Revelation 22: I Am the Alpha and Omega

I From Adam and Eve to you and me, we can chant the psalm.  “Behold, how pleasant and sweet for brothers to dwell together….  The Lord decreed this blessing of life for eternity” (Psalm 133:1, 4).  Yes, God desires such unity, but we, instead, clutch and grab in our discord and disunity!  So soon did […]

The Parables of Jesus, Lesson 9: The Parable of the Final Judgment

Intro In the last Lesson, we studied The Parable of the Ten Virgins and The Parable of the Talents, which all deal with being prepared to meet Jesus.  They both dealt with our Lord’s return on the Last Day and its significance.  Today, we learn what happens after Christ’s return—in a parable. We can understand […]

Jeremiah 33:14-16, Luke 21:29-31: Jesus Ushers in a New Springtime of Life

Although we are now on the cusp of winter, some of us are already looking forward to spring. In our Gospel reading, we heard Jesus speak of spring, when leaves begin to bud and finally burst forth in the marvel of new life. Jesus used a picture of “the fig tree and all the others […]

Matthew 25:31-46: The Hidden Jesus

What’s surprising about the resurrection of the body on the Last Day is that every physical body ever born will rise. Jesus will show to all that He DID take away the sins of the entire world when He physically died on the cross and physically rose from the grave. That’s why every person ever […]

Amos 5:18-24, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: The Day of the Lord

When we imagine the prophets of old, we often see a fire-and-brimstone preacher breathing out God’s judgment and wrath. And that’s what Amos did in our Old-Testament reading for today. He warned the people of Israel about the “Day of the Lord,” realized in all its fullness when God would judge the entire world. Other […]

The Relation between the Tree of Life and the Sacraments

The Two Trees Note: In this lesson, the translations from Genesis are your pastor’s. He has done this, hoping you can you get a better “feel” of the poetic language in the Hebrew text.  Genesis 2:9: And YHWH, God, made sprout from the soil every tree that was pleasing to the eye and good for […]

What is our true comfort in death, our souls being in heaven or our body and soul being reunited on the Last Day?

Introduction The typical North-American Christian worldview is one that values the spiritual but often sees little value in how God uses the physical. After all, Protestant America often views baptism as something that a Christian does to show that he is a Christian; the water may simply be incidental. The wine (or grape juice) and […]

Augsburg Confession, Article 17

AC XVII: The Return of Christ as Judge Our churches also teach that at the end of the world Christ will appear for judgment and will raise up all the dead [1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:2]. He will give the godly and elect eternal life and endless joy, but He will condemn the ungodly and devils to […]

Matthew 25:1-13: The Parable of the Ten Virgins

When Jesus tells a parable, pay attention!  For if you don’t, you’ll miss the meaning in the details of everyday-life events that Jesus uses. So, in today’s parable from Matthew 25, who represents whom and what represents what?  Well, let’s start with the easiest person to identify: The Bridegroom.  He’s Jesus.  That’s obvious if you […]

Revelation, Lesson 15: Christ’s Final Victory

Last week, we saw the only time Revelation showed what anti-Christic worship looked like, of course from an eternal perspective.  It was full of lament.  Now, in contrast, we again see what worship looks like in heaven.  We also see a similarity among the worship scenes in heaven in Revelation.      Chapters 4-5 Chapter […]