“LIVING AND SHARING THE GOSPEL”
September 10, 2017
“Hark The Herald Angels Sing”
“How Great You Are”
“We All Bow Down”
Prayers of Intercession
SERMON: Mark Correll
The Revelation 12 Sign in The Heavens
“Days of Elijah”
Worship God in Spirit and Truth
Grow in His Grace and Knowledge
Share the Love and Hope we have in Christ.
Back in 1970, the music group Chicago had a hit titled Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? Perhaps you remember its chorus: Does anybody really know what time it is?
Does anybody really care?
If so, I can’t imagine why,
we’ve all got time enough to cry.
Time fascinates us—some are captivated by the past, others by the future, and time travel is the theme of many popular books and movies. Enter a room filled with people and you might hear one group lamenting their lack of time and another lamenting their struggle to fill it. Personally, I often wish I had more time. Better still, would be to share in Jesus’ ability to exist both within and outside of time. His resurrection, post-resurrection appearances, ascension and promise of a new creation, all point to the reality that the incarnate Son of God truly is “the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Rev. 22:13).
Sovereign over the past, the present and the future, Jesus is Lord of time.
Jesus’ ascension to heaven depicted by John Copely
(public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
Explaining exactly how Jesus exists both within and outside of time (a concept with cosmological and philosophical implications) is certainly beyond the scope of this letter (and beyond the powers of any time-bound creature!). However, I do want to address what Scripture tells us concerning Jesus’ relationship to time. Let’s begin with this important passage:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1-2) The Word (Logos) of God, “for whom and through whom everything exists” (Heb. 2:10) was present when time (and all created “things”) came into being. The Word is thus Lord over time. As Karl Barth notes, defining what this created thing we call “time” is, including how it could have a point of beginning within God’s eternity, is no small undertaking:
The nature of time and eternity is not something we can fathom for ourselves. We grasp it only when, against the background of God’s intervention in human time, we understand what time really is.
(public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
We cannot explain how Jesus, the incarnate Word, exists both within and outside time. Whereas the BBC’s Dr. Who needed his spaceship TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) to travel through time and space, Jesus is “the Alpha and the Omega”—the “Almighty” one, “who is, and who was, and who is to come” (Rev. 1:8). Jesus exists simultaneously within time (temporality) and outside time (eternity). His “eternal presence” encompasses that which was, now is, and is yet to come. In love and for love, the triune God gave his creation a “triadic temporality” in which there is a past, a present and a future.
Karl Barth helps us think of time as existing in two ways: chronological (temporal) time and uncreated (eternal) time. Scripture tells us that God transcends temporal time—Psalm 90:2 declares that God is “from everlasting to everlasting” (with no beginning or end), an idea we cannot fathom from our perspective within the confines of temporal time. Psalm 90:4 then contrasts God’s eternity with human temporality: “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by.” The apostle Peter put it this way: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Pet. 3:8). In making this statement, Peter is not providing a secret code for calculating the date of Jesus’ return (the Bible warns us against trying to do that). Instead, Peter, like the Psalmist, is using a metaphor to explain that God, who is beyond time, sees and inhabits the past, present and future simultaneously.
This metaphor helps us understand something of God’s relationship to time. Knowing “the beginning from the end” (Isa. 46:10), God takes in the full panorama of human existence while also focusing his attention on particular moments within temporal time. Note, however, that this does not mean that the cosmos operates in accordance with some sort of “fatalistic determinism.” Instead, God interacts with created time from outside time, all the while giving time and space as a gift, within which his creatures may interact with him.
“The Nativity” by Caravaggio (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
The virgin birth and bodily resurrection of Jesus give powerful witness to how God interfaces with the time of the created world.
When God created the universe in and through the eternal Son of God (the Word), he created it in such a way that he could interact with it. Then, via the Incarnation, the Word stepped into created time while remaining what he was, the eternal Son of God. He did so to bring to completion his plan for fellowship and communion with his human creatures and all creation.
With these thoughts in mind, Barth instructs us to view eternity as fulfilled time rather than as timelessness. Our Triune God has his own kind of time. The Father, Son and Spirit have always had divine time for one another, for relating or interacting with one another in loving, knowing and glorifying ways. God’s kind of time we call eternity. It has no beginning or end, and needs no perfecting. God exists in the fullness of time, all the time, in his own kind of divine time. More than this, we cannot say. But our time, the time created through the Word of God (the Logos), apparently has some created similarity to God’s time, though our time must be perfected—liberated from its passing away into nothing as we now experience it.
Because Jesus is Lord of time, he is present in terms of who and what he was in the past, who and what he is in the present, and who and what he will be in the future (made clear when he returns and all time is redeemed). As Lord of time, only Jesus can redeem the past. He has not allowed anything to happen in his good creation that he cannot, in the end, redeem. The crucifixion of the Lord of created and uncreated time was turned into eternal life and immortality for us in him by the astounding grace of his resurrection (1 Cor. 15:53-54).
In this reality, we take comfort. As we live in the here and now—the already, but not yet—with its challenges and even threats, we look forward to eternity when fallen, unfulfilled time will be no more, and our Triune God will have all the time for us, and we’ll have all the time for him and for one another. It will be a glorious time—one with no pain, no regrets, no evil, for the past will have been completely redeemed. Let us have hope, relying on Jesus, the Lord of time, and on his words of promise: Behold, I am making everything new! (Rev. 21:5, ESV)
Happy knowing that God, who transcends time, dwells in time with us, Joseph Tkach – GCI President
Gen_1:14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;
Signs Heb ‘oth’ = a sense of appearing, a signal, a flag, a beacon, a monument, evidence, a mark.
