The privilege of being God's elect and living in the time known as AD
1 Peter 1:10-12 (ESV)
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
· The privilege of being God’s elect!
· And this week allow me to add to this topic.
· Thus the topic now is “the privilege of being God’s elect, and living in the time known as AD.
· I have been given three points to share with you
o Why is this current time so important
o There is frustration in these current times
o We can rejoice in these current times
· Why is this important to you New Hope? (point #1)
· This current year is 2008AD. AD is from the Latin words ‘anno Domini’ meaning in the year of the Lord; or since Christ was born.
· The prophets that Peter writes about were from the BC (before the birth of Christ) era
· One major issue with these prophets was the fact that they could not establish the dates we have today such as 100BC or 1000BC
· Now they knew that they lived before the birth of the Messiah but since they could not pinpoint the exact time they searched and inquired carefully, listen. (Go to the next page)
Daniel 12:6-13 (ESV)
6 And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?” 7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. 8 I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” 9 He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. 11 And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. 13 But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”
Habakkuk 2:1-4 (ESV)
1 I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. 2 And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. 3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. 4 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
Psalm 85:8 (ESV)
8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly.
· Allow me to apply this to our time as an example.
· Our faith also tells us many things about the future, here are two such teachings.
· 1. Jesus will return! That is, Jesus will come again for His church, His elect; that where He is we may be there also - Amen
· 2. We, the elect, will be glorified, that is we go to heaven where there will be no sin– Amen
· Now, if time was the issue instead of eternity, if it was possible to develop a new date structure and we call it BH meaning ‘the time before heaven’ and AG meaning ‘the time after glorification’, that structure can only exist after we actually make it to heaven.
· Why? For many have tried and are trying to make educated guesses and some have made and are making uneducated guesses, as to when the end of this time will come, when the Lord will return for His church.
· But the words of our Lord are clear.
Matthew 24:36 (ESV)
36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. (Peter points out that the angels long to look but even they don’t know the day and the hour)
Acts 1:7 (ESV)
7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
· So, we are privilege, yes, but I need to make a point that we also share a frustration that the Old Testament prophets had, the frustration of getting full meaning and understanding from the Word of God. We are homo-sapiens thinking beings but our thinking is corrupted by Sin and thus we must walk by faith. Here are examples from the Old Testament of what I am saying;
· You can’t imagine the frustration of Noah attempting to understand God when God told him, - well listen to it
Genesis 7:4-6 (ESV)
4 For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” 5 And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him. 6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth.
· I wanted to include the fact that Noah was 600 years old and in the 600 years of his life, he had never seen rain.
· But he did it, he walked by faith
· Nor can you imagine the frustration of Abram, an idolater, being told the following
Genesis 12:1 (ESV)
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
· Abram, 75 years old and had never heard anything from his idols, now hears from God, the maker of heaven and earth, and God tells him to leave his known world and go to a place that God will (sometime in the future) show him. And he did, he leaves by faith.
· And you can’t imagine the frustration and the predicament that Moses finds himself when Pharaoh’s army and Pharaoh himself is coming up behind him and the children of Israel, the people are screaming in fear, and God says to him, listen again
Exodus 14:15-16 (ESV)
15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. 16 Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground.
· There are others that you can read about in the faith ‘hall of fame’ chapter in Hebrew chapter 11
· And these required a walk of faith that each one was actively involved in. Noah was in the flood, Abram was the one who had to leave his home, family and culture, and Moses walked through the Red Sea with the children of Israel
· Are you frustrated about what the future holds?
· How do you handle it?
· There is much talk in the world about the future, economy, ecology, energy, environment and even in the church
· Modern day teachings and dogma on Eschatology has caused splits among Christian fellowships and has even gone so far as one group of brothers and sisters questioning the salvation of another group of brothers and sisters simple on differences in views about the future
· Each of the views are supported by Scripture and how the Word should be interpreted when applied to the church
· We may not fully understand the future but my faith tells me today that because He lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone, life is worth living because He lives and soon and very soon we are going to see the King. I believe that!
