Good Monday Morning To You! Happy New Year. I hope your celebration was joyful. Ours was exciting; we watched the ball fall in Times Square. We had great seats and a fantastic view. The weather was super and we were very comfortable. O K, we watched from our living room and were quite content. Did you think Pastor Vic was in New York City for New Year’s Eve? No way! Not when I can see it up close and in my own living room. I have only been to New York City once and that was in a jet flying over. I did, however, get to look out my window and see the Statue of Liberty. That was pretty cool.
Sunday was a tremendous day at Friendship Harmony. The attendance was awesome, but we had several out sick. We are praying the LORD raises them from their bed of illness soon. We were blessed to have visitors, and were honored they were there to worship with us. My dear friend Rabbi Jim Pickens and his wife and guest were with us as well. Rabbi Jim is one of the kindest, most dedicated Believers I have ever known. Also many of our snowbirds have migrated to our sunny, warm southern shores. Welcome back!
Yesterday I began a prophecy series by introducing the reasons for studying Eschatology; the teaching of last things. I did not get into any actual prophecy as I had to lay some ground work. I preached part one of the introduction yesterday, and will finish this coming Sunday, the LORD willing. Below are the notes I used for this lesson. I’ll post the notes for part two next week. I hope you enjoy the notes and that it aids in your personal Bible study.
The Eschatological Question:
Its Meaning, Importance, and Properties
Intro: - The early Church believed in the immanent return of Jesus Christ.
- By the third century the Doctrine of the return of Christ was ignored.
- From Constantine until about 100 years ago the doctrine was totally set aside.
I. Four reasons for the bad reputation unfairly given to the doctrine.
A. The setting of dates. Example: The followers of Wm. Miller, aka the Millerites set a date in 1843 and waited on a mountain top for Christ’s return.
1. Another prominent group set the date in 1914.
2. I received a book in 1989 setting a date along with the reasons why. I later received another book claiming a mistake in arithmetic as the error, and a new date was set.
B. The teaching of other heresies by groups makes their teaching of the Second Coming suspect. Ex. Probationism, annihilation, restitution of all things.
C. Preconceived notions i.e. spiritual interpretations
D. The unsaved heart. Theologian Henry Thiessen said, “Only a Christian can say, ‘Amen – Come Lord Jesus.’”
II. The importance of studying last things.
A. It has a place of prominence in Scripture.
1. The OT often linked the first and second coming.
2. Some OT Scriptures are devoted only to the second coming. Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
Zech. 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
3. In the NT the second coming is mentioned over 300 times --- 1 in every 25 verses.
a. Whole chapters deal with it.
Ex. Matthew 24, 25; Mark 13; Luke 21
b. Some entire books are nearly given to it. Ex. 1 and 2 Thessalonians; Revelation
4. Every New Testament writers speaks of it.
5. Prophecy is spoken of more than “faith,” “the blood of Christ,” and “love.”
B. It is the key to Scriptures.
1. Many doctrines are better understood in light of prophecy.
a. The office of Christ; prophet, priest, and king. You cannot properly understand Christ’s kingly role without understanding the Second Coming.
b. Salvation’s completeness: I have been saved, I am being saved, I will be saved. One needs an adequate view of the future to completely understand the salvation process --- all three parts.
c. Enoch’s translation is better understood in light of Scripture. Genesis 5:21-24
d. The ordinances rely heavily on prophecy.
(1) Baptism --- shows the resurrection to new life when Christ appears. Col. 3:1-3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
(2) The Lord’s Supper. 1 Cor. 11:26
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
Matthew 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
I do hope you have a good week. The weather is starting to turn cold for many of you, so bundle up and stay warm. If it’s any consolation to you, it is predicted to get cold here too. By Wednesday we are supposed to see temperatures in the upper 50’s during the day and the mid 30’s at night. Brrr, that’s cold for us.
I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!