Sermon Transcript – How to Stop Worrying and Love the End of the World

1 Year Lectionary – Second Sunday in Advent – Sunday, December 5, 2021 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:28holy gospel according to saint luke the
0:3121st chapter Jesus said there will be
0:35signs in the sun
0:36and the moon and the stars on the earth
0:39distress of nations in perplexity
0:42because of the roaring of the sea and
0:44the waves people fainting with fear and
0:46with foreboding of what is coming on the
0:49world for the powers of the heavens will
0:51be shaken and then they will see the son
0:54of man coming in a cloud with power and
0:56great glory now when these things begin
0:59to take place straighten up raise your
1:02heads because your redemption is drawing
1:04near and he told them a parable look at
1:06the fig tree and all the trees as soon
1:09as they come out and leaf you see for
1:11yourselves and know that summer is
1:13already near so also when you see these
1:16things taking place you know that the
1:17kingdom of god is near truly i say to
1:20you this generation will not pass away
1:22until all has taken place heaven and
1:24earth will pass away but my words will
1:27not pass away but watch yourselves lest
1:30your hearts be weighed down with
1:31dissipation and drunkenness and the
1:33cares of this life and that day and that
1:36day come upon you suddenly like a trap
1:39for it will come upon all who dwell on
1:41the face of the whole earth but stay
1:43awake at all times praying that you may
1:45have strength to escape all these things
1:48that are going to take place and to
1:50stand before the son of man
1:52this is the gospel of the lord in the
1:55name of Jesus
1:58all right so from time to time i i don’t
2:00know if you notice this about me i i get
2:02criticism it just it’s part of the the
2:04gig it’s part of the job but one of the
2:06things i find interesting is that every
2:08now and then i get a complaint about my
2:11sermons and here’s the complaint
2:13your sermons aren’t practical i mean
2:15it’s so apparently people want me to
2:17give them like you know three easy
2:19things that they can do to make their
2:20lives better as if somehow that’s part
2:22of how the sermon works now i’m not
2:24really good at the practical stuff
2:26clearly otherwise the criticism wouldn’t
2:28come in so what i’m going to do today is
2:30i’m going to intentionally be
2:32practical because you know
2:35you’ll note that our sermon text our
2:37gospel text brought us back to the end
2:40of the world again
2:41but here’s the thing where there’s
2:43overlap between the end of the church
2:45year and advent the focus is different
2:49it’s a little it’s just a smidge
2:50different if you if you know what i mean
2:52and so today’s sermon i think i’m going
2:54to name it something like
2:56how to enjoy the second advent of Christ
2:59or how to enjoy the end of the world you
3:00know something like that doesn’t that
3:02sound practical because you know at the
3:04end of the sermon you’re going to say oh
3:05well that’s how i’m going to do it now
3:07let me first start off by saying how you
3:09don’t do it i think it’s important to
3:11kind of get that off the table
3:12here’s how you don’t do it you all right
3:15so when i was in a legalistic church a
3:18church that really emphasized you don’t
3:20listen to secular music you don’t
3:23you don’t
3:24you don’t drink
3:25you don’t smoke you don’t chew you don’t
3:27do any of that stuff usually when they
3:29would talk about the end of the world it
3:30was always in terms of the rapture you
3:32know well Jesus is coming back secretly
3:34and you don’t want to be left behind and
3:36the surefire way of being left behind is
3:39if Jesus returns and he can smell
3:41alcohol on your breath as if somehow
3:43drinking alcohol in and of itself is a
3:46sin and that would cause you to be left
3:48behind and and then of course you know
3:50uh any
3:51tobacco that that’s out of the question
3:53too you know no cigarettes no cigars no
3:56you know and
3:57granted those are unhealthy things but
4:00according to them you know if you were
4:02caught smoking while Jesus came back
4:04secretly you’d be left behind and of
4:07course dancing too you see any rhythmic
4:10gyration of the human body that that
4:13could lead to fornicabutilating so
4:14that’s out too and if Jesus sees you
4:16dancing when he comes back well it’s
4:19your it’s you’re doomed so
4:23hang on a second here something just
4:25happened there we go all right so that
4:27being the case um i’m gonna note that
4:30that is not exactly the right way to
4:33prepare for or to enjoy
4:36the second advent of Christ in fact um
4:40this is actually not a secret it’s kind
4:41of a well-known fact
4:43i’m a huge fan of british comedy now
4:46being an american there’s only so far
4:48that i can go with this because british
4:50comedy is like not my natural comedic
