We are well and truly into a new year School is about to start week 5 of the 1st term and most people have gone back to their regular work
While 2015 is done and dusted, one thing that will carry over into 2016 is the importance of our identity
Just at end of 2015 (Dec 22nd ) an identity theft gang of 4 was arrested in Sydney “Officers said the syndicate was making fraudulent documents, such as Medicare cards, driver’s licences, and bank and credit cards, using “sophisticated” equipment including printers and laminators. (Stephanie Boulet – ABC)
Yet it is not this type of identity that is most important… “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?” (2 Peter 3:11, NIV84) ‘Destruction’ in this verse → end of the world and the second coming of Jesus our text: “Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1–2, NIV84)
How then ought WE to view the new year, how ought we to conduct ourselves in 2016 in a world and nation that is becoming not just intolerant of Christians but even hostile towards us?
- CERTAIN OF CHRIST’S RETURN
- OUR IDENTITY IN CHRIST
- THE LIFESTYLE OF THE EXPECTANT
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Matthew 24:32–44 (NIV84)
32“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.
33Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.
34I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
36“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;
39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.
41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.
44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
1 Thessalonians 5:1–11 (NIV84)
1Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,
2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.
8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.