Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Knowing Jesus allows us to face the future with confidence

2015: Back to the Future

John 14:1-3

In a few days we will be saying “Happy New Year”! 2015, just saying the date reminds us of how quickly time is marching on. We are moving into a new year and into the 16th year of the new millennium. It is hard to believe that we are already this far into the new millennium. Looking back at 1999 there was such excitement and anxiety about what a new millennium would bring.

We had the Millennium Bug - Y2K; the Euro was established as a currency; Allan Boesak was imprisoned for 8 years for fraud - Apartheid Bookkeeping; Thabo Mbeki became president on June 16 of 1999; The World's population reached 6 billion in October of 1999.

So much more has transpired since 1999 to bring us to our current date that time does not permit me to list all the events of interest. Maybe I have taken you too far back as we reflect on the past in order to give us a sense of our place in the present?

But looking back helps us to do just that. Looking back helps us to assess our place in the present. Sometimes looking back can cause grief and disappointment but it can also be cause for a sense of accomplishment and victory. We all learn important lessons by looking at the past. The past puts the present into context and gives perspective to the future.

In Life Sketches we read: "We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history". – {LS 196}

When we apply the lens of the past to our individual lives we experience much of the same feelings and thoughts that the rest of the world shares. We share an apprehension about our future, we share a concern for our collective well being and we share a curiosity about what will happen next. As we approach 2015, we ask - what will the future hold?

Well, I can tell you a few things about 2015 that will happen. I can tell you that the Rugby World Cup will commence on the 18th September with the final on the 31st of October, 2015. That Easter Week-end will be celebrated on 3-5 April 2015. That on September 13, 2015, there will be a Partial Solar Eclipse visible only from South Africa, Antarctica, parts of the Indian and Atlantic oceans. In 2015 Christmas, will be celebrated on December the 25th. Some of you might say Pastor you cheated, you used a calendar.

Now, I have news for you. As we contemplate the future and wonder what lies ahead, just as I can foretell these events by using a calendar our bible can foretell of earthly events yet to occur. We call that prophecy.

Today we look at scripture passages that address the kind of apprehension and curiosity that pervaded the hearts and minds of people in Jesus' day. The people of that time and place were anxious and curious about a coming Messiah that would lead them and free them.

They were intently looking for signs that would lead them to realizing the prophecies of God. And so, to this end, the wise men had studied the ancient writings to interpret the star they had seen in the east around the time of Christ's birth; the disciples of John came asking - are You the One, or do we look for another?

Christ's disciples, on the other hand, having recognized Jesus as the Messiah, were wondering when He would set up His kingdom. And so they came to Him with the question:

"Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Matthew 24:3c

Do we share that same perspective today? Is the Lord Jesus' return one of the things you look forward to in 2015? Does the idea of Jesus' return make you want to run into the street and lay down your clothes as a carpet for His arrival? Have you circled the biblical prophecies in your bible predicting the Lord's return?

In the gospel of Mark, chapter 11, Mark relates how the Lord instructed two of the disciples to go to town to find a colt tied up. A colt that no one had every ridden. They were to take it and bring it to Jesus and they were told what to say if asked about taking it.

Mark 11:4-10

4 So they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it. 5 But some of those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, loosing the colt?”6 And they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded. So they let them go. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. 8 And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna!‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord!Hosanna in the highest!”

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