The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like a Wage: Rejoice in the Equality

Dec 16, 2001
Pastor Wayne C Eichstadt
Topic(s): Life Everlasting
Hymns: 66; 448; 616; 784
Pre-Service Prayer:

To Thee my heart I offer, O Christ-child sweet and dear,
Upon Thy love relying; Oh, be Thou ever near!
Take Thou my heart and give me Thine and let it be forever mine,
O Jesus, holy, undefiled, My Savior meek and mild.

Let me be Thine forever, O Christ-child sweet and dear,
Uphold me with Thy mercy, and be Thou ever near.
From Thee I gladly all receive, and what is mine to Thee I give,
My heart, my soul, and all I own. Let these be Thine alone! Amen.

[TLH 89, st. 1,5]

Pre-Service Devotion: 

Psalm 103

Using pictures of earthly change, the coming Messiah describes the spiritual changes He would effect. He would come to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty, to bring comfort and to give beauty. Jesus fulfilled this prophesy when He came preaching and teaching and thereby changing the rebellious hearts of hearts of sinners into "plantings of the Lord."

It is not possible for us to fully grasp the true misery of hell nor the full wonders of heaven. Through the vision which God gave to John we catch a glimpse of both. Hell (compared to a lake of fire) will be a place of unbelievable torment because those who are there will have been completely and forever separated from God. On the other hand heaven is compared to a beautiful city, bejeweled, gleaming in its magnificence. In heaven, sin’s curse will be gone, the sorrows of earth wiped away, and we live with God face-to-face forever!

Second Reading: 

Matthew 25:31-46

On the Last Day, Jesus, the Judge, will separate all people and give an accounting of their lives on earth. The earthly works of those who believe in Jesus will be viewed favorably because they have been cleansed in the blood of Christ. The works (or lack thereof) of those who reject Jesus will be condemned because they refused the forgiveness and salvation which Jesus freely offered.