Matt 24:15                 The Abomination of Desolation (A of D)          6/29/2008      ßà   

 

 

 

 

 

#1.       God Spoke in Types and Figures (Mark 4:33-34, Matt 13:34, Luke 17:24,26-32, 21:18-24)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       Standing in the Holy Place (Matt 24:15, 2Thess 2:3-12, Rev 13:8, 22:18)

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       Therefore, Brethren, Stand Fast (2Thess 2:13-15, Gal 1:8-9, Heb 13:8, John 1:1-2, 1Cor 2:2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 24:13 (2X). Last week we have seen that OT Jerusalem and the OT temple were types, or shadows, or pictures of the NT church, and that the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple in 587 BC were types, or shadows, or pictures of the destruction of the NT church near the end of time. We have seen that in Matt 24:3 the disciples asked the Lord Jesus three questions. The first question was, “When shall these things be?” In other words, “When shall the temple be destroyed, or when shall Jerusalem be destroyed?” The way the Lord Jesus answered this question leads us to believe that Jesus was also relating the destruction of Jerusalem to the destruction of the church near the end of time. In other words, the Lord Jesus was:

Eschatology is the branch of theology that deals with end time events. And in some of the following verses the Lord is definitely speaking of end time events. We read in Matt 24:13-22,

Mt 24:13-22  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.     And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.   When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)   Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:         Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:   Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.   And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!          But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:    For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.        And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

What is the focus of this passage? The focus of this passage is verse 15: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place”. When you can see the abomination of desolation, the destruction is near. Therefore the title of this sermon is taken from verse 15, The Abomination of Desolation (2X). But before we get there we have verse 13, “he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”. Does this mean that no one can be certain of his or her salvation until the end of the world has come? That is a teaching of the Roman church, but it is definitely false, for God says in 1John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God”. And thus, we have misunderstood Matt 24:13. If we have become saved in our soul at the time that we were born from above, then the saving that Matt 24:13 speaks about cannot refer to the salvation of the soul. Is it possible that it refers to the saving of the body? And that is indeed true, for when Christ shall come the second time to rapture us into heaven, He will resurrect our bodies and give us new glorified bodies in its place. And our endurance unto the end is not by our own strength, but by the grace of God. If God saved us by His grace, then He must also keep us by His grace. For if He does not keep us by His grace, if  we would stand on our own strength after the moment of our being born from above, then certainly a fraction of the saints would fall away, and that would cause some of the sufferings of Christ on the cross to be in vain. But this would be impossible, for Christ is God, and God’s work is always perfect. Therefore, if God saved us by His grace, then He must also keep us by His grace. And next we read in Matt 24:14, “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come”. In other words, when this Gospel of grace alone has been preached in all the nations of the world, and the last of the elect has heard this Gospel and has become saved, then this creation has served its purpose and God will make an end of this creation, for God will no longer put up with the sins of the wicked. And so, moving on to Matt 24:15, we want to know what the abomination of desolation is, so that we too can flee into the mountains. Before we get into that, we need to keep in mind that the Lord has not yet answered the disciples when the temple or Jerusalem shall be destroyed. Let us see if the Gospel of Luke will give us additional insight on this subject matter. Please put a sticker here in Matt 24, and please turn to the Gospel of Luke 17:26

#1.       God Spoke in Types and Figures (Mark 4:33-34, Matt 13:34, Luke 17:24,26-32, 21:18-24)

When we compare these passages in Matt 24 and in Luke 17 and 21 we can be easily confused. We need to remember that in Mark 4:33-34 it is recorded that the Lord Jesus often spoke in parables, not only to the multitudes, but also to the disciples, and “without a parable spake He not unto them”. We must keep this principle in mind, for this fact is also recorded in Matt 13:34. We read in Luke 17:26-32,

Lu 17:26-32  And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.     Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;  But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.    In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.    Remember Lot’s wife (2X).

What is the context of this passage? The context is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Last Day to rapture His elect and to come as the judge of the rest of mankind, as is mentioned in Luke 17:24. Likewise, the day that Noah entered the ark was a picture of the rapture and the judgment on all the rest of mankind. Likewise, the day that Lot went out of Sodom was a picture of the rapture and the judgment on all the rest of mankind. Luke 17:30 confirms it when the Lord says, “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed”. And then follow the same words that we have read in Matt 24:17-18. We read in Luke 17:31, “In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back”. This sounds like a hasty flight, like when Lot fled out of Sodom. But when the Lord Jesus returns, we are not fleeing anywhere; He will take us in the rapture, for the whole world shall be under judgment. Then, what does this hasty flight refer to? Could it be a hasty flight out of the city Jerusalem before it is destroyed? But then, what is this verse doing in this context, which clearly refers to the rapture on the Last Day? Two weeks ago we have already looked at Luke 19:41-44 where the Lord prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the death of the nation of Israel. Please turn a few pages to your right to Luke 21:18 (2X) where we find a chapter that runs parallel to Matt 24. As you know, when the Lord speaks about the end time in Matt 24, He continues to elaborate on the end time all the way to the end of chapter 25. But in the Gospel of Luke these events are scattered over chapters 12, 13, 17, 19, and 21. We read in Luke 21

Lu 21:18-24 But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.    Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.       For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.   And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

What is the context of this passage? The context is that of persecution, which shall reign continually during the entire NT age, but especially near the end of time. That is what verses 18 and 19 speak about Then we read in the first half of Luke 21:21 about fleeing to the mountains, the same words we have read in Matt 24:16. And we also read in Luke 21:23 about “Woe unto them that are with child”, the same words we have read in Matt 24:19. What do these words refer to? Well, we have already seen in Luke 13:35, and in Luke 19:44 that the Lord prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem. And here in chapter 21 verses 20 and 24 the Lord continues to describe the destruction of Jerusalem. But then consider also the context of this passage, for beginning in verse 25, Luke 21:25, to the end of this chapter the Lord definitely spoke about end time events. And although the Lord spoke in parables, we also need to ask ourselves if this chapter perhaps addresses two subject matters at the same time. Let us first look at the historical event of the destruction of Jerusalem. In 66 AD the sect of the Zealots revolted against Rome, and drove the Romans out of Jerusalem. The next year the Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem, which is what verse 20 speaks about. Two years later the Roman armies withdrew, but only temporarily, and all the Christians in Jerusalem and Judaea remembered the Lord’s warnings of verses 20 and 21, and they fled to a city called Pella, on the other side of the Jordan River where they were safe. Then the Roman armies returned to surround Jerusalem, so that among the many thousands that perished in the destruction of Jerusalem, there was not so much as one Christian. But, when we consider the context of the passages of Luke 17:26-32, and Luke 21:18-24 which we have read today, we realize that we must also interpret these passages from a spiritual vantage point, so that they will also have a message for people who live near the end of time. And so, this is also how we must interpret these same words in Matt 24:16-22, for the Lord spoke in types, and figures, and He laid down pictures of future events. This is not at all unusual in the Bible, for we have seen, for example, that the story of Abraham and Hagar and Ishmael in Genesis has great spiritual implications as explained in Gal 4. Now that we know how to interpret Matt 24, let us now continue in that chapter. Please return to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 24:15

·       The A of D Spoken of by Daniel (Luke 21:20, Matt 24:15, Dan 7:21,25, 8:13,23-24, 9:27)

It is remarkable that the abomination of desolation is not mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. Instead what we read there is that Jerusalem shall be compassed with armies. And so, we must harmonize from what we have read in Luke 21:20, how that the compassing of Jerusalem with armies implies that the abomination of desolation was standing in the holy place. We read in Matt 24:15, 

