Called to Do the Right Thing – Esther 4:12-17

The story of Esther is familia7.r to many, and has great value to teach us today. As we look at several passages from the book this morning, we will notice several occasions where Mordecai and Esther chose to do the right thing, even when it may not have been the easiest choice to make.

The Lord’s Servant – 2 Timothy 2:22-26

Though the letters of Timothy and Titus are often thought of as instructive for preachers, there is something for all of us within those pages. We are all called to be servants of the Lord, and we all should strive to be the best we can be as God’s servants.

Victory in Christ

The book of Revelation is considered to be one of the more difficult New Testament books to understand, and for good reason.  It is filled with symbolism that we have to concede surely made more sense to the original readers than it does to 21st century readers.  Combine that with the plethora of misinterpretations of the book that have been at the core of religious doctrine for many, and one can easily see how the book can be difficult to understand.

The overall message of the book, however, is incredibly simple.  At the end of everything, Christ, and all who have aligned themselves with Him (Christians) are victorious.  Perhaps one section where this is most clearly seen is in Chapters 19-20.

In Revelation 19:11, we are introduced to a Rider on a white horse, Whose name is called “The Word of God” (v. 13).  He is also depicted with a sharp sword coming from His mouth.  When we compare these details with what had previously been written by John (John 1:1, 14; Rev. 1:16), this Rider on the white horse is none other than the Lord Jesus.  And as we keep reading, this Rider claims victory over all of His enemies.

The first enemies to fall are the beast and the false prophet, and those aligned with them.  We could engage in discussion about the identities of the beast and the false prophet, and it could be a worthwhile discussion.  For the moment we are only interested in what happened to these enemies of the Lord.  They are struck down, and thrown into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur (Rev. 19:12).

Next up is the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan (Rev. 20:2).  Again, much time has, and could be devoted to the meaning of the “thousand years” in verses 2 and 7.  What does it mean that he is imprisoned for a thousand years, and then released?  What are Gog and Magog (v. 7)?  These may be worthwhile questions, but may we not get so caught up in these questions that we miss the ultimate fate of the devil.

…and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Rev. 20:10 ESV)

There is still yet one enemy to be thrown down.  The apostle Paul had stated in 1 Corinthians 15:26 that “the last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”   As we continue reading, when the Lord has taken His seat on the great white throne, Death and Hades (the Grave) are depicted as giving up the dead that are in them so that they may be judged (Rev. 20:13). And in the end, Death and Hades are also thrown into the lake of fire, along with the beast, the false prophet, the devil, and all whose names are not written in the book of life (Rev. 20:14-15).  Death and the grave, the perennial enemy of man, are thrown down as well.

While there may be some value in trying to understand these various symbols better, the most important thing we have to understand is that God, the Lamb, and His people are victorious over all the servants of evil.  Where many may see fear and judgement in the last book of the Bible, let the child of God read it, and rejoice in hope and comfort of his victory in Christ.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (Rev. 22:20)

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Vessels of Honor – 2 Timothy 2:20-22

Paul uses the illustration of vessels in a house, some being used for honorable purposes, others for dishonorable. This illustration points to a truth in the church, that there are some bringing honor to God, but others who are bringing shame and reproach upon his name. Which one are we going to be? Paul describes how we must become vessels of honor in order to bring glory of God.

The Father of the Faithful – Romans 4:9-12

As children we would often sing, “Father Abraham, had many sons. I am one of them and so are you.” Romans 4 explains to us how all who have faith in Jesus are children of Abraham, following his example of faith. Despite some failures in his life, Abraham is an outstanding example of faithfulness that parents, and all Christians can follow today.