On Saturdays, My wife and I go to a Messianic Jewish Services in the morning. On Sundays we go to to a Park Free Evangelical Church. I believe this sermon to be very beautiful and wish to share it with all on Sermon Index!
The Following Sermon is not mine.
I present this sermon By permission of my good friend, and Author of the Following, Jack Jacobs, A Pastor (Rabbi) of the Messianic Jewish Church we attend.
Intro: Were trying out a slightly different approach beginning with todays service of having a more extended davar and a shorter main message. Well be changing it up, so we wont be doing this every week. The main reason for trying this is to offer some of our members (it wont necessarily include everyone who gives a davar) the opportunity to further develop and use your gifting in the area of teaching and preaching the Scripture. And, its also good thing, as a messianic community, to give greater emphasis in the weekly Torah portion, as we present in a way that is Yeshua centered.
I have a confession to make to you. Even though more than 10% of Scripture is devoted to the end times, I havent come close in my sermons in presenting that percentage of messages on this important subject. Well why not?! Ive held on to unfounded biases that Ive come to the conclusion are wrong. In particular, that it was more fruitful to focus on what I considered to be more directly impactful for our day to day living so, this is my confession - Ive come to understand how having a stronger grasp on the end times is very relevant to how we live out our lives, as followers in Messiah Yeshua, each and every day. The L-rd surely wants His people to be spiritually prepared for what lies ahead. So, today well begin a series of messages pursuing a scriptural view of the end times.
The best place to start is with Yeshuas own words about the end times. As Im sure most of you know, Yeshua taught about the coming Kingdom and the end of this age throughout His ministry.
We going to start out slowly by what Yeshua instructs His people about two ages - this present age, in which we now live, and a second age which is coming in the future. Lets look at a few passages:
(PP1) Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Matthew 12:32
(PP2) I tell you the truth, Yeshua said to them, no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of G-d will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life Luke 18:29-30
(PP3) Yeshua replied, The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are G-d's children, since they are children of the resurrection Luke 20:34-36
We see in each of these three passages that Yeshua refers to two ages and only two ages - this age and the age to come we dont see anything about a third age or a fourth age to come only two ages. Amen?!
Alright, what is the present age and when did it begin? The present age is now, its the one we live in. There are some who interpret the present age as beginning with Yeshuas first coming, but I believe this age began at the time of creation, when G-d created mankind. For one thing, we recall that Yeshua appears at various times prior to His incarnation, throughout the Old Covenant Scriptures. Everyone should read Asher Intrators new book, Who Ate Lunch With Abraham, to gain a solid grasp on Yeshuas appearances prior to the incarnation.
In contrast to this present age, the age to come will begin when Yeshua returns to fully establish the Kingdom of G-d on earth. That is the age all believers should be waiting and longing for. As we just read in Luke 20:34, Yeshua teaches us that those who are considered worthy to take part in coming age will be called children of the resurrection. "The age to come" is that future time when the L-rd returns and eternity begins. Therefore, "the age to come" is without end.
Lets look at this passage from Ephesians, chapt 1:
.and seated Him (Yeshua) at His (the Father) right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come." Ephesians 1:20-21
Here we see Yeshua seated at the Father's right hand and that Yeshua is above all rule and authority, both, in this age and the age to come. Because Yeshuas dominion will never end, the age to come will never end either. This is why G-d the Father says of the Son in Hebrews and 1st Peter that:
(PP5) "Thy throne, O G-d, is forever and ever," Hebrews 1:8
(PP5) ". . . so that in all things G-d may be glorified through Yeshua HaMashiach, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen," 1st Peter 4:11
Here now are a couple important contrasts between what Scripture says about this present age, compared with the age to come. In this present age:
(PP6) Yeshua said, Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel's sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. Mark 10:29-30
What a great assurance from Yeshua that as you surrender every aspect of your life to Him now, as you love Him and obey Him, as you make sacrifices and leave your comfort zone, as you place G-ds will for your life over and above other, personal considerations - Scripture says you will be rewarded in this present age, for the Gospels sake. Acknowledging that, yes, we will have trials, tribulation, along with persecutions for Yeshuas sake and the sake of the Gospel. Do recall Jobs story? What incredible suffering Job, a godly man, experienced. He lost his wayward children, lost his health and his wealth. He remained true to the L-rd through it all, even though his wife advised him to curse G-d. Do you recall Jobs response? It was this: The L-rd gave and the L-rd has taken away. Blessed be the name of the L-rd. What finally happens to Job in the end? G-d provides for a restoration and for a double portion of all that he formally had.
But, listen up brothers and sisters, Yeshua is saying that even more than Job, if you suffer as a believer for the Gospels sake, G-d will provide you a hundred fold increase that will come from His hand of blessing and the comfort of His Ruach HaKodesh in this life. Amen?!
But, in the age to come, the passage simply says we have eternal life. Yeshua doesnt go into what it means to have eternal life in this passage. He also doesnt into what it means not to have eternal life. My only comment about what it means, within the context of this passage, is this
If Yeshua says we will have a hundred fold in this present age for what we sacrifice and suffer for the sake of the Gospel, can you even imagine how tremendous and awesome the blessing of eternal life is going to be? It surely has to be way beyond a hundred fold more like ten thousand times ten thousand fold. Hallelujah?! We will surely come back, in this series, to revisit what the Book of Revelations says about eternal life
Then, Yeshua says that people are given in marriage in this age.
(PP7) Yeshua said to them, The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; Luke 20:34-35
Yeshua says in this passage from Luke, chapt 20, its only in this age that people can marry, but not in the age to come. This tells me, if your married or going to get married, that G-d would have us enjoy our marriages while we can because marriage is only for this season of our lives, its not for the age to come. If you spend some time meditating on Yeshuas words about marriage, I believe you will come to more fully realize, the importance and sanctity of marriage. And, how we should do everything we can, with G-ds help, to work through the difficulties that all married couples experience over the years of marriage. I believe G-d is saying to appreciate the gift of your husband, of your wife, of your children even through the times of stress and conflict, because marriage is only for this age, not the age to come.
One final word from Colossians:
(PP8) Therefore if you have been raised up with Messiah, keep seeking the things above, where Messiah is, seated at the right hand of G-d. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Messiah in G-d. When Messiah, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. Colossians 3:1-5
Theres a reason that Shaul says to set your mind on the things above. Not a day should go by that you dont set your mind on the things above because its just as much your reality as what we do in our daily lives. Now, not sometime later, is the time to prepare ourselves for the awesomeness of what we will experience in the age to come. After all, were going to be spending a lot more time in the age to come, than we will in this present age. Amen!? Focusing on the age to come will help you have the right, godly perspective for this present age, as you remember that this is not all there is. There is a partial kingdom reality of the age to come that G-d wants us to enter into right now. Especially on the Shabbat we are to have a taste of the age to come as we set aside all our labors in this life to enter into G-ds peace and joy.
Amen - prayer
We will receive 100 times as much as what we lose (Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30).
People are given in marriage (Luke 20:34).
The wisdom of this world is the wisdom of this age (1 Cor. 1:20).
The rulers of this age are coming to nothing (1 Cor. 2:6).
Satan is the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4).
Jesus rescued us from the present evil age (Gal. 1:4).
The end of this age occurs at the return of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:23-24).
The tares are gathered and burned in the fire (Matt. 13:39).
His most comprehensive teaching on the topic is called the Olivet Discourse, which is recorded in the first three Gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse in response to the disciples inquiry regarding His return. However, He had already taught extensively about the end of the age and the coming Kingdom of God. Therefore, before we go to the Olivet Discourse we will first review Jesus earlier teachings.