It is wonderful to welcome Oscar and Sarah Bradshaw into our South Fork family. They have been a blessing already with their loving, encouraging, faithful presence. And of course they have indirectly blessed this congregation for years through the ministry and leadership of George and Tracy and their family. We are so glad the Lord brought you to us. And Joyce and I are grateful for all the love and encouragement that you continually show to us. We appreciate your love for the Lord, your desire to serve Him through our church ministry and in so many other ways as well, and your prayers for us and our family as we seek to serve our Lord right along beside you.
We honor three very fine young men and three wonderful families this Sunday. I hope that you will be a part of all the activities as we say a special congratulations and seek God’s blessings for Zac Clevinger, Josh Garcia, and Eli Van Kuren. It is mind boggling to try to imagine what God will do through the lives of these three Godly young men. My young brothers, I am so very, very proud of you.
And one more thought about the end of the world. This comes from Eugene Peterson, author of Reversed Thunder, perhaps my favorite book on Revelation. It approaches the Revelation of John from the perspective of worship, and calls on us to refuse to get lost in the sensational and useless predictions and rather focus on worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ and joining Him in serving those around us.
“One of the unintended and unhappy consequences of John’s Armageddon vision is that it has inflamed the imaginations of the biblically illiterate into consuming endtime fantasies, distracting them from the daily valor of dogged obedience, sacrificial love, and alert endurance. This is exactly what John did not intend, as even a cursory reading of his Revelation makes evident. When people are ignorant of the imagery of prophets and gospels, and untutored in the metaphorical language of war in the story of salvation, they are easy prey for entertaining predictions of an end-time holocaust at Mount Meggido in Israel, conjured up from newspaper clippings on international politics. Jesus told us quite clearly that the people who make these breathless and sensationalist predictions are themselves the false Christs and false prophets that they are pretending to warn us against (Matt. 24:23-26).”