Sunday, November 25, 2012

Notes for Sermon at Jesus Our Shepherd

Big Picture of End Times

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule. Amen.

  • 325 AD, Nicene Creed
o       [Jesus] will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
o       And also:
o       We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

  • teaching about these things is elementary!
o       Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of  (6 things, including) the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. Hebrews 6:1-2 (NIV)

The Day of the Lord

  • What is that day like?
o       A Day of Wrath
§         Joel 2:11b The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? (NIV)

§         Zephaniah 1:14 14 That day will be bitter, for even the bravest soldiers will cry out in despair! (TEV)
§         Zephaniah 1:15 15 That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, 16 a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers. (NIV)
o        A Day of Judgment
§         …when the nations will be judged. Ezekiel 30:3 (NCV)

o        A Day of Vengeance
§         Jeremiah 46:10 10 But that day belongs to … the LORD Almighty-- a day of vengeance… on his foes. The sword will devour till it is satisfied, till it has quenched its thirst with blood. (NIV)
o       A Day of Restoration
§         Amos 9:11-15 11 "In that day I will restore David's fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be… New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills. 14 I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them," says the LORD your God. (NIV)
o       It will come very suddenly and be very surprising to those that don’t know the Lord
§         1 Thessalonians 5:2-4 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. (NIV)

Signs of that day

·         Matthew 24:3 – As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen (the destruction of the temple), and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

o        See for more info.

  • Revelation 6, the Seals and Trumpet judgments
  • Jesus Returns
o        Revelation 11:15 15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever." (NIV)
  • The last trumpet is the 7th trumpet in the book of Revelation.
o        51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NIV)
  • Paul expanded on this in 1 Thessalonians 4
o        14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 (NIV)

§         Rev 1:7 Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

Procession to the Middle East

  • Then the Lord will descend to the earth and begin a land march procession towards Jerusalem, defeating His enemies on the way (Hab 3, Isa 63:1-6, Zec 14:3, Judges 5:4-5, Rev 19:11-16).
Question - 2 Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?
Answer - 6 I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground." Isaiah 63:2, 6 (NIV)
  • The procession will end at the battle of Armageddon in and around the city of Jerusalem (Rev 16:16, 19:11-21, Joel 3, Eze 38-39).
  • The Lord will destroy Antichrist and His armies and then march into the city of Jerusalem (Psa 68:24-27, 24:7)
  • He will tear down the Abomination of Desolation in the Temple (Dan 8:14, 9:27, 12:11).
  • The Antichrist and the False Prophet will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev 19:20).
  • From Rev 19:11-21:
o        11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.
o        13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.
o        14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.
o        17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great." 19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf.
o        The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. Revelation 19:11-21 (NIV)

  • Shortly after the battle of Armageddon, Jesus will set up His earthly reign from Jerusalem and will rule for 1,000 years (Rev 20:4-6).
o        4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6 (NIV)

o        Reprobate: Matt 25:31-34 (also see Rev 19:21).
o        Resistors: Those that were not born again prior to the 2nd coming but at the same time did not take the mark of the beast. They resist Antichrist but not because they love Jesus. This will include many from the nation of Israel (Isa 4:3, Jer 33:13, Isa 66:18-21). Many of these will be converted subsequent to the 2nd coming. They will be the initial group that makes partakes in the Millennial Reign in natural bodies on the earth (Zec 14:16, Eze 36:36, Isa 2:3, 56:7).
§         16 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. Zechariah 14:16 (NIV)
  • Resurrected Saints will rule and reign with the Lord on the Millennial Earth (Rev 5:10, 20:4).
o        Revelation 5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom (another way of saying you’ve made them to rule and reign) and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." (NIV)
  • Many Saints that were faithful in life will be given places of governmental authority and may even rule over cities (Luke 19:11-27). The resistors will travel and hear the word of the Lord from Jesus in Jerusalem (Isa 2). In fact once a year, representatives from each family will be required to come to Jerusalem and keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Zec 14:16-21).
  • Jesus will reward the saints with positions of authority and levels of glory/authority (Rev 11:18, Rev 22:12, Isa 40:10, 62:11, 2 Tim 4:8, 1 Cor 15:41-42).

