15-11-15 Christian Priorities and Urgency!

My Dear Congregation! Christian Priorities, how should we organise those? Let us show some urgency in doing well. Ecc. 9: 10:Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Mark 13: 24 to 32[24] But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, [25] And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. [26] And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. [27] And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. [28] Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: [29] So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, [even] at the doors. [30] Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. [31] Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. [32] But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Scientific nonsense? Certainly, but it is a parable, a parable of the end of the world. The whole world? Don’t we have a feeling like the world is coming to an end, don’t we sometimes feel our doubts, even if we cannot verbalise them, about the way our world is going?

In the 1970s there were predictions that petrol would run out in the last century. It didn’t and today we act as if it never will run out. But it will! And when one morning one of us rolls up at the petrol station and it is all sold out and there is still the sign, saying $1000.- and a person goes up to the station owner and says, ‘Give me a litre of petrol, I give you $1500.- for it.’ And the owner says, ‘I’d love to, but I just don’t have any,’ then the question will arise, not only how will we get to work, but also how is the food going to get to the supermarkets in the city, and then we will see people fighting over a bag of groceries and only the strongest shall survive!

Isn’t that what we teach children at school today? We don’t teach anymore (Matt. 22: 39) ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself.’ And do will still act like this? Do we still know our neighbours as friends? Do we still have friends or only competitors? Do we feel that ‘the sun (of our world) is darkened and the moon is not giving her light’? Does it feel as if the stars of heaven might fall any moment and our world will end in disaster? And will we then see Jesus, the son of man, coming in the clouds and dream and hope for his great power and glory, for the glory of ‘Love thy neighbour!’? Don’t we hope we will be amongst the elect that are gathered from all the storms of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven or maybe just some remote place where we can live in self – sufficiency and forget about it all, modern life? Won’t we just do God’s will, after all the urgent matters to which our modern lives compel us are done?

How long can we go on like this? How many people can live on the earth? When will it all collapse?

But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Remember the parable of the rich man building greater barns to store what his ground had carried. Luke 12: 20:God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’

Love thy neighbours now, be a haven of peace to those who seek your friendship, who seek a place of shelter from our modern competitive world. Is it not only the effort of Christianity, but also the effort of science to let people live about whom nature already has ruled they shall die now, since they are not strong or fit enough anymore?

But isn’t this all nonsense? Doesn’t it say in verse 30 that this shall happen before the generation living at Jesus’ time has passed away? Yes it does, but the Ancient Greek word genea, from which the English word generation is derived, has a slightly different meaning. It means family or that which has been begotten, men of the same stock, in other words not necessarily people living at the same time.

But isn’t this a very long time since Jesus said this? Psalm 90: 4For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

So let us not delay in doing good!

Ecc. 9: 10 to 12:Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so [are] the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.’

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.