4:53language so uh you know it’s like a
4:55second language you know so i i think of
4:57my good friend kevin bullock in swansea
5:00in the uk he can speak uh british comedy
5:03like fluently and always and again when
5:05we’re talking and he says something
5:07really silly i i lose it
5:11he’s just brilliant at it but one of my
5:13favorite authors when i was growing up
5:15is was douglas adams and he wrote a book
5:16called the hitchhiker’s guide to the
5:18galaxy and i would note that if we’re
5:20talking about practical advice on how to
5:23enjoy the second advent of Christ and
5:26the end of the world
5:27i think douglas adams gives a little bit
5:30better advice than the people that i
5:32used to go to church would give let me
5:34explain in one quote from the from the
5:37hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy in
5:38describing this particular book which is
5:41a book in the book uh it says this in
5:44many of the more relaxed civilizations
5:47on the outer eastern rim of the galaxy
5:50the hitchhiker’s guide has already
5:52supplanted the great encyclopedia
5:55galactica as the standard repository of
5:58all knowledge and wisdom and though it
6:00has many omissions and contains much
6:03that is apocryphal or at least
6:05wildly inaccurate it scores over the
6:08older more pedestrian work in two
6:10important respects first it’s slightly
6:14cheaper and secondly it has the words
6:18panic inscribed in large friendly
6:23on its cover
6:24now i would say that if you want to
6:26enjoy and survive the second advent of
6:30douglas adams’s words here don’t panic
6:33written in large friendly letters i’m
6:35not sure what friendly letters look like
6:37but i’ll just go with it
6:40the idea of don’t panic that’s at least
6:42better advice
6:44more practical if you would
6:46than what i received when i was a kid
6:49but that being the case that’s not
6:51exactly what the scriptures say either
6:54let me explain the last verse of our
6:57epistle text is super helpful here
7:01paul says he writes to us may the god of
7:05fill you with all joy and peace in
7:10so that by the power of the holy spirit
7:14you may abound
7:16in hope
7:19good words
7:21something to do with the power of the
7:23holy spirit now i’ve said it before and
7:25i’ll kind of put it out here on the
7:26record so that everybody can see me
7:28saying it and say yeah i remember when
7:30he said that i i think lutherans need to
7:33take certain words back from other
7:35denominations so i think we need to take
7:37back the word catholic from the
7:38catholics because they’ve misused it we
7:40need to take back the word orthodoxy
7:42from the orthodox they’ve misused it we
7:44need to take the word evangelical back
7:46from the evangelicals they’ve misused
7:48that word and i also think we should
7:51take back the word baptist from the
7:53baptist because they don’t believe that
7:54god does anything in baptism so we
7:56should take that word away from him and
7:58apply it to ourselves but i also think
7:59we should take the word pentecostal away
8:02from pentecostals because they’re
8:03misusing the word for all their talk of
8:06holy spirit okay and they’ve dropped the
8:08the for whatever reason i’m not sure why
8:10they’ve done that but for all their talk
8:12of holy spirit they seem to think that
8:14the only practical thing that the holy
8:16spirit can do is cause you to gyrate
8:18uncontrollably on the floor
8:20uh quack like a duck bark like a dog and
8:23then speak in gibberish
8:25okay i don’t know any biblical passages
8:28that talk about the work of the holy
8:29spirit in those terms
8:31so i think that they’ve abused the term
8:33pentecostal we’ve need to take it back
8:34from them that being the case
8:36note here
8:38that what scripture teaches us is a very
8:41rich and vibrant understanding of the
8:44work of the holy spirit in our lives and
8:47you’re going to see this ties cut
8:48directly in to the words of Christ in
8:51our gospel text paul says by the power
8:54of the holy spirit you may abound in
8:58hope and here’s where we’re going to
9:01jump into our old testament text to kind
9:04of lay a little bit of a basis here have
9:06you noticed that the end of the world
9:08that there are two very different
9:11experiences that human beings can go
9:13through and there is no middle ground
9:16there’s not there’s not gonna be some
9:18fellow going you know i kind of sort of
9:20liked the end of the world it was you
9:21know it was okay you know as if somehow
9:24you can have a tepid you know kind of
9:25mediocre middle ground approach to the
9:28end of the world that’s not how this
9:29works all right there is either
9:32abject terror
9:34or there is complete joy
9:36and those are really your only two
9:38options and what’s the dividing line
9:41faith in Jesus Christ and so here’s the
9:44thing i’m going to assume that since
9:46you’re joining us online today you know
9:49and you probably have better things to
