Last Sermon of Christ
The Bible was written by different men in different generations. However, they were all led and inspired by the same Holy Spirit. Therefore each part of the Bible has a different style according to the human writer, and a different historical emphasis according to the generation it was written in. Yet the Bible has a unified theme from beginning to end because of the unified inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
The theme of the kingdom of God develops throughout the Bible in a progressive revelation. In the very last chapter, Yeshua (Jesus) gives perhaps the shortest sermon of all time, yet repeats it 3 times.
We are coming close to the fulfillment of these verses. The Bible was first published on the printing press in the 1450's. Only in our generation has the Bible been spread throughout China and South East Asia. These verses are the last exhortation, the last sermon.
We are to obey the words of Scripture (verse 7). We are to know that every person will be rewarded or punished according to what he has done (verse 13). We are to be prepared to invite Yeshua to return (verse 20). The word "quickly" refers to the urgency of being ready.
The time is at hand. Every generation preached the message of the kingdom in the light of the historical conditions of their age. Moses led the people out of Egypt; Joshua conquered the land; David established the kingdom; Solomon built the Temple; Jeremiah prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem; Zechariah and Zerubabel restored the remnant. John the Baptist introduced Yeshua's first coming. Peter brought the gospel to Israel; Paul established the international Church.
Now we are approaching the Second Coming. What is the call of God on this generation at the beginning of the fulfillment of end times' prophecies? The focus of the gospel now is to be prepared for the Second Coming. The message is urgent.
Be Anxious For Nothing
Jesus warned that, in the last days, the world would face unfolding trauma. There would be wars, earthquakes, and many other disasters. Yet, to His disciples, He said, "Do not be terrified" (Luke 21:9). He also said that, because of world conditions, men's hearts would fail "from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth"(Luke 21:26 NKJV).
Consider our world: War and terror attacks can occur at any time and anywhere. Our stock market and economy continues to bolt up and down like a roller coaster. We have many unanswered questions about the future that are multiplied stress factors.
If you want to know how stressed you are, look at your disposition when you drive. If you are always exceeding the speed limit, it reveals the lack of rest in your soul. That extra push on the accelerator is continually occurring on your heart throughout the day, not only when you are driving.
I am not suggesting we become passive. However, I am saying we ought to abandon our fears and the stressful anxieties that come from not trusting in God. Our Messiah is "Immanuel," which means "God with us." Jesus promised to be with us, "even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20).
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matt. 11:28-30).
For more on Francis' teachings and to read the full article, click here
Comparing Israel and Syria
(Excerpt and translation from Ben Dror Yemini, Maariv, 8-12-2011)
Several months now President Assad of Syria has been on a campaign of slaughtering his own people. The number of casualties has exceeded 2,000 – many more than were killed in Gaza during Israel's "Operation Cast Lead."
In Syria the demonstrators are seeking freedom and democracy. In Gaza, after the total Israeli pull-out, Hamas imposed a Muslim fundamentalist reign of terror, and launched rockets into civilian population centers in Israel.
Throughout Europe and the United States countless demonstrations took place against Israel for the "slaughter" in Gaza (that Israel never did). The demonstrators acted purely from values of their Green-Red (Islamist and radical Left) Coalition.
Now, by contrast, there is silence. Members of the Islam-Left coalition, who were so vociferous in the demonstrations against Israel, and disguised themselves as "human rights activists," are now exercising their "right" to remain silent.
They protested against Israel, which was defending itself, but not against Assad when he is slaughtering his own people. What could be the reason for these differences?
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Israelis continue to take to the streets in tents and demonstrations against the cost of living, particularly the price of housing. Virtually everyone identifies with the financial difficulties. The costs are inflated because of security expenses, support of the ultra-orthodox religious communities, and because of political bickering between the political parties.
Caleb Meyers, of Jerusalem Institute of Justice, writes: "When I pass by the tents in the center of the city, I am filled with a national pride that the democratic system in Israel has been working effectively and sanely for over 60 years. This demonstration took place on the very same day that President Assad murdered 140 of his own citizens for having protested against the government."
For more information on JIJ, click here
In Israel, the current demonstrations are fighting for social justice. Yet some of the demonstrations are politically motivated to attack Netanyahu and his party. The need for financial reform is real, yet some of the demonstrators are looking more for a summer festival (like an urban, Israeli Woodstock). Let us pray for real social justice.
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