· Peter writes frustration also.
· The Old Testament prophets had revelations, by the Spirit of Christ,
· And according to Peter’s letter; It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, the readers of Peter’s letter, the elect of the dispersion
· Have you read Peter’s letter?
· Then what this letter says applies to you!
· I will declare this point this way
· We who are God’s elect are privilege in this current time to be able to rejoice in the following statement
1 Corinthians 11:26 (ESV)
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
· And not just His death, but the suffering that is attached to the death of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior
· Living in this AD time period we know the fuller meaning of the suffering and dying of the Christ, the Messiah.
· We know of His glories; His resurrection, His ascension into heaven, and the presence and empowering of the Holy Spirit within you the elect
· But to the Old Testament prophets, this doctrine, this teaching, of a suffering Messiah was a stumbling block to the Jews.
· In today’s language, this was an oxymoron
· The anointed one from God should suffer? Listen
Isaiah 53 (ESV)
1 Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
· Now the point I want to make is that we can rejoice in this
· Peter did not understand this until after the resurrection and Pentecost
· I ask that you bear with me through another reading of Scripture
· In the book of Acts, we find this account
Acts 8:26-38 (ESV)
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. 33 In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” 34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
· We come full circle, suffering of Jesus the Christ leading to the salvation of one of the elect.
· Suffering usually means bad news but with Jesus, it means good news.
· We know that in these current times and we rejoice but the rejoicing is also shared by spiritual beings who are allowed to look in at.
· Side note, I still pray that the Lord gives me liberty to preach on these spiritual beings but until then know this that they are watching what is happening down here
Luke 15:10 (ESV)
10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
· The angels are not a part of the redemption plan but as they look and when one sinner repents there is rejoicing among them
· Try to imagine what this rejoicing is like
· My brothers and sisters
· We are privilege to be living in these times even though at times the going gets rough
· We are blessed with staying power, as my brother mentioned last Sunday 1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV)
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
· Since we are not home yet we are home sick and that brings frustrations even to the point of how we see the end times coming
· But after all is said and done, we are blessed to have reminders of what God has done for us; For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
· And when I am brought back to my Christian reality I can say to myself Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin has left a crimson stain but He washed it white as snow!
Psalm 22:1-21 (ESV)
1 To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. 3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 8 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” 9 Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts. 10 On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God. 11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help. 12 Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— 17 I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. 19 But you, O Lord, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! 20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! 21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
Psalm 69:1-21 (ESV)
1 To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. Of David. Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. 3 I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. 4 More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore? 5 O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. 6 Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord God of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. 7 For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face. 8 I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother’s sons. 9 For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me. 10 When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. 11 When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. 12 I am the talk of those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me. 13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. 14 Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters. 15 Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me. 16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. 17 Hide not your face from your servant; for I am in distress; make haste to answer me. 18 Draw near to my soul, redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies! 19 You know my reproach, and my shame and my dishonor; my foes are all known to you. 20 Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none. 21 They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.
Psalm 88:1-18 (ESV)
1 A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite. O Lord, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you. 2 Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry! 3 For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. 4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength, 5 like one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand. 6 You have put me in the depths of the pit, in the regions dark and deep. 7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah 8 You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape; 9 my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call upon you, O Lord; I spread out my hands to you. 10 Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah 11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon? 12 Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? 13 But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. 14 O Lord, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me? 15 Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless. 16 Your wrath has swept over me; your dreadful assaults destroy me. 17 They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in on me together. 18 You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness.
Isaiah 52:13-14 (ESV)
13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
Isaiah 53:1-10 (ESV)
1 Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Daniel 9:24-26 (ESV)
24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
Zechariah 13:7 (ESV)
7 “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me,” declares the Lord of hosts. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I will turn my hand against the little ones.
Luke 24:25-27 (ESV)
25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
And referenced from this passage are the following Scriptures
Genesis 3:15 (ESV)
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”