Reformation Day: Mission Accomplished! A Sermon on Rev. 14:6-7
† Jesus, Son, Savior †
May the grace of God our Father, and our victorious brother Jesus Christ strengthen you as you look forward to the mission accomplished, as promised!
For the time has come
There are two or three ways looking toward the second coming of Jesus, and the Day of Judgment that occurs when He comes back.
The first way is to be scared out of your wits as Jesus descends, as people realize He wasn’t kidding, and all their delusions about what they thought was good and right fall aside, and the guilt and shame which harassed every believer since Adam and Eve sinned, weighs heavily on them. This is the “Oh my…G…” reaction…
The second way is to be ecstatic, as a person realizes that this world and all the crap it throughs at us is now meaningless. This is the “Thank God, it’s over” reaction!
The third way is the way you feel after a hard day’s or week’s, or even year’s work on a project, and you know it has been done well. To welcome the end with a sense of joy, peace, and accomplishment, knowing the Mission has been accomplished, and God is pleased.
As we have spent the fall talking about the harvest, and God drawing people through us to Him, this is a look at the future…
- This is what we’re aiming for… hoping for, basing our lives and our deaths upon
This scene – where the angels are flying everywhere with the gospel, as the time of Christ’s second coming is revealed, is mind blowing! John describes people from every imaginable difference hearing the good news – that Christ died and rose for them…
But this is something well promised, consider this view of the same moment that the prophet Zechariah,
10 The Lord said, “Sing for joy, people of Jerusalem! I am coming to live among you!”
11 At that time many nations will come to the Lord and become his people. He will live among you, and you will know that he has sent me to you. 12Once again Judah will be the special possession of the Lord in his sacred land, and Jerusalem will be the city he loves most of all. Zec 2:10–12 GNT
From the beginning, it was planned and revealed that people from everywhere would be there…when God judges the hearts of us all.
But I would have you notice, that as John describes the scene, the people aren’t recognizing the incredible diversity of the people there.
He describes the angel’s directions to everyone, “7 ‘Fear God,’ he shouted. ‘Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water.’”
All the attention is on God – not on the music selection, not on some pastor, not on what is going on in the world, – the direction is here He is—praise Him! Give Him Glory! Worship Him!
This moment is why we want everyone to know God, so they can rejoice with us, so they don’t fear the Judgment Day,
When we see people that we helped know the comfort of God in this life, and who gain the expectation of spending eternity with God, and we realize they are there because God sent us out into the Harvest… when we realize Concordia’s mission, like all the church is accomplished by the power of God, will be an amazing moment.
And then we will hear, well done good and faithful servant Linda, good and faithful servant Sandie, good and faithful servant Coleen…and Tom and Doug and Maureen and everyone else!
And we won’t care about the compliment…because we will be in the presence of God.
- The Reformation – our Transformation is all about this..
Prior to the Reformation, Luther struggled with the idea of Judgment Day. Despite his mentor’s insistence on the mercy of God, Luther dreaded any kind of judgment, including the Judgment Day.
Guilt and shame, over what Fr. Johann Staupitz thought was “boring sins” crushed Luther and drove him mad. Indeed Luther said of his mentor, “If it had not been for Dr. Staupitz, I should have sunk in hell,” said Martin Luther.”
As we work together, ministering to friends, neighbors, parents of our preschoolers, I want them to say the same thing about us, that if it had not been for Concordia’s people, they would have sunk into hell!
But our role in the harvest—is to make sure they know the love of God, and the complete forgiveness found in him. That’s what Staupitz did… Hear an explanation of it,
At the time Luther was struggling with the need to confess completely everything he had ever done wrong. He wore Johann von Staupitz out, trying to remember every sin that his mind would try to cover up. On at least one occasion, he confessed for six hours straight.
Johann tried to explain God’s grace to Luther. Surrender to the love of God, he counseled. Luther should lose himself in God, he said. He was making religion too difficult. All he needed to do was love God.
In talking about the forgiveness, there wasn’t indulgences to buy, there wasn’t pilgrimages that had to be made, there wasn’t penance that had to be done…
There was love the God who died for you and rose for you! Trust Him, put yourself into His care, knowing the plan He has to bring you home.
Until then, we work in the harvest field – like Staupitz, looking for our Luthers, helping them know the comfort and blessings of walking with God into eternity as He declares the mission accomplished!
For as we walk with Him, assured of His work in our lives, we dwell in peace, a peace that passes all understanding, as He guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus! AMEN!
quotes in italics from: https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1501-1600/johann-von-staupitz-luthers-confessor-11629932.html#:~:text=At%20the%20time%20Luther%20was,explain%20God’s%20grace%20to%20Luther.