Mt 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

What is this holy place? The Lord spoke of the events in 69 AD when the Christians would recognize that the destruction of Jerusalem was near and they would flee to Pella, across the Jordan. Before the cross the temple was the holy place. But after the cross the temple was no longer the place where God resides, for God symbolized this fact by tearing the veil of the temple in two, from the top to the bottom. After the cross the place where God resides is the church consisting of the souls of all those whom God has saved. And the meeting place of the saints is also called the holy place, for there God dwells among us. And so, when in 66 AD the Zealots took over Jerusalem, they took control of everything, including the church of Christ. It must be in this manner that the abomination of desolation was standing in the holy place. This they could see with their physical eyes. This is how they could understand the warnings of the Lord Jesus, who gave them the sign that they should flee to the mountains. But now we also must consider the spiritual meaning of this abomination of desolation, because this passage must also have a message for us who are living near the end of time. Let us then look at the OT where this statement of the Lord is referring to. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Daniel, Dan 7:21 (2X). In Dan 7 God introduces us to Antichrist, in the symbolic form of a “little horn”. Christ is God in the flesh; Antichrist is Satan in the flesh. But since Satan cannot be omnipresent, like Christ, the embodiment of Satan in human flesh must take the form of many persons who are carrying out the works of their father the Devil. Here in Dan 7 the little horn, representing Antichrist, wages war against the saints, We read in Dan 7:21,

Da 7:21  I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

How can this be? Why does God allow the saints to be defeated? God allows it, because Satan must be loosed for a season. Near the end of time Satan shall be as powerful as he was before the cross. It does not mean that the saints shall lose their salvation, but it means that their witness shall be silenced. It also means that most of the churches shall go apostate, for that is the only way in which the saints can be silenced in this age of civilized behavior. It is in this way that churches shall be prepared to set up the abomination of desolation in the midst of them. As we continue in Daniel we find that this is the dominant theme throughout this prophecy: The saints are going to be defeated by the forces of Satan, under the leadership of Antichrist. Please drop down to verse 25, Dan 7:25, where we read:

Da 7:25  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

The saints are subdued until a period of 3½ has passed. This 3½ is symbolic for the Final Tribulation Period (FTP), and according to Matt 24:29 immediately after the FTP the Lord returns for the rapture of His saints and for the end of the world. Please turn the page to Dan 8. We read in Dan 8:13 (2X),

Da 8:13  Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily (sacrifice), and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

This again is speaking of the FTP. Both the sanctuary of the saints and the army of saints shall be trodden under foot by Antichrist and his armies. And here is the first mention of the abomination of desolation, which is here called, the transgression of desolation, the transgression that makes desolate. When is this transgression that makes desolate? V. 23 tells us the answer. Please drop down to V.23,

Da 8:23  And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

Da 8:24  And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

When the transgressors are come to the full”, meaning when idolatry in the church has increased so that the iniquity of the Amorites is full (Gen 15:16), then God shall judge the church by sending Antichrist in his full power, and he shall further destroy the work of the mighty and the holy people, the saints. We may not interpret this as if Antichrist shall completely annihilate all the saints, for the Bible clearly states that there will be a remnant of saints alive when the Lord returns. Please turn the page to Dan 9:27 (2X).

Da 9:27  And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one seven: and in the midst of the seven He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation (offering) to cease, and for (because of) the overspreading of abominations (abominable idols) He shall make (it) desolate, even until the consummation (complete end), and that determined (decreed) shall be poured upon the desolate.

This verse refers to a time span from the beginning of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ all the way to the end of time. In the midst of the seven, referring to the end of the 3½ years of the Lord’s ministry “He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease”, which means that after the cross no more animal sacrifices or ceremonial offerings shall be given, for the entire ceremonial law has been abolished at the cross. Then the last half of the seven, the last 3½ years is symbolic for the entire NT period of time, from the cross until Christ returns. With these two equal time periods, symbolically indicated by the number 3½, it is as if God is saying, “Here is the life and sacrifice of My only begotten Son as a free gift to you, and what can you show Me of your life and your sacrifices if they reflect your gratitude for such a great gift?” The answer is that the second period of 3½, although glorious compared with the OT period before Christ came, is plagued with abominations and false representations of the Scriptures, indicating that at any time the fraction of saints in the church was always smaller than the total number that crowds the church. The Hebrew word translated “abominations” exclusively refers to idols and their images. The NT time period is characterized by an overspreading of abominations that make desolate. And where shall these abominations be set up? They shall be set up in the church. And because of the multiplication of idolatries Christ shall make the idolaters spiritually desolate, God gives them up, or God gives them over, until the complete end has arrived. And that which was decreed, Hell itself, shall be poured upon the desolate, which refers to the Devil and all his messengers, fallen angels and humans who have chosen to be on the side of Satan. And so, the abomination of desolation that we can see, standing in the holy place, are the pastors and teachers in the churches that proclaim a false gospel, for they preach to us another jesus, but he is not the Jesus from the Bible. Why is there so much resistance by pastors to warn their congregations that the great apostacy is coming? The prophecies in Daniel, and in Jeremiah, and in Revelation are abundantly clear that such a calamity is slowly overtaking the church. It reflects that most pastors are thinking of their own gain, rather than preach the truth. Let us now return to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 24:15 (2X).

