Download - Shepherd of the Plains Home

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

Binitarianism wikipedia , lookup

Brothers of Jesus wikipedia , lookup

Trinitarian universalism wikipedia , lookup

Salvation in Christianity wikipedia , lookup

Passion of Jesus wikipedia , lookup

Trinity wikipedia , lookup

Nontrinitarianism wikipedia , lookup

Word of Faith wikipedia , lookup

Wesleyanism wikipedia , lookup

Christology wikipedia , lookup

Jesus in comparative mythology wikipedia , lookup

Apostasy in Christianity wikipedia , lookup

Millennialism wikipedia , lookup

Bible prophecy wikipedia , lookup

Heresy in Christianity wikipedia , lookup

Christianity and other religions wikipedia , lookup

Son of man (Christianity) wikipedia , lookup

Pillars of Adventism wikipedia , lookup

Second Coming wikipedia , lookup

John the Baptist wikipedia , lookup

Judeo-nazarenism wikipedia , lookup

Born again wikipedia , lookup

Re-Imagining wikipedia , lookup

Mark 13:5-11
5- Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6- Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and
will deceive many. 7- When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but
the end is still to come. 8- Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes
in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. 9- You must be on your guard. You will be
handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors
and kings as witnesses to the world. 10- And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11- Whenever you are
arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time,
for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
Are you ready? Are you ready for the end of the world? You should be. Today, marks the first Sunday of four in the
season of the End Times in the Christian Church Year. Traditionally this first Sunday is when we celebrate
Reformation. Martin Luther was the spearhead of the Reformation movement. He recognized that the signs of the
End Times Jesus talks about in Mark 13 were taking place already in the 1500’s. He heard Christ’s call to Watch
Out and Be Armed with the Holy Spirit. (Read Mark 13:5-11)
1. Be on watch
Martin Luther just couldn’t stand it anymore. He had heard his entire life that he had to do that and must do this. He
was taught that his forgiveness relied on him carrying out his end of the deal and then God would forgive him. Luther
tried to do all he could do so that he could be forgiven, but seemed to continue to run into dead ends all around him.
He became a monk to spend all of his life devoted to God and the putting off of his self. He eventually became a
professor and in his studies of the book of Romans he struggled more than he ever had. In his in depth study of
Romans he discovered that it was impossible for himself to take part in his own forgiveness. He realized that
forgiveness was by grace alone, through faith alone, without any merit of our own. And that is when he knew that he
had been searching for forgiveness in all the wrong ways. It wasn’t about him, but it was all about Christ who had
forgiven him. This troubled Luther because he then realized that the church had been training him up incorrectly his
entire life. He realized that the members of the Roman Catholic Church were being deceived and being led astray to
believe that salvation rested on themselves and what they do.
Martin Luther wanted to direct the church back to Scripture, God’s Word. So he posted the 95 theses wishing to
discuss with the leaders of the church the practice of indulgences which focused on individuals purchasing their own
salvation. The church wanted nothing to do with it and condemned Luther of heresy. It was evident to Luther that the
leaders of the Roman Catholic Church were so ingrained in their own self-reliant heresy that Scripture now took a
back seat to their own reason and teachings.
Martin Luther was on watch for his faith. He was on watch for the whole Christian faith. Jesus warns us also to be
on watch. He says, “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and
will deceive many.” Just as Martin Luther was on watch we need to remain on watch for others who may come in to
deceive us.
Over the centuries there have been many who have come and have deceived many. In the early centuries A.D. the
Gnostics wanted all to find their own inner christs. The Gnostics felt they had this higher knowledge and it was all in
their own self. Jesus, the disciples, and the apostle Paul preached out against the false teachings of Gnosticism. Jump
some centuries later and you have Luther who stood up against the Roman Catholic Church. Then not too long ago
the non-Christian cults of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormonism have gained full steam in the mid-1800’s. Here
we are now today with a form of all of these false teachings among us.
We need to be on watch because it can happen so easily that these false teachings creep their way into our teachings.
John writes, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God,
because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 1:4). Fortunately for us we don’t have to work
backward as Luther did. The false teachings had already taken over the entire church. That is why we need to be on
watch, so that we can nip those false teachings in the bud before they spread throughout all Christianity. That is
another reason why we need to vote so that the true Christian voice is heard and that Christianity may succeed. That
is why we may come across as picky in our word choices. For example when someone may say I accepted Christ,
they are putting the emphasis on themselves and their action. The better statement and the more biblical statement is
this, that Christ accepted them and forgave them and created faith in them. This was nothing of their action, but all a
gift of God (cf. Ephesians 2:8,9). That is why we emphasize Jesus in everything rather than our own
