Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday, November 17-by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Peter 2, Ezekiel 33-34
Today's scripture focus is Mark 13:24-27

24 “But in those days, following that distress,
“‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[a]
26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

Sometimes it's very easy to get overwhelmed by the little stresses in life. We can be consumed by the things in life that really aren't important in the grand scheme of things. I am in the midst of report card season and let me tell you I can speak to the stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

And yet, as this passage reminds us, this world is not our home. One day it and everything that seems to mean so much right now will pass away. Jesus will come back just as he promised.

MacArthur says:

When Jesus comes, it will be in the very same way as He left. Visibly, manifestly in clouds, they saw it, they watched it, they looked at it and that is exactly the way He will come back, in clouds, visibly. In fact, Revelation 1 verse 7 says, “Every eye will see Him.”...

...It is not going to be a secret event. He’s not going to sneak in. He’s not going to come and nobody knows it. As I said this morning, there are people who think that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. was the Second Coming. There’s no way that you can possibly distort Scripture to come to that conclusion. The world is familiar with the first coming of Christ. They know the elements of that…Bethlehem, the manger, the shepherds, the star, Joseph and Mary, Herod, the magi, the angels, a humble arrival indeed. And it’s filled with sentiment. But the Second Coming will be very, very different. It is an important coming, as important as the first coming, in fact, the culmination of His first coming. In spite of the urgency and importance, the dominating importance of the return of Jesus Christ, it seems to be that there are many people who ignore this greatest of all events. It is regularly understated. It is confused. It is relegated to a non-priority status by Christians, both preachers and parishioners. It ought not to be so. It was said of that Thessalonian church that they were a true church waiting for the Lord from heaven. We need to live in the anticipation of His coming cause he who has this hope in him purifies himself.
We need to live in the anticipation of His coming. He is coming.

MacArthur says:

He comes not only to establish His Kingdom, of course, but He comes to destroy the ungodly who still remain on the earth. Heaven opens to release the conquering King. The white horse, not as a lamb, in His first coming. Not riding the foal of a donkey at His false coronation. But He comes like any great Roman conqueror would come, triumphantly riding on a white horse. That’s the analogy. That’s the picture that lets us know that He’s coming in triumphant. He is the one who is called Faithful and True.
What is that about? That means He comes to keep His promise. He comes to keep His Word. He comes to do what He said He would do. He comes, as well, in righteousness which means He must act against sin. Righteousness will act against sin. Sin will have reached its epoch proportions during that period called the Tribulation. The world will be in the worst condition morally its ever been in. He comes to judge.
Remember John chapter 5, “All judgment was committed to Him. He would raise the dead and judge the living and the dead.” He would cast people into the judgment of condemnation, as well as draw them into His Kingdom. When He came the first time, wicked men judged and condemned Him. When He comes the second time, He will condemn and judge them.

Sin separates us from God. We all have sinned. We all are separated from God but Jesus paid that price and through Him we have salvation. However, it is something we must ask for and receive. IF we confess, He is faithful to forgive but our free will allows us to reject the gift of salvation. If we do, we face the magnitude of God's wrath against sin.

MacArthur concludes:
Father, thank You for Your truth, for the fellowship that we have around it, for how it ties our hearts together because we are really knit together by common love, we’re knit together by common conviction, we’re knit together by common belief. The reason that we love each other, the reason that we care about each other, the reason that we enjoy each other, the reason that we support each other, encourage each other, come alongside each other, pray for each other is because we are bound together by this common set of beliefs, common convictions, the once-for-all-delivered-to-the-saints faith. We have been knit together in love because we believe the same things, and we say the same things and those are the things that bind us…mind to mind and heart to heart. We thank You, Lord, that we not only understand the past and the glories of the birth of Christ, the glories of the cross of Christ, the glories of the resurrection of Christ, but we understand the future and the astonishing realities of His return. And we know it’s nearer than it’s ever been. We’re not going to be foolish and attempt to set a date but there really is nothing that has to happen before the sign less event of the Rapture of the church snatches us away. And the way the world is shaping itself up these days, the kind of events that we see in the book of Revelation could occur. We have that kind of technology. We have that kind of societal structure around the world. These things don’t seem remote. And we’re amazed again, Lord, that when you painted the picture of the end, it was all about the Middle East and it was all about Israel, it wasn’t about South America, it wasn’t about China, it wasn’t about the United States. And in reality, the focus of the world even now is on the Middle East. Your history is on course, we know that. You are the God who not only understands history, but ordains history. And we thank You that You have also ordained our history by making us part of Your elect and bringing us to Yourself in Christ so that we might reign with Christ for a thousand years on this earth and forever and ever in the new heaven and the new earth. This is…this is overwhelming to us that You have been so kind because we are so unworthy. Thank You for Your grace. May we be worthy, as worthy as we can be by demonstrating obedience and love toward you. In the name of Christ. Amen.

Tomorrow's scripture focus is  Mark 14:1-16
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage 2 Peter 3, Ezekiel 35-36

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