#2.       Standing in the Holy Place (Matt 24:15, 2Thess 2:3-12, Rev 13:8, 22:18)

Mt 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

And here we see the words, “whoso readeth, let him understand”, which indicates that this prophecy has a meaning which is not immediately obvious to the casual reader of the Scriptures. We have to search the Scriptures in order to understand this prophecy correctly. First we have to understand what the holy place is. It cannot refer to an idol that was set up in the temple, for the temple was no longer the holy place; the church is. Secondly, this abomination must be standing. It cannot refer to a carved image for carved images are set down. It must refer to a human being that is standing in the church. Thirdly, we must be able to see this human being who is such an abomination to God. So abhorrent, so vile is this abomination that the Lord is condemning all those who believe this false pastor to a state of being desolate. We have an example of this abomination of desolation in 2Thess 2. Please turn in your Bibles to the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, 2Thess 2:3 (2X). Here in this chapter God gives us the scenario of the great deception, the abomination of desolation that will come near the end of time. Satan has wised up. He no longer fights the churches, but he has joined them, in the pulpit. The abominations in the pulpit have always existed throughout the NT time period, but near the end of time it will be an unstoppable movement that is overtaking almost all the churches. We read in 2Thess 2:3-12,

2Th 2:3-12  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;      Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.        Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?     And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.       For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.     And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:   Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,    And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe The lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Can you see, in verse 3, that the Day of the Lord shall not come, except there come a falling away first. This does not refer to a few thousand people falling away to Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses. It refers to a great falling away, a worldwide apostacy of many denominations, involving billions of people. This is the true nature of the FTP. And then verse 3 says, “That the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition”. Who is this man of sin, and why is he called a man, and why is he called the son of Hell? The following verse tells us that this is Antichrist, Satan in the flesh; that is why he is called a man. But in order to have a worldwide influence, Satan must empower his fallen angels to dwell in many other men, many other pastors, who are all preaching not necessarily the same gospel, but all are preaching false gospels, which do not have the power to save, for God the Holy Spirit will not save people while hearing a false gospel. On the other hand, people can be saved upon hearing the true Gospel, “For faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. Verse 4 tells us that Antichrist sitteth in the temple of God, which is the church, for even if there would be a temple rebuilt, it is not the temple of God. And Rev 13:8 tells us that Antichrist shall have a great following all over the world, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”. Satan’s greatest desire is that he is worshipped as God. This is actually coming to pass, because people all over the world are so deceived that they do not know they have been deceived. And what is the character of this deception of Satan as it is implemented by Antichrist? Verse 9 gives us the key. “His coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders”. The false church which is declaring that they have the power to cast out demons, and which is backing up their claims with signs and lying wonders, is the church that has been taken over by the Charismatic gospel. Verse 11 says that “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe The lie”, and the definite article is really there in the Greek text. What is The lie? The lie is that God is still bringing divine messages today in dreams, and in visions, and in angel visitations, and in tongues, and in whatever else falls under the heading of signs and lying wonders. That is The big fat lie that churches fall for these days, for they have already decided that Rev 22:18 only applies to the book of Revelation. And they claim that there are 65 other books which are not affected by this rule. They do not realize that God has sent them strong delusion, for the Bible does not consist of 66 books; the Bible is only One Book that was dictated by God to His servants the prophets. You see, verse 10 says that “they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved”. They do not want the simple and plain Gospel of grace alone through the cross of Christ alone, for this would take away their glorying in themselves, and this is a glory they do not want to lose. Therefore, when a pastor or Bible teacher claims that God is still bringing divine messages today, he or she is functioning as the abomination that makes desolate, which was prophesied by the Lord in Matt 24:15, and that is exemplified by 2Thess 2:3-12. And as 2Thess 2:3 tells us, this is a phenomenon which shall be multiplied many times over as we approach the end of time. This abomination is only possible when the majority of the church is not saved. For the past 200 years God has prepared churches for accepting so great abomination by having them adopt a free-will gospel that does not accompany salvation. And so, today many churches are led by blind leaders of the blind who do not know that they are not saved, but who have been strengthened in their stubborn opposition to the Gospel of grace alone. What then should we do? What should be our battle? God tells us here in this chapter of 2Thess what we should do in the face of such great apostacy.

