The Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16:1-18)

The Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16:1-18) by Johnny

parable_shrewd_manager

“Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’ “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’

“So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ “ ‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied. “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’ “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’ “ ‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.””
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“The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”
‭‭
““The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law. “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” ~Luke‬ ‭16:1-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Manager: cunning, shrewd, rascal

In today’s business world, “scratching each other’s back”

Christ not teaching us to be dishonest, but there is a lesson to learn

2 groups of people:
1. People of the world: physical
2. People of the light: spiritual; personal relationship w God

Understand shrewdness of the world but not becoming like the world

Every week we hear of scams & corruption
Not just uneducated but professionals
We need a little wisdom as we live & operate in world filled with dishonest people
If not shrewd, eaten up like lamb among wolves

We must learn to be wise & at same time innocent as doves
Like every command in Christian life, is impossible without indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Money is not evil; it is morally neutral
It is what we do with money that determines the moral value
It can be used to build shelters for poor, educating, building churches & spreading the Gospel
In the other extreme it can be used to smuggle drugs & firearms, to but a very expensive branded bag, etc

1 Timothy 6:9-10
If chasing for money, we end up with no time for God

“Money Defined: An article which may be used as a universal passport to everywhere except Heaven, and as a universal provider for everything except happiness.  Money is a wonderful servant and a terrible master.”- Anonymous, published in the Wall Street Journal

Worldly Wealth
All the wealth in the world belongs to God
God is the one who causes us to prosper, however much He has given us

When we crave for something, ask is it a need or a want?
He will meet our needs but never promised to meet our wants
If we have money to buy lunch & drive a car, we are wealthier than 80% of the world

Heavenly Wealth
If we proof we are worthy with worldly wealth, He will entrust us with heavenly riches
He is trustworthy – Let us go ahead & trust Him

““No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭16:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

If you live for the sake of making money, you cannot serve the true God
If we serve the true God, He will enable us to make money
The love of God comes first!

V9: one day money will be gone
Think of a wealthy person you know that has passed away
For example Loh Boon Siew was poor & made his millions but

Supermarket there’s an expiry or best before date
Thank God that there is no expiry date for he Bible

God has given us grace, salvation & gifts to use wisely for His name. To invest in people for His Word. To be able to use what He has blessed us with wisely.

Romans 2:1-16

Romans 2:1-16
By Chen

Judgment

Statute of Justice
Brutus the elder had to judge his own soms for rebellion
One day, Christ passing judgment against those who rebel against Him

Paul writing to 2 groups:
1. Jews who think they are exempted
2. Gentiles who claim they don’t have the law (and thus not facing judgment)
Jews traditionally think God will wipe out Gentiles & special favour for Jews
Jews focus on ritual & sacraments

God judges on us 6 different elements
1. Knowledge
2. Truth
3. Guilt
4. Deeds
5. Impartiality
6. Motives

1. Knowledge
Therefor: re – prev chapters
Pass judgment: know that God will judge you

““Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

2. Truth
We know: common knowledge, fact & truth
Perfectly judged not based on superficiality

“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭32:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

3. Guilt
We all experience God’s goodness & providence
Tolerance: forbearance, ceasing hostility – Christ holding back His judgment not wanting people to perish
When we sin, we are showing contempt
The wages of sin is death
Every time we sin, God has the right to take our lives away

4. Deeds
Not talking about salvation by works

““I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.””
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Works: product of our faith

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Distress: origins – narrow place

5. Impartiality
God does not show favouritism
Each of us having different degree of work
Those who sin without knowing the truth will still perish
Perish: not functioning as intended
Intended: continue to worship God VS hell and suffering

““The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭12:47-48‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Declared righteous: obey the law, Bible

Non-believers judgment
1. Creation: revealed to all His wrath & nature (Rom 1:20)
2. Conduct: do by nature things required by the law (wrong to kill; speak out on injustices, pay our debts, etc)
3. Conscience: inner voice & sense of what is right vs wrong
4. Contemplation: accuse/defend others; capacity to know what is right & wrong

6. Motives
Feel good about ourselves?
Relieve guilt?
God knows our motives (Psalm 139:1-7)
Seat warming on Sunday? No deeds to show? Ungrateful?

“But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭2:5‬ ‭NIV

Acknowledge God as our Lord who searches our hearts & thoughts.

Pray for deeds/conduct that is not right to correct us & worthy of God’s calling. To appreciate & be thankful for you are a good who is always fair & is the giver of our lives.

Serving in One Body

Serving in One Body based on Ephesians 4 by Stephen

serve-one-another

Ephesians 4:1-8, 11-16

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.This is why it says:

“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

serving-in-one-body

 

Introduction

Ephesians can be divided into 2 parts: doctrine & duty

Ephesians Chapters 1-3 is on doctrine – our riches in Christ

Ephesians Chapters 4-6 is on duty – our responsibilities to Christ

Ephesians 4 on our duty to serve as a member of Christ’s body.

 

Eph 4:1-3

 

“Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” ~Numbers 12:3

Jesus says this: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” ~Matthew 11:29

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” ~1 Corinthians 3:4

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” ~Colossians 3:15

Principle:  Believers are to live worthy lives, humbly & patiently, to be united in Spirit & peace.

