Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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Pentecost 25 – November 18, 2012 – Heb. 10:11-25 “Waiting For The Kingdom”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Epistle Lesson just read, from Hebrews 10.  We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • Jesus spoke a great deal about “the end,” about the day of His return in glory for judgment.  This was nothing new for people of God to hear about – Daniel and other Old Testament prophets of God had been writing and teaching about “the end” of this current age, and the coming of a new and glorious eternal kingdom of God for centuries. 
  • If there is another age to come, a glorious new heavens and earth, then people of God, those who know and believe the love that God has for us in Christ Jesus are in fact “WAITING FOR THE KINGDOM,” looking forward to it with great anticipation!  And this reality shapes and determines how we look at everything when it comes to our daily lives here on earth, in the current age. 
  • This is not to say that we pay no attention to the important affairs of this life.  But it is to say that of greater importance than anything we do in the here and now, is the glorious “Day” that we see drawing near!  But I guess that there is a good degree of danger that we might get so wrapped up in the affairs of this current age that we make our activities in this life the “end all” of our lives, or the most important thing to us. 
  • But this will create serious problems for us – problems in our faith, our love for God, and in living good and decent lives in this world.  So it is important for us to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,” and that hope is for all of the wonderful blessings promised to the people of God for the life which is to come in the “new age.” 
  • But this means that:

 

I.  God’s People Are Not Trying To Establish A Kingdom Here And Now In This Life, But We Are Waiting For Christ’s Coming Kingdom

 

Daniel 12:1,2  “At that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.  And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

John 3:36  “He that believes the Son has everlasting life; he that does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

 

A.  In This Age, In This Lifetime, We Rejoice To Live In God’s Gracious Forgiveness, Entering Even Now Into The Holy Places By The Blood Of Jesus

 

Text:  “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh.”

 

B.  Knowing God’s Cleansing Forgiveness, We Draw Near To Him With True And Clean Hearts – In The Full Assurance Of Faith

 

Text:  “Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

 

C.  And We Hold Fast To The Confession Of Our Hope – Knowing That God Is Faithful

 

Text:  “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He Who promised is faithful.”

 

Statement:  Most of us have been taught and trained to set goals for ourselves – and then to work a reasonable plan so that we attain those goals.  Many of these goals have to do with earthly and temporal things – like getting an education, getting a good job, owning a home, having a good car, saving money for fun things – vacations, fun possessions, and other luxuries, and making sure that we are adequately prepared for our retirement so that we can maintain this lifestyle until we die. 

 

But all of these things pertain to this present life in the current age – and we must remember that this world, with all of its passions and desires, is passing away.  If this is the only thing we are concerned about, or what we are primarily concerned about, we’re going to be utterly unprepared for what is coming, and really unprepared for what death is all about.

 

Application:  The call of Jesus Christ, to believe in Him, and to follow Him, is a call to be principally minded about the coming age, the Last Day, and the new heavens and earth!  Everything in this life is understood in relation to the eternal life that we have in Christ Jesus.  In view of what He has promised, it is patently ridiculous and absurd to try to “create” and “establish” permanent things in this world – it is really a waste of time and energy at best, and a corrupting and perverting thing at worst; people selfishly hording and spending on ourselves when others around us remain in need. 

 

Transition:  Discipleship to the Lord Jesus Christ involves us in a rather dramatically different way of life, in that our principle concerns and our chief goals and aims in life pertain not to this world, but rather to the life which is to come in God’s new kingdom.  And so:

 

II.  God’s People Persist In The Incongruous And Paradoxical Life Of Faith

 

A.  Knowing That We Will Suffer Much For Our Relationship With Christ

 

Mark 13:9-13  “Be on your guard.  For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, to bear witness before them.  And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.  And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.  And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death.  And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.”

 

B.  Nonetheless, God’s People Continue To Devote Themselves To Love And Good Works

 

Text:  “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.”

 

C.  And We Refuse To Forsake The Fellowship Of The Saints – Meeting Together Within The Communion Of Saints At Church; But We Are Rather Very Eager To Encourage One Another

 

Text:  “Not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching.”

 

Mark 13:13b  “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

 

Statement:  So our chief goals in life have nothing to do with making money, having a great house, being independently wealthy and able to retire comfortably.  Rather, our chief goals in life are living in faith, and love, and good works, and eagerly looking forward to the glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the coming of the new age, the kingdom of God!   That is what is truly important to us – and this “agenda” takes precedence in everything that we think and do! 

 

Application:  It is so very sad that even in the days of the apostles there were people who were already in “the habit” of “neglecting to meet together,” people who claimed to be believers but who had quite a different agenda in life than following Christ, being with His people, and communing with the saints in “the holy places” by the blood of Jesus.  Today we are nearly 2,000 years closer to the return of the Lord Jesus and the coming of His glorious kingdom – and still there are some whose habit is to forsake the weekly fellowship of God’s people, and whose agenda in life is “carving out” some kind of a kingdom in this world! 

 

How is this “encouraging one another”?   So one of the things that true believers in Christ, those enduring to the end must realize – we gather not just to receive when we come to church, but also because we have an important responsibility to encourage others, and this is hopefully more important to us than earthly things.

 

Conclusion:  So we do not ignore our earthly responsibilities, but we keep them in the right perspective – so that everything is done with the eternal things of God’s kingdom remaining at the center and highest priority.  For it is of the essence of being children of God that we are “WAITING FOR THE KINGDOM.”  God grant this blessedness to each of us, Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting.  Amen.