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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20190623 SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER

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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland

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              Pastor Ray Scott

 

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SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER?

SERMON STARTER

 

          Several days this past week I've awakened in the early morning hours to the music of Buddy Greene singing, "Shall We Gather At The River?" I've lived most of my 43 years of ministry in the shadow of death. Consistently, I have reassured and comforted grieving people with the promises of the Bible.  My actual calling and validation from God to His ministry was from funerals.

          Before 1900 the Second Coming of Jesus and the  immanency of physical death was a primary concern in Christian Gospel Music and pulpit preaching. United States mortality in 1864 when Robert Lowry wrote his Shall We Gather at the River?  gospel song was 44 years of age. This was due to

Civil War deaths; Infant mortality (1 in four died before 5th birthday); Women's death at childbirth; Lack of antibiotics, insulin, modern medical care; Lack of healthy Nutrition and Public Sanitation, and Poor Water Quality.

          Today life expectancy if you don't smoke, use alcohol excessively, use your car seat belt and stay close to your doctor following his instructions. . .is nearly TWICE that.

          My paternal grandmother Roland and my maternal great grandmother Cox sang Robert Lawry's Shall We Gather At The River? song to me when I was a small child. Ma Cox had two favorite books, her King James English Bible and her Broadman hymnal. I heard a litany of songs and hymns on the subject of eschatology. I know most of them by heart:

Nearer my God to Thee,  Holy, Holy, Holy,  Jerusalem the Golden,  Work for the Night is Coming, What a Friend We Have in Jesus,  Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross,  Now the Day is Over,  Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior,  Rescue the Perishing,  Safe in the Arms of Jesus,  I need Thee Every Hour,

I love to Tell the Story,  Trusting Jesus, That Is All,  All the Way My Savior Leads Me;  It is Well with My Soul,  Tell Me the Old, Old Story,  At The Cross, When the Roll is Called Up Yonder,  In the Sweet Bye and Bye,  Shall We Gather At The River. . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El7QNtXqavo

 

 

Robert Lowry proposes a time when there will be no more

          Sun. . .Night. . .Suffering. . .Pain. . .Death. . .Dying. . .

          Sadness. . .Sorrowing. . .Sickness. . .Disease

          Funerals. . .Grieving. . .Aging. . .

          For the former things have passed away

He asks a question of you and I in his title and song:

 

SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER?

 

Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?

 

Chorus: Yes, we'll gather at the river,
              The beautiful, the beautiful river;
              Gather with the saints at the river
              That flows by the throne of God.

 

On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will talk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day.

 

Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown.

          By Robert Lowry (1826-1899)

 

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Pastor Phil  <><<

June 23, 2019 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland

 

SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER?

Revelation 22:1-5 - Zechariah 14:4-9 - Revelation 21:1-4

 

"In the future of a Christian believer there are things predicted by prophets of old. The predictions and promises are true and reserved for our future with the Lord and our loved ones that have gone before us."    Pastor Phil

 

ESCHATOLOGY - A branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind

 

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.       Revelation 21:1,2

9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."    1 Corinthians 2:9

 

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE END TIMES SAINTS. . .

I. THEY WILL SEE A RIVER AND A TREE - Rev. 22: 1-2

1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
          A. What are you wish to see in the New Heaven and Earth?

                    1. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem?

                    2. No more sickness, death or mourning or crying or pain?

                    3. Everything being new? The tree of life?

                    4. The river of the water of life? The splendor of the nations?

          B. Longing to see your loved ones?

                    1. Miss them the most

                    2. Miss seeing, them, hearing them, holding them?

          C. The Pure River of the Water of Life is for HEALING

 

ANOTHER THING ABOUT THE END TIMES SAINTS. . .

II.  THEY WILL SEE AN END TO ADAM'S CURSE - Verse 3a

3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
          A. The Curse(s) came through Adam's Sin in the Garden - Gen. 3:17a

          ". . .Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the             days of your life.

SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER?, cont. p.2

 

                    1. Curses to Adam, Curses to Eve, Curses to Snake

                    2. Curse of alienation from God and each other

          B. Adam's Curse resulted in Death, Suffering, Decay

                    1. Adam's Sweat. . .Eve's Pain

                    2. Creations' Groaning

          C. At the River of Life there will be no more Death, Suffering, Pain

          D. At the Tree of Life there will be no more cancer, disease, aging. . .

                    1. Personal Healing, physical, spiritual, emotional and mental

                    2. Healing for the nations

                    3. Beat their swords into plowshares - Isaiah 2:2-4

                                        2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of

                        the LORD'S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains.

                        . . .He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For

                        out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from

                        Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many

                        people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their

                        spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against

                        nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

 

ANOTHER THING ABOUT THE END TIMES SAINTS. . .

III. THEY WILL SEE HIS FACE - Verse 4a

4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
          A. Skeptics doubt this will happen, Judas lost all his doubt

                    4 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when

            Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the

            Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails,

            and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I

            will not believe." - John 20-24-25

                    1. Handle me and see! A spirit doesn't have flesh and bone

                    2. Doubt isn't a sin. . .Jesus DID address Thomas' doubt

                    3. Jesus would not allow Himself to be touched by a sinner

          B. We shall see Him as He is -  Ex. 33:30; 1 John 3:2

                    33:20 But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and                        live."                     3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been                           revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall      be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.  
              Song:
FACE TO FACE WITH CHRIST MY SAVIOR

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuLig-W4wSU

 

ANOTHER THING ABOUT THE END TIMES SAINTS. . .

IV.  THEY WILL SERVE HIM - Verse 3b

3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
          A. Our service will not be a recreational cruise

                    1. Won't be a booking on an eternal Carnival Cruise Line

                    2. No Golf, Fishing, R & R for God's faithful Saints

SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER?, cont. p.3

 

          B. We look forward to a Priestly work, An Offering unto Him

                    1. Work? Not driven by greed, pride, power or fear

                    2. No idolatry. . . worshipping the work of hands

          C. Our service will be directed at pleasing, glorifying / praising God

                    1. In the Presence of the Master serving Him 24/7

                    2. No fatigue in our new Heavenly Bodies

 

ANOTHER THING ABOUT THE END TIMES SAINTS. . .

V.  THEY WILL HAVE HIS NAME  - Verse 4b  

4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.

          A. Forbidden to even speak His Name - Exodus 20:7

                    7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD

              will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

                    1. Four Heb. consonants for G-d -  יהוה - In English, YHWH

                    2.  Hebrew males reading the Divine Name - "Ya-Hova-Adoni"

          B. Jesus directly commanded to ask IN HIS NAME - John 16:23,24

                    23 And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you,

              whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you

              have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy

              may be full.

          C. His Name has Authority and Power - Phil. 2:9-11

                    9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which

              is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

              of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

              11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the

              glory of God the Father.

                    1. They Will Have His Name

                    2. They will belong to Him

                   

LAST THING ABOUT THE END TIMES SAINTS. .

VI.  THEY WILL REIGN FOREVER AND EVER - v. 5b

5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

          A. In the New Heaven/Earth Believers will be Royalty

                    1. We will serve as Kings, answerable to God

                    2. We will be the Lord's Rulers

          B. Earthly Kings and Kingdoms disintegrate into dust

                    1. In the New Heaven/Earth NO fluffy Clouds, Harps, gold, pearl

                    2. No Muslim 78 virgins, Buddhist Nirvana, No New Agers

                    3. Future: Eternal w/Alpha and Omega serving and ruling

          C. What about YOUR future?

                    1. Will it be your choice in the Lake of Fire?

                    2. Will it be with the Lamb of God slain before the foundation                                  of the world?

                    3. Heaven is a choice. . .Life w/o God is a choice. . .

 

SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER?

 

Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?

 

Yes, we'll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

 

On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will talk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day.

 

Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown.

          By Robert Lowry (1826-1899)

 

2

 

SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER?

Revelation 22:1-5
1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

 

Zechariah 14:4-9
4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You.
6 It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish.
7 It shall be one day Which is known to the LORD-- Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen That it will be light.

SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER? Text, cont. p.2

 

8 And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur.
9 And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be-- "The LORD is one," And His name one.

 

Revelation 21:1-4
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

 

See Ezekiel 47:1-10