9:51do on a sunday then listen to me ramble
9:54on that the reason you’re here is
9:56because you actually believe in Jesus
9:59i’m gonna go with that all right i
10:01believe that you’re here because you
10:02believe in Jesus and since you believe
10:04in Jesus
10:06you know what you you heard today that
10:08your sins were forgiven absolutely
10:10pardoned and absolved and in fact that’s
10:13kind of the best thing about being a
10:15Christian we here in uh in our old
10:18testament text frightening words
10:20and let me start there uh behold the day
10:23is coming burning like an oven
10:26when all the arrogant all the evil doers
10:28will be stubble at the day that is
10:30coming shall set them ablaze says the
10:33lord of hosts so that it will leave them
10:35neither root nor branch and oftentimes
10:38preaching about the end of the world
10:39only focuses on that bit okay now it’s
10:42absolutely true that the evil doers and
10:46the arrogant
10:47will be set ablaze on the day of
10:49judgment that’s most certainly true we
10:52learn in the gospel of matthew they end
10:54up in the lake of fire
10:56but that being the case you’re going to
10:58note something here all of us according
11:02to god’s law
11:03we fit into that category of the
11:06arrogant and the evildoers and arrogance
11:08here is this somehow
11:10bizarre thing that we human beings do
11:12like we think we know better than god
11:15all right yeah i know i know the bible
11:17says that god created the heavens and
11:19the earth in six days but we know better
11:22than that and i think mr darwin has a
11:24better idea of how we came to be than
11:27god does uh-huh and then you have people
11:29sit there and go yeah i know that the
11:31bible says that that’s a sin but you
11:34know we really need to not worry about
11:36god getting angry about something so
11:38trivial so you know things like this
11:40right that that’s utter arrogance and
11:42and then of course then there’s real
11:43arrogance the guy who just tells
11:45everybody how wonderful he is you know
11:47and all that kind of stuff
11:49so here’s the thing when i examine god’s
11:52and i look at these categories evildoers
11:54and arrogant is like
11:56you know there’s something really
11:57uncomfortable about this and that is i
11:59fit into those groups
12:01and if you’re honest
12:03so do you
12:04but and see here’s the butt bit because
12:07there’s a butt right here in verse two
12:08too the butt bit is is that listen
12:12knowing your arrogance and your evil
12:14doing he has taken upon himself your sin
12:18he was
12:20smitten beaten afflicted
12:22crucified died buried all
12:26because of your sin and mine
12:28he took the punishment that we deserve
12:31upon himself so that we can be pardoned
12:34so then rather than living our life in
12:39all right we can instead live our lives
12:41in hope hope and expectation of mercy
12:45pardon reconciliation peace a new world
12:49an inheritance in the in in the world to
12:51come and life eternal all given as a
12:53gift because of god’s great mercy and
12:56his love for us
12:58that being the case we could say that we
13:01were part of that group known as the
13:03evildoers and the arrogant but god in
13:05his mercy has bled and died for all of
13:07that so we’re part of a different group
13:10in other words
13:12here’s the other half of this part two
13:14of the day of judgment begins in verse
13:16two of our old testament text but
13:20for you who fear my name
13:23talking about the day of judgment the
13:25son of righteousness shall rise with
13:28healing in its wings you shall go out
13:30leaping like calves from the stall you
13:33shall tread down the wicked for they
13:35will be ashes under the soles of your
13:37feet on the day when i act says the lord
13:39of hosts
13:40and by the way i you know i equipped a
13:43few years ago i apparently it’s a thing
13:45that cavs skip and so one of the one of
13:48the gals that attends our alethia
13:50services she lives in somerset in the
13:52united kingdom and she is
13:54she lives on a farm and they have cows
13:58and during the winter because you know
14:00things are so wet and cold and miserable
14:02there in the uk
14:03during the winter the cows have to be
14:05indoors they put them in a big
14:07big facility with stalls and stuff like
14:09that and they keep them there for half a
14:11year but what she ended up doing was she
14:14recorded the day that they the weather
14:16had become nice enough and the ground
14:18had become
14:20not muddy anymore so that they could let
14:22the cows out in the pasture and oh my
14:25word she took video of it and put it on
14:27her social media and wouldn’t you know
14:29it cows skip they get they they looked
14:33absolutely happy i did not know that how
14:36cows can be happy like this and so this
14:38this picture here is the picture of who
14:43see when the day of judgment comes we’re
14:45going to be skipping like calves we’re
14:47going to be having a good old time
14:49everybody else has been going to be
14:53it’s the end of the world and we’re
14:55going to be going yeah
14:57it’s the end of the world okay and there
15:00is no middle ground and that’s kind of
15:02the point that Jesus is making in our
15:04gospel text listen to what Jesus says
15:06there will be signs in the sun the moon
15:10the stars and the earth distress of
15:13nations in perplexity because of the
15:16roaring of the sea
15:17and the waves people fainting with fear
15:20and with foreboding of what is coming on
15:22the world the powers of the heavens will
15:26shaken and they will see the son of man
15:29coming in a cloud with power and great
15:32all right that’s the first half of this
15:34now a little bit of a note i don’t know
15:36if you guys have noticed i keep pointing
15:38this out as maybe maybe you have noticed
15:40but it seems like the world’s lost its
15:42mind right and what’s there’s there’s a
15:44word now that you’re not you can’t say
15:46this word by the way but i’m going to
15:47say it
15:48this is the word that has everybody
15:50terrified boots are shaking because of
15:52this word and here’s the word are you
16:00i know
16:02oh you can’t say that word omicron
16:06the whole world is freaking out right
16:08now because of omicron and you know what
16:10i you know what i can promise you
16:12this omicron stuff this is still the
16:15warm-up show the the main act hasn’t
16:17started yet okay and if the world’s
16:19going crazy losing their minds over
16:21omicron right and of course we’re all
16:23sitting there going are we gonna have to
16:25do this whole thing all over again and
16:27some politicians
16:29and some politicians are saying oh yeah
16:31absolutely we’re gonna have to do this
16:33all over again
16:34hang on one second i hear a buzzing
16:36noise you hear that hang on
16:41there we go i’m gonna mute that okay
16:44so the word you’re not supposed to be
16:45able to say is omicron and uh and well
16:50you know i just got to tell you this
16:52it’s going to get worse it’s going to
16:53get worse than this this is nothing all
16:56right so because it’s going to get worse
16:58what are we supposed to do how are we
17:00supposed to survive in the midst of all
17:02of this
17:03well Jesus says this
17:05Jesus says this
17:07when these things begin to take place
17:11straighten up
17:13raise your heads
17:15because your redemption is drawing near
17:18so if the whole world loses its mind
17:20everything goes crazy the sun the moon
17:22are darkened the earth is in complete
17:24distress everyone’s running around
17:26losing their minds Jesus says don’t
17:28worry about it lift up your head
17:31your redemption
17:32is drawing near
17:35now that being the case how does one
17:39such a laissez-faire attitude regarding
17:43so much turmoil distress death and
17:45destruction and things like that right
17:48well Jesus says these words
17:51watch yourselves lest your hearts be
17:53weighed down with dissipation and
17:55drunkenness and the cares of this life
17:57that that day come upon you suddenly now
18:00dissipation is not a word we use a lot
18:03all right so let me explain what
18:04dissipation is are you ready
18:09uh beer pong okay it’s uh it’s it’s
18:11drinking games that’s that’s what
18:13dissipation is for the purpose of so i
18:15guess it’s like quarters and beer pong
18:16and things like this that’s what
18:18dissipation is so we learn from Christ
18:20that what is going to happen
18:22is that as the world slips farther and
18:25farther into destruction in the day of
18:28the lord gets closer and closer
18:30everybody freaking out l hearts melting
18:33within them a whole lot of people are
18:35going to basically say well let’s play
18:37beer pong and they’re going to spend the
18:40end of days
18:42in a drunken stupor
18:46you know Christ says
18:48that when you see these things take
18:50straighten off
18:51raise your heads your redemption draws
18:55here’s what Christ says to us and then
18:57we’ll connect this back with what paul
19:00stay awake stay awake
19:02at all times praying that you may have
19:06strength to escape these things that are
19:09going to take place
19:10and to stand before the son of man
19:16you see here’s here’s the thing if you
19:18look inside yourself okay it’s true that
19:20you are a new creation in Christ but
19:22it’s also true you have a sinful nature
19:25and have you guys noticed that those two
19:26seem to be at war with each other so
19:28that you’re constantly butting heads and
19:30at times it feels like your sinful
19:31nature gets the upper hand and then you
19:33get the upper hand and then sometimes
19:35you just wrestle that thing to a
19:36stalemate right well
19:38he here’s here’s the thing you don’t
19:41have the strength
19:43necessary to persevere in hope you don’t
19:46have the strength within you
19:48to be able to have such a joyous and
19:52happy attitude towards the death and
19:55destruction and the mayhem and all the
19:57things that are going to befall the
19:58earth as we approach the last days you
20:00don’t have that strength
20:02neither do i so what does Christ say
20:07that you may have strength
20:10and do you think Jesus is going to sit
20:11there and go well
20:13yeah i know that you’re praying for
20:14strength but i’m not going to give it to
20:17no it doesn’t work that way see the
20:18reason why Jesus told us these things
20:21is because if we listen to what he says
20:23and we believe his words
20:25we can sit there and go ah
20:28oh that’s how so to be practical coming
20:32back to what paul said what did paul say
20:34at the end of our epistle text he says
20:37that by the power of the holy spirit
20:41you may abound
20:42in hope you see when all of these signs
20:44and the craziness really sinks in and
20:46you know and the death of the planet in
20:49the universe is imminent right
20:51we continue to have hope
20:54and strength to have that hope comes
20:56from god the holy spirit so pray as
20:59Jesus has said pray
21:01pray that you give that he give you the
21:03strength and so you’ll note then rather
21:05than us going well it’s the end of the
21:07world we might as well play beerpong no
21:09we do something different listen to what
21:11paul tells us to do in in the and the
21:13idea of this hope even in the face of
21:16the end of the world for what was
21:18written in former days was written for
21:19our instruction paul says so that
21:21through endurance
21:23endurance and that comes from the
21:25strength of the holy spirit and through
21:27the encouragement of the scriptures
21:30might have
21:33and see that’s the thing
21:35being forgiven you have hope
21:38you’re not like the unbelieving world
21:40who has to have that stupid slogan yolo
21:42you only live once bellogna okay you
21:46only live forever okay we who are in
21:48Christ all right eternity has already
21:50begun for us
21:52we have already begun eternal life and
21:54the current chapter that we’re in is
21:57gonna come to an end with the end of
21:58this world
22:00or with our own demise
22:01and we have hope of a new heavens a new
22:05earth the wedding feast of the lamb man
22:07i’m telling you we’re gonna be skipping
22:09like calves i can’t wait to be skinny
22:10enough to do that again all right it’s
22:12going to be fantastic so may the god of
22:15endurance and encouragement grant you to
22:18live then in such harmony with one
22:21another in accord with Christ Jesus that
22:24together you may with one voice glorify
22:28god the father of our lord Jesus Christ
22:30therefore welcome one another as Christ
22:33has welcomed you so what do we do as
22:35Christians as the day draws nearer and
22:37nearer and the destruction becomes more
22:41we love each other
22:43hang out together
22:45hear the word together have the lord
22:47supper together
22:49we pray together we love each other we
22:52hug each other we mourn and weep with
22:54each other we encourage each other with
22:56the scriptures in the face of all of
22:58this and we rejoice together
23:02we lift up our heads together we
23:05straighten up together and encourage
23:08each other saying it’s just around the
23:10corner it’s almost here and so then paul
23:14reminds us of the faithfulness of god i
23:17tell you
23:19Christ became a servant to the
23:20circumcised in order to show god’s
23:23truthfulness in order to confirm the
23:26promises that he gave to the patriarchs
23:29and in order that the gentiles might
23:30glorify god for his mercy
23:33in fact that’s what we all do and so you
23:35know Christ fulfilled all of those
23:37prophecies of scripture and that’s to
23:39show god’s truthfulness and so because
23:41god has shown himself to be faithful and
23:43truthful always keeping his promises do
23:46you think for a second that if you ask
23:48Jesus for the strength
23:51to persist in hope and to be encouraged
23:53even in the face of a world gone mad as
23:56it begins its writhing and languishing
23:59and birth pains giving ready to the end
24:01of the earth do you think that if you
24:02pray for that strength and that
24:04encouragement that power then hope that
24:06Jesus is gonna go nope
24:08no soup for you
24:10no he’s not like that at all no he’s
24:12gonna do exactly what he said he would
24:14do so pray
24:15pray as paul says so may the god of hope
24:18then fill you with joy
24:21and peace in believing
24:23so that by the power of the holy spirit
24:26and god’s holy spirit will give you that
24:27power you may abound in hope even as the
24:31world goes crazy and all of these signs
24:34begin to take place we will continue to
24:36have hope lift up our heads and rejoice
24:39because our redemption is drawing near
24:42in the name of Jesus amen
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