It is fitting and significant that on this day that we honor the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. we also recognize the inauguration of President Barrack Obama. I may not agree with everything President Obama has done or promises to do, but I am thankful to be alive at a time to see the legacy birthed in the dream of Dr. King stretching to this point.
Years ago my family stumbled upon a fountain in Montgomery, AL where the text of Amos 5.24 appears on the civil rights memorial. Justice and righteousness. These were not words that King chose lightly, but rooted in his deep faith and honor of God. He credited God with everything, and called on God for everything.
Decades ago the decision was made to set today apart to honor the man who stood for freedom and equality, and ultimately sacrificed his life for that struggle. As we honor Dr. King today I would ask that we also honor what He honored. He knew that freedom, equality, and rights would not come free, but only as people called out to God and were willing to pay the price required. As we honor his legacy let’s recall that the songs and music of the old Negro Spirituals demonstrated a faith that stood in the face of adversity and a desperate desire and need for God’s presence and intervention.
Today our president will place his hand on two Bibles. I’m praying that our nation will place our faith in those same pages and in the God who is revealed therein.
“But let justice run down as waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Amos 5.24
It’s Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. As we celebrate the effects that Dr. King had on our nation and the world I’d like us to start by remembering that the greatest influence in his fight for freedom and justice was his unshakable faith in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ. He was motivated by Christian love and conviction. We watched his famous “I Have a Dream…” speech yesterday and I was again struck by the number of times he referenced God, faith, the Scriptures, while also saddened that the majority of people who claim to celebrate what Dr. King accomplished will work diligently to oppose the faith in God and Christ that provided the structure and strength he needed for those accomplishments.
“But let justice run down as waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
2 Thessalonians 1:7-11, 2:1-12
The Jesus who came the first time as a baby in a manger is coming again.
Christmas is not complete without the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
2 Thess. 1.7-11
7 and ⌊to reward⌋ with rest you who are afflicted, along with us. ⌊This will take place⌋ at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, 8 taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction from the Lord’s presence and from His glorious strength 10 in that day when He comes to be glorified by His saints and to be admired by all those who have believed, because our testimony among you was believed. 11 And in view of this, we always pray for you that our God will consider you worthy of His calling, and will, by His power, fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith,
31 Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.
YOU NEED NOT BE DISTURBED (2 Thess 1:7)
Think of the Who of His coming. (He…Jesus Christ)
2 Thessalonians 1:7
2 Thessalonians 1:10
9 After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. 10 While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.”[
Think of the When of His coming. (When…not “If”)
2 Thessalonians 1:10
36 “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son —except the Father only. 37 As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. 38 For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. 39 They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be: 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this: If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert and not let his house be broken into. 44 This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.f
1 “For indeed, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and everyone who commits wickedness will become stubble. The coming day will consume them,” says the Lord of Hosts, “not leaving them root or branches. 2 But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall. 3 You will trample the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day I am preparing,” says the Lord of Hosts.
Think of the Wonder of His coming. (2 Thessalonians 1:10)
in that day when He comes to be glorified by His saints and to be admired by all those who have believed, because our testimony among you was believed.
We will wonder at His transforming love. (His Saints…Once Sinners)
We will wonder at His amazing grace. (Believed…all it takes is faith)
We will wonder at His keeping power. (all those who have believed)
YOU SHOULD NOT BE DECEIVED (2 Thess 2:1-12)
Don’t let the spirit of antichrist deceive you.
All through Jesus’ earthly ministry, Satan tried to destroy the Lord Jesus.
YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED
(2 Thess 2:13-14)
There are two aspects of Jesus’ coming:
He will first come secretly for His bride, the church.
He will then come sovereignly as the King.
Jesus came the first Christmas to die in the sinner’s place. He’s coming the second Christmas to receive the sinner to Himself.
· Our Faith looks backward to a Crucified Savior
· Our Love looks upward to a Crowned Savior
· Our Hope looks forward to a Coming Savior