Illustration: An old man had many sons, who were always falling out with one another. He had often, but to no purpose, exhorted them to live together in harmony. One day he called them round him, and producing a bundle of sticks, bade them try each in turn to break it across. Each put forth all his strength, but the bundle resisted all their efforts. Then, cutting the cord which bound the sticks together, he told his sons to break them separately. This was done with the greatest ease. “See, my sons,” exclaimed the father, “the power of unity! Bound together by brotherly love, you may defy almost every mortal ill; divided, you will fall a prey to your enemies.”

Application: What are your life priorities? Work? Wealth? Bf/gf/spouse? God? Need to know your priorities & not have priorities change every time the wind blows!

What are you busy with daily? Endless list of things to do? Making money? Enjoying life? Or is your priority on things of God?

How much time do you spend with God? Do you have personal quiet time daily with God? Read the Bible daily? Bible study? Pray more than 5 times a day? A matter of heart & honestly answering on how important is God truly your priority daily.

 

Eph 4:4-6

Ephesians 4-6 is about the unity of Christians as one. The only foundation that is strong is Christ & the Word of God.

Indeed God has dominion over all creation, especially His church & through all were God works using His people & even non-believers to accomplish His will.

Principle:  We are one – in body, spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, God & father

Illustration: Mahatma Gandhi’s life philosophy was based on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Gandhi even was in England, South Africa & elsewhere to know more about Christianity but never became a Christian. The Christian missionary Stanley Jones asked him: “Mr Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is it that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower (Christian)”? The latter’s reply was clear: “Oh, I don’t reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It is just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ”. Our actions & words as Christ’s body affects how others especially non-believers view Christianity.

Application: Examine how we are one body in so many ways. In what ways are you one with Christ in?

In what ways do you need to change your heart, mind & actions?

Eph 4:7-8, 11-3 (T9)

 

Christ is He who is the giver of all this gifts. Christ who resurrected, conquering death & ascended into heaven. Christ is pictured like a triumphant & great riding in on His chariot & leading His captives & sharing the spoils with his followers. Captives here does not refer to non-Christians but our conquered spiritual enemies, our sinful nature & even death!

 

Apostles refers to the 12 chosen divinely by Christ to witness His death & resurrection. While today there are no more apostles, we are all called to apostolic ministry. Apostolic ministry includes prayer, building the kingdom of God on earth, equipping & strengthening churches. It is not the job of elders & deacons but every member.

When we think of prophets, we often think of prophecies & foretelling of future events. However, a prophet’s primary role is to proclaim the Word of God for the purpose of edification & encouragement. Christians today however receive spiritual knowledge not directly from the Spirit nor through prophets BUT through the Spirit from studying & reading His Word.

Evangelists are bearers of good news. While not everyone is an evangelist, we are all called to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim 4:5). All of us are to witness for Christ & bring people to know Him.

Pastors & teachers are shepherds like how an assembly is a flock of sheep. The pastor leads his flock following the example of Christ who is our Good Shepherd. In our assemblies, pastors are known as elders.

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:1-3)

The primary role of a pastor or elder is to feed & lead the flock. Feeding refers to spiritual food which is the Word of God. Other responsibilities depending on the assembly’s needs would be on pastoral life, pastoral counselling & pastoral leadership.

 

Principle:  Each of us is apportioned Christ’s grace & given gifts equipping us to works of service building up the body of Christ until all reach unity, knowledge & maturity like Christ

Illustration: Story of this woman named Poppy Smith in Australia. When she was teaching a Bible study class, one of the other leaders told her that “Maybe God will use you in speaking at women’s retreats & conferences.” Poppy responded with “Why would I want to do that?” Later the HS convicted her & Poppy repented of her “I’ll do what I want attitude”. She changed her heart & attitude so God can use her to bless others. Poppy still fills inadequate & out of depth sometimes but she holds on to 3 truths from God’s Word:

  1. We are equipped to serve by our gifting of the HS (1 Cor 12:4-7)
  2. We are empowered to serve by the indwelling power of the HS (Eph 3:16-21)
  3. We are expected to serve & bear fruit that glorifies our Father (John 15:1-8)

Application: In what times in your life can you recall receiving God’s grace?

How are you using God’s gifts to you to serve & build up the body of Christ?

How are we as a church growing in unity, knowledge & maturity like Christ?

Eph 4:14-16

 

Truth without love is brutality
Love without truth is hypocrisy

 

The more we love, honour, depend & grow in our relationship with Christ, the more we flourish in grace & see God’s impact in our lives. He is our head thus we honour Him.

As members of one body, we are not only together as one but we belong to one another. We affect each other & we need one another. Every believer whether young or old in age or faith has a role to play in ministering & encouraging one another in different ways. If you are isolated, you cannot minister to others nor can others minister to you.

This spiritual unity of the body of Christ is not something we create but it is from Christ as it is His body. Our role is to love & protect His body. Not attacking any part of the body. But we can & should rebuke & teach in both truth & love.

Truth unites, but lies divides.

Love unites, but selfishness divides.

