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Victorious Joy

July 30, 2019 Pastor: Don Green

Topic: Midweek Sermons Scripture: Psalm 98

19-098

I invite you to turn to Psalm 98 for our text. I'm going to read it and then we'll open God's word in its exposition here this evening. Psalm 98, beginning in verse 1. It says,

1 O sing to the LORD a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. 2 The LORD has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. 3 He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. 5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, With the lyre and the sound of melody. 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn Shout joyfully before the King, the LORD. 7 Let the sea roar and all it contains, The world and those who dwell in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy 9 Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness And the peoples with equity.

This is a Psalm that's looking forward to the return of the Lord to the earth when he comes to establish his reign. It is a time of anticipation and describes what the response will be when he arrives and it will be one great joyful acclamation of welcome from his people.

And as I was preparing this, I couldn't help but remember an event from a few years ago, several years ago, many years ago, time goes by so fast. I may have told this before here and if so, you'll have to forgive me. I'm getting at that age where I don't really remember what I've necessarily said and I start to repeat myself. But back in April 1980, I had the opportunity to be at a reception for then candidate Ronald Reagan, Governor Ronald Reagan as he was running for President. It took place in Terre Haute, Indiana, and I remember it vividly to this day. The room was a room about maybe the size of this room. It was packed and there was a developing buzz about the candidacy of Ronald Reagan. There was dissatisfaction with President Carter, there was a lot of things going on in the world at that time, and there was a great expectation about the candidacy of Ronald Reagan, at least among some people of that particular political persuasion. And I was in the room and it was packed, as I said, and everybody was kind of talking with one another with one eye on the door through which he was expected to come, and so you're trying to pretend to be interested in what the other person is saying but you're just looking toward the door, waiting for him to make his entrance. And finally the door swung open and he walked in with whoever was accompanying him at the time, and there was this magnificent spontaneous outburst from everyone that was there, almost with a unified voice saying, "There he is!" And there was a great extraordinary moment recognizing that this could be the future President of the United States in a time of great world turmoil, and recognizing that there was a leader who had just entered into our midst. And I'll never forget just that spontaneous, unrehearsed, unpracticed uproar that, "There he is!" He had just entered and the people were now receiving him with a sense of joy and anticipation.

Well, to an infinitely greater degree, there will be an acclamation of praise for Christ when he comes to the earth when he descends and sets his foot on Jerusalem and begins to establish his reign, and Psalm 98 is describing something of the victorious joy and the acclamation that will be given to Christ when he returns and we see it from something of a prophetic sense. I do like to tell people that after he met me, Ronald Reagan became President of the United States. You think about that. That's for free. That has nothing to do with anything. 

But Psalm 98, a Psalm of victorious joy for all the earth, and what we find being expressed in this Psalm is that God's people are praising him for his mighty deeds and even creation itself is personified in this Psalm to join in the celebration. Victory is a word that describes a state of final and complete supremacy after a time of war. The enemy is defeated and the victor's success is clear, and it is a perfect word to describe the Lord's final triumph at the end of time. You'll recall that we've said that Psalm 96 had introduced this theme of the coming of the Lord, giving us a sense of anticipation of that which is still future today. Look at Psalm 96:13, "the LORD is coming, He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness And the peoples in faithfulness." That's a time still future to us and you see at the end of Psalm 98 words that are almost identical in their expression, verse 9, "the LORD is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness And the peoples with equity."

Now in some of these Psalms that we've been looking at, Psalms 93 through 100, there's a sense of vanquishing the enemy that is celebrated in the Psalm, but that's not the case in Psalm 98. In Psalm 98, you have a pure expression of the people of God welcoming the arrival of their king, and one writer says this, "What is remarkable about this Psalm is the way in which it is fixed solely on the Lord and his victory. There is no mention of defeated enemies or the gods of other people's as in Psalms 96 and 97. They have faded into the background. The Lord alone holds center stage." And there is the sense in which we as the people of God can look at this Psalm with anticipation, it is describing the joy that will be ours when the Lord comes to judge the earth and just that sense of pure anticipation, pure acclamation that our Lord has arrived and now everything is going to be well once again. 

