mmmm Celebrating Christmas with Yumcha Dim Sum mmmm
Yumcha is my favourite food in the whole world!
Also known as Dim Sum: it originates from Cantonese-speaking China & Hong Kong.
This year I celebrated Christmas by sharing Yumcha with friends in Sydney.
Without prompting, my Dad organised another Yumcha Christmas Party with family.
I wish this Yumcha celebration would never end!
In contrast, did you know that our world will come to an end?
Last month, a visitor to my fellowship asked me an eschatological  question.
He volunteered his email to receive my answer and so he could ask more questions.
There is global fascination with the Second Coming of Christ and the “End Times”:
- When will Jesus return?
- When will the “Day of Judgement” occur?
- What will the LORD God  do on “Judgement Day”?
Judgement Day is known as the “Day of the LORD” in the Bible.
For thousands of years many have speculated when the day of the LORD will occur.
Many have tried to calculate the date unsuccessfully with spectacular failure.
Some even speculate that Jesus will return directly to Jerusalem in the End Times .
Is this one reason behind the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by USA ?
Australia has also recognised Jerusalem 2 days ago (15 December 2018) .
If Jerusalem is in allied hands, will this hasten Jesus’ return & Judgement Day?
For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 2
No human political decision can speed up Judgement Day.
The New Testament verse reminds us that this date cannot be calculated.
The day of the LORD will arrive when we least expect it (like a thief in the night).
What else does the Bible say about the day of the LORD?
Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it.
Isaiah chapter 13 verse 9
That day is the day of the LORD God of hosts, a day of vengeance, to avenge himself on his foes.
Jeremiah chapter 46 verse 10 part A
For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near; it will be a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations.
Ezekiel chapter 30 verse 3
Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.
Joel chapter 1 verse 15
Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light…
Amos chapter 5 verse 18
For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.
Obadiah chapter 1 verse 15
And on the day of the LORD‘s sacrifice— [Lord God declares] “I will punish the officials and the king’s sons and all who array themselves in foreign attire…
Zephaniah chapter 1 verse 8
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
Malachi chapter 4 verse 5
The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
Acts chapter 2 verse 20
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
2 Peter chapter 3 verse 10
From these eschatological verses  we can see the colourful imagery of the day of the LORD:
- A day in the future when God will destroy the earth and sinners
- A day in the not-too-distant-future when God will punish his enemies in all nations
- A day in the near-future when our past deeds will return to haunt us
- A day coming soon when God will judge the people of Israel and the whole world
But the Bible also promises salvation to those who trust in Jesus
This is the great hope we celebrate at Christmas:
God loved the world by sending his son Jesus  to save sinners in all nations.
Our Father God has graciously given the gift of forgiveness for the whole world.
So Jesus’ followers need not fear the Day of the LORD
But we are to be ready for this day: seek forgiveness for your sins now
One question remains:
Is Jerusalem important to Christians today?
Historically the Jewish people made an annual pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem.
The temple symbolised the LORD God dwelling with His people.
The Jewish temple was destroyed by the Romans soon after Jesus’ death & resurrection.
This temple was never rebuilt (in fact there is now a mosque in its place).
So Christians do not need to make an annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Jesus’ followers can worship Father God anywhere on Earth.
Through Jesus we can speak to God in prayer at any time and any place.
Jesus is where we go to meet God (instead of the earthly Jerusalem).
God now dwells inside his followers: we are the new temple!
The joy of Christmas is knowing that we’re on the journey to our real home.
Our real home is with Jesus in the New Jerusalem – the heavenly city .
The earthly Jerusalem is currently divided and a flashpoint for conflict .
The REAL Jerusalem is in Heaven with Father God where there is eternal peace.
Questions to consider this Christmas:
Are you prepared for Judgement Day?
Have you sought forgiveness for your sins?
Have you discovered the Joy of Salvation available exclusively from Jesus?
For followers: does your family & friends know about the New Jerusalem?
 Eschatology is the study of the “End Times” prophesied in the Bible: this includes the Second Coming of Christ and the Day of Judgement (also known as the Day of the LORD).
 In modern translations of the Bible: LORD (in capital letters) refers to the Hebrew name of God: Yahweh/Jehovah. In English, the name of God may be referred to as “The Lord God Almighty”.
 The author of this blog does not uphold the Premillenial view of Eschatology. After reading various news articles, the best descriptions of Premillenialism are listed here:
CNN News (14 May 2018): https://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/08/opinions/jerusalem-israel-evangelicals-end-times-butler-bass-opinion/index.html
BBC News (5 January 2018): https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42402350
 Last Christmas in my Micah blog (see below with original news article links), I blogged about USA controversially recognising Jerusalem causing immediate global protests. Jerusalem remains an important city to the Israeli/Jewish people today. However Jerusalem is currently a divided city with the Eastern portion belonging to the Palestinian territories (as officially recognised by the United Nations). The Palestinians also claim that Jerusalem is the capital of their territory. So the status of Jerusalem is currently disputed.
 On 15 December 2018, Australia recognised both West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem as the future capital of Palestine. News articles:
BBC News (15 December 2018): https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-46576716
SBS News (15 December 2018): https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australia-recognises-west-jerusalem-as-israeli-capital-but-embassy-move-on-hold
 This is not an exhaustive list. Other “Day of the LORD” references include: Isaiah chapter 13 verse 6; Isaiah chapter 58 verse 13; Ezekiel chapter 13 verse 5; Joel chapter 2 verses 1, 11, 31; Joel chapter 3 verse 14; Amos chapter 5 verse 20; Zephaniah chapter 1 verse 7, 1 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 5; 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 2.
 John chapter 3 verse 16
 Revelation chapters 21-22 (final chapters in the last book of the Bible)
 Useful articles to read about the current divided status of Jerusalem:
Gospel Coalition (16 May 2018): https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-jerusalem/
Reuters News (21 January 2018): https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-israel-pence-jerusalem-idUSKBN1FA0JL
mmmm Bible mmmm
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