#3.       Therefore, Brethren, Stand Fast (2Thess 2:13-15, Gal 1:8-9, Heb 13:8, John 1:1-2, 1Cor 2:2)

2Th 2:13-15  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:    Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.    Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Wow! Verse 13 immediately tells us to rejoice in the principles of the Gospel of grace alone, because we are beloved of the Lord. Why are we beloved of the Lord? We are, because from the beginning we have been chosen to be in Christ from before the foundation of the world, and we have been chosen to salvation by Christ on the cross in AD 33, and we have been chosen unto sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth in our lifetime. In this we must stand fast, for this is the truth of the Gospel of Christ. And if any man tries to bring us another gospel than this Gospel, let him be accursed (Gal 1:8-9). But when the Bible says that we have been chosen to be in Christ from before the foundation of the world, let us be clear in understanding this principle, so that we do not misrepresent our God when we speak to others about Him. When God says in Heb 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”, and when God says in John 1:1, “And the Word was with God”, and when God says in John 1:2, “The same was in the beginning with God”, and when we read in many other verses that Christ existed from eternity past, and when we read that Christ is the Son of God who was sent by the Father to this earth to save us from our sins, what do we conjure up in our mind? When we think of this as if in eternity past there was God and there was also Christ next to Him, we have the wrong concept, for that is not so. In eternity past there was only God, one God, consisting of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, where each of these three persons is fully God, and yet there is only one God. Before the foundation of the world all three entities of the triune Godhead were Spirits, for the Lord Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “God is Spirit, and He wants to be worshipped in the Spirit”. In the incarnation God fertilized an egg in the womb of Mary, and God the Son, who is fully God, united Himself with this new being in the womb of Mary, so that this new being was called the Son of God. This is the Lord Jesus Christ who walked on this earth, and who possessed a human nature with a human soul, from Mary, and a divine nature, from God the Son. That is why He is called the Son of man as well as the Son of God. In His divine nature He walked on earth and was present as well in heaven. But when we speak of Christ existing from eternity past, we actually speak of God the Son; for no one else than the triune God existed in eternity past. This awesome God loved me from eternity past, and placed my name in God the Son, who remained my representative all the way through the cross, burial, and resurrection experience, and who is still my representative presently in heaven, and who will still be my representative throughout eternity future. This awesome God called me through the preaching of the Gospel, according to 2Thess 2:14, so that I can obtain some of the glory that the Lord Jesus Christ presently has in heaven. We have no idea how to comprehend this, but this is what the Bible tells us as the truth. And now God tells us: “stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught”. Stand fast, and hang on to the truths that we have learned from the Bible, and from our teacher the Holy Spirit, and do not let anyone shake us from this foundation of salvation by grace alone. Remember the words of 1Cor 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified”, and how everything else in the Bible ties together by this saving act and purpose for the incarnation of the man Christ Jesus. These are the traditions that we have been taught, which we should hang on for dear life; indeed our life depends on it. Do not let someone convince us that we must get out of our church, or else we will be condemned, for this is contrary to the traditions we have been taught, for this is a works gospel. We are saved:

2Th 2:16 ¶  Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,

2Th 2:17  Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Let us be clear on this: If God so loved us that He spared not His only begotten Son, but delivered Him up for a complete payment of all our sins, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things we need for everlasting consolation and good hope of a glorious future with Christ in the new creation where only righteousness dwells. Therefore, through His grace He will comfort our hearts and give us peace in every tribulation we find ourselves in.                    AMEN.            Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.