Central Christian Church Lampasas
TBA: NEW CROWNS FOR THE KING
We live in a restless world filled with violence, hate, war and other troubles. The future can seem uncertain. The Bible offers a future hope for Believers. Pastor Nathan examines what the Bible reveals about future things — Heaven, The Second Coming, End Times. Sundays at 10:30 AM starting Sunday January 1st.
Locations & Times
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  • Central Christian Church
    204 S Broad St, Lampasas, TX 76550, USA
    星期日 10:30 上午
Sunday, Jan 15th
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Mission Item of the Month: Hygiene items such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc. needed
OCC Item of the Month: Caps, Gloves and Scarves

Jan 15 -- Cottage Prayer Meeting 5 PM @ The Herrods.
Jan 18 -- CWF 11:30 AM @ My Girls
Women’s Wednesday 6 PM
Jan 21 -- Men’s Breakfast 8 AM
Jan 22 -- Young Life Training 12 PM
Jan 28 -- OCC Crafts 4-6 PM
Jan 29 -- VBS Planning Meeting 4 PM

Feb 3-4 -- IF: Lampasas @ New Covenant
Feb 5 1st Sunday Collection for the Lampasas Mission
Feb 11 Valentine's Breakfast 8 AM
Christians have written about unusual events and the end times for two thousand years. Even in our day we observe some rather strange behavior.
Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 220 AD) held that the Roman Empire was the restraining force written about by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8. The fall of the Western Roman Empire and the disintegration of the ten provinces of the Roman Empire into ten kingdoms were to make way for the Antichrist.
Circa 380, an apocalyptic pseudo-prophecy predicts:

When the Roman empire shall have ceased, then the Antichrist will be openly revealed and will sit in the House of the Lord in Jerusalem.
Many Protestant reformers, including Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas Cranmer, John Thomas, John Knox, and Cotton Mather, identified the Roman Papacy as the Antichrist. They held that the Antichrist power would be revealed so that everyone would comprehend and recognize that the Pope is the real, true Antichrist and not the vicar of Christ.

After Patriarch Nikon of Moscow reformed the Russian Orthodox Church during the second half of the 17th century, many Believers held that Peter the Great, the Tsar of the Russian Empire until his death in 1725, was the Antichrist because of his treatment of the Orthodox Church, namely subordinating the church to the state, requiring clergymen to conform to the standards of all Russian civilians (shaved beards, being fluent in French), and requiring them to pay state taxes.

There are two dangerous approaches that we can take to studying the book of Revelation. The first extreme is to ignore the book. Too many Christians rarely address the Holy Spirit, the holiness of God, God’s judgment on wickedness, the problem of evil, or prophecy because those topics are either too difficult or controversial. There are thousands of prophesies in Scripture and prophecy is featured prominently in Daniel, Ezekiel, Mark 13, and Revelation.
The other extreme is to obsess on prophecy and the book of Revelation. We do not need to read sacred Scripture in one hand and a newspaper in another hand. Every time people have predicted the coming of Christ from the first century A.D. until now they have been wrong. Every time that someone has guessed who is the Antichrist, the supposed Antichrist has come and gone buried in the annals of history.

However, as believers we can rejoice that Jesus Christ will conquer death, hell, Satan, the grave, and the sin. We can look forward in confidence to the future.

So this New Year that lay before us, will you still hang onto the old? When you do, repent. Let go. Remember your baptism and who you really are, and come and receive the forgiveness and new life you need in the Body and Blood of the Lord. And when you don’t, rejoice! Rejoice in the Lord and His new life you are living. Rejoice in His Spirit and kingdom. And rejoice that the Lord has made you a wise man too.

We looked back at the magi last week, and we can also look forward to when we caste our crowns before our King.

Fall—immediately. Greek, "shall fall down": implying that this act of praise shall be repeated onward to eternity. So also, "shall worship … shall cast their crowns," namely, in acknowledgment that all the merit of their crowns (not kingly diadems, but the crowns of conquerors) is due to Him.
Some of these rewards are crowns.
Jesus promised various rewards for those who faithfully serve Him on earth.
Whether these are actual crowns or symbolic ones, it is an unbelievable privilege to be honored by the king. Our rewards from God should not be our primary focus. We live for God because God first loved us. We serve the Kingdom because of the grace, love, and mercy of Christ. We have a relationship with God that is far more important than any rewards. However, God loves us and rewards us for obedient service.

God will give rewards in heaven at the bema, or the judgment seat of Christ, based on our faithfulness in service to Him (2 Corinthians 5:10). The rewards will show the reality of our sonship (Galatians 4:7) and the justice of God (Hebrews 6:10). God will give rewards in heaven in order to fulfill the law of sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:7–9) and make good on His promise that our labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

In His Parable of the Talents, Jesus taught that we must use our gifts wisely. A talent was a very large sum of money, about 80 pounds (36 kg) of silver. Before leaving on a journey, a wealthy man entrusted his fortune to his servants for the time he would be away. Two of the servants used the money wisely to earn income for their master. However, the third servant did not put the money to good use, and the master was very displeased.

The master represents God in this parable, and the servants represent us. The English word talent, meaning our natural abilities, is derived from this parable. That is fitting because the lesson of the parable is that we must use our talents and abilities, as well as our wealth, in God's service. If we do not use our gifts wisely, God will consider us to be wicked and lazy like the third man in the parable. The good news is that God will reward those who faithfully serve Him.

These may be the crowns that John saw the elders lay at the feet of Jesus. In their words of worship, they indicate that, despite what they may have done on earth to earn these crowns, only Jesus is truly worthy of glory and honor. In the presence of the Lord Jesus Himself, all good deeds we have done will pale in comparison. A crown will seem but an insignificant gift to present to the One who gave His life for us (Galatians 2:20).

The elders’ response is most likely the way we will all respond when we receive our reward from Jesus. We will be so overcome with gratitude because of what He has done for us that worship will be spontaneous. Regardless of what we endured on earth, a priceless crown will seem a paltry offering, but it will be the best gift we can give Him. Although the Scriptures do not state it specifically, it is likely that we will all follow the example of the twenty-four elders in casting our crowns at Jesus’ feet.
The whole church also paid an homage of reverence and adoration to the same God; acknowledging all the good done to them, or wrought in them, to proceed from God, and the glory of it to be due unto God alone. The essence of the Christian life is in obeying and worshiping God and helping others. God has given each of us important gifts for those purposes. Like the three men in Jesus' Parable of the Talents, our gifts may be great or small. But no matter how great or small our talents, abilities and wealth, we are required to put them to good use.

In our upcoming leadership training, we will discuss spiritual gifts and how we can use them for the glory of God. Here are just a few of many ways to use the gifts God has given us:
· Become a minister, deacon, elder, or Sunday School teacher.
· Volunteer at a social service agency, school or hospital. They always need help.
· Volunteer at church.
· Pray for the sick and suffering.
· Babysit for a friend or neighbor.
· Invite someone lonely to share a meal.
· Help someone who is sick or elderly. Visit, run errands, give a ride to appointments or help with chores.
· Give hugs and attention to your spouse, siblings, children and parents.
· Don't hold a grudge; forgive everyone who has treated you badly.
· Smile and be patient and kind to the people you encounter every day.
· Find a creative use for your own special talent!