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December 29

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“Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6 NLT).

From: December 29, 2019

WILL YOU SHARE IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION?

John saw a day when all those who share in the “first resurrection” would serve as priests of God and reign with Christ for a thousand years, a millennium. What is this “first resurrection” and who are those who share in it?
 
The first resurrection began with Christ, who is the “firstfruits” of those who have risen from the dead (1 Cor. 15:20). He is the prototype, the “firstborn” from the dead (Col. 1:18), so that all the resurrected saints will be like Him (1 John 3:2). So, the first resurrection began with Christ and continued with the resurrected Church at the time of the rapture at the beginning of the Tribulation and concluded with the resurrection of those who believed in spite of persecution during the Tribulation. In summary, the first resurrection includes all those who have by faith trusted in Christ as Lord and Savior.
 
There are two resurrections in the Bible. The second resurrection is for those who have not believed. They are the “dead” who will be raised to appear before God’s great white throne for judgment at the end of the millennium (Rev. 20:11-15).
 
Those who are part of the first resurrection do not have to worry about the great white throne judgment of God. For it is not for them. They are those who have been called blessed and holy because of their faith in Christ Jesus. They are those for whom the “second death,” which is the “lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14), holds no power. For their names are written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” (Rev. 21:27). They will not only reign with Christ for a thousand years, but will live with Him for eternity.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, help us to set our hearts and minds on things above, lifting them off earthly things. You have a wonderful purpose and plan for us and we often get bogged down in the temporary things. Give us a fresh glimpse of Your glory and a fresh call to Your mission. For we are destined for eternity with You and we want to live every moment in view of that reality. In Jesus’ name, amen.
 
 

Dec29: “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart… Then the Lord my God will come, and all his holy ones with him.” (Zechariah 14:4-5 NLT).

From: December 29, 2018

WHEN CHRIST RETURNS TO STAND ON THE MOUNT
Two streams of Messianic prophecy are found in Zechariah. One, points to Christ’s first coming as humble Savior, and the other, to His second coming as righteous Judge. This passage belongs to the second stream, as the phrase “on that day” connects it to the time period known as the “Day of the Lord,” when God’s judgment will fall on planet earth during the time of the Great Tribulation.
 
At His first coming, Christ stood on the Mount of Olives many times. During Passion Week alone, the Bible recorded three significant times that Jesus spent on the Mount: The Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24), the Triumphal Entry (Luke 19:29-30), and the Garden Prayer and Betrayal (Mark 14:32-52).
 
On the day of Christ’s ascension, the disciples were with Him on the Mount when He was lifted up into the clouds. They heard the angel say, “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way” (Acts 1:11). Zechariah prophesied of that day of which the angel spoke, a day when Christ will return to stand on the Mount of Olives and the saints of God with Him.
 
Surely old Job will be with the saints and the Lord Jesus on that day. As Job confidently prophesied, “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” (Job 19:25).

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them” (Revelation 20:11 NKJV).

From: December 29, 2017

This is the Great White Throne judgment of God. This is not a trial, for the verdict is already in. This is a sentencing. And the resurrected dead both great and small will “stand” (12) for the verdict, which is the “second death” (14).
 
There appear to be two resurrections and two judgment seats in Scripture. The “first resurrection” (5-6) is for those found in Christ. They will appear before the “judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10). The Greek word translated “judgment seat” is “bema.” The Greek “bema” is not a seat of criminal justice, but of ceremonial reward, as is seen in those who judge at the olympic games. For Christ has already paid the price for their justification. What remains is the giving out of crowns and reward according to their works of faith.
 
The second resurrection is for those who died without Christ. They will stand for the Great White Throne judgment and be sentenced.
 
The modern mind may reject the idea of God and a final judgment. Yet, the Word of God is clear. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27).

“On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:4 ESV).

From: December 29, 2016

Two streams of messianic prophecy are found in Zechariah. One, points to Christ’s first coming as humble Savior, and the other, to His second coming as righteous Judge. This passage belongs to the second stream, as the phrase “on that day” connects it to the time period known as the “Day of the Lord,” when God’s judgment will fall on planet earth. Christ’s “feet” have stood on the Mount of Olives many times. During Passion Week alone, the Bible recorded three significant times that Jesus spent on the Mount: The Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24), the Triumphal Entry (Luke 19:29-30), and the Garden Prayer and Betrayal (Mark 14:32-52). On the day of Christ’s ascension, the disciples were with Him on the Mount when He was lifted up into the clouds (Acts 1:6-12). They heard the angel say, “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way.” Zechariah prophesied of that day of which the angel spoke, a day when Christ will return to stand on the Mount of Olives and split the mount in two.

“And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord—his name alone will be worshiped” (Zechariah 14:9 NKJV)

From: December 29, 2015

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament readings today are about the triumph of the true Lord and King. Since the garden, humanity has been in rebellion against God, choosing to follow its own way, rather than the Lord’s. Yet, both Zechariah and John saw a “Day” coming when the Lord would reign “over all the earth” and every human tongue would worship His name alone. We too, are to be heralds of His soon arrival, announcing that everyone should get ready for the coming King.

“I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books” (Revelation 20:12 NLT)

From: December 29, 2014

There is much debate about the meaning of Revelation chapter 20 and its description of the millennial kingdom (1,000 years reign). Yet, most agree on the interpretation concerning the “Book of Life.” If your name is in the Book, you have eternal life. If your name isn’t in the book, you are condemned to experience the second death, which is eternal separation from God in Hell. I remember singing a song in church when I was young that went like this: ““My name is in the book of Life, oh bless the name of Jesus; I rise above all doubt and strife, And read my title clear. I know, I know, My name is there; I know, I know, My name is written there.” Is your name written there?

“Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven” (Psalm 148:13)

From: December 29, 2013

The psalmist wrote to call all of creation to worship. He began with the inhabitants of heaven (angels, hosts, sun, moon, stars) and ended with the earth (sea creatures, the deep, snow, rain, fire, mountains, hills, trees, beasts, creeping things, birds, kings, princes, old men, young men, maidens and children). He calls them to praise the Lord because of two reasons: 1) Who God is, and 2) What God has done. Unfortunately, the inhabitants of earth have not answered this call to join the heavenly host in praise. The earth has become what CS Lewis called the “silent planet.” Our mission is to join the psalmist in calling all nations and tribes to worship the Lord, to proclaim the Name and Salvation of our Lord until every knee bows and every tongue confesses. To call the inhabitants of earth to join the heavenly chorus and to be silent no more.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed” (Proverbs 31:8)

From: December 29, 2012

Have you been given a voice? Then, use it to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Do not be silent when others are being crushed.

“I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life” (Revelation 20:12)

From: December 29, 2011

The Great White Throne judgment is here described. As we approach the end of 2011, we should consider God’s approaching judgment. Only those whose name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter into everlasting life.

“My name is in the book of Life”

From: December 29, 2009

“My name is in the book of Life,
Oh, bless the name of Jesus;
I rise above all doubt and strife, 
And read my title clear. 
I know, I know,
My name is there;
I know, I know,
My name is written there.”