Archive for June, 2019
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs–in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” The LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. And the LORD said, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
Scattered by our own sin and pride
Gathered to worship and praise in the Holy Spirit
Why? God desires we be united in spirit.
The things that divide us:
- All the things that divide us are physically
- It is spiritually we find ourselves one in Christ is in the Holy Spirit
“See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let everyone who hears say, “Come.” And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book; if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen. [NRSV]
Some of the most stern words of John’s Revelation of Christ.
First a contextual note:
When this was records, and biblical scholars give a range of dates around 90-100 AD which would make the closing admonition concerning “the book” related to the specific book of John’s Revelation and not referring to the Bible as a whole. Even though many people read this it is more like the conclusion of Daniel’s vision, except Daniel’s vision was sealed and John’s remains unsealed. Which means it is for both the church then and the church today.
Secondly, This vision if from John who is a religious prisoner, held on the island of Patmos, and is not likely to be the same as the author of John’s Gospel, as he would be recorded as such and the difference in age, 70-80 years, makes it most unlikely to be the same person. This is also confirmed in the difference of vocabulary and style of the author of the John’s Gospel.
We are reading the end of the story. It is the finial scene in the grand pageant of “The Apocalypse of Jesus” is a better name than the “The Revelation to John of Patmos”. This, finally, brings the need to learn a non-biblical word, Apocalypse. Websters: “the expectation of an imminent cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil and raises the righteous to life in a messianic kingdom.” calamity, cataclysm, catastrophe, debacle (also débâcle), disaster, tragedy
After the Apocalypse: At the end of this letter, this collection of visions is the final bookend of the cataclysm and catastrophe between ‘now’ and Christ’s return, during his remaking of heaven and earth as well as after.
We began with a warning to individual churches, the bookend with a final warning to all church, all living to be in Christ. We look in the rear view mirror at the revealed sights, portents, visions and accounts of heaven and are left with final words.
Again these final words are the most stern.
- 1. A call for baptism – be washing
- 2. Drink – for all who thirst
- 3. Do these because there will be those who don’t.
The stern part in revealed in those who are outside heaven. So many verses and repetitive images of Christ at the center and the multitude of those around the throne, but these final verse look outside the gate, and find a motley crew.
Those on the wrong side of Good and Evil:
- 1. Dogs and –
- a. Not a statement about animals in heaven,
- b. Is a statement about fall teachers. Jesus parables and teaching refer to those who lead others
- astray are like dogs and would be better to wear millstone necklaces.
- 2. Sorcerers and
- a. Those who search for power other than the power and workings of God and the Holy Spirit
- 3. Fornicators and
- a. Those who prefer to trample fidelity, trust and seek to satisfy physical needs OVER spiritual health.
- 4. Murderers and
- a. Those who do not value life, nor the work to find community with God’s children.
- 5. Idolaters, and
- a. Those who place wealth and possessions above God. Or those who identify themselves by
- what they have rather than whose they are.
- The One we don’t like on the list – (The catch all that might include the rest of us.)
- 6. Everyone who loves and practices falsehood
- a. Those who do not find truth in God. This is the most encompassing one.
- b. This is not about isolated behaviors nor events, but the daily practices.
- c. Do we love the comfort of routine over the challenge to mature in faith?
- (I’ve already figured that out and I’m done having my foundation rattled or threatened.
- d. Don’t question my faith or faithfulness I’m right and I know it.
- e. as well as, those who say: Go along with the crowd, with logic, with
The plumb line measure
- If we value our stuff more than God’s call to come,
- If we want every physical comfort over God’s love
- If we value our lives more than anyone else
- If we want our will, power, authority, idea, ahead of God,
- If we love fitting in with the crowd for convenience
- If we lead others astray by our actions and words or our in-action and silence.
These are the reasons that we don’t place Jesus on the throne of our lives daily and eternally.
What we do now is what we will do in heaven.
Our only hope
remains in Jesus Christ.
Finally, these parting words are the invitation to “Come”
I believe that after all is said and done in the rapture, through the judgment, through the new heaven and earth, we are stubborn folks. (We prove this here on earth, why will that be different in heaven?)
I believe with all my heart that God’s grace remains open, the gates are open, and the father runs out to the end of the road and meets us to welcome the prodigal home, but some siblings, some people, some of us will question, doubt and disagree with God and will “REMAIN OUTSIDE the HOUSE” (LK 15:11-32)
Hear the call today,
- “COME” to Jesus,
- come to hope,
- come to grace,
- come to find your thirst quenched
- come to find you heart at peace
- come to find life from your grief
- come to find forgiveness from your sin
- come to find fellowship with God’s children
- come to find home in the heart of God.
God is waiting and they questions is why do we live 1 second without him first in our heart and mind?
We believe we have more second to spare.
I tell you
There is no need to
- be outside,
- out of hope
- out of help
- out of reach
- out of sorts
- out of line
- out of love
- nor out of time.
Prayer of confession and a prayer of acceptance and reaffirmation
This is what we need and this is what we share:
- Who is among us that needs to reaffirm today?
- Who is will we see, meet, experience TODAY that needs to hear that invitation to COME
- Who will God place in our lives this week to share this joy and life
- Who will not be with us in a short time, in the blink of an eye?
The urgency is not in the second coming, the urgency is in all the seconds we live without God creating hope in this world through us.
The second and minutes, hours and day, weeks and years of seconds
The Christ is not on the throne of our hearts
The seconds and decades we struggle with the power and guide of the Holy Spirit.
The invitation is for us.. COME
- Come the faith
- Come the throne
- Come to the heart
- Come to Christ’s
- Come to the fountain
- Come to the spring
- Come to the river of live and drink, live, and thrive.