So let's walk through this Psalm together and point 1 here, we can simply see the act, what we'll call the act of salvation, the act of salvation which is the ground of the praise of the Psalm. Psalm 98, like other Psalms 95 and Psalm 96, it opens with a call to sing. Look at verse 1 with me,

1 O sing to the LORD a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.

 

Now this is not singing simply for the sake of singing, this is remembering the saving acts of God which display his power. That phrase there in the middle of verse 1, "His right hand and His holy arm," are symbolizing his power and the power of God will be on display when Christ returns to the earth, and the idea of wonderful things that he has done is a term for miraculous interventions. The coming of Christ will be a miraculous intervention into world affairs and the people of God will acclaim him and praise him as he asserts his power and begins to exercise his rule on the earth, and his power is being used to display his righteousness.

 

Look at verse 2 with me where it says,

 

2 The LORD has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.

 

And this is using the past tense to describe a future event, looking to the fact when Christ comes, when the Lord returns, when the Lord comes to judge, there will be this recognition that he is making known his salvation and there will be singing and joy and praise in response to that, and that time will be a revelation of his righteousness where all will see it. This will be an event that the entire world will see.

 

And it reminds me of a passage in the book of Habakkuk, if you would turn there toward the end of the minor prophets, toward the end of your Old Testament in the minor prophets. Habakkuk is describing this time and this time of wonder as he speaks about the coming of the Lord and says in Habakkuk 2:14 that, "the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea." And as we've been saying from the book of Philippians on Sundays as we've been saying here on Tuesday nights repeatedly, we're looking forward and our faith is looking forward to something that is yet future, the manifestation of the glory of God and the time when Christ shares his glory with us and we begin to reign with him, as the book of Revelation says. This is a time of spectacular anticipation. It is a time that is still future to us and it just reminds us that the joy and the anticipation of Christian salvation, of biblical salvation, is not rooted primarily in what happens to us in the parenthesis that is our lifetime, our anticipation, our hope is something far greater, far beyond anything that could occur in the contours of the history of man. We are looking for a time when the Lord who loved us and gave himself up for us steps into the world and asserts his righteousness and asserts his rule, and for those of us that have been saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, that is going to be the climax of all of our anticipations and all of our hopes. So we are looking not so much for God to deliver us from today's problems, we're looking for a time when he comes to deliver the world and to assert his salvation for his people and when he makes his righteousness known in the sight of the nations. It's going to be a wonderful day. It's going to be a wonderful time when Christ displays himself like that and all the world sees in reality, sees in time what we have known and believed and trusted by faith before the occurring of it.

 

So Psalm 98 is looking forward to this time and in verse 3 he goes on to say,

 

3 He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

 

So when God comes to judge the earth, which is the theme of this Psalm, when God comes to judge the earth he's going to be doing something for his people, he is going to be displaying that his loyal love was true, and he is going to be displaying his faithfulness to his promise, that he remembered his covenant with Israel to deliver and to save them in fulfillment of his promises that he made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob some 4,000 years ago from today's date and that the passage of millennia did not diminish his ability to keep his promises, nor did it diminish his commitment to keep that promise.

 

It will be a culmination of remembrance of all of the many times where he's kept his promises to his people Israel. When he delivered them at the Red Sea. When he gave the land to Joshua, even making the sun stand still for a time. Remembering the victories that he gave to David and Solomon and sweeping through Old Testament history. But beloved, when the Lord comes and the culmination of all of this, it's not simply going to be those Old Testament events that are sung about, that are rehearsed, that are celebrated in that moment of climax, the theme of the Lord's victory takes us beyond Israel and reminds us of the time when the Lord delivered his people from sin at Calvary, the greatest act of loyal love, the greatest act of faithfulness, the greatest act of sacrificial love that the Lord made for his people displayed at Calvary. We'll remember his victory over death and sin in his resurrection. We will remember that he has established his dominion over every demonic power that has ever existed and ever will exist. The coming of Christ will be such a manifestation of utter, complete domination over everything opposed to him, and it will be a celebration of everything that he has promised to his people and those of us who know Christ by faith will look on that time, we will look on our Savior and there will be this comprehensive remembrance that he has achieved victory over everything that was ever opposed to him, that he has achieved faithfulness to his every promise to us, and of course in response to that, there will be this acclamation of great praise and joyful singing and shouting in celebration that far surpasses anything that we have known in the church age since the resurrection of Christ. Ultimately Psalm 98 is pointing us to that restoration of all things when Christ establishes his kingdom on the earth when he comes to rule in his millennial kingdom, and when the King arrives, it's going to be infinitely better than the arrival of some earthly presidential candidate in a crowded room in Terre Haute, Indiana, of all places. This is going to be the celebration of the King of the universe arriving to establish his kingdom and manifesting his power in a celebration of his victory over everything.

 

And as we recite and remember those individual acts in history, the Red Sea, the victories of Joshua, David, Solomon, the cross, the resurrection, his saving power in the lives of individuals in the church age, individually, beloved, all of those matters are wonderful and call forth praise in response and a celebration of the power and the faithfulness of God to his people, but where our minds start to expand to the breaking point and we can't begin to gather it all into our minds, is that collectively all of those things testify in an overwhelming way to the power, love and faithfulness of God. He's been doing this for millennia, not simply during the course of our own personal experience of his faithfulness to us, and when he comes and establishes his reign, all the ends of the earth are going to be witnesses to it all and the nations, all the ends of the earth that you see it there at the end of verse 3, "All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God," the entire earth will be a witness to the way that God has powerfully saved his people.

 

We see his glory today revealed in nature, we see the Gospel being carried now to the nations, but beloved, it's all in a sense as marvelous and comprehensive as that revelation of himself has been, those acts of revealing power in history, the way he has revealed himself in nature, the way he has revealed himself in his word, what I want you to see is, and going even further, remembering the fact that the Lord is providentially ordering all details that ever happen according to his eternal plan, what I want you to see is that in these things that we are describing now and seeing from God's word, is we're seeing that there is a comprehensive plan to history that is being worked out that will have its culminating point at the return of Christ when everything is gathered up together and he comes and he establishes his rule and he reigns and all the world is a witness to that. It will be marvelous for us to be there with him and it is marvelous that there is such enduring power across the generations of time, and then we step back and remember that this God who is orchestrating this, who planned it, who is orchestrating it, and who will bring it to pass, this God who is ensuring the meaning of history in a way that is utterly lost to everyone secular and every secular historian who tries to interpret the meaning of life and history within the bounds of time, our God is going to step in from outside of time to establish these things and it's going to be a marvelous display of his power that will call forth praise, but we as his people will join in an added element of praise, marveling at the fact that he has been so good to us.

 

Do you see it, beloved? The God who saved you is the God who is bringing these things to pass. The God who saved you is the God who is going to be universally acclaimed where every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. The God who is going to be honored universally like that is the God who set his love on you before the foundation of time. The God who saved you by a work of the Holy Spirit in your heart and drew you to Christ, the God who is keeping you, and we're just going to be lost in wonder, love and praise when he finally receives the universal acclamation that is his righteous due, and that's why, beloved, a song of praise is so appropriate. That's why, beloved, that a song of victorious joy will be so reverberating throughout all of the world because this King who is our King will be showing that he reigns and he will be acclaimed when he does.

 

Now that's the act of salvation when the Lord comes. Let's go on to our second point here this evening, the adoration of salvation. The adoration of salvation. As we move into verse 4, we see that this multifaceted nature of the salvation of God throughout the course of history for his people culminating at the return of Christ, the multifaceted nature of that calls for joyful praise.

 

Look at verse 4 and here you see just how lost, as it were, the psalmist is in the wonder of praise as he says in verse 4,

 

4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. 5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, With the lyre and the sound of melody. 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn Shout joyfully before the King, the LORD.

 

And notice how this section, these three verses here, are bracketed by "shout joyfully." Verse 4, "Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth." Verse 6, "Shout joyfully before the King, the LORD."

 

Now I just want to suggest something to you that I think is important to call out. This is not a call for chaotic worship in the church age here in the New Testament era. That is not the point of this Psalm. This is looking forward to the supernatural return of Christ and calling for a great explosion of praise at that time. Church life, church worship in 1 Corinthians 14 is called to be done forth, to be done in a decent and orderly fashion, and that we honor God with orderly worship, not with chaos, not with people being out of control. That element of New Testament worship is where we're looking for what we're doing now, this is looking forward to a different time calling forth a different response where these shouts of acclamation are given.

 

And that phrase, "Break forth," in verse 4, "Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises," it's a phrase that's used a couple of times that I want to show you in the book of Isaiah. Turn to Isaiah 44 with me. Isaiah 44, and you just see the redeeming love of God for his people. Isaiah 44:21 when he says, "Remember these things, O Jacob, And Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant, O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me. I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you." And in verse 23, "Shout for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done it! Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it; For the LORD has redeemed Jacob And in Israel He shows forth His glory." Then in chapter 55 in verse 12 it says, "you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands." This is picturing the loud acclamation of the nation as its King ascends to his throne, as we've been saying, anticipating the return of Christ, and so this is a time of supernatural joy at a supernatural return. It is a response, beloved, to the authority and majesty of the King and the display of his great conquest, and all of creation joins to magnify his greatness.

 

Look at verse 4 with me again, Psalm 98:4, you can turn back there if you haven't already, "Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. Sing praises to the LORD," and there's this musical dimension to it all lending to a joyful shout before the King, and what I want you to see, beloved, is that this coming time is picturing an exuberant praise that a man cannot hold back. When the King arrives, there will be this spontaneous outpouring of worship and adoration that we will not be able to hold back and we would not want to hold back if we could. It will be overwhelming wonder, mind-shattering greatness and majesty that simply call forth the praise from our hearts and our voices give and our lips give expression to that overwhelming praise that is in our heart as our King makes his glory known. And the musical instruments will skillfully lend beauty and pageantry to the occasion. All life on earth will join in the celebration of God the King. And one writer says this speaking of the people of God that will be giving this worship to him, "They who welcomed their great King need not fear because they are the recipients of His victories. He has gone to great lengths to save them."

 

And beloved, what I want you to see and what I want you to remember as we contemplate these things is to just remember the great lengths that your God has gone to save you, the great lengths that he's going to to keep you; that all of this plan and Christ coming to earth and giving his life on the cross to redeem you from your sins, the great work that he did when he brought the Gospel to your ears and worked with power in your heart to draw you to faith in Christ, even now keeping you through the mountains and the valleys of life, assuming that, this time comes after our earthly passing, that he will have his hand upon you as you draw your last breath and will safely bear you to the other shore while your soul is temporarily separated from your body, and he will keep you and he is keeping you, and there is this great victory that your life will represent, the saving power of God represented in your life, in millions of other lives, and then manifested for all the world to see. What we find here is that we are on the receiving end of such great grace and that our King is powerful and has saved us and he has saved us so that we will join in the celebration of his victory and his reign when that comes. As a result of that, this will not be a time of fear for us. We will not withdraw in shame, we will run to the celebration where our King is celebrated and that will be appropriate because he saved us to join with him in that hour, as the bride rightfully joins her groom on the day of their celebration. It will be our privilege to join with our King in his coronation when he reigns over the earth, and that time for us, what I'm hoping the word of God is doing in your heart as the Spirit works in your heart, is just creating a sense of longing for that day and recognizing that that is going to so far surpass the best of life here on earth that it just builds within us a sense of anticipation and longing for that day to come and gives added meaning to what our Lord taught us to pray, "Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Your kingdom come. Lord, I want that day to come. I want You to come to earth and make Your presence known because that's the day that I'm ultimately living for." And what a joy it will be for us to, as it were, be on the winning side of that great time and recognize that our Lord will not forget us in the process. From the greatest and most well-known of his people, to the smallest humblest saint with tender heart and unknown to the world, from all points in between the Lord has saved us to join in this occasion and to be a part of the celebration of his return.

 

And do you realize that as a humble believer in Christ it's going to be your privilege to be part of the coronation committee, so to speak? It will be your joy to be a part of that to welcome your King in his day of victory and that that will be the greatest day of your life? This sweeps us up from everything earthly, it takes us out of the realm of this life. Once again, Scripture gives us this perspective that says we have been saved and you have been saved, my brother or sister in Christ, you have been saved for a far greater day than anything that happens during the course of your earthly existence. You've been saved for something great, something supernatural, to share in the celebration of the King and to enter into that which will be celebrated throughout all of eternity, not merely the time of Christ's reign on earth. You are the part, God has included you in an eternal plan far beyond your making, far beyond your deserving. God has included you so that you will share in that glory as we saw from John 17:24 on Sunday, "Father, I pray that they will be with Me so that they may see My glory," and it's only because we don't fully appreciate how magnificent that will be, that our response and gratitude for it now is somewhat hindered. When it is shown, we will know the outcome of our salvation, we will know that this is what we have been appointed and created for, and we will enter into that purpose of the celebration of the glory of our King in a way that will be the greatest joy that we've ever known. That's what's coming for you as a believer in Christ and God will not fail to carry that out, and this bursting forth in praise will be the experience of all the people of God when it occurs.

 

Well, let's look finally at the third section here, the applause of creation in verses 7 through 9. The applause of creation. Look at it with me.

 

7 Let the sea roar and all it contains, The world and those who dwell in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy 9 Before the LORD, for [why are we celebrating like this?] for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness And the peoples with equity.

 

Scripture personifies creation as joining in the acclamation of the King. The psalmist here personifies the sea and the rivers and the mountains as joining in the praise because the Lord created them. Just as he created us to share in the celebration, so also creation itself was created by him and will join in the magnificence of that day. By the same power and faithfulness that God has saved and sustained us, he has upheld his creation. Romans 8, as we saw on Sunday, right now creation groans under the curse longing for its day of deliverance. This will be the day of deliverance for creation as well when the curse is removed and creation is free to join into the praise of its Creator.

 

This is the climax of all of history that we're reading about here and we see expressed the culminating reason to praise the Lord. His coming, beloved. He's coming to judge the earth and as we've seen in other Psalms, the wicked at that time will be silenced. They will be punished and the righteous will be rewarded as the King shares in the spoils of victory with us. And when he comes, the nations will receive him in a Psalm 98 way. The nations of those that are inhabiting the nations of his people, and it will be an occasion of joy with shouts of praise. And beloved, what this time will be is it will be a manifestation of the holiness of God as he establishes justice on the earth. It will be a manifestation of his love for his people as he brings them to the salvation and the culminating point of his work in their midst over the course of millennia. Justice will be restored. Creation will be restored to harmony with its Creator and the effects of the curse will be fully reversed. Those of us who love him will see him exalted and receiving the praise of the nations which he so richly deserves.

 

So the focus of this Psalm still future to us when Christ returns to establish his reign on the earth, and beloved, everything, everything, this gives perspective to everything. When, for example, we see the salvation of individuals in this life, when we celebrate that in the waters of baptism, when you have the joy of leading someone to Christ and seeing the fruit of the Spirit start to burst forth from the lives, what I want you to see is that's occurring in a greater context. We tend to view those as isolated incidents. We see them as silos rather than as interconnected events. Even the salvation of individual men and women, boys and girls, are simply a foretaste of the greater more comprehensive victory to come. You see, when God saves someone, when Christ saves someone individually and exercises his sovereignty over an individual life to draw them to Christ, to impart new life to them and that person responds in repentance and faith to the one who is working in their lives, and God takes over and transforms and changes them, well, what I want you to see is that that's a picture of something greater because what has God done in that life except to conquer sin and death and Satan in an individual life? Well, what we're going to see at the end of time is God accomplishing that on a universal scale where sin is completely reversed, where his judgment is fully exercised, where Satan is banished and where creation is restored. So even in our individual salvation, we are just getting a foretaste of that greater comprehensive victory that is yet to come, and as we sing praise to God now, as we read these Psalms and worship him through his word, as we join together in corporate worship week by week, beloved, even those things are just the beginning early sprouts of that coming time. "The praises that we sing now," one writer said, "are a rehearsal and God's presence among his worshipers is a prelude to his appearing to the world."

 

So our time together week by week, our corporate worship together, is a foretaste of this greater coming time when Christ is worshiped throughout all of the world.

