Call to Worship:Exodus 15:2 “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 2 Samuel 7:22 “How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you.”
Songs: Praise You In This Storm - Casting Crowns
Stronger - Hillsong
Thrive - Casting Crowns
Scripture: Psalm 31
Confession: communion is our lunch together
Song: Trust In You - Lauren Daigle
Sermon: Be Steadfast
Closing Song: I Give You My Heart- Michael W. Smith
Sermon: Be Steadfast
The last few weeks we have talked about being still and courageous in our helplessness while waiting on God to restore us. Today we are looking at being steadfast. 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” We read last week Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” We read in our scripture reading today, Psalm 31:23 “Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. 24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Paul said stand firm because “death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul then says Philippians 4:4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!” In chapter three he explained. 3:15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
So this first paragraph covers a lot. But today I want to step back and look at why we can stand firm and be steadfast. Jesus gives us victory by conquering our enemies and then empowered us to do the same. 1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Jesus then sent Paul Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” As we read earlier, we are to follow His example as He followed Jesus. And yes many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Jesus tells us John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” These enemies tell us this no longer happens. We can do this because Jesus took the throne of David just as it was prophesied that he would. This is exactly why we listen to God’s word not man’s word. Now as I have mentioned before you have some ridiculous teachings about prophecy and their interpretations such as this one called the “Mountain peaks of Prophecy.” This one is where the prophets could not see the church. This is so ridiculous I had to bring it up but so ridiculous we will not go into it. As Peter said 2 Peter 3:16 “He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” They have to change scripture even to the point of saying Isaiah really could not see clearly because it doesn’t line up with their teachings. (in the charts case dispensationalism) As Mary was told Luke 1:31 “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Zachariah prophesied Luke 1:68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” Isaiah had prophesied Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” Yes Isaiah saw clearly but he was not a dispensationalist. They even admit on the chart that they are looking from a different viewpoint than the prophets. The prophets could not see the church age because it is not there as described by man. 2 Chronicles 20:20 “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” Maybe if people actually believed the word of God instead of rewriting it we would see the kingdom of God. Jesus himself said Matthew 12:28 “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Luke 11:20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Have you noticed we are not driving out demons like Jesus did so therefore God has turned his face from shining on us. So despite what man says, the kingdom is here and not coming in the future. If men and women would just read the bible instead of reading the bible to make it conform with their brand of teaching we would actually see the kingdom we are suppose to see. I don’t think it was the prophets who are blind. They are more or less the Pharisees making their converts twice a child of hell as they are. Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.”
We can be steadfast only when we follow the gospel of Jesus Christ not false gospels like dispensationalism. Our steadfastness comes by doing as Paul did. But even then he said Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” We know that continues to happen with each new false gospel that is introduced. So many have been confused by doctrines of demons it is astonishing. They wait for the tribulation and rapture while others wait for an eternal life they will never see as most have fallen away already. They have already been seduced by the words of man. We have been warned many times but Peter says, 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.” These people have been seduced by the error of the lawless and have been led astray. We are not waiting for the kingdom to come; we are waiting for God to turn his face back to us because those who have gone before us have not acted according to His word. Yes the kingdom was their but in Babylon wait to freed. So instead of pleading and begging God to hear our cries, in their deception they think they are safe and secure waiting for something that is never going to happen.
There are two events going on. The first is the final destination and the second is the trip to the destination. Many just want to get to the destination but miss the journey. We want to drive out east and even out west someday. I always thought, wow that is a long drive but if you realize the trip is part of it you enjoy the journey. They are not living as Paul lived. Yes there is eternal life coming but while we are here we can be part of the kingdom that defeats our enemies to speed its coming. Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
Because we have not acted according to his word, we are paying for it just like the Old Testament but because God promised David not to take his love away like Saul, if we seek and turn from our wicked ways he will hear our cries. The cheap grace sold in churches today is not that. You can’t go your own way; you have to repent. John 14:23 “Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.” If you are obeying another gospel you do not have this nor do you have the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you. The gifts of the Spirit are not in operation. Is it any wonder this demonic teaching of ceasationism teaches there si no power gifts. As John 14:15 says, “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” If we do not follow and obey the truth, we will not have the Spirit. John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” This is why there is so much confusion in the church today about the present church and the end times. Most are going their own way or following those people who are.
