JR. Forasteros - December 2, 2012

The Christmas King

It\'s the End of the World As We Know It

Revelation 4 teaches us how to resolve the identity crisis at the heart of much of our Christmas celebrations.

From Series: "It's the End of the World As We Know It"

These days, we're obsessed with the End of the World. We should remember that when Jesus came the first time, it really was the End of the World, at least as we knew it. And the beginning of something much, much better. This Advent, we prepare ourselves to welcome Jesus' coming into the world by exploring the book of Revelation!

Sermon Manuscript     Advent Devotional

More From "It's the End of the World As We Know It"

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Over the last 100 years, our cultural attitude towards the End of the World has taken a fascinating shift. At the end of the 1800s and up until about 1915 or so, most Americans thought Jesus was coming back any day. The number of rapture predictions and End Times scenarios was staggering. And even those who weren’t Christians were predicting that the 20th century would be the new golden age of humanity.

Of course the 1900s didn’t go that way – instead it was a century of endless war, crushing world-wide depression and devastating new technologies like nuclear, chemical and bio-weaponry.

Today, we don’t look forward to the Second Coming. In fact, if you look around at our popular culture, it’s safe to say we’re downright terrified at the idea of the End of the World. How many people do you know who are a little bit worried that those Mayans might be right about December 21? End of the World movies have always been popular, but in the last few years, we’ve seen a higher percentage of them than ever. Two of the most popular shows on TV right now are The Walking Dead and Revolution, both of which ask, What would happen if we lost everything?

That’s really the question the End of the World makes us ask: What if we lost everything? What if it all just went away? Or worse, what if it was all taken away?

Those are scary questions to ask, especially around this time of year. Because for many in our culture, Christmas can end up being all about stuff. More stuff. New stuff. Buying the right stuff. Maybe you can’t relate to this, but Christmas can bring out the worst in me.

that’s the thing about Christmas. For all its, there’s that real ugliness, too. Anyone else notice how quickly and seamlessly the beautiful act of giving a gift someone else would like can transform into an ugly quest to be the perfect present giver? For everyone who truly loves spending time with their families, how many of us experience pain, tension and loss at this time of year, too? And if your schedule is anything like mine, you’re busier this time of year than any other. Between endless Christmas parties and traveling to celebrate with friends and family and rushing around to find all those perfect presents, a quite night at home may just have to wait until January.

Maybe it’s good that New Years Resolution time is so close to Christmas! We can nearly kill ourselves at the end of this year with stress and business and spending, then turn around and promise to be better next year.

Of course, Jesus offers us a better way than that. In fact, Jesus never wanted our Christmas celebrations to become something that’s all about me and my identity.

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