Daniel 12:1-3–At a time of great trouble, both the living and the dead will be delivered and the wicked condemned. This week’s Old Testament lesson comes from the prophet Daniel. It deals with the Persian period of history and predicts the end of history. At the end there will be great trouble in the world, but God’s people will be delivered because Michael, Israel’s angelic guardian will come to their rescue. The saved will be those living and dead who have their names in the book of life, a list of God’s faithful people. Here is a statement of the resurrection from the Old Testament. The dead will be raised for eternal life or for eternal death (“contempt”). This life is not the end, but the final verdict comes at the resurrection.
The close of history will be a time of trouble. This harmonizes with the sayings of Jesus in the Gospel. Each generation has been in trouble. Each generation thinks the trouble is worse than any previous one. This can surely be the claim for the closing years of this age. It is a troubled period resulting from the threat of warfare, energy deficiency, poverty, illiteracy, and wholesale poverty.
God promises that there will be deliverance from the trouble of the last age. This is not a universal prospect. Only those who have their names written in the book will be saved. What book? Whose book? It is God’s book. It is the book of God’s people, a book of life. When a person is baptized he receives a new name to correspond to his born-again nature and that name is recorded in God’s book. When the roll is called up yonder, will your name be mentioned?
Death here is portrayed as a sleep. At the end of the world, the dead will be awakened to face judgment. Some will go to heaven and some to hell. This corresponds to Jesus’ parable of the judgment as a separation of the sheep and the goats. Here we have an Old Testament case of resurrection. If there is a resurrection, immortality is assured – an eternity of life or of death. 
A prayer for Christ’s return – O Lord, absolve Your people from their offenses that from the bonds of our sins, which by reason of our weakness we have brought upon us, we may be delivered by Your bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. -10 November 2021
 The Crucifixion, Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
 Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH
 Collect for Christ’s Return, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing, St. Louis