God has prepared a city for us. We cannot see it, yet this city is real. Moreover, this city belongs to a country and is ruled by a King, (Phil 3:20; Ps 2:6). Even though we have to wait for it, this reality should affect our worldview, and keep our focus on the future, yet the glorious appearance of the Kingdom we belong to . . .
This very morning and before the sun will set tonight, trumpets will sound in every Jewish neighborhood in Israel and even among the remnant of Jews living in the nations. And so it will be for the next ten days until we celebrate Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement. The alarm of the trumpet calls us to search our hearts in preparation of appearing before the Judgment Seat of Christ . . .
We ought ‘to gird our minds for action and keep ourselves sober in spirit’ (1 Peter 1:13), so that we are not caught off guard when we are accused falsely, ostracized, or even rejected by people. ‘A disciple is not above his teacher, nor is a slave above his master’ (Mat 10:24), if Christ Jesus, our Teacher and Master, suffered for the sake of righteousness – so shall we! (1 Peter 4:1-2).
There will be two armies fighting in this war, the armies of this world under the authority of Antichrist (Dan 7:21-27; Rev 13:7-8); and the kingdom of Messiah, those coming with Him from heaven (Rev 19:11-14; Zech 14:4-5), and Judah leading the army of Israel into this final battle foreshadowed by the prophet Ezekiel, (Ezek 39:17-29; Zech 9:11-17; Rev 19:17-21).
‘For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish it.’ (Is 9:6-7) . . .
What a glorious hope! ‘Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is,’ (1 John 3:2). Indeed, we do have a hope and a future . . .
In fact, if we see these things coming to pass, let us take courage, remembering the words of Luke, saying, ‘ But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near . . .
The “talents” in this parable represent an amount of money entrusted to His servants in order to equip them for the work they have to do in His Kingdom while He is away (in heaven). In the context of this parable, it seems clear that each ‘citizen of heaven’ will receive different responsibilities, and it does not depend on ‘how much has been entrusted,’ but how faithful the servant will be over that which has been entrusted to him.
What separates the five wise virgins form the five foolish virgins in this parable is not the lamps, but the oil! They all kept their lamps ready, but half of the virgins were ready to enter the time of distress with ‘extra oil,’ while the other half had none to trim their lamps. This parable calls all virgins . . .
The first question asked by the Lord is, ‘Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?’. A slave, in typology, indicates a position in relationship, namely one who is in service of a superior master. A slave is . . .
There is one central theme in Messiah’s teachings in the parables relating the season of His Second Appearance, namely to be sober and alert . . .