Principle:  We are to no longer be infants tossed around by evil but speak the truth, grow, build & work in love, growing to be like Christ our head who holds & joins us the body together.

Illustration: The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But the Good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” – Martin Luther King Jr

Application: Are you growing & serving in love Christ & his people?

With whom will you share the truth of His Word this week ahead?

Conclusion

Christ is our head & us, one serving growing body. We as His people are not to seek excesses but to grow & serve with truth, love & maturity as one body following Christ who has equipped us. All the members of our church can reach a greater measure of love to Christ & one another. Loving & serving among Christians leads to spiritual growth as it is in love & it’s fruits that the body edifies itself; whereas a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.

Psalm 27: Wait for the Lord

Psalm 27: Wait for the Lord
By Wei Sheng

wait-for-the-Lord

Focus on what should we do when we wait for the Lord

Wait definition: to stay in a place in expectation of something to happen or have to do

How many of us can wait for 30mins?
I myself can’t even wait for 5mins! End up pacing & doing things to distract myself from agony of waiting.

Either we are anxious or agitated.
God however does not want us to wait in anxiety.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When we have difficulties, what do we do when we face a problem? Google? Ask someone nearby? For David, the Lord is his 1st light & salvation.
Whom shall I fear? David has a high view of God – bigger than everything else (enemies, problems, etc)
Lord = stronghold; David’s security. What is ours? Money? Job? Loved ones? These are blessings from God. But for David, was none of these but God – David’s ultimate security.

“When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Very few of us today have mortal enemies but for David there were actual physical threats to his life.

“Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Not hyperbole. David really has full confidence in God. Even from when he was young facing Goliath.

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What if you can only ask one thing to God right now, what would you ask? Solve problem? Something causing you anxiety? But for David is to only me near with God. That is the ultimate blessing & security being near God.
Do we seek God like David did? He has confidence that if he is near God, he has nothing to worry about.

To gaze on the beauty of the Lord when we are besieged by problems is very difficult. This is what David wants & what David did.

How close are we with God? This reflects our relationship with Him.

“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Not asking for God to solve His problem, but to be in His dwelling. How many of us can truly say “God will take care of me”, let it go & dwell in the Lord.

“Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The confidence David has with God. David is not just waiting indifferently but continually singing & seeking God. We must believe that God can not only solve our problems but lift us higher. With Him & in Him we will rise above our own fears & problems. He knows as a certainty that God will save him.

Attitude of not just waiting but to seek Him & desire to be with Him

David was not prideful but knows that he is a sinner. God is willing to listen to us because He is merciful.

“Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:7-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Sometimes we think because we have been walking right by God, we think we are ok with God & become like Pharisees having confidence not in God but own behavior.

Pray for God to answer & help us. Have we sinned without realising? Do we become discontent & draw away from God?

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Not saying our parents will forsake us, but that God loves us so much. Even more than humanly possible by our parents.

In life, we have good family members, friends, etc. But all of us make mistakes & will fail others. Only God is perfect.

“Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

David seeking not only God’s help but wanting to walk with the Lord. If we are not walking in His way, we cannot see His plan & purpose. Ask God to help us to walk in His way.

When we are under pressure or treated unfairly by others, we tend to do things that hurt ourselves & displease God. Instead, we need to seek more & more of God.

“Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

David knows that God has control over all. Everything that happens is with God’s permission.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:13-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In times of darkness, how much confidence do you have in God?

David was able to stay in one place waiting expectantly.

When we face difficulties & feel agitated let’s see how David waited in Psalms 27. It is not so much for something to happen but for God to fill us. Let us seek God in confidence of God’s greatness & goodness.

Psalm 23

Psalm 23
By Sinnappan

The Lord as our shepherd & us as His sheep

Lord-my-shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23:1-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

• V1: Provider
• V2: Peace
• V3: Preserver
• V4: Protector
• V5: Portion
• V6: Present

“Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭95:8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭31:10‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Jesus in NT as good, great & chief shepherd

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

My: closeness, intimate relationship
Want: need, feel low/deprived
Sheep not just a number bringing income but a personal loving caring relationship
Every single soul is precious

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Lie down: resting in peace
Picture of the Lord giving us assurance & comfort
We can trust & depend on Him
Lead sheep not driven

“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:3 NKJV

Restores: brings back
For the glory of His name
Corrected by Him

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Many rocky cliffs in between mountains where robbers & predators would hide
Place where threat up to death is there
God is with me
Standard shepherd equipment: rod (club w rounded knob used as weapon) & staff (walking stick 6ft long with crook bent on 1 end)
Comfort me as used to protect animals & to lift me up when stuck in crevices between rocks

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Feeding of the sheep
Sheep sitting at the table?!
In the presence of enemies?!
But feel safe as God is watching
Oil: cooling when applied on head & strengthens hair; keeps sheep cool
Cup: through keeping water where sheep drink from
Runs over: full & overflowing; no need to worry
Can depend on God to provide what we need

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The Lord in His presence is always there
We may not realise God is with us all the time
But He is! Even when we don’t feel that he is near
If there is a sense of separation, it’s because we have withdrawn/drifted from Him
Presence of the Lord – an assurance
Jesus’ divine attribute: omnipresent
God is not far – only 1 prayer away