accomplishments and actions. False teachings and beliefs can easily creep into the Lutheran church body, they have
already crept in to almost every avenue of the world already, but if we remain on watch and continue to test all
teachings based on God’s Word alone and not adding into the mix our human reason, by God’s grace we will remain
on the path to heaven. We will remain on the path that Luther nearly 500 years brought us back to.
There are many in the world that are at this moment being deceived. We need to remain on watch because the end is
coming so that we too are not deceived. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:15, 16). While we
remain on watch for ourselves and for God’s Word our love will go out to those who have been deceived and need to
be directed back to the truth. Since the end is coming the time is getting shorter and shorter for people to turn from
their false beliefs to Scripture and Scripture alone. We are here as God’s disciples in these end times to be witnesses
of God’s Word and his love. Just as Luther’s intentions were not to bash the church, but to help direct them back to
the truth, so also our intentions are to help steer straying sheep back to the fold.
2. Be witnesses
People don’t like to be told differently from what they have been taught and believe. You know how hard it is to
witness to an 85 year old man who has been a Jehovah’s Witness his entire life? Sure he was a nice guy, but he has
been so deceived to believe that Jesus Christ is not the way to heaven. You know how hard it is to sit at your dining
room table with two young male Mormon missionaries and tell them that what they believe is leading them to Outer
Darkness, hell? You know how hard it is to speak to lifelong Catholics who feel so strongly about their beliefs that
what they have done in their life contributes to their salvation? You know how hard it would be to stand up in court
and testify that you are Christian in a non-Christian society? Friends, these are real life situations and you may easily
plug yourself into anyone of them.
Jesus says, “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the
synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel
must first be preached to all nations.” Jesus says this will happen to us. But even though this will happen to us we
are to be ready and armed with the Holy Spirit to be witnesses to them. And we witness to them the gospel. The
gospel is that of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that though he was rich in righteousness he became poor, so that in
him we might become the righteousness of God.
The end is coming. We must keep this on the forefront of our minds because the end for believers will be such a
beautiful day. We will be called to the eternal home of heaven. Jesus has promised it. We may suffer in this lifetime,
but it will only be a short span compared to the eternal rooms he has prepared for us. Since the end is coming we are
armed with the Holy Spirit to fight off heresy, but also to reach out so that others may join in believing in Jesus.
Others will then join us in the heavenly realms eternally. And so we get up everyday armed with the Holy Spirit to
witness Jesus Christ to the world.
Jesus goes on to say, “Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to
say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” The gospel of
Jesus Christ is such a powerful message because the Holy Spirit works faith through it. We have the commission to
carry the gospel out into the world and therefore we carry the power of the Holy Spirit with us.
Carrying out the gospel to others does not always seem to be such a good thing to do. The normal response I hear
from people is that they will not know what to say. Jesus comforts you and tells you that the Holy Spirit will give you
what to say. I can testify from my own experiences that the devil really wants to make me feel uncomfortable and not
want to approach those who do not know about Jesus. I can tell you that in the past I have given into the devil and
was too scared to knock on another door. It is real easy to let that voice inside of you convince you that you just don’t
know enough and you’re just going to make matters worse if you witness to them. It’s natural for us to fall victim to
this attitude.
But Jesus reminds us once again that the end is coming and he will provide us with what to say. Trust me when I say
this, that I have been asked several questions from people who are trying to trap me and prove me wrong. It may be
the matter of works or it may be the matter of death. Whenever I felt in those situations that I was about to give the
wrong answer, the Lord has directed me to the answer he wanted me to give. It has happened so many times in my
life that when I look back at those situations I am amazed at how the Lord gave me what to say in specific situations.
He will do it for you also. He probably already has many times. We are Jesus’ witnesses in this world that is coming
to an end and we will so powerfully testify to it that Jesus Christ has done it all without any power on our own.
Brothers and sisters, the end is coming. We may not know the exact day or hour, but it is coming. We witness wars,
natural disasters, and uprising of more false teachings and we know that the End is even closer than it was before.
And so Jesus has put us on watch. He has put us on watch for the Christian church to remain faithful to God’s Word
and to separate ourselves from all false doctrine. Jesus has also called us to be his witnesses. We carry the
tremendous power of the Holy Spirit as we shine his gospel light out into this ever darkening world. The end of the
world is coming, but we remain on watch and are ready to witness every moment of every day. So dear friends, today
and everyday, watch out and be armed with the Holy Spirit.