第十二课 (Lesson Twelve)
His-story From Jesus Until Judgment Day
When Jesus had finished earning us a clean record, He made His twelve trainees world-class missionaries. Their mission was to get the Word out. Then He disappeared into heaven to control life on this world and everywhere and support every one of His people on earth until judgment day.
What is God’s view of history?
What did Jesus Say about the future?
- Acts 1:4-11: That our mission in life is to tell as many people as we can about Him and the way He rescued us.
- 使徒行传 1:4—11 我们的使命是告诉尽可能多的人关于耶稣的福音，以及耶稣如何拯救我们。
- Matt. 24:4-14: That there will be a lot of counterfeit messengers and explanations that will mislead a lot of people.
- 马太福音 24:4—14 将会有很多传假福音的人，和曲解圣经而误导很多人的人。
- Matt. 24:4-14: That people would mistreat those who depend on Jesus and make life miserable for them.
- 马太福音24:4-14 人们将会虐待信靠基督的人，使他们生活困苦。
- Matt. 25:31-33:That He will return to decide the future of everyone who’s lived. People who depend on Jesus will be safe. People who reject Him will face eternity in hell.
- 马太福音25:31-33: 基督会再来，决定每一个生活过的人的未来，那些信靠基督的 人将会获得平安。拒绝基督的人将会永远下地狱。
- Mark 13:32-37:That Christians should live each day as if it were their last.
- 马可福音13:32-37: 基督徒应该把每天当做末日一样来生活。
A. Luke 24:45-47 Change thinking and behavior
A. 路加福音24:45-47 改变思维和行动
B. Mark 13:33-37 Get busy with the Lord’s Work
B 马可福音13:33-37 辛勤的为主做工
C. Luke 12:35-38: Be ready for the Boss’ return
C. 路加福音12:35-38: 准备好基督再来
D. Hebrews 10:24-25: Be part of the support group
Acts 1:4-11 – The News about Jesus Spread
Acts 1:8 – The Holy Spirit will come to you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about Me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.
NOTE: Next you can see how Jesus’ predictions came true all through history until now. 注意：接下来你会看到耶稣的预言如何从古到今应验。
But first, a few things to remember about the end of the world.
- Get a good understanding of the Bible’s main sections on this subject before you tackle the more difficult sections.
- The easier Bible sections about the end of the world are in the Gospels and the Letters.
- The harder Bible sections about the end of the world are in the Old Testament prophecy books and Revelation.
- Matthew 25 teaches that Jesus’ physical return will usher in judgment day.
- 马太福音 25章 告诉我们，耶稣肉身的归来将会带来审判日。
- 1 Thessalonians 4 teaches that the rapture or escape of Christians will be at the end of the world and judgment day.
- 帖撒罗尼迦前书 第4章告诉我们，基督徒的被提或解脱将会发生在世界末日和审判日。
- Revelation is full of picture language. What it teaches fits into the timetable the Gospels give and Peter’s and Paul’s New Testament letters use.
- Numbers in Revelation are not usually literal. They picture truths in other places in the Bible.
- The number 666 in Revelation 13:11-18 pictures coming close to leading people to God without emphasizing what Jesus did in our place as humanity’s surrogate.
- 启示录13:11-18 的数字666描述了有机会带领人们归向神，没有强调耶稣作为人们的替罪羊，替人们作了什么。
- The number 1000 in Revelation 20:1-6 pictures the period from Jesus’ time on earth until His physical return on Judgment Day.
- 启示录20:1-6 的数字1000描述了从耶稣降临人世到审判日再来。
- Revelation outlines a series of visions about the ongoing war between Satan’s team and God’s team. There are seven groups of visions. They show each battle and its outcome. This is the same kind of picture language the Old Testament prophecy books use (for example, Ezekiel, Zechariah and Isaiah).
His-story From Right After Jesus
The Holy Spirit not only brings people to Jesus and a new relationship with God. He also helps them live for Jesus. He does even more. He also brings Christians together into a family.
Acts 2:47 Every day the Lord saved people. He added them to the group of believers.
使徒行传 2:47 每天主拯救人们，并且把他们归于信徒大家庭。
Right after Jesus, most Christians were Jews living around Jerusalem. Then the authorities really came down hard on Christians. Believers had to relocate. Rather than hurting Christianity, it actually helped spread its message to new places.
Acts 8:4 Wherever the believers were scattered, they told people the Good News.
使徒行传 8:4 那些分散的人，往各处去传道。
One of Christianity’s earliest enemies was Saul from Tarsus. He was an extreme Pharisee. He saw Christianity as a threat to the “true religion” of the Jews. Jesus personally appears to Saul. Saul has a total change of heart.
Read Acts 9:1-9
Saul starts calling himself Paul, which means “Tiny.” He becomes one of Christianity’s leading spokesmen. God had chosen him to bring the Message to non-Jewish people.
- Non-Jewish Christians
During Paul’s missionary travels, he runs into stiff opposition from Jews in what’s modern-day Turkey. Paul changes his focus to non-Jewish people. They were enthusiastic to get the news about Jesus. Here’s an example of the transition. It happens in Antioch, a city in what’s today’s central Turkey.
Read Acts 13:44-46
Jesus’ outline of His mission strategy was happening just as He said it would:
Acts 1:8 The Holy Spirit will come to you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about Me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.
