2011 09 11

The End of Terrorism

Reverend Anthony R. Locke

September 11th, 2011  www.FirstPresTucker.org

at the First Presbyterian Church of Tucker

Click HERE for the Zephaniah Sermon Series. Sermon # 9

Zephaniah 3:9-13           Sermon Series in Zephaniah # 09         English Standard Version

9    “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord.

10  From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones, shall bring my offering.

11  “On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain.

12  But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord,

13  those who are left in Israel; they shall do no injustice and speak no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall graze and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.[1]

I remember arriving at work on this day, 10 years ago, on a beautiful Tuesday morning. I had gone to the gym and my phone was turned off inside my bag.

When I arrived at work my office phone was ringing. Church members were calling me to tell me that our country was under attack. The staff at our church pulled a television set out of the closet and we all watched in horror as the Twin Towers collapsed.

Our nation suffered a major defeat on that day. Evil people defeated our intelligence, our immigration laws and our awareness of imminent danger. We were caught as flat footed as the attacks at Pearl Harbor and we paid a steep price. Some of our best and brightest had their life stolen from them in an instant. 911 will always bring tears to our eyes.

And our nation was forced to engage in a war that we are still fighting to this day.

We live in a world that is governed by the aggressive use of force. We can organize a League of Nations, NATO, the United Nations, the European Union, World Courts or a New World Order, but nothing will bring lasting world peace except the intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can stop fear. Only Jesus can put an end to terror.

Jesus will come in the fullness of His Glory.

The appearance of our Lord will purify God’s children from their sins. We will be brought before the judgment seat of Christ to receive our eternal rewards and glorified above the angelic host. Our past will not hold back our eternal future and the promises of the Gospel.

The enemies of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ will be cast into Hell where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. These are the claims of Jesus, the most loving person who has ever lived. The past of the damned will forever haunt them and condemn them in their sins.

This is the hope of the church. We pray for Jesus to come. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

It is only the Big Plans of God Almighty that brings an end to the warfare, an end to the battles, the pain, the suffering, the sinfulness of humanity and fear itself. Jesus ends terrorism.

How? The details are in our passage.

First, Jesus comes to purify our speech.

The Second coming of our Lord will end hate speech, stop incendiary rhetoric, stop threatening, and words of war. All society will become purified by the holy Son of God.

Like when Jesus was on the mount of transfiguration, that glory, like a burning coal of pure holiness, will purify our hearts and our lips.

Isaiah 6:5-7 Isaiah had this experience when he saw the Lord, high and lifted up. And one of the seraphim flew, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

And God changes our hearts, God regenerates our will to be able to call upon the Name of the Lord. This is the bedrock of Reformed Theology. It is the key to understanding Reformation teachings. God changes our hearts from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. God turns our eyes upon Jesus and we see Him in His beauty. We are then persuaded and enable by the Holy Spirit to embrace Jesus as He is freely offered in the Gospel.

The Second Coming will leave in the world only those who call upon the name of the Lord. Only saints will inherit the earth. Only those who humble themselves in repentance inherit the kingdom. Matthew 5:2 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Psalm 24:3-4 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.

And we will forever work and serve the Lord. And the whole earth shall call on the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord.

The original language could be translated, That they may serve him with one shoulder that is, that they may be united in service to Christ. There’s actually some great imagery in this Hebrew language. If we serve by putting our back into it, then we are lifting a load by ourselves. Imagine pall-bearers carrying a casket. When we serve with one shoulder, we are sharing a burden with others.

Our future experience in glory will be a joyful work to the Lord. We will all be unified in service to Christ.

10  From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones, shall bring my offering. All God’s children will be brought into the house of God to participate in family worship.

The dispersed Jews will appear to worship Jesus. Gentiles from the furthest regions of the Nile and beyond will embrace prescribed worship to Jehovah.

And we will (Revelation 5:9-14) sing a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

The whole universe will be collected to call on the name of the Lord Jesus and worship at His throne.

11  “On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain.

Our past deeds will not be remembered against us. God has buried the offense of those deeds in the depth of the sea. The guilt of our sin has been removed from us as far as the East is from the West.

Each of us feel regret over something. We will have no regrets after we have been purified by the holy fire of the Lord. We will feel the same way about our sin as God feels about our sin. We will be transformed to view our transgressions like Jesus views our transgressions: FORGIVEN!!! Washed white by the blood of the Lamb.

The offense of our sins will be cancelled out, but we will still remember that we sinned.

We will know that Kind David slept with Bathsheba. But that story will no longer carry shame. It will be told to the glory of God. We will remember that Paul killed Christians. There will be martyrs in the family of God there in heaven who will recount how they were killed at the hands of the Apostle Paul. But the story will no longer carry shame for Paul. The story will always bring great glory to Jesus.

Our sins are not forgotten, but they are also no longer a tool by the Devil to make us feel guilty and rejected by God. If forgiveness means, “just as if I have never sinned,” then we might forget the reason for the scars in the hands of Jesus. We won’t forget. We will forever praise His wonderful name.

A haughty spirit will be gone forever.

Before we were saved we were as proud as Satan. We were unwilling to bend the knee to His commands for moral purity, for keeping the Sabbath and loving Him alone. We regarded life and the resources of our life as our own resources for our own benefit.

Bu then we met Christ. We saw him as the true King and Lord of our life, and with that new recognition we also saw our sinful rebellion for what it was, and we repented of it. We turned from sin, yielding our pride, and humbly called not for justice but for mercy from him who is our Savior.

Jesus said, Matthew 5:2-9 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

The proud will be sent to Hell. The lowly of heart will be raised into eternal fellowship with the Father.

We shall find eternal refuge in the name of the Lord.

We will discover an unlimited supply of everything we seek in Jesus. Our comfort, our joy, our sweet fellowship and family connections. We shall all seek refuge in the name of the Lord and we will find in Christ our eternal rest.

Joel 3:18-20 And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord and water the Valley

Micah 4:4 but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

We finish up with verse 13 – We will never again do injustice.

1 John 2:3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 1 John 1:10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

We have two natures and we sin. Our sin brings anxiety about the authenticity of our salvation. Not in heaven. Jesus purifies our soul with the holy fire of His glory and we will forever live according to His laws and commands without any transgression – ever.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

The last phrase of verse 13 comes from the shepherding images of the Bible.

Sheep only eat when they feel safe and unmolested. Thus, they can eat and lie down. The last phrase, “and no one will make them afraid,” often is used in the Bible to communicate absolute peace and tranquility.

We shall lie down. We will never again be afraid. We will never again experience a day of terror. Our only days of memorial will be a constant remembrance of the suffering of our Lord Jesus. We will remember Him. We will glory in the cross and live in peace forever more.

We will not visit a huge hole in the ground like the memorial at Ground Zero. A beautiful memorial in this life to be sure. A sad remembrance.

In heaven, we will live in the joy of the Lord forever, and the only memorial will be the scars in the hands and side of our Lord. Jesus end all terror. He stops all fear. His name is Peace.

Have you called upon the name of the Lord? Calling on the name of the Lord is not a casual thing. It means a wholehearted trust in and worship of Jesus to the exclusion of all others. Our only hope is that we might be converted and thus call upon the name of the Lord in full sincerity of heart.

Have your lips been purified and your nature transformed so you can worship and serve God only? Do you find your only place of comfort and rest in Christ? Is He your only refuge?

These are the marks of the people that God will bless with life forever more. Our past will not matter. Our failures will not hold us back. Glory awaits.

Let’s keep believing until we see Jesus face to face. Amen.

[1]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

I want to buy him

Leave a Comment