We should learn to follow, trust & obey Him
Then we can live in peace & confidence
Not in need as He is there
Secret of joy: trusting in God & not on what God provides

Basic Eschatology: An Introduction

Basic Eschatology: An Introduction. What’s the difference between the different views
By P.B. Teo
At SNGH

PB Teo

Introduction

What is eschatology?
Greek: end (last) things
-logy: knowledge/study

Doctrines & examples

1. Fundamentals of Faith

  • Salvation by faith
  • Christ alone
  • Scripture only
  • Deity of Christ
  • Resurrection of Christ
  • Trinity

2. Primary Doctrines

  • Eldership
  • Baptism by immersion
  • Sign gifts
  •  Dispensationalisation
  • Eschatology view

3. Tertiary Issues

  • Communion cup(s)
  • Musical instrument(s)
  • Dress code

Each church led by elders accountable to God (not other elders)

Content
1. 3 major views

  • Premillenial, Post-millennial, Amillenial
  • Pre-tribulation, Post-tribulation

2. Explain mak justification behind each viewpoint
3. Implications of each view
4. Why we believe in the viewpoint: Premillennial & pre-tribulation
Note: do not get angry with others with different viewpoint or as heretics as does not affect a believers salvation

Not Covering
1. Details events of great tribulation
2. Details time anti-Christ
3. Details Daniel’s 70 weeks

Outline
• Introduction
• 3 key events
• 2 key interpretation rules
• 3 views
• Summary

3 Key Events
• Millennium (Revelation 20)
• Great tribulation (Matthew 24)
• Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

2 Key Interpretation Rules
• How literal is “Literal”?
• Literal vs contextual
• Is the church = New Israel?

Eg How many days did God take to create the world? 6 days (literal)
How many people did God create? 2 (literal)
Parting of Red Sea = literal

The Lord’s eyes ran to & fro the earth
Figurative that God watches everything (not literal)

Israel transformed & God now loves the church?!

Millennium (Revelation 20)
V1: Angel down from heaven
1000 years? Literal / symbolic of long time?
Where did this happen?
Re: Rev 20:2-7
V3 Satan bound – deceive not
V4, 6 Saints reigned
V5-6 1st resurrection
V7 Satan released & decieved
V11-13 Great white throne judgment works

Angels come from heaven
Saints rules on earth 1000years
Satan bound
1st resurrection
Great white throne judgment (2nd death)

Are we judged by works?
Salvation for believers not by our works
This judgment are for those not received the word of Christ

3 Millennial Views

Three-Millennial-Views

Premillennial

  • Christ reigns literally for 1000years
  • Satan bound no longer able to deceive the nations
  • End released, war

Post-millennial

  • Only comes after 1000 years
  • Viewpoint that Christ is reigning in our hearts & church
  • Support for this viewpoint fading with increasing occurrence gay marriages, ISIS, etc

Amillenial

  • A=none (no millennial)
  • Symbolic millennium
  • 1000 years = long time; reflects the church age
  • Bound in the sense that satan cannot raise enemies (?)
  • Christians are reigning now (?)

Church replaces Israel?
Amillenials: God has one majestic plan throughout the ages & the church has morphed into the new Israel

Premillennials: Israel will return during the Millennium

Distinction between Israel & church

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:31-32‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jews: Israelites
Greeks: Gentiles
Church of God: God’s people
Jews purposely mentioned!

Romans 9-11

Expounds on God not giving up Israel
Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ
Promised Israel nation will never leave or forsake you

“I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel:

Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭11:1-2, 11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Speaking to Gentiles now (Romans 11:25-32)

We are privileged
Jews had rejected the Messiah
Gospel given to Gentiles to provoke Jews to jealousy
Israel still exists; Gospel is still for Jews
Majority Jews will turn to Messiah… one day

Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob

Not talking about church but nation of Israel

Many promises (many not yet fulfilled) for Israel

  • Abrahamic covenant
    • Genesis 12:1-3, 7; 15:5-20; 17:3-8; 28:13-15
    • Literal land promise – all the way to Jacob (not including Ishmael nor Esau)
    • Unconditional (single sides covenant only God committed)
    • Unfulfilled (Egypt to Euphrates land never fully owned – hasn’t happened yet!)
    • Unceasing love (Jeremiah 31:1-5, 31-40)
  • Land promise
    • After divided kingdom lost their land
  • Covenant of peace (Ezekiel 34:1-2, 25-30)
    • God will still being Israel back to a time of peace

If God is a faithful God, He will fulfil it one day. When? (Believed to be) in the millennium

When will Israel be cast out?
Only when the sun, moon & stars depart; Only when the heavens can be measured

Land Promises
• Forever & ever – Jer 25:5, Amos 9:15
• This Land – Jer 23:3-8, 24:34-7, 32:36-41
• Nations of the earth – Jer 33:6-9
• Own Land – Eze 28:25-26
• For My Name – Eze 36:22-28
• One Nation – Eze 37:21-25

How God will bring His people back & live in safely for His own glory
Northern + Southern Kingdom together

