Saturday, November 24, 2012

Proper 29

Mark 13:24-31 - Anticipation concerning Jesus’ 2nd Advent

Almighty and ever-living God, since You have given exceedingly great and precious promises to those who believe, grant us so perfectly and without all doubt to believe in Your Son Jesus Christ, that our faith in Your sight may never be reproved.

Jesus prophesied that the end of all things would come. He also revealed to the inner circle of His disciples that He would come again in triumph and glory to gather His followers. He promised that He would come to claim His church. Jesus invites us, His disciples today, to an awareness and sense of anticipation of His second advent. He reminds us that though heaven and earth will pass away His words will not pass away.

  1. The Old Testament prophets already predicted the last days, of which Jesus speaks. Prophets such as Joel (3:14-21), Amos, (5:18-20) and Obadiah (15) pointed to “the day of the Lord” as a day of judgment. Prophets such as Jeremiah (9:25) and Amos (4:2; 8:11) used the expression, “behold, the days are coming” to forecast a time when God’s wrath and anger would be poured out on sinful humankind. The prophets of old predicted the end of days. Jesus has promised He will fulfill it. At the right time, when the last person has been converted, when sum total of all believers has come, then the end will come.
  1. Jesus taught His inner circle of disciples about the last days. There will be sings in the sun, moon, and stars. Heaven and earth will pass away. The process of the original creation will be reversed. The days are getting shorter. Soon, the shortest day of the year will be upon us, then the days will become longer until, finally it is at last summer. As we can mark times, and seasons so we too heed the words of Jesus has He has given us His clear word concerning the end. You need not fear the last day because Jesus has ordered it. And if He has ordered it, and controls it, He will order and control all of your days.  
  1. Christ’s second coming will be the occasion of final deliverance and salvation for Christ’s people. Jesus Christ identifies Himself as, ”one like a son of man” in Daniel 7. In the original context, He pointed forward beyond His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension to His second coming in triumph, majesty, and glory, the time when He will gather His saints to share with Him the glories of His church triumphant. When that day comes, all sickness, sorrow, hurt and pain will be a thing of the past. He will wipe every ear from your eye and the former things will be a thing of the past.
  1. As we believers anticipate Christ’s second coming, Jesus reminds us that His word are forever; they will not pass away (Mark 13:31). The last great has not yet come.  As a result,  believers also need to hear the proclamation of both the Law as well as the Gospel (Matthew 28:20; 1 Thessalonians 2:13) We daily need to hear that we are fallen sinners. We also need to be reminded that we have been saved by God’s grace through faith for Christ’s sake.  

The earth of which we live is not eternal. Heaven and earth will pass away. Jesus has predicted all these events. The Lord Jesus has promised that His words will last forever. He invites us to trust and to treasure particularly the assurance of forgiveness that comes from His death and resurrection. Rejoice in the three great realities; forgiveness, life, salvation. Live as it this might be the last day, for you know, it very well just might be! 

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