God will Renew Heaven and Earth

·         Revelation 21:1 1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. (NIV)


The Father will Descend and Dwell with Us on Earth

·         Revelation 21:2-4 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (NIV)

  • Isaiah 9:7  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. (NIV)

Friday, June 8, 2012

It is Presidential to Offer Public Prayers for the Nation

I received this in an email recently.  It made such a good point I thought I'd share it as I received it. - Brook

FDR's D-Day Prayer...

Roosevelt's address stands as a testament to how much our

nation has changed since that evening in the late spring of 1944.




     Franklin Roosevelt is not remembered for his religious dogma. Yet 68 years ago on the night of June 6, as tens of thousands of American and Allied forces were flung into a caldron of fire in Western Europe, the president and commander in chief sought to calm an anxious nation as he spoke to his people. It was a presidential address that stands out as a testament to how much our nation has changed since that evening in the late spring of 1944.

     Beginning around midnight the night before, elements of the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions had landed behind enemy lines in France. They were followed seven hours later by massive landings on beaches in Normandy code-named Sword, Juneau, Gold, Omaha and Utah.
     Americans began hearing special reports in the middle of the night and they continued to follow events closely throughout the day. At lunch counters and in offices and factories, people clustered around their radios. So it was both natural and necessary that the president say something.
     Yet instead of giving a news account—something Americans had already heard from network radio news and read in their evening papers—Franklin Roosevelt chose a different course. He led the nation in prayer.

       "Almighty God," Roosevelt began, "Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity."Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith."
     There were mothers and fathers listening intently to that broadcast whose sons were already caught up in the middle of it all.  Some of those young men were already lost.  Roosevelt understood this, yet he never sugarcoated the realities.
     "They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest until victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and by flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war."     "Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, thy heroic servants, into thy kingdom."
     Somehow, Roosevelt understood what the nation needed to hear. This was an American president unafraid to embrace God and to define an enemy that clearly rejected the norms of humanity. And if the nature of the enemy was not clear to everyone that night, it would be made resoundingly clear as the armies advanced into Germany 10 months later. But Roosevelt also knew that the nation would have to stay true to its course, and for that he offered a moment as well.
     "Oh Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled.   With thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy.  Help us conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances."
     Americans hung on every word. They needed to rededicate and redouble their efforts, much as Lincoln had reminded them at Gettysburg in the middle of another dark period. Now, almost an equal time has passed since D-Day, and it seems strangely difficult for our leaders to clearly define our values, our way of life, our causes for going to war to defend our ideals. It is unfathomable today that a president would embrace God the way Roosevelt did on that night.
     Imagine a president, any president, sitting in the Oval Office ending an address to the nation, in a slow, deliberate cadence, like this:
     "Thy will be done, Almighty God.    Amen."
          Yet that is how Franklin Roosevelt signed off that D-Day night.

    Yes, it is presidential to offer public prayers for our nation and our people.  Certainly our nation’s founding fathers did it.   Why did we stop?  Although our government is intentionally secular, it was meant to be supportive of religious faith, especially the Christian faith.    And still today, more than three-quarters of our people say they believe in the God of the Bible.   This should be reflected in who we elect to public office.  Otherwise, when we leave God out of national concerns, we are asking for failure.  - bea

Monday, January 30, 2012

The 2nd Advent

I recently taught a class at our church called "The 2nd Advent."  It was a look at the hope we have that's expressed in the Nicene Creed when it says
   [Jesus] will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
        and his kingdom will have no end.
I studied this topic during my sabbatical last summer, and was blown away at how ALL of Scripture tells the same story of what will happen when the Messiah returns.  Every book in the Bible, with the exception of Esther, has something to say about this event.  And getting a grid for understanding the picture that is being painted has unlocked SO MUCH scripture that I never understood before!

A couple of the reasons I gave my class for studying this:

The book of Hebrews says that the End Times is "elementary teaching!"
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so. Hebrews 6:1-3 (NIV) (italics mine)
Second, Paul showed he believed this is elementary.  Though he only spent about 3 weeks planting the church in Thessalonica, the Apostle considered these things important enough to teach them about End Times.
When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days [three weeks] he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ," he said... 10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Acts 17:1-3, 10 (NIV)
While he was there, he covered teaching on End Times.  He said as much in a letter to them:
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 (NIV)

If you're interested in the topic, comment here and I'll post a little about it.