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Summary: When Jesus returns the world will be purified so that he can set up his kingdom here on earth. He will begin the purification process by judging the people.

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The passage we heard from Nehemiah a few minutes ago occurs after the completion of the wall around Jerusalem. The foundations were laid both physically and spiritually. The people celebrated because they had experienced a great revival, much like the revivals and crusades led by people such as Billy Graham. God had once again blessed the people of Israel..

It is good to celebrate what God does through us,. Celebrating honours God who makes our deeds possible, and celebrating encourages us to acknowledge the work he does through us. We celebrate different occasions in our lives such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, baptisms and so on, and these occasions are made possible because of God’s grace in our lives. The greatest celebration occurs when a lost soul returns to Christ and receives him as Lord and Saviour, just like the people of Israel returned to God under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah.

The celebration of the completion of the wall around Jerusalem included the rite of purification. When we gather for worship, we and step back from our busy lives to focus on God. This is becoming a rare event today with so many other activities competing for our attention on Sundays, but God created us to pause and worship him. We purify ourselves by preparing our hearts to be in God’s presence. True worship happens when we offer our praise, love and lives to him.

The book of Revelation was written when the early church was being persecuted by the Romans. Early Christians were asked to choose which Lord to serve. If they chose to serve the Roman Emperor, their lives were spared. If they chose to serve God, they were put to death. The book of Revelation was written to encourage Christians to remain faithful and that God would be victorious. We have the same choice-serve God or serve man. Our choice will affect our eternal destiny.

We need the same encouragement today. Our world is full of evil. Our world can easily discourage us, but with God’s Word, especially the Book of Revelation, we have hope for the future. The future is in God’s hands just like it is in the old song, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”.

He’s got the whole world in his hands

He’s got the whole world in his hands

He’s got the whole world in his hands

He’s got the whole world in his hands

God calls on us to be dedicated to him and to be thankful in times of suffering. Suffering refines us just like fire refines gold. It makes our faith stronger and purer. It will strengthen our faith.

The book of Revelation talks about purification in an abstract way. When Jesus returns the world will be purified so that he can set up his kingdom here on earth. He will begin the purification process by judging the people. When the process is complete, there will be a time of rejoicing and celebrating that will be greater than the celebration that took place when the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt.


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