Monday, July 30, 2012

The Link between Bible prophecy and joy

Jude 24-25 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25to the only wise God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Defining the meaning and significance of eschatology
Bible teachers calls the study of prophecy “eschatology” or the study of last things (from "eschatos" = "last things" and "ology" = study of).  To center upon a subject of which ¼ of scripture is devoted to should cause great joy – since 224 predictions are made of Christ’s soon return.  Yet how often  have you heard a sermon or a read a book on Bible prophecy where the end result is fear and dread rather than hope and joy?  Repeatedly scripture connects the Christian's current joy with the soon return of Jesus Christ. 

Demonstrating the link between prophecy and joy
Jude in his short little book states his purpose in verse 3: “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.”  How can you and I as Christians contend for the faith in this present time if we do not have a joyful expectation of Christ's return?  Centering upon the Word written and the Living WORD produces joy not only for the current age, but the age to come.  Scriptures bear out this important link between prophecy and joy:

1. Notice what Israel will experience at Christ’s return in Isaiah 51:11 So the ransomed of the LORD will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

2. When Christ returns, we know that there will be a judgment of believers, as recorded in Matthew 25:21 - “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

3. Peter reveals that for the saints of God, joy will characterized their state of existence at Christ’s coming in 1 Peter 4:13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.

4. In one of the final visions of our activity in Eternity, we see these words in Revelation 21:3-4 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Overwhelmingly the core theme of Bible prophecy is the joy we have in the Living Word, Jesus Christ and the certainty of what is said about Him in the written Word. 

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