Summary: We are justified by faith, saved by grace and the shed blood of Jesus Christ, but this does not mean we should not do 'good works', and while the Bible is not specific there are references to 'rewards' that will be showered on Christians for their work fo

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Matthew 25: 14-30

One day the Master will return and He will settle accounts

As we come to the last two weeks in the Church’s calendar,

before the 1st Sunday of Advent and a new Church Year,

the Bible readings always about the End Times.

They remind us that we will have a personal End Time

when we will die and face the Lord,

from whom no secrets are hid

and all desires known.

And they remind us of the ultimate End Time

when the Parousia, or 2nd Coming, will take place

and, as we recite every week in the Creed,

Jesus will return to judge both the living and the dead;

the sheep, those who have accepted God’s grace, forgiveness and salvation,

will be placed on His right hand and will enjoy His presence for all eternity,

while the goats,

those who did not receive what God freely offered to all through faith in Jesus Christ,

will be placed on His left hand and will suffer eternal damnation.

Our Introit psalm today was Psalm 90:1-12.

In the Lutheran Study Bible which Glen Zweck gave me at Westfield House before he retired

and moved to a Nursing Home in Australia,

it says:

Psalm 90 is a prayer to the everlasting God to have compassion on His servants,

who live their melancholy lives

under the rod of divine wrath.

It is a plea that God will yet show them His love

and give them cause for joy

and bless their labours with enduring worth.

That prayer could be answered in this life, or in the next.

If anyone here feels they are leading a melancholy life

and they are suffering under the rod of God’s wrath,

I pray that God will hear your prayer

and make things better.

I pray that we will all experience God’s love

and have cause for joy,

in eternity, if not in this life,

and that however we labour in His vineyard

He will bless our labours,

when, like the Master in the Parable,

He comes to judge.

Our Old Testament lesson was Zephaniah 1:7-16

and here again we are reminded that God will return to judge.

Those who have sinned and have never repented;

those who have mocked God and taken His name in vain,

will crying and wail.

Everything that they have put their trust in,

possessions and positions, status and bank balances;

will all be wiped out; ruined; demolished.

No one knows when that Day will happen;

only fools try to calculate the date and time,

and only great fools make announcements that they know when it will happen,

for even Jesus said He did not know,

but only the Father in heaven.

However, as Zephaniah put it in chapter 1 verse 14

‘The great day of the Lord is near,

and is coming’ although maybe not as quickly as he thought.

When it does come, however, it will be ‘a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish,

a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness’

for some, for many,

but not for those who have put their trust in Jesus,

as I hope all of us here have.

In today’s Epistle reading, 1 Thess 5:1-11, Paul, correctly,

does not try to work out when the Day of the Lord will occur;

he knew that would be a waste of time;

but he warns non-Christians that ‘destruction will come on them suddenly’

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