Few teachings of Scripture have more misinterpretations then Jesus’ final return. Most of the big-time evangelists, radio/T.V. personalities talk about the “rapture,” the “millennium,” and the necessity of backing the physical nation of Israel. The presence of Isis groups within our borders has accelerated interest in these false teachings. What does the Bible really say and why is it important to us?
The Bible says there will be one rapture (I Thessalonians 4:17). It will take place the moment Jesus returns. Not before or after. The belief that Jesus will reign on earth is a misinterpretation of Revelation chapter 20. We are currently living in the millennium. Everyone who believes in Jesus, regardless of his/her nationality, is part of the New Testament Israel (Romans 9, 10).
This is important because Jesus will return one time. We are to be ready for that moment. It will be a great day for God’s people. Jesus said, “Lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). St. Paul said, “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, our Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). Listening to Jesus’ words is the basis of readiness. Then we’ll understand our connection to Jesus and the meaning of life.
A BATTLE YOU CAN'T WIN. Ever been in one of those? Not like some ancient tale where warriors, soldiers choose death over surrender. In that case it's usually for the glory, and there has to be some kind of satisfaction in that.
I mean a battle where every day is filled with BITTER COMBAT, and you see no end in sight. I mean where even as you struggle with all your might to stand your ground, you feel yourself getting pushed back. Inch by inch, foot by foot. Yard by yard. And all the while, you know-you just know-that though you dearly want to win, you will lose.
Sin had taken our measure, had taken control of us. Death had us in its sights. WE COULD NOT WIN. No one could, no matter how hard he/she might struggle. Sin made each day a misery, and death swallowed up every human hope, every human joy, every human life.
UNTIL OUR JESUS CAME. Ravenous death was swallowed up forever by his death. And what makes his triumph on Easter so unique is that, when he won that convincing battle, he didn't hoard the glory for himself. He gave his victory away. Listen to Paul: "Thanks be to God! HE GIVES US the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 15:57). His triumph, my triumph. His life, my life. In an instant our life's struggle is transformed from a hard life's work of hopeless despair into a glorious battle, bright with living hope.
We draw our life from Jesus our once crucified, but now resurrected Savior. He gives his life to us. God gives. We give. We give our lives away in service to this Lord. We like nothing better than to spread the news of his triumph far and wide. "DEATH IS DONE. Sin's power is broken"
WILL YOU HELP FREE OTHERS FROM THEIR HOPELSS BATTLES? Will you help give away what we have freely received? Not for the sake of an institution like St. Paul's congregation or for the sake of our church body, the WELS, but because Jesus lives. BECAUSE HE WON!
J.A.M. stands for Jesus in the Afternoon for Me. J.A.M. is a Wednesday after-school program for children in grades 1-5. All are welcome to attend especially those who do not have a church home or Sunday school.
Children gather in St. Paul's fellowship hall after arriving from their school (they can get shuttled by bus from their school to St. Paul’s--Ask your child’s bus driver for details). The sessions begin with a snack, free time (games), a Bible lesson (beginning around 3:50), singing and craft. Children are to be picked up at 5:00 p.m. You can register your child when you bring them or by clicking the link below to our online registration form.
J.A.M. is FREE and a fun way for your child to learn valuable lessons for life and bring them closer to God.
For more information click on the link below to the J.A.M. handbook or call St. Paul's church and school office 783-2552 extension 0.