiers feared for their lives – the Pharisees were in shock – the tables were turned!!

HELL, DEATH, and the GRAVE were all defeated in one final blow!

  • Where does my help come from?