Preparing for Worship // July 30, 2017

Preparing for Worship // July 30, 2017

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I was raised on Star Wars, so when these two most recent movies came out, I was thrilled. The most recent movie, Rogue One, is a prequel to the very first Star Wars movie and takes us back to the ragtag Rebel Alliance’s fight against the Empire. At its core, this movie is about hope. It’s about the hope that good will triumph over evil, even though evil appears to have all the advantages. It tells the story of how the rebel alliance came to have hope and gives us the reason for their hope.

Postmodern culture and postmodern thought love to take Christian concepts, strip them of their Christian meaning, and use them for their own purposes. While no concept has suffered more at the hands of postmodernism than love, hope is a close second. At the hands of the culture, hope is taken from a robust understanding of Christ ushering in His perfect Kingdom and is turned into an empty, ultimately (ironically!) hopeless sentimentality about the future. Postmodern thinkers want to encourage hope, but with nothing to put one’s hope in, hope becomes an empty shell. The reason for this is that hope has been separated from its object; true hope is found in Jesus Christ.

Our passage this week gives us the reason for our hope. Christian hope is no vague sentimentality, nor is it blind hope in a better future. Christian hope is the certain belief that Jesus will return, and when He returns, He will bring an end to sin and death. He will bring with Him a new heaven and a new earth, a perfect heaven and a perfect earth, and we will dwell with us. Christian hope is a certain hope in a specific object: Jesus’ return and the destruction of evil.

As we come together this Sunday, we gather to worship Jesus Christ who has already come but who will also come again. We worship the one in whom we place our hope, who will one day make everything right. We worship as those with a certain hope that Jesus will come again and rid the world of sin and sadness. So come to worship knowing that whatever sin you battle, whatever tragedy you mourn, and whatever sickness you face, there is real hope in Jesus Christ and His future coming.

THE WORD

Scripture: Matthew 24:1-25:46
Sermon: A Real Return as Our Real Hope

SONGS

Leaning On The Everlasting Arms (David Crowder)
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Good Good Father (Housefires)
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Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (Red Mountain Music)
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Revelation Song  (Kari Jobe)
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Song of Preparation: Come Lord Jesus (Even So Come) (Passion)
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Song of Response: Sing to the King (Billy Foote)
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