Sometimes we miss the point. I sure do! We get caught up in the process and forget that the way things end might be more important. I was watching a football game yesterday. One coach had a plan to impose his team's will on the other team. The other team had a plan to both oppose and confuse the first coaches plan. The second team's plan worked like clockwork. But the first team's coach stubbornly continued to apply his plan even when it didn't work. That team lost in a landslide!
We get beliefs in our heads. We have been told things since we were children and believe hanging onto those beliefs have virtue within themselves. We fail when it comes to looking at those beliefs as they relate to Scripture and we find that our game plan seems lacking and dysfunctional. This happened many years ago when generations were told that slavery, prejudice, sexism, the murder of Bible translators, the Crusades (you get the point) were somehow sanctioned by God's Word. We are still paying the societal price for those blunders. Our playbook and God's playbook didn't match.
Sunday (as we examine Revelation 7:1-17) we will examine several end-times options. Some will be what you have been taught for generations (this will be different for different people in the congregation). Some options will make you feel good and give you hope that you will be spared from tribulation suffering. Others will ignore the tribulation as symbolic. After we look at these troubling ideas I hope you will understand what that first coach forgot. The point of the game is to be prepared to do whatever God calls us to do so that we end up on the winning side. In other words ... BE READY. What I present Sunday will be interpretations of the end-times that have been constructed by people. Each one of these people is sure that their "plan" is right and consistent with Scripture. But let's apply some basic logic ... they can't all be right. So our call, I think, is to know that God's Word, through the Revelation, gives us hope and assurance that God will end this world at some point and that God will call His people home (however that happens). Let's hang our hats on following that God's Great Commandment ... "love God with your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself." Seems to me that this game-plan will get us safely home to the best victory of all. Not the victory of being right but the victory of belonging forever to Christ. That end-game is worthy of pursuit! Randy