使徒行传 1:8 但圣灵降临在你们身上，你们就必得着能力。并要在耶路撒冷，犹太全地，和撒玛利亚，直到地极，作我的见证。
His-Story From Jesus Until Today . . . Blood
No less than 10 bloody persecutions in the next 250 years. But the courage, and even joy, these Christians show as they suffer and die for Jesus makes a deep impression on other people. A lot of new people begin depending on Jesus. This is why people used to say, “The blood of the martyrs becomes the seed of the Church.”
His-Story From Jesus Until Today . . . In-house Conflict
Satan had been unsuccessful in destroying God’s work with persecutions from outside God’s family. Next he uses misleading teachers from within the church.
Arius denies that Jesus is 100% God. The Nicea convention rejects this heresy and agrees to the Nicean Creed. Part of it calls Jesus, “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, Begotten, not made, of one being with the Father.”
Pelagius attacks the Bible’s teaching that people are born full of sin. He says that people can convert and save themselves. Athanasius defends the truth. He says that people are totally incapable of good on their own. He says that salvation happens because God gives us the opposite of what we deserve.
His-Story From Jesus Until Today . . . Power
God had outsmarted Satan again. The devil tries still another approach. Some ministers in influential cities wanted more power. People called them “bishops.” Then bishops fought for dominance. Two bishops emerged as the most powerful, the bishop at Rome and the bishop at Constantinople.
When both bishops wanted top honors, the church split. Now there were two church bodies (in 1054 A.D.) – The Greek Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The bishop of Rome calls himself “pope.” He said he is Peter’s successor and Jesus’ representative on earth. He claimed to be the visible head of all believers.
His-Story From Jesus Until Today . . . Darkness
As the power of the popes grew, so did counterfeit teachings. They began to dim the light of what Jesus had done. A deep darkness was beginning to settle over organized Christianity.
Church leaders told people to depend for their salvation not only on God’s grace in Jesus, but also on their own religious performance. Church leaders pictured Jesus to people, not as a loving Savior, but as a stern Judge. In short, it seemed as if the devil had succeeded in ruining Jesus’ family of believers.
His-Story From Jesus Until Today . . . Light
But Jesus is in charge. He promised us, “All the powers of hell will not conquer My Church!” October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the castle church of Wittenberg.
His-Story From Jesus Until Today . . . Luther
Martin Luther kept trying to find peace of mind in the teachings of the Roman Catholic church. Nothing worked. He got desperate enough to join a monastery. He was determined to earn a place in God’s heart and home. He still couldn’t find what he was looking for.
Later, as a priest with a doctorate at the University of Wittenberg, he made an intense study of the Bible. He researched the Bible book of Romans. He found the truth which made him free, and millions through him: “God accepts people as holy by depending on Jesus, without looking at what they’ve done to obey God’s rules for living” (Romans 3:28).
“Then the whole Bible opened up to me and also heaven itself. Immediately, I felt as if I had been born all over again, as if I had found the open gate of paradise.” – Martin Luther
His-Story From Jesus Until Today . . . Reformation
Luther was disturbed about the way people acted after they bought indulgences from a traveling monk named Tetzel. They believed they had purchased forgiveness of sins and didn’t need to change their minds or their way of living. This led Martin Luther to nail his 95 statements against the sale of indulgences to the castle church of Wittenberg in 1517.
Luther stood in front of the emperor, national leaders and church leaders. They didn’t give him an opportunity to defend his teachings. They simply told him to retract all he had said and written. His response: “Unless you use what the Bible says to convince me, I cannot and will not recant. Here I stand. I cannot do anything else. God help me! Amen.”
His-Story From Jesus Until Today . . . Books
Next, the authorities declared Luther a wanted man. Powerful friends hid him in a castle called the Wartburg. Here he began his monumental translation of the Bible into the German language. Luther published his Small Catechism to help parents teach their children. This booklet, that summarizes the Bible’s teachings, has been called “the gem of the Reformation.”
Luther also composed a lot of hymns, among them the great, inspirational, Reformation hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” The Lutheran church becomes known as the “Singing Church.” It still is today.
His-Story From Jesus Until Today . . . Position Papers
Meanwhile, the emperor was doing his best to suppress the spread of what Jesus has done. At a German congressional meeting in 1529 the “Lutherans” (a nickname their enemies gave them) protested their treatment. That’s where the name “Protestants” came from.
In 1530 at another congressional meeting in Augsburg, Lutherans present their position paper. It’s “Evangelical” (true to the Gospel). They call it the Augsburg Confession.
The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) is the third largest Lutheran church body in the United States. It includes 394,241 baptized people and 1,290 church families. Our national church family operates one of the largest parochial school systems in the United States:
• 337 Lutheran elementary school 337个路德教小学
• 398 early childhood centers 398个儿童早教中心
• 23 area Lutheran high schools 23 个地区路德教会高中
A national association of WELS congregations and individuals maintains Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, a four-year liberal arts college which offers WELS members Christian education at the college level.
WELS runs one of the largest Christian prison ministries in the nation. It distributes hundreds of thousands of Bibles and Bible correspondence courses to inmates across the United States over the last 20 years. WELS also sponsors civilian chaplains for the armed forces, services to college and university students, homes for the aged, a home for the mentally retarded, child and family services, etc.
In addition to preparatory high schools in Watertown, Wisconsin and Saginaw, Michigan, the Synod maintains a college to prepare their church workers: Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota. Graduate school for WELS pastors is at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin.