You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. Heb. 12:22-23

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but eve-ryone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3)

The end times...we are now in Hebrews 1...The Lord Jesus Christ’s return is drawing near. When this day will be we do NOT know, but we do know that today we are closer to His return than yesterday. We confess in the Apostles’ Creed:

Jesus ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

Many are full of fear when it comes to the Last Day, all sorts of fearful movies made about the Day of Armageddon. The Christian hears the Word of the Lord, hears the call to repentance with full joy that your sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake. Rejoicing in life eternal in Christ Jesus.

The church year is drawing to a close and Advent is almost here. In advent we will prepare ourselves for our Lord's coming in the flesh. He comes to you now in His Body and Blood. There, at His altar, you eat and drink of these precious gifts given and shed for you, for the forgiveness of your sins.

The Lord executes His judgment upon you in His coming. The Lord's judgment is that you are forgiven! This is the judgment proclaimed from the Cross on Good Friday when Jesus says "It is finished." This is the judgment proclaimed as your sins were drowned in the waters of Holy Baptism and you were clothed in Jesus Christ, making you a Christian. This is the judgment proclaimed as you take and eat of His Body and Blood under the lowly means of bread and wine for the forgiveness of your sins. This is the judgment the Lord proclaims in sending us a Savior in Advent to be delivered to us on Christmas. This is the judgment the Lord proclaims in coming again to take us to heavenly glory.

The Lord is coming, and when He comes in His fullness is unknown to us. We will rejoice as the Lord proclaims the same judgment already declared to you: you are forgiven!

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

My God desires the soul's salvation;
My soul He too, desires to save. Therefore with Christian resignation
All earthly troubles I will brave.
His will be done eternally:
What pleases God, that pleases me.
(LSB 719.3)

Pastor Berndt