Davidic Covenant
• 2 Sam 7:10-17; Ps 89:3-4
• Literal Kingdom 2 Sam 7:13
• Literal Temple 2 Sam 7:13
• David’s Kingdom Forever 2 Sam 7:16
Unconditional – “I will”
Unceasing love – Jer 33:22-26; Rom 11:1-5, 11-12, 29-32
Jews understanding- Acts 1:6
Not for you to know the time (meaning it will happen just that we don’t know when!)

image

Great Tribulation
Matthew 24
• Jacob’s trouble Jer 30:5-7
Let those in Judea (today = Palestine)
Sabbath = important & observed by Jews
• Dan 9:24-27
70 weeks; For Daniel’s people, Israel & Jerusalem
Talking about great tribulation that applies to the Jews
• Rev 5-18

““For thus says the LORD: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, Of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭30:5-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God has let the nation go through the great tribulation but will eventually be saved

Jeremiah 30:16-20

Rapture (to be continued next session)

Q&A
Q: Jews part of church?
A: Yes includes Jewish people who accept Christ (Israelite believers) – Eph 2

 

More Reading

How can a loving God send someone to hell?

How can a loving God send someone to hell?
By C.S. Chen

heavenly-bodies

Why is God angry?
Romans 1:18-32
The wrath of God
1. Revelation
2. Rejection
3. Rationalisation
4. Religion
5. Result

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Wrath of God
Reflective of our evil heart

Revealed = manifested being brought to all human beings
While creation groans & waits for redemption

Why evil seems unpunished?
It will come!

“The Lord is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭9:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭7:11‬ ‭NIV‬

Revealed against those who are Godless & wicked; Against the sin of the world

All = everyone, unless we come to the Lord Jesus Christ

Suppress = ignore
Held back by the patience of God
Waiting for the day when His wrath will pour
Throughout human history a few drops of wrath poured out on especially vicious outbreak of rebellion
Sin not tolerated but piling up

“since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Known by God from the vastness of heavenly bodies to the amazing beauty of each flower to the hydrologic cycle of water to the mystery of human birth to the glory of sunrise.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭19:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We have no excuse of not knowing God…

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭NIV‬

Neither glorify nor give thanks but putting self as god
Rejecting God & coming out with their own theories
Although the chief end of men is to glorify God & enjoy Him forever

They became fools (emoranthesan – from where the word moron comes from)
A religious world with lots of religions
A world which worship idols (money, sex, K-pop idols, etc)

“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God abandoned men
Give them over = punishment, sentencing
Forsake God & He forsakes you

“Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:32‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Not only those who commit but those who approve by watching & inaction
With all the laws, there is no escape
No escape whether by seeking psychiatrists, taking vacations, meditation or drugs

Only way is to return to God

Forgiveness

By Kelvin

Helping a friend in need

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:32‬ ‭NIV‬

What is forgiveness?
Bible view: Release of sinners from God’s penalty
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
No one deserves to be forgiven
A deliberate act of love, mercy & grace
A decision not to hold against another person

Why do we forgive?
Because God forgave us (Romans 5:8)

What does God say about forgiveness
1. Because we have been forgiven by God (Ephesians 4:32)
2. In obedience to God (Matthew 6:13-14)
3. So we won’t become bitter & define those around us (Hebrews 12:14-15)

Forgiveness is an integral part of salvation
“It’s your blood that cleanses me”

“as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭103:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Why do we need forgiveness?
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Need to continually ask God for forgiveness

What does it mean to forgive others?
Bearing with one another (Collosians 3:13)
There is no limit to the time we should forgive others
Holding a grudge demonstrates resentment & anger
When we come to Him, He freely grants forgiveness

What does the Bible say about forgiving yourself?
Christ releases us from the bondage of sin
But we may choose to wallow in it (not moving beyond their past) – even Christians!
A need to break this cycle
Unforgiving will bring self-destruction
Christian forgiveness will bring one peace

Summary
An unforgiving attitude does not mean it nullifies a believers salvation
In the eternal scope of things, Christ forgives all our sins
But an attitude of not forgiving self & others robs a Christian of his or her joy & usefulness serving in church

2 Tough Questions on God (And How to Answer Them)

2 Tough Questions on God (And How to Answer Them)

god-loves-the-sinner-but-hates-the-sin

1. If God just forgives all Christians and none of them go to hell, why would any Christian do good when they can sin all they want?

I remember being asked this question by two children, a girl and a boy about twelve and ten years old, after one of my engagements in Hong Kong. Apparently they were sent to me by their mother. When they asked me their question, I could not help but smile, because I remembered asking the same question of Christians when I was their age, also urged on by my parents.

In some religions, the reward for following a law is heaven, and the deterrent for disobedience is hell. Why would anyone make the hard moral decisions if they were promised the reward regardless? Since the solution to man’s problem is a law, the gospel’s idea of a heart transformed by God is foreign to many – as it was to these children.

When the young siblings in Hong Kong asked me their question, I sat down next to them, nodded toward their mother and asked them a question in return: “Do you love your mom?”

Slightly taken aback, they answered emphatically, “Of course!” Smiling, I asked them a simple question: “When she asks you to do something, like clean your room, what do you think would make her happier: if you cleaned your room because you love her, or if you cleaned your room because you were afraid she would punish you?”

