Homily for thirty-third Sunday B16 Nov 2018, by Sermons in
We are gradually coming to the close of the year, and also we are reminded that we are gradually coming close to the end of time. End time message is no longer sellable in our generation; that is not the kind of message people want to hear today. Some years back, I met somebody who doubted that this world would end one day; he didn’t want to hear anything about end times. When I asked him why he is so convinced that this world will never end, he simply said that since Jesus’ time on earth, the talk about the end-time had been there. He said Jesus preached it, his apostles preached it, and after over two thousand years, we are still preaching it; who are you people deceiving? He asked.
There are many other people like that person; they don’t believe that this world will come to an end. For some, it is out of fear. They are so afraid that they don’t even want to imagine the horror of the end time, but it will surely come to pass. On that day, Jesus said the whole world would see him coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And Prophet Daniel said the horror of that day, the disaster, the destruction, and God’s anger would be such that has never been seen since the creation of the universe.
As Christians, we are not afraid of the end time; we rather wait in hope for the crown of glory. Jesus said so many times, and he is still saying to you and me this morning; do not be afraid, fear not.
In our first reading this morning, Daniel tells us that when the time comes, God’s people will be spared; those whose names are written in the book of life. In Rev. 7:3, it is written that before that great destruction, God’s people will be given a mark of protection. Mark tells us in our gospel reading today that before that great destruction, God will send his angels to gather his people from the ends of the earth. Daniel tells us in our first reading that Angel Michael will mount guard over God’s people. And the Psalmist says in Psalm 91:7-8 that a thousand may fall at your said, ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near to you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. So, Jesus says to us today, fear not. The horror of the end time is for those not marked by God, whose names are not written in the living book.
The question I need to ask myself today is if I have the mark of God on my forehead; am I marked by God? Is my name written in the book of life? What about you? Are you marked by God? is your name in the book of the living? What kind of mark do you have on your body and soul? Some Christians have gotten themselves marked by the devil, with evil tattoos all over their bodies. They have gotten their souls marked for destruction by the devil by going into an agreement with him. Many have gone into all kinds of covenants with the devil, but the only covenant we know as Christians is the one sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ.
Our second reading reminds us of the power of this new and everlasting covenant sealed with the blood of Jesus. Christ…has offered one single sacrifice for sins, and then taken his place forever, at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for him. By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying. By the power of the blood of the new covenant, the saints in heaven were washed clean (Rev. 7:13-14). Are you among the sanctified? Is your name in the book?
Brothers and sisters, end time, is real. The horror of the end time will be such that has never been seen since the creation of the world. The anger of God is going to burn like fire; only the blood of Jesus can save us.
We all have sinned in one way or another; we have allowed ourselves to be marked by sin for destruction. But to God be the glory we are alive today, we have the chance to make amends. We have the chance to escape the coming horror of the end time. It doesn’t matter right now the terrible marks I have on my body and soul; it doesn’t matter how bad I have allowed the devil to mark me for destruction. What matters right now is that God is ready to forgive me; he is ready to save me from my sins and the coming horror of the end time. What I did does not matter; what matters right now is what I am allowing God to do in my life today. Do not allow the accuser to continue to accuse you; he has been defeated. Let us move away from our past and walk today in the light of God’s mercy and forgiveness into the glorious future.
As we come together in worship, may we give God the chance to save us for himself through Christ, our Lord. Amen.