Blog Archive

Monday, November 30, 2015

What on Earth’s Going to Happen?

This is an outline of the message I shared the Parkrose Nursing Home United Church Fellowship on 29/11/15 

In talking to my friend Norbert in Ghana a few weeks ago he was reflecting on the state of the world with horrible things happening all the time.

"What's the world coming to?" he pondered.

I said a man called Ray Stedman has written a very good book on the subject.

It's called:

"What on Earth’s Going to Happen?"

Hence the title of my address this morning.

Every morning when we wake up do we look forward to what the day might bring?

Or do we get quite down because of all the doom and gloom?

Particularly when we read the news or watch it on TV.

Some of us become very concerned about what is going to happen to this world.

Concerned about wars, climate change, accidents,bush fires,earthquakes, tornadoes, even sharks if we swim in the sea.

We become quite fearful.

You know some fear is healthy.

The fear that comes when you see a poisonous snake nearby, or spider that causes you to give it a wide berth.

That is a healthy fear.

Unhealthy fear is always worrying about the world we live in.

Where worry and fear becomes our constant companion.
Some people are very superstitious and consult with fortune tellers and read the stars or horoscopes in the magazines and newspapers.

The Bible tells us that we should not be doing this.

In Christian circles some Churches specialize in often bringing a sermon about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and the end times.

My formative Christian  years were at the Grote Street Church of Christ where the late Pastor Harold Long often preached on the “second coming” .
(see below a link to my youtube channel where I have posted audio of some of Harold's addresses on the subject in the 1970's) 

Some Churches don’t bother to talk about it hardly at all.

That is sad because the whole Bible is given to us for our benefit and blessing.

This includes the book of revelation which many find too hard to bother with.

Our late Aunty Doreen used to say that sermons should be based on the Book, The Blood and the blessed Hope.

I am inclined to agree with her.
Our communion service should definitely have these elements in it.

Getting back to looking at what the world is coming to.

If we are always worrying about the future
It can mean we are taking our eyes off how Jesus can make a difference in  our lives and the lives of others here and now.

If we go to Jesus in prayer,daily Bible reading,Christian worship both here in a setting like this or privately what a difference , what a change can come into our lives each day.

In looking at the daily offerings in the news we can see that the world seems to be plunging headlong into a crisis.

I believe it is, and, we can understand in broad terms what is going to eventually happen through studying the Bible.

Our Bible reading today is Jesus telling the disciples what some of the signs are of His coming again.

Luke 21:25-28New Living Translation (NLT)
25 “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. 26 People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then everyone will see the Son of Man[a] coming on a cloud with power and great glory.[b] 28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”
And there is much more of His teaching on this theme in Luke 21 and also Matthew 24.
Here is some of Matthew 24. Verses 4-14
Jesus talking to His disciples. It is the same time as the Luke passage.

Matthew 24:4-14New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.[a] 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations[b] will hear it; and then the end will come.
In spite of what’s coming as Christians we have nothing to fear.

2 Timothy 1:7
  KJ  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

AMP For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].

God has given us His Holy Spirit when we became Christians.

If we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives then this verse will become true.

This means we are expected to use our God given abilities and to put into practice what the Bible teaches us.

Reading all the words of Jesus in the New Testament is a good place to start to actually learn what God’s will is for us.

So when we look at the papers or the TV what do we do?

Do we despair or do we pray?

When you learn of terrible things pray for those who are left to suffer.

We can be praying for the people who have suffered as a result of this weeks bushfire in the Barossa Valley.

We can pray that evil men will be reached by God’s Holy Spirit.

We can pray for world leaders who make right decisions.

Those leaders we agree with and those we don’t.

We can love our enemies as we are instructed too.

Pray for your loved ones when they are travelling on our roads.

So what on earth is going to happen?

One thing you can be sure is that God has a plan.

He is even now working out His plan in the lives of all of us as we let Him.

One day we will all stand before our God.

It is my prayer for all of us that He will say well done thou good and faithful servant.

We don’t need to know the future.

We need to know Jesus who has the future under control.

We do need to know that time is advancing.

We look at the time each day and don’t take too much notice of time ticking away.

We use it to measure when we think we should eat, get up, go to bed, go to an appointment but it just ticks away each day.

The time when we sometimes take notice is at midnight on New Years Eve.
Then we notice another year has slipped by and that time is indeed advancing.

Our present time is an exceedingly important commodity.

It is given to us to redeem and be redeemed.

We do not need to know what the world’s coming too but who is coming to the world.

In fact He is already here living within us.

We do not need to be full of worry about the future.
 We do need to watch and wait for it will be agreat day when Jesus returns.
We should be looking forward to it.

No one knows when that will be.

It could be today or another 1000 years .

But we should live our lives as if He were coming today.

Jesus living in us is more than sufficient for us to deal with any evil that may come our way.

I heard the voice of Jesus say is our closing Hymn.

(read this out first)

2. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink and live."
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream.
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.

3. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's Light.
Look unto Me; thy morn shall rise
And all thy day be bright."
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In Him my Star, my Sun;
And in that Light of Life I'll walk
      Till traveling days are done.

 (Sing Hymn now.)
Prayer before benediction.

“Lord Jesus ,thank you that we do not need to wait until some future day to know the glory of your presence, but can experience it every day that we live.
But we pray that in this moment of waiting and watching we shall recognize that the strength of our hope is determined by our experience of your present life.
Teach us then how to “occupy until you come”, in a ministry of loving concern and help to others.
In your name we pray Amen.

 Benediction 1 Thess 3:11-13  

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13New Living Translation

12 And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. 13 May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen
Now unto Him

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