Tag Archives: The End

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Burning Questions: Do we really live in the End Times?

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Burning_QuestionsBlack Friday, Cyber Monday, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Parades – no doubt about it, we are in the thick of the “holiday season.” The commercials and holiday specials on TV attempt to dictate what life should be like this time of year; families smiling and laughing, hugging and celebrating. Does your life look and feel anything like those overly produced moments you see? Or does stress and anxiety steal away the laughter and delight of your holiday experience? Does the chaos of this life and the whirlwind of increasingly busy schedules make you long for something more rather than feel fulfilled?

Stress and anxiety, pain and even hardship, whether at this time of year or anytime, is no surprise.  We live in the End Times; the last days before the end of the world comes.

Really? Yes.

So what? What difference does that make?

We shouldn’t be surprise when life isn’t the Hollywood ideal. God tells us why.  There is sin in this world, that is, rebellion against the God who rules it. Because of that rebellion, God says that this life is going to be troublesome. He even warns that wickedness will increase until the end.

However, you can live in the End Times like the child who watches the calendar for Christmas. You can live with his eager excitement, because you too can wait for a gift. You will not wait for toys and games wrapped in shiny paper – this is much, much better. As an early Christian, named Paul, wrote in the Bible: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

The same God who recognizes the rebellion of all people, promised a Savior to rescue you from the consequences of that rebellion. He followed through on that promise when he sent Jesus to pay the price for everyone’s sinful rebellion by dying on the cross. That Savior, Jesus, was born at the very first Christmas. God’s forgiveness is yours. In Jesus you are God’s dear child. As his child you can be eager for all his gifts, especially his gift of rescue out of this world of hardship and into an eternal life where only good exists.

Jesus’ humble birth, his live lived rightly and justly, his innocent death, and his powerful resurrection assure you of one thing: his love. You do live in the End Times, and those times may sometimes be dark, but God’s love always shines brightly. Because of Jesus and the gift of salvation he won for us, when he comes God will take you to be with him forever in heaven. These End Times will give way to an eternity of true joy!


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November 2013

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How to Survive the End of the World?

Have you watched a doomsday movie lately?

“The Book of Eli,” “The Darkest Hour,” “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Hollywood keeps producing them. The end of the world both fascinates and frightens. What do we like most about Hollywood’s version? The inspiration of survival. Against all odds, all hope lost, humanity grabs hold of courage, defies doom, and turns the tide.

Hollywood can’t give you the real story.  It merely attempts to adequately capture the descriptions in God’s Word:

The present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men…but the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” (2 Peter 3:7, 10)

Fire. Destruction. Judgment.

For some it will be a day of judgment and destruction, grief and pain like nothing even seen or imagined before – “eternal death.” For others the end of the world will mark the beginning of a new life where pain and trouble will cease forever.

How can you be among them?  How will you survive?

When that day comes there is no amount of courage which humanity can grab hold of to turn the tide.  It’s the last day; the final end of the cosmic war between God and Satan. The key to survival is Jesus. It was Jesus’ own blood that cleansed us of our sins and rescued us from the clutches of Satan, and it is by Jesus’ own blood, poured out for all our sins that we will be ushered into heaven on that day. By the blood of Jesus we not only survive, but we will be renewed, we will be glorified, and we will be home.  Revelation describes that last day as a joyful day for those in Christ:

And there was a war in heaven…the great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan…Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.  For the accuser of our bothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!” (Revelation 12:7-12)

You will survive in Christ.

 

Words from Luther

On November 3rd, we celebrate the Reformation, which kicks off our time of worship focused on End Times.  Here follows a prayer from Martin Luther asking Christ to return:

“Grant, dear Lord God, that the blessed day of thy holy advent may come soon, so that we may be redeemed from this bad, wicked, world, the devil’s dominion, and be freed from the terrible plague which we must suffer from without and within, from wicked people and our own conscience.  Do thou dispatch this old maggot sack that we may finally get a different body, which is not full of sin, inclined to unchasteness and to everything evil, as the present one is, but one that is redeemed from all bodily and spiritual misery and made like unto thy glorious body, dear Lord Jesus Christ, that we may at last come to our glorious redemption.  Amen.

In November we celebrate Thanksgiving.  Here follows a quote from Martin Luther concerning our thanksgiving to God, which he spoke in explanation of Psalm 118:1 – “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

“This verse teaches us what the proper sacrifice is that pleases God most; for we cannot perform any greater or better work for God, nor can we render Him a nobler service than thanking Him.”

Luther Quotes taken from What Luther Says by Ewald Plass, © 1959 Concordia Publishing House, paragraphs 3542 and 4355.


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