One of the reasons the Jews missed the Messiah was because of peace. They say Jesus did not “usher in an era of world peace.” And they are also waiting for a temple but Paul says in Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. John said God would make His home in us just like 1 Kings 8:10 “When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. 11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.” And Acts 2:3 “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” They keep looking for the temple but miss the one Jesus is the chief cornerstone of. They also miss the powerful indwelling of the Holy Spirit and never seek his true presence and Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” Remember the church is Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
And now the Gentiles are missing the Messiah also for the same reason. They are looking for what the Jews look for while waiting for a Messianic kingdom to come and they too are missing everything that God has for us. Paul said in Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you..” That is the peace Jesus brought with Him. That is the peace that all who worship Him with their lives, will have. You will not have that peace if you do not do what Paul said to do.
While tribulation decimates the church, most are waiting for a tribulation to come yet they are blinded by what is already here and has been here. They have fallen from their secure positions. They teach that Christians will be whisked away and saved form tribulation. They quote 1 Thessalonians 5:9 “For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” That is referring to salvation not some secret rapture. Romans 5:9 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” Paul also describes this in Colossians 1:15 “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[g] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” We are to be servants by continuing in the gospel and stand firm being steadfast.” “If you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.” Unfortunately this is not the gospel most of us have heard. We were led down an empty path which took us into desolation weakness and only a 2 Timothy 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.” Paul said, 1 Thessalonians 1:5 “because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.” 1 Corinthians 4:19 “But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.”
We need to be steadfast so we can be saved. Jesus said Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” He also said "He who endures to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 24:13). He taught us that we would go through what he went through Matthew 10:21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!” Matthew 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” John 15:20 “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” 1 Thessalonians 3:2 “We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. 4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.” Paul said to Timothy 2 Timothy 3:10 “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Yet people today are being taught that they will be whisked away and escape all of this. Could it be that they are not being persecuted because satan already has them. This teaching is another doctrine of demons because it makes the church weak and complacent. Instead we are to Ephesians 6:13 “put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm!”
We read in Hebrews 11:35 “There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.” Yes people are going to die. They are going to stand trial. Matthew 10:6 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Acts 4:13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Without the power of the Holy Spirit you cannot stand firm and remain steadfast. 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Yes people will die but the enemy will have no power over them. Jesus said Matthew 26:52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” John 19:11 “Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” Do you really think that so called christians are going to be saved from tribulation when our Messiah who taught we would and went through it himself. Psalm 22:24 “For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” This false gospel has led the church astray. This is a powerless gospel of weakness and fear. Think about it for a moment Jesus came so that we would have life in abundance, defeat our enemies, death conquered, the wrath of God removed from us and given life eternal. Every generation has that offer. We have no one to fear but God himself. Every generation could be saved and quickly I might add.
Ponder this verse for a moment 2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation.” This is why the disciples expected the return of Jesus as His return should have happened quicker. When Jesus went out Matthew 21:10 “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” Acts 13:44 “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 16:20 “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar.” Acts 19:29 “Soon the whole city was in an uproar.”
If the power of the Holy Spirit was present cities would have continued to be turned upside down and in an uproar. Acts 19:10 “This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.” Acts 19:26 “And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia.” The gospel would have gone out and sped its coming but the church turned away to false teachings and doctrines and theology and it now lies in desolation. Mark 13:14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19 because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again. 20 “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. 21 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.” Well this has already happened and is happening. Many have fallen from their secure positions, yes even the ones whose doctrines say that can’t happen. God’s word says it can so stick with it. 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.” Ezra 9:15Lord, the God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant.”
The Messiah has given us all that we need but most have rejected it by following false gospels. 2 Kings 17:40 “They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41 Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do. 16 They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God.” We see this in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” We stand condemned and defeated if we do not follow the true gospel of Jesus Christ as Paul taught us to follow. 1 Thessalonians 1:6 “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out.”
Jesus came that we would have life and live fearlessly and courageously but we cannot do that without the Holy Spirit. We must have power. Acts 26:23 “The Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.” We are to continue with that message. We are not to add or subtract but become imitators. This is why we have turned form our wicked ways. We have turned to the truth and scripture describes. Hebrews 12:22 “But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” We have been called to conform to His image. Romans 8:29 “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Will we be a generation who was known like Josiah who turned back like no other?
Yes Jesus is returning but not to set up his kingdom but to take those whom have remained steadfast in His kingdom to the end, home . John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Yes we wait for a day where the dead will be raised and the living will be taken. Peter said 2 Peter 3:8 “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” Revelation 1:4 “John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. 7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
We can remain steadfast because we are the church of the firstborn.