Matney: God’s calendar and the eternal kingdom
The spring and summer appointments on God’s calendar have been fulfilled. The three spring appointments on the biblical calendar that God gave to the Old Testament Hebrews — Passover, unleavened bread and first fruits — were fulfilled when Jesus was sacrificed as God’s sinless lamb to take away the sins of the world, and then raised from the dead to guarantee our own resurrection and eternal life.
The summer appointment, The Day of Pentecost, was fulfilled when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 to empower us for righteous living. Of course, there are many more details about each of these than just this very brief summary.
This year, the fall appointments on the calendar God gave to the Jewish people, started this past Monday the 6 and will end on Monday, Sept. 27. These Jewish holidays or holy days, known as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, or Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles, starts with the blowing of the shofar, or ram’s horn.
The blowing of the horns, or trumpets signified, among other things, the coming and coronation of a king and a call for people to prepare themselves to gather together to meet the king. In Christian teaching, these holy days point back to King Jesus being born as a baby in Bethlehem and point forward to his return as a conquering king to judge the world and gather his people into his eternal kingdom.
Revelation 21:3 states then, God will “tabernacle” or dwell with man forever. Again, there are many more details, but why is any of this important to us today?
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First, as surely as God fulfilled his spring and summer appointments with Jesus’ first coming to the Earth, he will just as certainly keep his fall appointments with the return of Jesus to this planet. We don’t know the exact timing, but we need to prepare our hearts for his coming by repentance and faith in Christ Jesus.
The trumpet blasts, or signs of the times, are everywhere. From the regathering of Jews back to Israel, to earthquakes, tsunamis and other environmental stress, to the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11/ 2001, to artificial intelligence in technology, and the alignment of the nations in the Middle East and around the world, to pandemics, famines, wars and rumors of wars … the signs of the times point to the return of Jesus to rescue his people, judge the wicked and dwell with mankind in the millennial and eternal kingdom he will set up.
On God’s calendar, each one of us has an appointment with God. Preparation for that day starts with a simple prayer of repentance for sin and of faith in God’s love, calling on the name of Jesus in sincerity. I pray you are anticipating that day.
The beasts of the wild will be led by a child
Isaiah 2:4-5; 11:6-9 states: “In that day the wolf and the lamb will lie down together, and the leopard and goats will be at peace. Calves and fat cattle will be safe among lions, and a little child shall lead them all. The cows will graze among bears; cubs and calves will lie down together, and lions will eat grass like the cows. Babies will crawl safely among poisonous snakes, and a little child who puts his hand in a nest of deadly adders will pull it out unharmed. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so shall the Earth be full of the knowledge of the Lord. The Lord will settle international disputes; all the nations will convert their weapons of war into implements of peace. Then at the last all wars will stop and all military training will end. O Israel, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord and be obedient to his laws!”
There’s a better day a-comin’ when the beasts of the wild will be led by a child …
Mankind and the rest of God’s creation were intended to live together in peace and harmony. Death and violence in the animal kingdom will end. War, famine, pandemics, death and disease will be no more. God’s calendar and the signs of the times point to the soon return of Jesus and the establishment of his kingdom on earth.
Simple as the ABCs
May each of us heed the trumpet call and prepare to meet the king. It’s as simple as the ABCs:
- A: Admit you need a savior. Ask God to save you.
- B: Believe God sent Jesus to be your savior, raised him from the dead to be your Lord and that he is coming back to be King of kings and Lord of lords.
- C: Call on the name of Jesus for salvation and confess him as your Lord and Savior.
- D: Depend on him daily to empower you by sending the Holy Spirit to dwell in you forever.
- E: Embrace him in love and thanksgiving for what he has done for you.
- F: Forgive others of their trespasses and offenses against you, even as you want God to forgive you.
- G: Go to others and make amends as needed, and tell others about the soon return of Jesus.
- H: Help others in practical ways.
- I: Invest your time, talent and treasures in serving God and others.
Friends, Thank you for taking the time to read my column. Please call or write for more information if I can help you in any way.
Dan Matney is the pastor at New Life Assembly of God in Avon. Email him at email@example.com.