171105 Daniel 7:9-10

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 November 2017 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: Daniel 7:9 – 10
Theme: Are You Ready to Stand in the Lord's Courtroom?

Once again we have reached those Sundays in the Calendar of the Christian Church know as "The End Times Sundays". During this time, our readings from God's Word remind us that a day is coming when the Judge of all mankind, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, our one and only Savior, Jesus Christ will come again in all his glory. For centuries human beings have tried to predict the exact moment the Savior will come again. But, as we read in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, the Savior's return will happen "in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet." And in 2 Peter chapter 3 we are told that "the day of the Lord will come like a thief."

In today's Gospel Lesson, we read that when Jesus comes again, all will stand before him to be judged. So the question for each one of us to ask ourselves on this "Last Judgment Sunday" is: "Are you ready for that day?" Are you ready for your Judge to come? Are you ready to stand in the Lord's courtroom? Listen now as I read again the First Lesson assigned for our worship this weekend. It is taken from Daniel chapter 7 where we read verses 9 – 10:

9 As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.

10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

In chapter 7, the Lord gave Daniel a vision of several earthly kingdoms that would rise to power and then fall away. In contrast to these earthly kingdoms that are here today and gone tomorrow, Daniel tells us, "As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat." This is the only place in the Bible where the One and Only true God identifies himself with the title "The Ancient of Days". This reminds us that the one who will judge all mankind, the one who will judge you and me, is the one, eternal God. He had no beginning. He will have no end. He is the One who tells us of himself in the final chapter of the Bible, "Behold, I am coming soon...I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Are you ready to stand in the courtroom of the eternal Lord God?

What else are we told about the "Ancient of Days"? We read, "His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him." Fire is often times used in the Bible to picture God's judgment. It is also used to picture the great anger the Lord God has for sin. In Hosea chapter 9 we read, "Because of all their wickedness I hated them. Because of their sinful deeds, I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them." The holy and just God tells us that he hates sin. He can't stand to be in the presence of sin. So, sin must be punished.

As we take an honest look at how we have sinned against our Lord time after time, you and I have to be shaking in our shoes right now. Are you ready to stand in the Lord's courtroom? Because of your sins and mine, each one of us would have to answer that, based on our own efforts, "No! I am not ready to stand in the Lord's courtroom!"

Thankfully the description of the "Ancient of Days" does not stop here. What else are we told about the "Ancient of Days"? "As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool." White is often times used in the Bible to picture God's love, his mercy and his forgiveness. It is in Isaiah chapter 1 that we read these words of the Lord God, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." How have the red stains of your sins and mine become the white snow and wool of God's forgiveness? For an answer to this question we turn to Revelation chapter 7 where we read from God's Word, "Then one of the elders asked me, 'These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?' I answered, 'Sir, you know.' And he said, 'These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.' 15Therefore, 'they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.'"

Are you ready to stand in the Lord's courtroom? Jesus himself tells us, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Jesus Christ is the only One who makes you and me ready to stand in the Lord's courtroom. Jesus is the one who paid the price for all sins. Jesus is the one who offered up himself as the perfect sacrifice for all sins. Because of the forgiveness of sins won by Jesus Christ, those who believe in him as the only way to heaven, can answer "Yes! I am ready to stand in the Lord's courtroom!"

How can you and I say thank-you to our Savior-God for making us ready to stand in his courtroom? In our Gospel Lesson that was read earlier, we are told that one way is by using our time and talents to help others. As Jesus says, "'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"

In the mail this coming week, you will receive a reminder of another way you and I are able to say thank-you to our Savior-God for making us ready to stand in his courtroom. Our Stewardship Board will be mailing out information about an upcoming "Commitment Sunday" to take place on the first weekend in December. This will give all of us an opportunity to review for ourselves how we are using the gifts of our time, talents and treasures to say thank-you to our Savior-God; thank him for the wonderful gift of the forgiveness of all of our sins; thank him for the comfort of standing in the Lord's courtroom and being declared "Not guilty!" because of Jesus; thank him for giving us the gift of a life sentence with him forever in the perfect joys of heaven.

Then there is this important point to remember: "Last Judgment Sunday" fills you and me with urgency to share the message of Jesus with others. There is only one way that anyone will be able to stand in the Lord's courtroom on the Last Day and hear the verdict "Not Guilty!" Far too many people today still do not know Jesus Christ as their one and only Savior from sin. By God's grace, you and I know and believe the soul-saving message of the Bible. As someone who knows the truth of God's Word, you and I have the responsibility to share God's Law to show people their sins and their great need for a Savior from sin. Then, you and I have the privilege of sharing the message of Gospel; the message of full and free forgiveness of all sins through the one and only Savior, Jesus!

There are times when decisions that are made in one courtroom are later overturned or changed in another courtroom. This will not be the case when Jesus comes again and all have to appear in his courtroom. The decisions will be final. The decisions will last forever. Are you ready to stand in the Lord's courtroom? Because of Jesus Christ, you and I are able to say that we are ready to stand before our Judge. Jesus Christ has won the forgiveness of your sins and mine. Jesus Christ has won for you and me the verdict of "Not Guilty!" Because of this forgiveness, you and I are able to hear Jesus say to us what he says in Revelation chapter 3, "He who overcomes will be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels." Because of the forgiveness of all our sins that our Savior won for us, you and I are able to say: "Come, Lord Jesus! Come!" Amen.

 

 

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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Sunday
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9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

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818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-912-6060

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