Seasons Heb ‘moadah’ = an appointment that is fixed in time, a festival, an assembly for a definite purpose, an appointed time.
Interesting Historic / Prophetic Time Lines for 2017
This year, 2017 corresponded with the Hebrew calendar year 5777.
The #5 in Hebrew stands for Grace / #777 stands for Perfectly Complete
-2017 – 5777-
This year is the 70th anniversary of the 1947 birth of Israel
This year is the 50th (Jubilee) to end on Sept 23, 2017/Feast of Trumpets
This year is the 120th Jubilee from Adam
This year is the 70th Jubilee since the Exodus (1483 BC)
This year is the 40 Jubilee since the death of Christ on the cross
This year is the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls
This year is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (1517AD)
†† Pastor’s Corner ††
Pastor David Perry & Jonnie
Certainly our attention has been focused on Irma – the devastating hurricane that has and is wreaking havoc in the Caribbean and SE USA. Having gone through a CAT 4 hurricane when I lived in Charleston, SC area in 1989, I know well how absolutely terrifying they are in strength and destruction.
Lately, there has been a lot of discussion, in Christian circles, about the “weather & world events”. Are these signs of the “end times”? Is God withdrawing his protection on the USA? Doyle Rice writes in USA TODAY, July 17, 2017 “It’s been a stormy start to 2017 in the U.S., tying the 2nd-most natural disasters on record. Dozens of savage hailstorms and tornadoes wreaked havoc across the U.S. so far this year, causing billions of dollars of damage and leading to the second-most disaster-laden season on record.”
From the current ongoing devastating forest fires in Montana, Washington, Oregon and Southern California – to the utter destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas – one could surmise that the USA seems to be, as someone put it – enduring the “wrath of God”. I read one “stupid” statement that God struck Texas because they voted for Trump.
However the USA isn’t alone in disasters. Hurricane Irma caused massive destruction in northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Turks & Caicos, Anguilla and the Island of Barbuda that has sustained damage to 90% of their dwellings and businesses of the 1800 residents, with 95% of structures uninhabitable. One writer used the term “Apocalyptic devastation”.
If you have been following the world news, Ethnic cleansing is taking place in Myanmar with 1000+ killed and another 120,000+ displaced.
Weeks of flooding across Nepal, Bangladesh and India have killed more than 1,000 people…”www.npr.org. “Asia under water: How 137 million people’s lives are being put at risk” is the title of an article by Ben Westcott and Steve George, CNN, Wed., August 30, 2017
Certainly I think we can agree that, according to the Bible, the end times will be filled with violence, famine, wars, weather upheavals, hate, with everyone doing what is right in their own eyes. As Timothy says “People will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” One of my friends wrote: “Yes, this nation does need to turn continuously to God. Remember God said he would save a nation if his servant could find a handful who believed in Him. There are morethan a few in this great country that do worship the one true God. Don’t let superstition rule your life. Could this be a wake-up call? If so let us listen. Certainly may He bless and protect His children in this, their time of need.” Lord, Thy Kingdom Come! Trust Jesus! ~ Pastor David
Prayers for our Country and Pres. Trump
Prayers for the Body of Christ World Wide
Local Prayer Requests
Jake Auxier – Melbourne, FL – Prayers for protection from Hurricane Irma.
JW Holmes-(friend of Vicki Auxier) has leukemia Dr’s say two years to live.
Mary Coffey, Jerry Hudson, prayers for healing, strength & encouragement
Anita – (niece of Barb Hudson) – very serious illness needs treatment & healing
Gloria Beck (Jeff Beck’s sister) Recovery from surgery
Peggy Perry – (Pastor David’s Sister) She is feeling better. Has Dr. Apptmt on Sept 8 to determine what course of follow-up treatment might be needed
Jim & Donna Dunbar – (GCI Laf) Jim: Healing of broken wrist on left hand – Donna: recovery from a fall and sinus infection
Hurricane Harvey and Irma Victims
Jacob G – (friend of Jeff Beck) Swelling on brain
James Salerno – Narcolepsy
Perry Harold (college friend of Pastor David) Has small brain tumor – prayers that it is benign.
Jeff Harms (Pastor David’s cousins’ husband) Cancer and can’t take chemo
Max Whitlock – (GCI Laf) Nosebleeds
Connie Whitlock (GCI Laf) Knee pain
Peggy Perry – (Pastor David’s Sister) She will have follow up chemo beginning in a couple weeks…As of now 6 sessions. Thanks for prayers.
Jim Dunbar – (GCI Laf) The cast on his arm/wrist comes off Monday
Janis Beck – (GCI Laf) For healing and therapy to regain full use of hand
GC Indy – For Pastor Josh & Heather as they lead GC Indy – for insight & opportunities to share the life and love of Jesus in the Irvington area
Richard Cravens (friend of Jim & Donna Dunbar) Cancer
Joseph & Georgette Franklin, Our Haiti Church & School– Prayers for safety & blessing & provision.
Joe & Tammy Tkach – Protection, safety, wisdom & encouragement
Our Persecuted Christian Brothers and Sisters Around The World
For Divine Appointments To Touch Others With Jesus’ Life & Love