Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bethany Bullet - November 12, 2013

“The End is near, the END is NEAR!” no, not this message…but the church year.  The weeks after All Saints Day are sometimes referred to as the Sundays of the End Time.  They are the last few weeks before a new church year begins in Advent.

For the next few weeks we will spend some time talking about the end…the end of time.  It is not just the church year that is coming to an end, but the world is coming to an end.  The signs are evident, bodies decay, nations fall, and morals collapse.

Now, don’t panic, the end has been coming for a long time now.  Jesus said that the end would happen soon…and that was 2000 years ago.

What we know for sure is that for all humans, the end is inevitable.  One day our time on earth will end. 

Last week Pastor Kritzer talked about that veil between life and death, that thin line between heaven and earth.  That duration between heaven and earth will someday be zero and those who are in Christ will enter paradise. 
And in the end, there are many questions. That is what is behind the question from the Sadducees in our Gospel lesson from Sunday. 

Open up your Bibles or your devices and go to Luke the 20th chapter, starting at verse 27.
“Some Sadducees, who say that people will never come back to life, came to Jesus. They asked him, ‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If a married man dies and has no children, his brother should marry his widow and have children for his brother.’ There were seven brothers. The first got married and died without having children. Then the second brother married the widow, and so did the third. In the same way all seven brothers married the widow, died, and left no children.  Finally, the woman died.  Now, when the dead come back to life, whose wife will she be? The seven brothers had married her.’” (Luke 20:27-33)

Now perhaps a bit of historical information is needed here.  The Sadducees were a group of religious leaders in Jesus’ days who were waiting for the Messiah, but who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead.  For them, the end was…the end.  Now a group that does not believe in the resurrection asks a question about the resurrection using an extreme example to trick Jesus.  Their question, “Is heaven a do-over?”

Do you want a do-over?  Are there situations in life that you would like a second chance? 
·         Is there a decision you regret? 
·         Is there a relationship you would like another shot at?
·         Is there a sin you wish would not have such a tight grip on your life? 
·         Would you like a do-over without the disease, or the depression?
·         Do the choices you have made in life haunt you and keep you up at night? 
·         Would you like to do it all over again without the agony or the addiction?
Sins ugly head is a part of our daily existence in life.  Sin has caused great suffering, and heartache for the entire human race.  Sin brings death, and death is the end…right?

Do you want a do-over? Well, you are not going to get one in heaven.

In the End- Eternity’s No Do-over.
For those who are dying, the end is filled with fear.
But the End is for the living and is really just the beginning. 
While the end may be easy to comprehend, eternity isn’t. 
It’s not just this life, a little bit better.
It’s not this life, only without pain.
It’s not this life, without sin.
It’s not this life without the fights the frailty, the fogginess—it is FAR better than anything we can comprehend. 

Jesus answers the Sadducees question about the end this way, from Luke 20 starting at verse 34, “Jesus said to them, ‘In this world people get married.  But people who are considered worthy to come back to life and live in the next world will neither marry nor die anymore. They are the same as the angels. They are God’s children who have come back to life. Even Moses showed in the passage about the bush that the dead come back to life. He says that the Lord is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He’s not the God of the dead but of the living. In God’s sight all people are living.’” (Luke 20:34-38)

Now, let’s not get distracted with the marriage talk here and miss what Jesus says about the end.  Eternity is LIFE!  In God’s sight all people are living! 

It’s not this life, but ETERNAL LIFE!

It is a perfect paradise prepared and promised in the presence of God with no pain only peace. 
The Scriptures themselves struggle to describe eternity. 

Paul quotes from Isaiah in 2 Corinthians chapter 2, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” (2 Corinthians 2:9)
Jesus himself describes eternity as:
·         A wedding, but even better (Matthew 25:10)
·         A banquet feast, but better (Matthew 8:11)
·         A mansion, but even better (John 14:2)
·         Sitting upon thrones, but so much better (Luke 22:30)
John, in the book of Revelation describes it as a wonderful city. (Revelation 21:10-27)

I have often said that I think eternity will be the combination of Oktoberfest and Spring training.

But all of these images pale in comparison to eternity.  In heaven we will be perfectly happy, perfectly content.
What makes it so much better?  I think we can find one common thread in Scripture.  In eternity we will be with Jesus, in His presence.  We will see His face, we will behold His glory.

Our Psalm for the day encapsulates it, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  (Psalm 16:11)
From a human perspective, the words of the song “I Can Only Imagine” make an attempt to describe the wonders of eternity:
I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When your face is before me
Surrounded by your Glory what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus, or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence; to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah; will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine…I can only imagine.
I can only imagine when that day comes
When I find myself, standing in the son
I can only imagine when all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you
I can only imagine

Click HERE to watch a video of this song by Mercy Me.
(If you are unable to open link; copy/paste this into your browser. http://youtu.be/BRPGRdbGHSs)

In the presence of Jesus there is life!  And it was Jesus who left the presence of His Father to be with us, in the flesh. 

For the Savior walked the earth, True Man and True God, to do what we were unable to do. 

He was perfect!  He came to exchange His life for ours.  Because of all the things we have done over and over again, for the times we want a do over, He came to die, to cover over our sin, to bring us life.

Because of Jesus, in God’s sight all people are living.  Eternity’s No Do-over... it is life.  The End is the beginning; the end is for the living!

I want you to think about all those things you wish you had a do-over for.  Missed opportunities, words you can’t take back, time spent poorly, experiences taken away because of illness or disease, actions done in anger or haste, those things you are kicking yourself for, whatever it might be and I want you to hear this truth…there is no do-over because it has been done!

On the cross your sin is done!  

He has taken your disease and depression, your agony and your addiction, and every sin that has you entangled and nailed it to the cross.  It is finished and in Jesus there is life.

He’s not the God of the dead, but the living, and in Christ, you are alive.  The duration that separates us from our time here and our time in eternity does not matter because in Jesus we are alive!  Nothing else needs to be done!  Jesus has done it all!  There are no do-over’s.

In the End, by the grace of God, He will bring us into His eternal kingdom.  Free from sin and all its effects, joined together with all of God’s people, we will live with God forever.  It will be a beautiful place because it is his place.  The images of eternity found in Scripture only begin to describe to wonders of heaven.
Here on earth we wait in eager expectation for the end, knowing that our God is faithful to his promises.  He is preparing all of these things for us, and He will bring them to pass. The End is NEAR! And in faith, His church cries out, “Amen, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)

-Pastor Seth Moorman


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter