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we are called to be the light of the world, to burn alight for Jesus, to shine his love and grace to those around us, to be like a candle in a dark room illuminating the truth of who God is.
Jesus IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD and he is the one who calls us to be lights in teh world, shining like stars in a corrupt generation. he passes the mission onto us. as he shines so we should shine. as he revealed the Father so we should reveal the Father.
be burning for God.
(Chris Quilala, Jesus Culture)
Here inside Your presence,
I’m taken by the wonder of You
Here inside Your glory,
we give our lives fully to You
And we cry Holy, Holy are You
We cry Holy, Holy are You
Your Love it burns inside,
Our hearts are satisfied by You
Your Love is all we want,
is why we ask for more of You
Holy, Holy are You
Our hearts are burning, burning for You
We are Your burning ones,
We are consumed by You
We set our lives apart,
We are consumed by You
So let this light be like a fire, Let our light be like a flame
Fill our souls with Your desire, Let our passion bring You fame
So let this love be like a fire, Let our lives be like a flame
Fill our souls with Your desire, Let our passion bring You fame
When Jesus appeared, it was like a candle in a dark room; people could finally see a way to God.“ from Sound of A Soft Breath
One of the most fascinating things I think about the end times is that even 60 years ago so much of it seemed in the realm of fantasy and strangeness… yet today some of the things mentioned in the book of revelation and other books in the bible is technologically possible and also we can see things lining up and heading in a direction…
The mark of the beast – potentially a computer chip embedded in the skin…
One world government – in a global community like ours facing global issues like recession and humanitarian issues like pandemics and famine and injustice…
War against israel – Jerusalem surrounded by enemies – sounds like the middle eastern conflict – something that was really only possible since 1948
Charles Spurgeon says: “We foresee from The Word, despite its obscurity, that strange and wonderful events will happen, such as are depicted by seals and scrolls, and warriors with avenging swords, and falling stars, and shrivelled sky, and a reeling earth, and I know not what beside; but when we have put all together and have been amazed at the visions that flit before us like visions in the night, we rejoice to learn at the end of them all, “All these things are ours, whatever they may be.”
Aka the bible says the end times will be weird and wonderful, supernatural and spiritual, earth shaking and great and terrible.
There are things I don’t understand about the end times and I confess I don’t really try to, I am quite happy for God to work it all out and I’ll just watch and see and be ready.
Things like the:
Times and weeks in Daniel
The horses and the trumpets
Pre, mid or post trib – everyone has an answer… but God knows for sure!
The seals and scrolls
The things with eyes and wheels and eyes on the wheels…
But what I DO know and DO stand upon is that:
God is God
- my Lord, my King, my protector, my provider, my security, my Father, my saviour, my deliver.
1 Peter 1:5 says You have faith in God whose power will protect you until the last day.
In all seasons and all times we can trust him to be all we need and more.
In fact whatever happens and in whatever timeframe – i think these two Revelation verses are key to the end times – that we should make real in our lives right now and for every day we have left.
God’s people must learn to endure. They must also obey his commands and have faith in Jesus. Revelation 14:12
This means that God’s people must learn to endure and be faithful! Revelation 3:10
Whatever happens and in whatever timeframe – the tribulation, the mark of the beast, the rapture, the signs and wonders in the heavens, the antichrist declaring himself, the two witnesses etc – we must learn to endure and be faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ. That is our role. Our job. To be obedient Christians. To have faith in God. To trust Him.
We need to be prepared to live like Jesus is coming back on Tuesday or sometime after then. We need to live for the short term and the long term.
In the 1970’s when people thought Jesus was coming back asap they stopped planning for the future and built bunkers and stored food and learned how to survive in the bush… they didn’t go to uni, get jobs, build a future. That’s not kosher.
At the same time we need to not live thinking that Jesus will come back in my great great great grandkids time and that living for him full on isn’t something we need to worry about or put into practice.
I don’t need to tell you about the time or date when all this will happen. You surely know that the Lord’s return will be as a thief coming at night. People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them like the pains of a woman about to give birth. And they won’t escape. My dear friends, you don’t live in darkness, and so that day won’t surprise you like a thief. You belong to the light and live in the day. We don’t live in the night or belong to the dark. Others may sleep, but we should stay awake and be alert. People sleep during the night, and some even get drunk. But we belong to the day. So we must stay sober and let our faith and love be like a suit of armor. Our firm hope that we will be saved is our helmet. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7
No one knows the day or hour. The angels in heaven don’t know, and the Son himself doesn’t know. Only the Father knows. Matthew 26:36
There is a day coming. It’s guaranteed. We can be wise and look at the signs and read the news and read the bible and see patterns and themes that God has placed in His Word being outworked. But there is a day coming that will come as a glorious surprise. It will be expected but unexpected.
There are seasons and life to walk through up to that point and the goal of all life – whether we live and die or live and are raptured is that we are found to belong to God.
Learn every lesson now. Be prepared now. Learn to overcome now. Learn to discern now. Don’t be on cruise control thinking you’ll get to that tomorrow or next week or when you’re 34.
Who knows how long we have the freedom to meet like this? Who knows how long we will be able to own 6 copies of the bible? Who knows how long it is before we see the things foretold in revelation as headline news? Some of it I reckon already is….
Learn now the lessons God is teaching you so that when and if we can stand and be victorious.
Breather: want to know my personal preference though. I hope that Jesus doesn’t come back until after late 2010 – because that is when Lost finally finishes…
- did you know that I mention Lost in every message I do? And Dave pointed out I also make gun noises….
You see the point of talking about end times and thinking about end times and being prepared for end times – both that it will happen on Tuesday or sometime after then – is this:
Revelation 21 says:
I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea. Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband. I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:
God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.
Then the one sitting on the throne said:
I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty. All who win the victory will be given these blessings. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Revelation 21:1-7
God and the Lamb will be seated there on their thrones, and its people will worship God and will see him face to face. Revelation 22:3-4
Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life will be in the city. Revelation 21:27
Only those who belong to God. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Only those who are children of God.
We are eternal beings. Life isn’t about what we experience in our bodies on this patch of dirt right here. Our life right now is just a blink the scale of eternity time.
John 14:6 says “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
You need to make sure that you’re ready – we know Jesus is coming back. We can see things lining up around us that line up with what the Word of God says in preparation for his great event. It is expected, yet it will be unexpected.
It is only through faith in Jesus that we are made acceptable to God. It is only through believing in Jesus and believing that he died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins that we can draw close to God and have access in this life through prayer and in the next life living it face to face. It is only through faith in Jesus that we are rescued. In the book.
Without faith in Jesus, without Jesus, without accepting what he did and becoming a Christian supernaturally we are dead and sinful and guilty. Not in the book.
You don’t want to be not in the book.
You want the book to opened and find your name in there and hear God say “welcome, you belong here with me.”
This is the point of talking about end times. There is a generation of people out there who may not even know why Jesus came the first time, let alone that he is coming back in glory and power.
The challenge is for us to live knowing God and making Him known. It is always that. The challenge is to always live real Christian lives – having faith in God, trusting Him, being obedient to his call and his ways. To be faithful and endure. The challenge is to share the message of good news so that people are ready for death and ready for eternity – however they get there.
To finish up, let me tell you about a dream my son had. When Caleb was younger he was very very “change reluctant” aka shy. He didn’t do news at kindy or talk up the front anywhere. When Caleb was little we were blessed to have Helen, emma and keryn run “courageous cubs” which was a kids programme run at church here on a Wednesday morning, and us mums would go and drink coffee, talk and pray and eat yummy morning tea. Anyway this is such a vivid recollection for me. I can remember we were driving down Ridge road, past St Andrews church and Caleb said, “I had a dream last night mummy. Last night I dreamed that I saw Jesus flying in the sky without an aeroplane and we all flew up to meet him.” Even now saying it my heart slows. And the hair on my neck stands up a bit… Caleb at that age had never heard about the rapture or even really that jesus was coming back again. What also did it for me was the way he said it, his voice, his presence. He went to courageous cubs and for the first and probably only time did news. He told the girls about the dream. They could spot the difference in his voice and presence.
Jesus is coming back. It is real. We are going to fly in the sky to meet Him. It will be the end of life as we know it and the beginning of glory and heaven. Be ready.
I believe that in the heart of every believer, since the very first disciples, God has placed within us all a longing for the return of Jesus as mighty King. In every generation since the first church they have declared that Jesus is coming soon. They were not mistaken. They were not deceived. They were drawing near to God and hearing his heartbeat for the redemption of the world. Our soon is closer than their soon. The signs are there. Open your eyes and look and believe and trust God and live in the light and be ready. Be ready. Have your name in the book and take as many other people as possible.
message for young adults church sunday 20th september