Without hesitation, the sister answered, “Because we love her.” And as the words left her lips, the realization was apparent on her face: obedience under the shadow of threat is hardly obedience at all, but compulsion. Christian obedience, devoid of threat and rooted in love, is what God truly wants.

I began to explain to her and her brother that when we respond to the gospel and live as children of God, our Father changes our hearts and makes us want to obey out of love. For the next few minutes they continued asking me questions in earnest, clearly unfinished when their mother whisked them away.

The disjuncture between law and the gospel leads to other common questions Christians are asked. But right now let’s address an important question about Jesus and the Father. . .

Jesus-fully-God-fully-man

2. If Jesus Is God, Why Did Jesus Never Say “I am God”?

Some people believe that Jesus never claimed to be divine. Rather, people began to believe this after Jesus left the earth. So we believed that later Christians were responsible for corrupting the true Christianity.

Why did Jesus not boldly and publicly proclaim his deity? This is a good question, but a good answer is readily available: He did not want to announce his identity right away. This is stated explicitly at the beginning of Mark’s gospel (see Mark 1:34 NIV).

Mark 1:3-4 (NIV)
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”
And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Jesus wanted to keep his identity a secret for a time. There were a variety of reasons why (see Mark 1:45; 3:6).

Mark 1:45 (NIV)
Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

Mark 3:6 (NIV)
Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

Jesus did not want to be killed until it was the right time (John 7:30).

John 7:30 (NIV)
At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.

So Jesus did not want to publicly proclaim his identity. This is known among scholars as the “Messianic Secret.” When the days of his death and ascension were approaching, he headed straight for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). That is when he was arrested and taken before the Sanhedrin to reveal his identity.

Jesus is the Messiah & in the Gospels Jesus only publicly proclaimed that he is the Messiah one time. That one location is at his trial before the Sanhedrin, the very passage where Jesus claims to be God.

To repeat, the one time in the Gospels that Jesus publicly claimed to be the Messiah was the same time he publicly claimed to be God. Jesus was the Messiah even though he publicly proclaimed it only once. We cannot demand he proclaim his deity more often or more boldly. He was not in the business of proclaiming his identity over and over again. He chose to wait for the right moment.

Also, though Jesus did not often proclaim his identity publicly, the Gospels inform their readers of his identity through the narrative of the text (for example, see Mark 1:1; 1:11; 3:11).

Mark 1:1 (NIV)
The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,

Mark 1:11 (NIV)
And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Mark 3:11 (NIV)
Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”

Throughout his gospel, Mark is preparing the reader for the moment that the Messianic Secret will be revealed, when Jesus will tell everyone who he really is, tying together all his words and deeds. This makes 14:62, the climax and divine revelation, all the more powerful and important to understand.

Mark 14:62 (NIV)
“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

It is there that Jesus claims to be the divine Son of Man from Daniel 7 and the One sitting on the throne of God from Psalm 110:1.

Psalm 110:1
The Lord says to my lord:

“Sit at my right hand
    until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet.”

After reading Mark through the lens of scripture I could no longer avoid the obvious. From introduction to climax, Mark’s gospel is an exposition of the deity of Jesus. The first biography of Jesus ever written is designed to teach that Jesus is Yahweh.

Source: N Qureshi (edited)

APAC 2016 – Day 4


Final day of APAC 2016

Final-day

Corporate Prayer

prayer-teo

image

Pray that the assembly leaders will be careful not to allow the likes of Jezebel to happen in the assembly. Let us pray that the sisters be encouraged to play their effective non-public faithful roles & not teaching roles. In like manner, let us pray that each assembly will ensue the brothers take up their leadership responsibilities to teach & pray.

Morning Devotion: The Hesed (hay-sad) of God
By Tan Kian Huat, Bethesda Hall (Ang Mo Kio)

message-Tan-Kian-Huat

Hesed (Greek): Four Loves
• Eros (romantic)
• Storge (family, pets)
• Phileo (friendship, common passion)
Agape (love of God, sacrifice, forgiving, unselfish, unconditional)

Agape not a common word outside the Bible. Mainly used in NT.

Steadfast love = hesed

“The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”” – ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭34:5-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Terrible judgment God no longer traveling with them
Moses meeting God in tent of meeting face to face interceding on behalf of people
God graciously consented to go with His people

“Show Me Your Glory”

God revealed Himself to Moses
God’s attributes
• Merciful & gracious (loving God)
• Slow to anger (patient God)
• Abounding in steadfast love (hesed) & faithfulness (good & kind God)

The “hesed” of God
246 occurrences in Bible
Translated as loving mercy, loving kindness, merciful, goodness, lasting love, steadfast love, etc

“Hesed” in book of Ruth

“But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.” -‭‭Ruth‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.”” – ‭‭Ruth‬ ‭2:20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.” – ‭‭Ruth‬ ‭3:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Horizontal “Hesed”

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
– Micah‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

• Loving our neighbor because he is part of the community
• Ruth showed hesed to Naomi (Ruth 3:10)

Vertical “Hesed”
• To His chosen people
• Enduring love, faithful love or loyal love
• Corresponds to unchanging nature of God
• Bounded Himself to act faithfully to the commitment He made to His people
• He is a covenant keeping God

“Hesed” in the Psalms
He is our God & we are His people
100% reliable!

