First Assembly of God

Notes from Pastor Jerry Aug 2017

I would like to take you, if I could, to a graphic portrayal of the Word of God in a great cathedral in Milan. Come in out of the glare of the Italian sunshine, pass through the cathedral doors, and suddenly see stretching out before you, Europe’s third largest cathedral where fifty-two marbled columns hold up the lofty, octagonal dome, with over 4,400 turrets and pinnacles. Statues of angels rise all about us, and the effect is one of an incomparable combination of grace and grandeur, beauty and vastness.

Up front behind the altar, like a window opening out of heaven, is one of the largest stained glass windows in the world. Depicted here is not an Old Testament scene. That stained glass window does not depict the resurrection of Jesus Christ the Lord, not his crucifixion or ascension. With tremendous imagery the window depicts the triumph of Jesus Christ the Lord.

The afternoon sun strains in, turning the window into a sea of glass mingled with fire. You see the vials being out-poured, the trumpets, Michael and his angels in battle against the dragon, the great angel with the rainbow upon his head and one foot upon the earth and the other upon the heaven, declaring in the name of him who lives forever and ever that time shall be no longer. Bound with a chain, Satan is thrown into the bottomless pit at last. The great white throne glows in the sunlight.

Most impressive of all is the great, white horse. Upon the horse sits a still greater rider with the armies of heaven behind him. He comes to set everything straight at last for everyone of us who has hoped in him, and for everyone who has been subjected to the pain and prejudice of living for Jesus Christ in a world seemingly gone mad. — R. Geoffrey Brown, “Look! A Great White Horse!,” Preaching Today

Jesus said in Matt. 26:64;

It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.

Since the dawning of time God has scheduled in big events to change humanity and the universe. He began with the creation in which He, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit were all involved. This was obviously a great event. However, due to the wickedness of humanity, the next event scheduled was the complete destruction of the earth by water. Instead of starting over with humanity though, he reserved Himself a remnant in Noah and his family. God restores the earth and replenishes it with his most excellent creation: mankind. But once again, mankind falls to depravity and needs another judgment. But this time, God doesn’t destroy the earth, (He never contradicts His promise) but in His kindness and mercy, sends His Son to earth in a suit of flesh to become like one of His creation. Remember that wickedness brings punishment, so the sins of mankind must be judged. Instead of destroying humanity and the earth this time, God puts the punishment on His Son and judges Him. He actually poured out His wrath on the innocent instead of the guilty; Jesus being the innocent and we being the guilty. The darkest day known to humanity was the day that the Son of God died on a cross. However, just as God renewed the planet after the flood, he raised up His Son through the glorious resurrection. A new day had come! Hope was reborn!

A few days later many of Jesus’ followers watched as their resurrected Lord ascended in the sky, with the command to go and make disciples in all the world. The accompanying angels told them that He would return just as He left, in the clouds (Acts 1:11). But He promised He would give His Church the power to be bold witnesses for Him in all the world, so He sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and has been pouring out ever since.

It’s been nearly 2000 years since Jesus went away, Mankind has once again become depraved and wicked. His promise to return and take His church home is the next big scheduled event. According to the signs, we are at the threshold. After He avenges all His believers, tormentors and enemies, He will straddle that white horse and begin the greatest scene this world has ever seen. No Hollywood film could ever produce such a climax for an ending! This is our hope! This is the event we should be looking for! God will have the last word! And He’s coming for us who believe!