Sunday, October 2, 2011

October 2- The End

October 2, 2011

Scripture Reading:
Isaiah 66:1-24; Philippians 3:4-21;
Psalm 74:1-23; Proverbs 24:15-16

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and 
the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  
~Revelation 20:1

Isaiah 66:1-24

The last chapter of Isaiah sums up the roles of God.  Here we see Him as the Creator, Redeemer, Ruler, Judge, and Restorer.  There is the certainty of judgment for those who have delighted in their own sins. The prediction of Israel going through birth pains is a picture of Israel enduring the Great Tribulation.  Notice in verse 7 that Israel gives birth to a son prior to birth pains beginning.  What does this mean?  It means that Jesus Christ is born prior to the Great Tribulation.  His work is begun and salvation comes prior to judgment.

Christ will bring about the birth of Israel, spiritually.  The nation will be born spiritually.  The people of God will delight in Jerusalem.  Peace will flow like a river. The wealth of the nations will supply her. God will act as a nurturing mother to her children.  The day of Israel's separation from her God will be over.

The enemies of God will be punished by fire.  God will destroy this present world by fire in the end.  It should be noted that at the end of Christ's millennial reign there are those who rebel against him.  Satan and his angels are loosed from the abyss and a final rebellion occurs.  This is when Christ finally defeats all of his enemies and the old world is consumed by fire. A remnant from every nation will worship the Lord.

These people, who believe in God, will be the everlasting population in the new heavens and the new earth. There will be worship of God in the new heaven and the new earth. The enemies of God will be dead and the fire that consumes them will burn forever as a sign of their complete destruction. This is a sight that evokes horror.

Just as Isaiah was a mini-Bible with 66 chapters, we see that God's story in Isaiah ends with justice prevailing just as it does at the end of the complete Bible.  There is always a warning to the wicked that destruction awaits those who rebel against the Creator of the universe.

What do you think about all of this?

Philippians 3:4-21

One of the keys to living a life worthy of resurrection is to forget the past and focus on the future.  The Apostle Paul tells his Philippian friends that he strains to reach the end of the race looking towards the finish line.  The book of Isaiah shows us the finish line that Paul is focusing all of his energies upon.

Paul is willing to be an example that others can follow.  His life, although not perfect, is a life of striving after God. Paul warns about those who claim to follow Christ, but their lives reflect an appetite for shameful things.  Their future is eternal destruction. 

For the Christian, the future holds the promise of glorified bodies like Jesus' glorified body.  These will be powerful and useful.  That is quite a future to look forward to!

Where is your focus?

Psalm 74:1-23

This is a cry for God to bring salvation to the earth.  This could be the cry of the nation of Israel as they await the coming of the Messiah after the Great Tribulation.  Notice that in verse 13 God crushes the head of Leviathan.  This is a reference to Satan. Indeed, God will crush Satan in the end.

Proverbs 24:15-16

The righteous may trip, but they will rise again.  How true!

What did you learn today?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton

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