Tag Archives: Eschatological Discourse

Last Things meet First Things

Biblical Text: Mark 13:1-13
Full Sermon Draft

Eschatology or Last Things circles back around to first things, the alpha meets the omega. And right at the base if first things is identity – who or what do you see yourself as? Do you emerge from a random universe, a brief flowering of dust that will go back to dust having done nothing other than move some dust around? Are you unknowing about such things, better to eat, drink and be merry. Or are you the special creation of a personal God who knew you before you were formed? Who you think you are will have a big influence on where you think you are going.

But being sinful creatures, even if we mentally have our first things in line with truth, we are often drawn to temporal replacements for that identity – the temples of this world. They are big and impressive and often cohesive and can be good, but not even the temples are a first thing. If they obscure our identity as a Child of God, its got to go. We so easily latch on to created things to build our identity. Jesus’ warnings, and the roiling turmoil of the birth pains, are reminders to watch. To remember whose we are. And to remember whose promises we can trust.

The struggles of the last things are a sharing in the sufferings of Christ – The First Thing. God did not choose works or any other means to save us, but he chose faith. A faith that the cross is actually the victory. That a death is actually the life. That God can be found in the depths just as surely as the heights. That God has shared everything that is common to man. Last Things are not so much a peering into the future, but an appeal to faith that the glory of God is concealed, is held, in the present tribulations. That God has not abandoned us, even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. For we hold this eternal treasure in jars of clay.

Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus

Text: Matthew 25:14-30 (Really Matthew 25:1-30)
Full Sermon Text

The title of the post is a hymn we sang (tune, lyrics). I meant to get that up as the “Hymns We Sing” selection, but it just didn’t work that way. That is the central theme of the sermon and I believe the sermon text. The parable of that talents (and the preceding parable of the 10 virgins) has a bunch of beguiling allegories. I look at some of those in the sermon. But at their core, there are parables of what the successful Christian life – the life that leads to eternal life – look like. And what they look like are lives committed to walking with Jesus. They are lives full of prayer and praise and the word lived in front of those who would scoff.

That sanctification walk is hard to fake – if anyone would even desire to do so. The only reason that anyone would really try is because they were convinced that this guy Jesus was the real thing. That walking with Jesus, regardless of the circumstances, actually meant everything. It is easy to imagine Pascal’s Wager, but that isn’t enough. That bet gets you to the position of the man with one talent. You are a little afraid of that god, so you take his talent and bury in case he returns. But you don’t really change your life. You don’t live you life walking with Jesus. And as in the parable, that isn’t enough. The Christian life is one that must be lived. And you only do that if you think that man on the cross bidding you to pick up yours is actually the Lord of everything.