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We live every moment in hope

Matthew 24:1-28

Pastor David Ernst

Sunday of the Final Judgment
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Nov 12, 2017 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

These next three Sundays are the last Sundays in the church calendar. The purpose of this calendar is to review the life and works of Jesus Christ in one year. We begin with the preparation for Christmas, we also recognize the visit of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, the Transfiguration, His death and Resurrection in Holy Week and His Ascension to be seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty .

What else? After the Ascension, is there anything else? Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies of the Old Testament, except one, the prophecy of the Last Judgment. When Christ will return in glory, it will be the end of the world. We confess in the creed that the Son of God will come from the right of God the Father to judge all nations, the living and the dead. So, on the last Sundays of the church calendar, we talk about the last things.

Our reading of the Old Testament says (Job 14: 1-6), "Surely your days are determined, and the number of your months is near you." Also, our gospel for today: "And if those days were not shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened."

Each one of us has a time determined by God in this world. We receive the gift of earthly life as a gift from God with our parents as His instruments. Each of us has a purpose and a destiny. The fate that no one can avoid is physical death, except those who will live on the day when the Lord will return. No one at all can avoid giving an account of his life before the throne of God.

Generally, nobody knows the time of his death. Some people receive a diagnosis from the doctor that says, "You have a year to live" or "You have a few months to live." However, doctors are not infallible. Sometimes the patients live much longer than the doctors' sentence.

Some people say, "I'm young! I do not need to think about God's will before my old age. " However, there is no guarantee of 75 years or more in this world. Many die in their childhood or youth. Some people live more than 100 years, but it is not clear why. To take care of your diet and health, avoid bad habits like drugs or cigarettes, can extend your life, but that is not 100 percent certain.

But, God knows the number of our days. He has a purpose for our lives. If you are alive, God has a purpose for your life. Many times, we did not understand the purpose of our lives, but God knows.

This world, the whole planet, will not last forever either. God has a purpose for it, but when Jesus returns to judge the living and the dead, He is going to create a new heaven and a new earth. And nobody knows the date of the second coming of the Lord.

He says so in our text: "Then, if someone says to you: Behold, the Christ is there, do not believe. For there will arise false Christs, and false prophets, and they will do great signs and wonders; in such a way that they will deceive, if possible, even the chosen ones. Here I have told you before. So, if they tell you: Behold, in the desert he is; do not leave: Here in the chambers; do not believe. "

He who says he knows the date of the Last Judgment is a false prophet, because he contradicts the Word of the Lord. The will of the Lord is for each one of us to live each moment in the hope of his return. We have the promise of eternal life in our baptism, then, it does not matter the date of our death, nor the end of the world.

St. Paul says: "For as the lightning that comes out of the east and shows itself to the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18). Everything will happen in an instant, but if we are baptized and abide in the faith, we would be prepared. We should not worry about the thoughts of death or the end of the world, but live each day in the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.

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