Archives for posts with tag: end times

“For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:18).

Some people have read the end of this verse and concluded that Christians today are still obligated to follow the Law of Moses. They take the “until everything is accomplished” to mean “until the end of the world,” meaning until then the Law is still in effect.

Think about the practical implications of that, especially for guys who were not circumcised at birth. Ask Timothy, Paul’s protégé, about it. He was already an adult when Paul circumcised him. I think it’s safe to say that if we are concerned about men being AWOL in the church now, the situation would be exponentially worse if discipleship required “defleshship.” Think about sharing the gospel with another guy and having to transition from “God has a wonderful plan for your life” to “and that plan includes circumcision.” Not even the JW’s could sweeten that deal!

Okay, let’s get serious now. That expression must mean something else. Paul gives us a clue in Romans 10:4 when he said, “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

Notice, Paul did not say “Christ is the end of the Law,” as so many incorrectly quote this passage. The text says, “Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness.” The Law didn’t end with Christ, for even today it still serves a purpose of showing us our sinfulness and our need of a Savior. But the Law took on a new meaning after Christ.

Here is what I mean. The Law was no more than a pointer, reminding us that we need God’s righteousness. And in this sense, Christ is the “end” (Greek “telos,”) to which the Law pointed. He was like the red dot on your GPS display signaling your destination.

So, with that in mind, it’s safe to say that “until everything is accomplished” refers to the Messianic age, beginning with the advent of Christ outside of Bethlehem, all the way to His future coming in glory to set up the new heavens and the new earth. In Christ the purpose of the Law was painted in high definition, ultra 4d resolution type of screen. He disclosed the full meaning and purpose of the Law.

But the best is yet to come. God will bring every little detail that Moses and the prophets wrote about to fruition. His justice will cover the earth. His dominion will have no limits. His enemies will be conquered and His Son will reign supreme for eternity. And that’s His story and He’s sticking to it.

And my friend, if that doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will!

Pastor Ivanildo da Costa Trindade

Lead Pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA

Writing a weekly blog has turned out to be harder than what I thought. By the time I finish sermon preparation, I feel like I have already run out of “fresh” material to share, and if I give too much away about the message on Sunday morning, then maybe some will just skip church and “attend” the blog.

But this series on Haggai has stretched me. Every week I think I am facing the undaunted task of trying to make what appears to be the most obscure text in the entire Bible come alive to hearers in the 21st Century. And every week, against all odds, I feel like the Word has come alive, to me first, then to my hearers, hopefully.

Obviously, the messages we find in Haggai are only a very small sampling of what the entire messages as they were delivered to the first audience. So there are some gaps and critical pieces that we wish we had. Bible scholars strive to piece together the chronology of the events and the right sequences of the messages. In the end, no consensual narrative emerges, so we have to use our best judgment.

This week’s text, Haggai’s last message, is a good example of the kind of challenge faced by preachers who want to stay faithful to the text but not bore their audience to death. The message refers to events that will happen in the end of time. God says that once again he will “shake the nations.” In case we miss it, he says he will shake “heaven and earth.”

So we are not talking just about any ordinary shaking here. We are talking about the mother of all shakings, the kind of shaking the world has never once witnessed nor will it ever witness again. To give you an idea, God has given us a little teaser. It’s described in Exodus 19, the time God spoke directly to Moses on Mount Sinai. There was shock and awe everywhere. Everyone, including Moses, was absolutely terrified at the sight. The people begged God never  to do that again because they thought they were going to perish on the spot.

In the midst of some sobering news of impending doom; however, God does what God does best: He promises His people that they will be kept safe, if they continue to trust Him. He admonishes them to keep investing on the things that will last forever. And He assures them that their hope ultimately rides on the promise of the coming Messiah.

Well, guess what? The Messiah has come. We now await the unfolding of the rest of the story Meanwhile, we have work to do. Let’s make sure we focus on the job still remaining to help the Gospel advance to the ends of the earth.

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade