Sermon Reign of Christ November 25, 2018

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 Psalm 93 Revelation 1:4b-8 John 18:33-37
May these words and our thoughts be acceptable to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
These readings today are powerful. Put yourselves in them. Imagine being Daniel in the Throne Room of God Almighty. The Throne Room encompasses the entire physical and spiritual universe and more than we could ever imagine. You look up and there is no limit to your vision, you look left, right and centre and there is no ending. You look down and you can see forever, you are suspended in space and time. There are millions, billions of beings, there and it is still not full and you can see every one clearly as if they are standing right next to you.
At the centre is God Almighty, the Ancient of Days, light emanating from Him and His throne, in all directions. You have seen something like this in a thousand science fiction movies but this is not limited to a screen and is in its reality infinitely more powerful. And remember one day you will stand there alone and the Book, the Book of Life, will be opened ! Will you be in it ?
As you stand there Jesus appears in Glory and takes His seat as your Judge. Will He accept you into His Kingdom ? What will His judgement of you be ? Are you worried ? A lot ? Or even just a little bit ? You should be. I think I will be shivering in my shoes. One of the reasons I want to live a long life is to put this drama off as far into the future as I can. I’m scared ! I know who I am and what I have done that is offensive to my Judge ! And what worries me most is He knows too. I won’t have to swear on the Bible and I won’t be able to come up with excuses or justifications for my outrageous behaviour – and nor will you !
Jesus immediately before His brutal death testified to Pilate that He is a King and that His Kingdom is not an Earthly Realm but it exists in the place that Daniel envisioned. You’ve got to know that Daniel’s vision is of the Heavenly Kingdom that Jesus was talking about. Wow ! I’m truly scared. Is this the place I really want to go ? Well it’s a lot better than the alternative. We will be called to account.
As Revelation says “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail”. Everyone will be judged. This vision is not reserved just for those who make the grade, but everyone who pierced Him with the nails and the spear, that is, by our sins, you and I. And none of us will escape the sheer terror of the Judgement, we will all wail for ourselves and for the sins we committed. We will be infants again cringing in fright.
We will think how much easier it would have been to have lived a sin-free life. Setting aside temptations would be a no brainer if we knew what this moment would bring; easy as pie. And that inappropriate thought, word or action would seem so stupid, unnecessary and wrong. The thing is we do know and we are still in the thick of human our weakness.
But here is the Good News.
Jesus is the real King, over all kings. And like the best kings He doesn’t want His Kingdom sullied by sin or evil of any kind. Once in, that stuff causes rot and decay and collapse, much like I spoke about last week. You get mold in a chestnut and the whole thing is shot, just like in bread the whole loaf is inedible and doomed to the composter. We would be too but Jesus in His Earthly presence did what we cannot do. He took our sin away by His Blood shed on the Cross. He paid the price of our indiscretions, hates and indiscretions. What about that ? Normally a king, wanting to get rid of people who opposed his rule, authority and prestige, would have them thrown into the deepest dungeon, or killed in a consulate; no healing lodges here, just a black pit with no chance of getting out, ever.
But as Children of God we are worth saving. Like our own valuables we fix them if they break, we clean and polish them if they are tarnished. Some of us are broken, most of us are tarnished. Out of Love Jesus took the result of all those imperfections on Himself. Now you might question what is there for us to do, if Jesus takes away all sins. Well, although we have had the consequences of sin taken away, we still have the propensity to sin. If we don’t get those desires and obsessions out of us before we enter the Throne Room they will be taken out of us there. Sin comes from evil spirits within us, Jesus cast out many during His ministry, they cannot exist in the Throne Room, so He will pull them out of us there and it will be painful. Elsewhere Jesus talks about the chaff being removed on the threshing floor, that’s got to hurt. Better to get those spirits out now rather than later. By doing so Jesus fixes us and buffs us up so we will look pretty good when we come to Judgement. We will still be nervous, because we know who we are, and maybe some will not believe that they have been redeemed from the junk pile. Standing or quivering in the Throne Room, who would not be ? The power, the spiritual energy will be immense. Have you ever stood inside an electrical substation when it is operating, you can hear the bus of the electrons whipping through the wires, you can feel the electricity in the air and in your whole being – same thing yet more shattering near the Throne of God.
But not only are we redeemed we get promoted, no longer mere human beings we become priests in the Kingdom. This stole says I am a priest in the Church, but then you and I will all be priests at a much higher level because we will all serve in the nearer presence of God. You won’t have to study for it, or convince committees and bishops that you are called to the priesthood, you will be a priest because you have been called and appointed by the King of Kings ! You will live fully in the Reign of Christ. So I urge you to take this time in your life to prepare for the Throne Room and Judgement. Amen and Alleluia !

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