“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matt. 25:37-40, NIV) Continue reading “The standard of judgment”
At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matt. 24:23-25, NIV) Continue reading “The rise of false Messiahs”
Advent reading over the years has deepened my thinking about the Second Coming than any Hal Lindsey or Tim LaHaye book… or all of them combined. Those Thief in the Night or Left Behind movies can’t deepen my sense of anticipation for the Second Coming like steady doses of Advent reading year after year. Continue reading “Advent Reading — When Jesus is coming back”
Now as Jesus was going out of the temple courts, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, look at these tremendous stones and buildings!” Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left on another. All will be torn down!”
So while he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that all these things are about to take place?” (Mark 13:1-5, NIV)
We always want to know the what and when. We need to surrender OUR view of the end of the age. What is the KINGDOM view? Allow Jesus to mess up your theology.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matt. 24:42-44)
The triumph of the Church is not in our ability to predict the future. The triumph of the Church is found in our endurance. We are to keep watch. We are to be ready. We are to endure through this world, living out the power of the Kingdom, and ready for the Master whenever he calls us home.
Revelation 18 is an interesting picture. Babylon… the world’s system… that which so many have put their hope in for so long… has fallen. It has been exposed for the corruption at its core. It has been exposed as inadequate, to say the least. The Kingdom of God is revealed as what is lasting and powerful.
Yet, so many weep over the collapse of Babylon. For many, it’s the end of their economic income stream. Money had been their god, and that god was gone. Kings would weep because Babylon had delivered to them a false sense of power. Power was their god and that god was now dead.
The clear warning give to the people of God was to come out of Babylon. Do NOT share in her sins.
It is a call to allegiance. The call of God to people everywhere and in every time has been a call of allegiance. The call of Babylon has been the same. Those powerful draws we feel in our soul are calls to allegiance. Which call will we answer?
As believers in this world, those allegiances still call out to us. The Kingdom of God calls out, as do the kingdoms of this world. Believers have the ability to respond to those calls. Where will we land our ultimate allegiance?
Today our church goes through 1-3 John, but I’ve already begun my re-reading of Revelation. This book is my “guilty pleasure” in Scripture reading. I find so many people avoid it because it’s so difficult to understand. Those who seem to “enjoy” it do so as they “teach” in a way that is linear and very American. While I was in Bible college I read a little book that set me free from both of those extremes and I’ve actually enjoyed reading Revelation ever since. I don’t sweat the details. I don’t guess about the “ten heads” or “ten crowns” or the number of man…
I just read. And every time I find something that is so wonderful I find myself worshiping the Lamb once again.
I read it because I don’t have all the answers. I read it because I don’t have to have all the answers. I read it because it IS the revelation of Jesus Christ. It’s not the “revelation of the end times.”
This just may be a great week!
Reading Matthew 24-25 always brings up the different theologies surrounding the end times, etc.
This interview and post by Scot McKnight is interesting. Especially this quote:
I believe heaven will be here, on earth. I believe in transformed physical existence. It will be what we have now only transformed into ideal conditions.
Jesus was raised from the dead and people recognized him, but his body was transformed to a new kind of body. I think that’s what it will be like. You will have a perfect nose. (McKnight is making an inside joke about the awful incident in which Poe the Demon Dog almost took off my entire nose.)
I know NT Wright has written a book on the end of all things I really need to plunge into as well. Just an interesting perspective from a very solid evangelical.