Heb. 12:22-24 ¶ But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
Let me tell you about the first sermon series I ever preached. It took place one month after Parris and I pioneered Victory Fellowship in January 1979. That February, we attended a minister’s conference in Monroe, Louisiana. Boy did we feel out of place!!! All the preachers were there in their three piece suits with their well groomed preacher’s haircuts. The women were decked in their finest outfits and some of the older ones were wearing that famous Pentecostal bun hairdo. This was a long way from our Jesus commune in California; characterized by beards, jeans, and flannel shirts.
The services were also different from what we were used to. The songs were “Victory in Jesus”, “I’ll Fly Away”; you get the picture. At the end of the service they would gather at the “altar” by the platform and cry. We figured we were just out of the loop and something terrible had happened.
As the week wore on the message being preached began to get my attention. It was called “Let’s Go Back to Mount Sinai”. I didn’t understand fully the theological ramifications of that sermon but something just didn’t ring true for me. That’s when it happened. It was one of those moments during the sermon when you begin to wander off, I wandered off and my eyes fell upon today’s verse of scripture in Hebrews 12. You have come to Mount Zion, quite different from Mount Sinai. These two mountains pretty much point to the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament, between the preaching of law and grace. That became the topic of my series called TWO MOUNTAINS that began the very next Sunday. Mount Sinai speaks to us about our separation from God because of our sins. It’s the place where Moses wore a veil so that the people could not look on the glory shining from his face. Zion speaks about the unveiled worship that David introduced on Mount Zion. Mount Zion speaks about the message of grace and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Sinai reminds us of the fall and our banishment from God, Zion speaks of our reconciliation and calls us near. That was how our church began, God calling us to Zion. That is how we must continue, let’s camp out at Zion, the place of unveiled worship and intimacy with the Lord.