Hesed-psalms
“Hesed” in the book of Hosea
Very difficult for the prophet Hosea

Hesed-Hosea

 

God’s agape love in the NT
7 churches commendation & condemnation for most churches
No perfect assembly all with own weaknesses & failures
Yet we are assured of God’s hesed
He will not give up on us
We can cling on His hesed & faithfulness

Esther afraid to approach king even though queen
Nehemiah afraid to speak us as cupbearer
No hesed from those kings

1 Chronicles 21:10-13

3 choices for David
• 3 years of famine
• 3 months of devastation by foes
• Pestilence (hand of the Lord)

Job 13:15
Job 23:10
Habbakkuk 3:2
Habbakkuk 3:17-18

 

Hesed-conclusion

We will take courage to draw near to Him
We know He will surely receive us as we are His people
When we repent He will forgive
His abundant mercy is there for us
He will extend hesed to us as our Heavenly Father
When we return to Him, He will restore
Even though we may feel unworthy & failed Him, yet let us remember the hesed of God

 

Session 7: Evangelistic Endeavour at Philadelphia
Revelation 3:7-13

Session7

Philadelphia (6th church in Revelation)
Philadelphia = brotherly love

brotherly-love

Earthquake prone area; soil rich for vines (grape & wine)
Youngest of 7 cities
Founded 140 BC by King of Pergamos (Attalus) in love of brother Eumenes
Missionary zeal for Greek language & culture would go out far & wide
Earthquake in AD17 city rebuilt & renamed Neo Ceasarae
Last city to capitulate to Ottoman invaders
Popular gods: Dionysus (god of wine), Janus (key bearing god)
Modern city in John’s time & production of liquorice
Spiritually no rebuke not condemnation for the assembly & while not perfect were faithful

V7
Holy = separate, sanctified
True = not in contrast of false, but genuine & holy (1 Thessalonians); 10x in Revelation; True in conduct & character; Holiness & truth itself
Key of David = absolute authority & ability to open doors (Isaiah 22); Jesus has key to salvation, the kingdom, death & hell; He is the key man
Openeth & shutteth = freedom of access; opening of food cupboards to feed the family

1 Cor 16:9
2 Cor 2:12
Col 4:3
Acts 14:27

Foretaste of heaven when many nations gather to praise, honour & worship God
In many places in the world, the door is open & only Jesus can shut it; The great commission – take advantage of the open door! Do we look but not go in? Or do we go straight in?!

V8
Set before thee = right in front of you in close proximity; one cannot miss it
Open door = opened deliberately & wide open
Even though we have little strength or numbers

V9
Behold 7x
Synagogue of Satan = false Jews (by race not spirit)
While this door of opportunity is open far & wide, nevertheless at home is open & enemies of the Lord & assembly will come to see God & worship with believers
Eg apostle Paul – from persecutor to be saved & brought to believers in Damascus & Jerusalem seeing that he was wrong in the past
See Christ as saviour

V10
“I” (the Lord) is in authority & power
Hour of temptation = great tribulation
Believers kept out (from) the hour of temptation
Also application in our day
When great tribulations comes, persecution the world has never seen before, believers will be saved & with God

V11
Behold come quickly to take away the believers on the earth
We are not earth dwellers but pilgrims passing through – headed for a different place
We rejoice!!

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” – ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:51-52‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” – ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:16-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Imminent rapture & drove them to preach the gospel
Rediscovered 200 years ago, church became evangelical, many people saved & many assemblies

Imminent & the next thing on God’s calendar, coming swiftly
That could happen now. May be next few year or longer.
Why? God’s patience (not our patience waiting for Him) Not desiring that any should perish

Looking forward to eventually receive our crown
Many crowns in heaven; crown we will lay at Jesus’ feet
Let no man take your crown = let no man rob you of your reward/taking what are yours

Examples losing crown

  • Esau to Jacob
  • Reuben to Judah
  • Saul to David

V12
In this city any who had contributed bountifully to the city & citizens was immortalised in local temple pillar built in his honor
The overcomer made a pillar not in temple god of wine but temple of God in heaven
Honoured in eternal way that we do not deserve

City prone to earthquakes & inhabitants flee seeking safety
Go out no more: promise to the overcomer
The city of God is absolutely secure & an amazing place to be
Nothing can shake it; Forever safe in company of Jesus
Believers today do face physical earthquakes & earthquakes in the lives – persecution, bereavement, sorrow & loss
Headed for heaven where here are no earthquakes, no sorrow, no crying

Write on him he name of my God, the city of my God (new Jerusalem) & my new name
Name written = ownership bearing His name (God the father; the new Jerusalem)
New name suggests a new direction & relationship
When we get home to heaven in death / rapture, we will be enjoying a new relationship with Jesus

Challenges
An open door for service of Christ
The rapture of saints
The judgement seat of Christ

Let us who believe He is coming, be fired up in His truth
Let us be excited in His coming to claim the earth which is rightly His & to setup His Kingdom
“Because He lives!”

