Summary: End Time 2 / Last Judgment(B) - Shine like the stars forever. I. During times of distress. II. At God’s last judgment III. As witnesses of wisdom.
SHINE LIKE THE STARS…FOREVER (Outline)
November 9, 2008 --
END TIME 2 / LAST JUDGMENT --
INTRO: Scripture defines Christians as people of faith who lead humble, loving lives. Jesus reminded his disciples that humility was important in their lives. “The first will be last and the last will be first”. “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve”. Christian humility does not mean that believers are to be floor mats for the world. With boldness and confidence every Christian has the blessed privilege and opportunity to display God’s love to a loveless world. "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord" (EPHESIANS 5:8-10). The Holy Spirit will guide us “to find out what pleases the Lord”. Through Daniel the Lord encourages us:
SHINE LIKE THE STARS …FOREVER.
I. During times of distress.
II. At God’s judgment day.
III. As witnesses of wisdom.
I. (SHINING STARS) DURING TIMES OF DISTRESS
A. Chapter 12 begins, “At that time…” At what time? That time is described in chapters 10 and 11.
1. Godless rulers would rule. The king would even set himself up as god.
2. This situation would not be good for the believers. But, the Lord would help verse 1a.
3. God’s angel Michael, called the great prince, would protect God’s people.
B. Verse 1b. God’s people would need and welcome divine intervention during these times of distress.
C. In good times or in bad times God takes care of his people. At times the Lord keeps danger away from us. By natural means we enjoy a blessed life. At other times we may expose ourselves to danger. It is during those times that God can and does use supernatural means for his people. Each of us can probably remember a close call in our life. Our guardian angel saved us from harm’s way. Even Daniel knew that the angel of the Lord had shut the mouth of the lions to keep him alive and safe. Such is God’s care and love! "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone"(PSALM 91:11,12). We are reminded that we do not worship angels but always worship Christ as our Savior and Good Shepherd.
D. In the midst of distress as believers we are reminded to “shine like the stars”. Each believer has hope when everything seems hopeless. We are encouraged in the midst of what is discouragement for many others. Paul was in prison. He did not expect to be released. Paul shines like the stars. "The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever"(2 TIMOTHY 4:18). We also praise God for his deliverance. God will finally deliver each of us from this vale of tears and bring us safely to his heavenly kingdom. Praise God’s goodness!
Believers SHINE LIKE THE STARS…FOREVER
even and especially during times of distress.
II. (SHINING STARS) AT GOD’S JUDGMENT DAY
A. God sent the warning that things would be very unpleasant in the world for believers.
1. The rulers after Daniel had no regard at all for God’s people. God would still intervene.
2. No matter what happened in the history of the world there would be deliverance, verse 1c.
B. Believers have their names written in God’s book, kept safe. Verse 2. God’s judgment will come.
C. God’s word describes Judgment Day in very simple, straightforward terms. Daniel says the Lord comes to judge. Some are given eternal life and others sent to everlasting shame and contempt. Today’s Gospel (MATT. 25:31ff) describes the separation of the sheep and goats. Jesus gives eternal life to believers. The unbelievers receive eternal punishment as a result of their denial, rejection, and unbelief in Christ the Lord. Jesus quotes Daniel concerning the Last Day. "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out--those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned"(JOHN 5:28,29). Judgment Day is simple. Jesus returns to judge. Believers live forever. Unbelievers live forever in the torments of hell.
D. The Lord reminds us that the Last Day is just that – the end. There is no thousand-year reign that gives men a second-chance. There is no second chance. The present is our time of grace. God gives to each of us ample opportunity day after day to seek the Lord while he may be found. The Lord is not far from each one of us. When the Lord Jesus returns to judge we rejoice. This is not true for unbelievers. "The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out"(PROVERBS 13:9).