Sermon for Sunday – 11-21-2021
Psalm 25:1-9; Jeremiah 33:14-16; 1st Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36
Our psalm this morning begins with an affirmation of God as our God, that we believers trust in Him implicitly and a statement not to fail Him nor let my enemies triumph over me, this being David. Our education was by God Himself and was the Teacher of all Israel. All others, Moses, priests, prophets and parents were His “teaching assistants.” This all of these who taught did so in the name of God and by His authority and shared His purpose—to teach the truth, as it is not a set of abstract doctrines; rather a way of life. This is why anyone who teaches, must be vetted or approved to teach God’s truth, not some interpretation of their own. You will also notice the numbers of times the varying ways the love of God is mentioned throughout this psalm, for His love leads the faithful God to remember us in our needs, and we must remember to confess that everything does is loving even when we are in trouble and plead for His help. Finally, we are to remember that when God forgives us of our sins, He forgets them, and we are fully restored to Him once again.
In our lesson from Jeremiah, we are of God’s ancient promise to save His people through an anointed descendant of David, the Messiah, which He did in Jesus. David’s line appeared to be dead as Babylon brought doom on Jerusalem. Jeremiah looked beyond the Exile to a twig sprouting out of the dead tree. The dew David would act in righteousness as did God.
The lesson of 1st Thessalonians is knowing other have responded to God and remain faithful due to our ministry leads us to give thanks and praise Jesus’ name. Continual prayer reveals our intense dedication to a project for God. While God waits for the best time to act, we are to continue praying. The Father and Son needed to work together to enable Paul to visit the Thessalonians. The Bible shows both activities of joint action and of separate actions by the three Persons of the Trinity. Paul steadily recorded prayers for spiritual purpose. Love in the congregation and personal moral purity are related to regular intercessory prayer. Finally, Jesus will return one day, but He will not be alone. “Holy ones” will be with Him; these may be angels as in other descriptions of God coming to His people. The “holy ones” may be resurrected believers, but beloved, the important thing is Jesus is going to return!
Chapter 21 of Luke contains references to the end of time, the time when Jesus will return. First of all, only God knows when but many have tried o figure it out on their own, only to fail miserably. Jesus described that there will signs in the sun, moon, and stars, and then he mentions nations will be perplexed and anguish, that there would be roaring and tossing of the sea, men would fall from terror, etc., and then the Son of Man would be seen coming in a cloud with all His power and great glory. He then gives us the parable of fig trees, with freshly sprouted leaves you now summer is near and that may also know that the kingdom of God is near.
I have several pictures of Jesus in my office at home. They show him in a variety of ways, but the one I always keep within eyesight is of a man slumping and Jesus (though you cannot see His face) is behind him. With his right hand, he has put it under his right armpit and with His left hand you see him under the man’s left armpit and is being held up by Jesus strength alone. You see in his right hand is a hammer and in his left hand is a nail. This picture represents Jesus’ love for us, that even though our sins caused the nail holes in His hands and feet, He still loves us enough to hold us up. It is a sign of total forgiveness and mercy.
His final words in the gospel of Luke are: “Be always on the watch, and pry that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” At this time beloved, prayer for protection from final tribulation is in order. The day is expected when Christians will have to flee persecution and will need open roads without delay.
The Great Tribulation will be a time of testing, false prophets will claim to be Christ, there will be very trying times, similar to what happened at Jerusalem in 70 AD when it was sacked by the Babylonians, only this will be on a world-wide level. The generation when Jesus returns, will deal with all of this distress, fears, uncertainty, and unparalleled in human history. It will be a time of fears leading people to do things they might not ordinarily do. People will fall to the false prophets, testing will bring about difficult times, but remember this beloved; God is with us, Jesus is with us, and the Holy Spirit will still be with us. The Holy Trinity will be in our corner, but we must cling to it and hold on to our faith in God through Christ. This, will enable us to survive and we will find our ways into God’s Kingdom. Now is the time, beloved, if you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior and begun to live your life for Him, the Tribulation will remove you from His Presence. It’s not too late, but one day it will be. Today, invite Him into your heart, and allow Him to shower you with His love. Amen