 

Session 8: Comfortable complacency at Laodicea
Revelation 3:14-22

Laodicea-today

Laodicea
Comfortably complacent
Today = Apathy, apostasy
Learn from the letter to avoid

“Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4:12-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Vulnerable city militarily as did not have own water supply
Water piped in via aqueduct 6 miles away easily attacked by enemies
Politics diplomatic & compromised
Named after wife of Antichus II (Laodecia)
Refining gold, financial centre, glossy black garments (black sheep)
Destroyed by earthquake AD61 rebuilt with own resources
Spiritually the only church which nothing good is said

V14
Described in 3 ways
• The Amen: only place “Amen” used as proper noun; true & reliable as God of truth
• Faithful & true witness: (re: Revelation 1); one we can come to & seek for help day by day
• Beginning of the creation: not meaning He was created (without beginning & without end); He is the source & power of all things God created (by Him, for Him); Creator of all things (not 1st creation)

V15
I know thy works (said to all churches)
Lukewarm: cold to freezing & hot to boiling
Cold refreshing & very good for many things
Hot good for many things too
Lukewarm: tepid; not good for much;
Not speaking against sin; as if disinterested
Cold: frigid not doing anything; can be heated & become valuable to God
1st preference: hot – for burning in enthusiasm & evangelism

V16
Started cold at the springs but tepid reaching Laodicea
Tastes bad; undrinkable; unattractive; don’t want to hear from you; of no use with God
Want you to be hot & on fire with your whole heart
Assembly like the city tried to be friends with everybody
Is this a description of your assembly?
Do we speak out against sin OR just keep our heads down & low profile?
No persecution as no cause of concern to satan

V17
Rich in need of nothing: actions, lifestyle & approach to things relying on own resources & finances
No difference with non believes
Same attitudes persist into the assemblies
The truth is that you are wretched, miserable poor, pitiable & naked; lacking spiritual vision & destitute spiritually

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” – Provers 29:18

V18
A way back
An investment in our spiritual future
Takes time, effort & determination
In times of recession, there is a flight to goal
Investing in pure gold: gold of heaven; the person of Jesus Christ – his divinity, humanity
People who invest seek a return, for believers pays rich dividends to all whose treasure is there
Speciality of town making silky smooth black clothes
Nakedness: judgment & humiliation
White raiment: righteousness & purity
Rich as my appreciation of Jesus Christ has grown
Salve: restoration of spiritual sight & light; through action of Holy Spirit in my life

V19
As many as I love in spite of our apathy, wretchedness & condition I am in
A call to members of church to repent of their sin & lukewarmness to buy & invest in the righteousness of God
Be zealous: glow, warm up, become hot!

V20
Behold I stand at the door & knock: an invitation to fellowship with Him
Previously looking at open door, now closed door
One standing outside closed door is Jesus Christ & He is seeking entrance
We at assemblies may have closed Him outside & we may be reluctant to let Him in
He is the centre, the theme, the leader of the worship & praise

William Holman Hunt’s painting of Jesus standing outside door knocking

Light-of-the-world

“You forgot the handle!”
“No, the handle is on the inside”

Song of Solomon 5:2-6

He will stand patiently but there will be a time he stays no longer

Hymn: O Jesus, Thou Art Standing
O Jesus, Thou art standing, outside the fast closed door,
In lowly patience waiting to pass the threshold o’er:
Shame on us, Christian brethren, His name and sign who bear,
O shame, thrice shame upon us, to keep Him standing there!

O Jesus, Thou art knocking; and lo, that hand is scarred,
And thorns Thy brow encircle, and tears Thy face have marred:
O love that passeth knowledge, so patiently to wait!
O sin that hath no equal, so fast to bar the gate!

O Jesus, Thou art pleading in accents meek and low,
“I died for you, My children, and will you treat Me so?”
O Lord, with shame and sorrow we open now the door;
Dear Saviour, enter, enter, and leave us nevermore.

Supper: last meal of the day
2 disciples on road to Emmaus invited Jesus in & received a wonderful Revelation of he truth of Jesus Christ
The invitation goes out today to invite us in

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” -‭‭John‬ ‭14:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Only one that can sit on Father’s throne is Jesus
Thankfully Jesus has His own throne & we are invited to sit on His throne

This letter represents this day & age of apathy & neutrality
Let us invite Jesus to come within our heart to stay

Challenges
• Neither cold nor hot
• Rich but poor
• Opening the door

Hymn: Abide With Me
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide,
The darkness deepens, Lord with me abide,
When other helpers fall and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out lifes little day,
Earths joys grow dim, its glories pass away,
Change and decay in all around I see,
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as thou dwellest with thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of Kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea,
Come, friend of sinners, thus abide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour,
What but Thy grace can foil the tempters power,
Who like Thyself, my guide and stay can be,
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless,
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness,
Where is deaths sting, Where, grave thy victory,
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes,
Shine through The gloom and point me to the skies,
Heavens morning breaks, and earths vain shadows flee,
In life, in death, O Lord abide with me.

 

Goodbye til we meet again

thank-you-farewell

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