 

What we've seen through these Psalms, Psalms 93 through 100, we're not quite through yet, is this, beloved, we have a conquering King who has led us to a conquering faith that will find a conquering culmination when the Lord comes to judge the earth, and that means something, that has implications. That means that we live now with a joy that is borrowed from a certain future. We are living in the midst of a joy and we live with a joy that transcends everything in this life because it is based on a coming event that is sure to occur. The God who saved us at the first is going to keep us until the last, and when the King is celebrated, we will be a rightful part of the celebration joining in that.

 

So we praise him now based in measure upon that future praise that is yet to come, and because that coming victory is certain, the victorious joy is certain as well, and what it means is this, beloved, in addition to that positive aspect of the joy of it all, it means that we do not fear our enemies today, we do not fear death, we do not fear the coming judgment because the King has delivered us from all of that. He has saved us from sin. He has saved us from judgment. He has said, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." If you are in Christ, God is not going to hold you to account of your sins because all of your sins were paid for at the cross and therefore this time of judgment is a time to expect with joy not with fear, because you have been delivered from the judgment, the judgment was poured out on Christ at the cross and therefore you are free to anticipate it with joy. The King that we serve, the King that we love has gone into death and come out on the other side, therefore there is no fear for death. The King who went through death and is now resurrected, we belong to him. You are joined with him. The one who died and rose again has guaranteed that you will die and rise again with him. He will share the victory over death with you in a way that cannot fail.

 

And in light of all of those things, beloved, what are earthly opponents today? Who are our critics? Who are those that mock your Christian faith? Who are those that taunt you in bad times saying, "Where is your God and where is your salvation?" Who are they? Who are these people whose breath is in their nostrils? We're not afraid of them. We're not afraid of what government can do to us if the moral decline continues and Christians are increasingly pushed out to the outer edges of society. We're not afraid of that because we belong to the conquering King and he is going to share his victory with us. His right hand and his holy arm have gained the victory for him and he gladly shares it with us in Christ, and that is why we live with victorious joy. That is why we have hope.

 

That is why we are able to walk through this world with a sense expressed in 2 Corinthians 4, and I'll close with this passage if you'll turn there with me, 2 Corinthians 4, as we see these kinds of things again and again and again. We're in 2 Corinthians 4:16, it says, "Therefore," 2 Corinthians 4:16. I'll give you a chance to turn there. "Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." Then in chapter 5, verse 6, he goes on to say, "Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord-- for we walk by faith, not by sight-- we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." The idea being that Christ is going to reward us for our good deeds, it's not a time where our sins will be rehearsed before us as though a movie was going to be played of every bad thing that we've ever done. That's not the case. The idea here is that as we walk through this life and experience affliction, we look forward to this coming glory and we see the trials and the adversities of this life in a proper perspective. They are light and they are momentary compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us, and that's why we have good courage no matter what comes, that's why Christians are courageous in the face of death, that's why we can sing in the midst of our sorrows. Christ reigns. Christ is coming again. And for this all the world will one day recognize him and we as his people will sing in praise when it occurs.

 

Let's pray together as we close.

 

Our Father, we praise You for these anticipatory words of looking forward to the coming of our King, of our Lord and Master, and seeing His glory displayed before all of the earth. Father, we thank You for the salvation which You determined, which You chose, which You have effectuated in our lives. And we pray, Father, I pray for each one here, each one to ever hear these words in subsequent media, that each one would lay hold of Christ, would lay hold of this wonderful anticipation of the coming glory of our King, knowing that You will not let the least of Your lambs fall by the wayside. Not one will be lost. Every one will be kept to the end and the glory of this will be on display from the least of us to the greatest of Your people, so to speak. Father, You will bring us all into the wonder of this glory and for that we praise You, for that we live by faith, we anticipate that time, we long for the coming of that great day, and we thank You now for the glory that we will one day see when our faith becomes sight, when Christ is ruling on the earth, and all praise and worship is rightfully given to Him. O Father, thank You for including us in Your kingdom plans. May You extend by Your Spirit that grace to others who have not yet come to Christ. Father, I pray that You would open their eyes that they would look to Christ and be saved, today, that they might look to Christ in praise when He is in glory. These things we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.