Week 12 Doctrine: Eschatology Day 1 - Optimism/Success of our Mission Scripture - Psalm 110, Matthew 6:9-10, Matthew 28:18-19, 1 Peter 3:22, & Philippians 2:10 Devotional - The great joy of the Christian faith is that the mission God has set out to accomplish cannot ever fail. God cannot fail, so His mission cannot fail. Though at times it seems as if Satanhads defeated God. Remember when Satan tricked Eve into eating the fruit? Or, when Jesus died? Those only looked like defeat because we don't know God's perfect plan. God was not surprised or worried when these apparent setbacks happened. Actually, they were all part of His plan. When Jesus defeated His enemies by rising from the dead, He tasked His church with kingdom building and expansion. That means we push back the darkness and make the enemies of God His friends. This is not a job that we can do quickly or by ourself. It is a job that we accomplish over the course of history and with the help of the Holy Spirit and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Because God can't fail, He won't let us fail. He hasn't given us a job that we can't one day accomplish. Though we may die before the job is finished, those that we disciple and train will continue where we leave off. One day, all Christians will live in the New Heavens and the New Earth. Then, Jesus' kingdom expansion will be finished. Questions - 1. Can God or His plans fail? 2. Will Jesus' Kingdom expand over all the Earth? 3. When will the Kingdom be finished? Day 2 - The Temple and 70 A.D. Scripture - Luke 23:26-31, Matthew 24:2, Matthew 27:24-25, Revelation 6 Devotional - The Temple in Jerusalem was a great, strong stone building. It was the place that God received the sacrifices from His people. While Jesus was teaching His disciples about the future of His Kingdom, He warned them of the day when the Temple would be destroyed and the people of Jerusalem would flee in fear. Later, as Jesus faced His death, He warned the people of a judgment that was coming for them. In the year 70 A.D, just as Jesus foretold, the Romans marched into Jerusalem and destroyed everything in their path, including the Temple. The destruction of Jerusalem by the hands of the Romans was so violent and gruesome, that many are sickened to learn of it. Just as Jesus prophesied, many Jews fled to the surrounding mountains, trying to escape the rage of the Roman soldiers. Although it was Rome that physically destroyed the Temple, God was using Rome to pour out His wrath onto the generation that killed Jesus. God never allowed for the Jewish Temple to be rebuilt. He had no use for it anymore. Instead of dwelling in a stone temple, He now dwells in the hearts of His people. Questions - 1. What happened in the year 70 A.D.? 2. Where did some people flee to escape the Roman soldiers? 3. How did God use the Roman's to punish the Jewish generation that killed Jesus? Day 3 - Jesus is King Scripture - Psalm 47:6-7, Psalm 110, Revelation 15:3, 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 Devotional - After Jesus ascended into Heaven, He took His place on the Throne of Heaven. He is ruling the nations and building His kingdom. God the Father promised long ago to give Jesus this position. From His position of absolute power, we are given power from Jesus to accomplish the job of kingdom expansion. We are told to go into the world, which belongs to our King and expand the borders of His kingdom rule. Everyone must be told about the good King Jesus, who saves His people from their enemies. King Jesus has already defeated Satan and sin. The very last enemy, death, will be defeated when Jesus returns again. Then none of God's people will never face death again. What a great day that will be! Questions - 1. Who is ruling over heaven and earth? 2. What did the Father promise the Son? 3. What is the last enemy that Jesus will defeat? Day 4 - Our Kings Return Scripture - Acts 1:6-11, Titus 2:13, Revelation 21:1-8 Devotional - When Jesus was born, He did not come as a powerful warrior, He came in humility. His humiliation by dying on the cross led Him to victory over His enemies. After Jesus rose from the grave, He walked with His disciples for 40 days and explained how He was the fulfillment of all the scriptures. After the 40 days were over, He ascended into heaven where He was seated on the heavenly throne. That is where He is currently ruling. One day, He will return. He will not come in humility like He came the first time. This time it will be in glory. He will come with all power and might. He will come to judge the living and the dead and will complete His victory over Satan, sin, and death. Questions - 1. In what manner did Jesus come as a baby? Humility or glory? 2. In what manner will Jesus return? 3. When Jesus returns, what will Jesus do to the living and the dead? Day 5 - The Eternal State Scripture - Romans 8:19-23, Revelation 22:3-5, Mark 9:43-48 & Matthew 25:41 Devotional - After we face the final judgment of God, an eternity awaits for us. For those that are part of God's family, our eternity will be spent in the New Heavens and New Earth. Remember how the Earth was cursed when mankind sinned? In our eternal state, God will renew every aspect of His creation and remove the Earth's curse. We will experience wonderful fellowship and enjoy God forever. We will no longer have pain or cry, everything that was broken in the world will be fixed. For those that hate God and are not part of His family, God will judge them as rebellious. They will keep their curse. They will not get to experience joy and fellowship with God, nor do they want to. Rather, they will be sentenced to an eternal death of misery in hell. Hell was created for Satan and his demons, and there, the rebellious humans will suffer as well. In the eternal state, God will be glorified in His righteous judgment. God is glorified by showing mercy to His covenant people. We see this as He planned to save and love them before He even created them. He is also glorified in pouring out His wrath upon sin. Justice demands that sin is punished. In order to show perfect love, God must condemn sin. Questions - 1. Does everyone live for all eternity? 2. How is God glorified by punishing sin? 3. What are some things that you look forward to in the eternal state?
Resources: ESV Bible: www.esvbible.org Westminster Confession of Faith & Larger and Shorter Catechisms: https://www.amazon.com/Westminster-Confession-Catechisms-Adopted-Presbyterian/dp/0979377005/ref=sr_1_2?crid=NLMB9B71ROL3&keywords=westminster+confession+of+faith+and+catechisms&qid=1558915443&s=gateway&sprefix=westminster%2Caps%2C192&sr=8-2 Louis Berkof Systematic Theology: https://www.amazon.com/Systematic-Theology-Louis-Berkhof/dp/1941129560/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1558915533&sr=8-1 Ligonier Free Resources: www.ligonier.org