April 19

Isaiah 1-4, Psalm 109

When talking with my patients, so many agonize over the plight of their loved ones. Whether over seemingly smaller things like whether their child is selected for a particular sports team, or gets the position on the team that he/she wants, to whether they get their top choice for college, or whether they find the right mate; or larger things like an illness in a loved one, a crumbling marriage, loss of job and finances, etc. many state extreme stress over these issues. Many state that they can't sleep at night due to their worry and pre-occupation over these issues. Many ask for sleeping aids from me or a little anxiety medication to help them through these times. In the church it is not all that different. These are often the items that bring the most anxiety and concern. Oddly, we have such a pre-occupation for the earthly issues but are often more calm and collected when it comes to the area of our loved ones and friend's salvation. Oh, you might get a statement or even a light prayer request, but loss of sleep? Anxiety to the point of asking for help? Almost never. What are we most concerned about in reality, earthly happiness or eternity with Jesus? Most want to give the right answer, which of course is eternity with Jesus, but why does that not seem to.be our greatest concern?

We get a great picture of the Millennial Kingdom with King Jesus in Isaiah 2:1-4, "The Word of Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord's house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore." This promise must never be taken out of context. Outside of the U.N. Building they use this quote from Isaiah 2:4, even referencing it, but not surprisingly they completely remove the portion above "They shall beat their swords". By doing this they remove all reference to this being by and through God, and instead imply that through humanity this will occur. This is a distorted misrepresentation. If we place our hope in the perfect society in the hands of man, then we are truly hopeless. This promise is described a little later again in Isaiah 4:2-3, "In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious; And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing For those of Israel who have escaped. And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy- everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem." We know that this Branch is a reference to the future Messiah, Jesus. Many mistakenly believe in their survival techniques: shelters, guns, food storage , etc to see them through. Those who make it through will do so not by their innate skills or good luck. If any are interested those who make it through to the Millennial Kingdom will either come from heaven with Jesus at the time of the battle of Armageddon in Revelation 19:14 or for those that make it through the Tribulation alive are those who are judged as sheep by Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46.

I'm on vacation in the Caribbean now, and there are so many beautiful scenes of families playing together, couples holding hands walking, etc. As beautiful as this is, the ultimate question we must never forget is whether or not they will get to enjoy the Millennial Kingdom one day with Jesus. So much of what we say and do is vanity, amounting to idle words. We must take seriously the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:36, "But I say to you that every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment." So let us all move forward today not with careless words that simply fill the day, but let us invite someone to spend eternity with Jesus and enjoy all of the promises outlined about the Millennial Kingdom and heaven.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster