Friday, October 2, 2009

God's Sure Promise for You

I'm back in the office after Betty Dahlin's funeral, thinking about the second coming of Jesus. Betty is my wife Toni's dad's cousin's wife. Try to untangle that relationship! But, mostly, Betty and Toni are sisters in Jesus, even through they are part of different church families. (the funeral was over at Elim Mission Church, a couple blocks from here.)

In the end, what matters is our Lord's love for us and our need to receive that love. Those who have come to know the goodness of God through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord can trust Jesus to meet us at the end, whether at the end of our own personal life, or at the end of time. If you do not yet know our Lord personally, speak with him in prayer and ask him to come and give you the assurance of his love.

If you have questions about the truth of God's Word, do some investigating. One way to do that is through Alpha. Come to Alpha this weekend on Sunday evening. This season of Alpha is open to whoever wants to attend on a week by week basis. We will meet for potluck at 5:00, see the teaching video – this week “Who is Jesus?” – and then have a flexible time of conversation and prayer. We’ll be done by about 7:30. Whether or not you have attended Alpha in the past, this season of Alpha is open for you. If you have questions or comments, please call me 763-291-3499.

Jesus died for you on the cross and rose to give you hope. Don't let Jesus' work for you go to waste. Receive him today in prayer. Come Sunday morning to celebrate his love--or come Sunday evening to get some questions answered.

Just like the scriptures foretold the first coming of the Lord Jesus, so we can trust them as they tell us of his coming in glory. God's promises are sure. When we know them, we can live securely and without fear.

Here's a scripture from First Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 that was used today at Betty's funeral:
4:13And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18So encourage each other with these words.

Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. 2For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. 3When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.

4But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. 5For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. 6So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. 7Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. 8But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

9For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (New Living Translation)
In the end, the king -- King Jesus -- he will come! Praise God! He's coming for me -- and for you.

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