Friday, September 9, 2016

Jesus' Return.

Revelation 11

The Seventh Trumpet
15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

“The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
and he will reign for ever and ever.”
16 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying:

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
the One who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
and have begun to reign.
18 The nations were angry,
and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your people who revere your name,
both great and small—
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”
19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.

Finally, we get to the seventh trumpet. The previous judgments have all been partial. Even in this chapter there are some in the temple, the believers, who are protected from the coming judgments. The tribulation lasts for 3 and 1/2 years half of the complete number 7. The judgment is not yet complete!

Then, in the above passage above, we see the kingdom of God coming on earth as it is in heaven. While the previous judgment is partial, when Jesus returns, he will come back to judge the living and the dead. We see the throne of heaven being opened and the ark of the covenant is in the temple. The ark was a reminder of the covenant that God made with Israel, that He would bless them and make them a blessings to all nations, including both Jews and Gentiles. God made a promise to His people, the Israelites, that He would be there God and they would be His people. The prophets who faithfully proclaimed the message He gave them would be rewarded, as well as all others who trusted in the name of Jesus.

We reflect the events of Revelation 11 as some churches recite Apostle's Creed in worship. In the second article concerning Jesus Christ, we confess,

"I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead."

As we believe that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead, this truth gives us urgency to reach others for Christ. What is one way you can be more intentional in reaching out to your friends?

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