The Rock Church Worship Service

Come Now Is The Time To Worship
Holy One
The Desert Song
Beautiful Things
Forever Reign

Daytime prayer meeting the following Tuesday
Next Sunday we will be at Tree of Life @ 5:30!! (not 5)
Something interesting tonight
I’ve given it a great deal of thought
How God describes us as clay and Himself the potter
And Jon is just one lump of clay trying to describe God to other lumps of clay
Interesting couple of months in Christianity re: the end of the world
Hal Lindsey’s book The Late Great Planet Earth
I started my first ???
Whisenant – rapture in 1988
Pamphlets in church
Families that bought it hook line and sinker
September 11-13 1988
My dad (a minister) was begging people to not buy into this
1994 Harold Camping predicted the end and wrote a book
Got it wrong
Thinking about the Rapture
Afraid of the concept
Jesus would return like a thief in the night, take all the Christians and then a tribulation would wreak havoc for 7 years
The books and movies really scared me, The Book of Revelation was very scary
Tried to avoid it as a youth pastor
As I walked through life, I started to hear different things
When you hear something different from what you grew up with, your knee-jerk reaction is…it must be heresy!
N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope
Eugene Peterson
Darryl Johnson
The book of Revelation is an amazing book about being a disciple under an oppressive empire
I got this idea that Jesus is going to restore the Earth, not tear it down
Grotesque images, but also a lion and a lamb
Historical apocalyptic imagery uses natural disasters like earthquakes and floods
Heard about Camping in coffeehouses all over the South Bay
Then later at dinner I heard non-Christians mocking the 2nd coming
To set the oppressed free
I believe in the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ
Destroying God’s creation doesn’t sound like Good News
He is coming to set the oppressed free
Believe in the Rapture or not, it’s not worth dividing the church over
I do not believe in the Rapture
I have good friends that do
At the end of the day we can still sit down and have a good meal
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Is this about a Rapture?
Start with context
What’s happening in Thessalonica
Paul and Jesus used apocalyptic literature
Writing to encourage their fear of Jesus’ 2nd coming – that the dead would be left behind
He’s coming back soon
Lots of people have believed that the rapture would happen in their lifetime
Grieving at separation
Paul was saying, “Everything we know has been changed/reversed because of the Resurrection”
Encourage one another with these words
The Day of the Lord
1 The 5
Thief in the night…
Secret rapture, left in tribulation
Mainstreamed in the 1800’s
Apantesis – when an important dignitary was approaching the city, you would leave the city to meet him, not taken away by Him
Matthew 23:6
Paul uses this word “to meet”
How will this happen? I don’t know
Apocalyptic imagery is there to stir up our imagination
We have all sorts of cultural imagery that will be rubbish in a couple Millennium
The Bible talks a lot about Jesus in the clouds
It won’t be a secret when Jesus returns – trumpets, clouds
New Heaven and a New Earth
Paul talked a lot about the Resurrection
I saw a sign at a PCH church that said “May 21st – LOL”
If He is returning – because He is returning, we need to be busy
If we think God will destroy/restore the Earth – how does that affect how we live right now?
Christians should be leading environmentalists
John 14:1-3
Jewish picture of marriage illustrates this passage
3 steps of marriage in first century Judaism
1. Engagement/Betrothal
There’s a young mam with an eye on this woman
That father makes an announcement that she is of age
He goes with his best man to the father and agree on a purchase price
Pours the woman a glass of wine
She takes and has a choice to drink
New covenant was sealed with the drinking of wine
Doesn’t that make being the bride more real?
Here in the west, engaged people spend a lot of time together
But back then, he would return to his father’s house to prepare a place for her attached to his father’s house (about 12 months)
During this time of separation, they kept their hearts for the other
God being a jealous lover makes more sense
The groom is making the addition as special and perfect as possible – only the father can declare it finished
The bride is also preparing herself – what brings joy to his heart
Think of that implication with Jesus as our bridegroom
We need to prepare our hearts for what Jesus loves
I want my heart to be like His heart when He returns
Why are we trying to be first?
Covenant relationship
Jesus loves a radical, giving heart
The bride keeps her lamp burning every night
One day the father comes to the son and says,”Go get her”
Takes his groomsmen and leaves at midnight, sees the lit lamp, she comes out with her bridesmaids and says, “take”
That’s the whole ceremony
Celebrate and party for 2 weeks
Take and drink
In my Father’s house there are many rooms
When we take the cup we are saying
Revelation 21:1-5
The sea represented all that opposed God
Jesus is coming back and He is going to restore, renew, transform

I grew up being scared of Jesus coming back
Tendency is to think of being in trouble
Think of being hungry, to long for His coming
All Who Are Thirsty

When Jesus returns, He’s going to restore
He’s the only one wise enough to judge our hearts
I want to be familiar with His heart
Get familiar with your Husband – He’s awesome!

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