Sunday June 24, 2012

Matthew 24:42-25:13

Our verses today continue to remind us to be ready. We do not know the time or the day on which the Lord will return for any one of us. We have a number of duties as Christians. One of these is to remain vigilant. We are not to become complacent in our lives, but are to contstantly live for Christ. There are opportunities for us each day to serve Him. How many small ones do we miss because we are only looking for big ones? Like a jigsaw puzzle it takes many small pieces to make up the big picture.

Will you be one of the faithful and sensible servants the Lord finds serving Him upon His return (24:45)? The choice is yours.

Vigilance in the Christian life may also entail planning ahead and being prepared for life. There are many lessons for us to learn from Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins. How many can you count? Will you apply them to your life? Christ is the bridegroom, we, the Church, are His bride.   On the one hand, we are to live and plan our lives as if humanity will be around for many centuries to come.  Yet, on the other hand, we are to be ready if He should come for us today, at this moment.  Are you ready?

Sunday June 17, 2012

HappyFather’s Day! Hope you didn’t forget your heavenly Father!

June 7 & 8 three of us attended our annual conference in Findlay, Ohio. Since the 10th was our community service in the park, we shared this morning about conference. Delegates were excited about what they heard and saw. Pray that excitement carries to the rest of the congregation and that we reach out to our community for Christ in the coming weeks.

Matthew 24:32-41

God gives us signs in the changing of the seasons about the season to come. In the same way Jesus told of signs that would indicate the soon destruction, not only of Jerusalem, but also of the people who would reject and crucify Him.

I shared that there are two negative particles in the Greek language, “ou” and “mh” (long a sound like “may”). These are generally used with indicative and non-indicative verbs respectively, or to indicate a positive or negative answer in a question (also respectively). However, in verses 34 and 35 they are used together, along with the aorist subjunctive. This use indicates the strongest negation possible in the Greek language. Jesus is indicating the nearness (and the certainty) of the time of the end of the Old Testament era and does not want His audience to be mistaken about it. The “this” of “this generation” can only mean that generation which He was addressing. He was NOT speaking of any future group of people. But just as in Noah’s day, many of these folks He was warning would ignore Him.

As we read our Bibles we cannot help but notice that we as a nation are commiting or at least allowing many of the sins which God has promised to punish. AND, we continue to ignore the signs that He is punishing us. We need to wake up and as individuals and as a nation get back to Him. He calls us first of all to faithful obedience, and that “daily.”

Sunday June 10, 2012

This was our Community service in the park under the tent. Matthew 12:38-41 was read and then I preached on Jonah. The above verses point out that the book of Jonah is not myth, but fact backed up by the Son of God Himself, just as the entire Bible is fact.

Jonah did not want to preach to the Ninevites because he hated them and he also knew that God would give him success, the Ninevites would repent, and God would relent on His pronounced judgment. He wanted God to kill them all and send them to hell.

Pastor Don read Matthew 12:37 and pointed out that the Gospel message requires “response.” Jonah had to respond, as did the sailors, and the people of Nineveh. We must each respond daily to God’s call on our lives How will you respond as He calls you to action (whether that action is seemingly great, . . . or small)?

Sunday June 3, 2012

Matthew 24:14-31

Remember that the “end” spoken of in verse 14 is not the end of all things, but the end of the Old Testament era, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple (including the sacrificial system) in the years surrounding 70AD.

The “Abomination of Desolation” was the desecration of the Temple by the Romans.  Jerusalem was surrounded by the Romans, but then the Romans left for a time before they came back to destroy the city and Temple; hence the warnings.  Compare this with the parallel in Luke 21:20-22:  20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand. 21 “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city; 22 because these are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”

Christ’s return to judge the generation which rejected and crucified Him, like lightning flashing across the sky from east to west, would be evident to all.  Therefore one could discount all accounts of the presence of the Messiah anywhere else.

In verses following our selection He will give indications that the event is very near (in time).  Until then our duty is to remain faithful to Him.  That means being in His Word often so that we know how to obey, and spending time often with Him in prayer so that we can obey.