St. John's & Zion Lutheran Churches

The Last Days

Isaiah 2:1-5

Text: This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: 2 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
5 Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.

There are many theories about the end of the world, when Jesus will come again. It seems as though just about everyone you talk to has a theory. There are certain things that God has not revealed to us about the Last Day, such as when it will happen. About such things we should not speak too much, for we would be speaking in ignorance. However, there are certain things that God has told us. Yet, because God often uses picturesque language to describe these things, people misinterpret and put their own spin on what is said. One of these statements about the end of time is that Christ will come and rule on the earth for 1,000 years, a millennium, and then the end will come. This false teaching is based on a misunderstanding of Revelation 20. To prove their point, they will use passages, such as our text this morning, to describe what conditions will be like during this 1,000 year reign of Christ. Let us look carefully at Isaiah 2:1-5 and see how it describes THE LAST DAYS. 1. There Will Be Peace and 2. Nations Will Stream To Mount Zion.

One of the ideas that millenialists will tell you is that there will be a 1,000 year reign of peace before the end of the world. They will point to passages like verse four to prove their point, “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” They believe that there will be peace among the nations of the world. Jesus will have a 1,000 year rule of peace.

How nice it would be if all of the nations and all of the peoples of the world could live together in peace and harmony. However, is that what is spoken of here? Will there be a reign of peace? Listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 24:7, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” He tells us that there will be wars and rumors of wars right up until the end. As far as mankind living in peace and harmony, Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:12, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” In light of this, Isaiah cannot be speaking of a time in earth’s history.

So, we must use a principle of Scripture interpretation when we run across a difficult passage of Scripture, such as this one. The principle is, ‘Let Scripture interpret Scripture.’ Go to another portion of Scriptures and use it to explain the words or thoughts of the difficult verse. In this instance, we want to know what the peace is that Isaiah is talking about, as he, under inspiration, wrote about the last days.

Perhaps, few passages better tell us of the peace of God than John 14:27. There Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” The peace that is offered can only come from Jesus. That peace is the forgiveness of sins.

When we think of peace, we often think of the aftermath of a war. That is exactly what was going on. The world, after Adam’s sin, was in rebellion against God. There was a war going on. We were in rebellion because of our many sins. God es malo usar viagra de joven told us to live according to his law. We refused and did the exact opposite. All people are, by nature, a part of this rebellion. If this war had been carried out to its end, there is no doubt who would be the victor. God is a holy and righteous God. He does not look the other way and ignore our rebellion. He says there is eternal punishment for such rebellion. Our battling against God was useless. We were doomed even before we started.

Our God, however, is also a gracious God. So, rather than you and me receiving the full force of God’s wrath against our sins, he took it all out on his Son, Jesus Christ. While Jesus hung on the cross, he suffered for every single sin that you, I, the entire world has ever committed. He paid our debt to God. Now there can be and is peace between us and God. We are no longer fighting against God. Because of the blood of Jesus, we are at peace with him. This is the peace that the angels sang about that first Christmas, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14) They knew that Jesus had come to the earth to bring about a peace between God and man.

The peace that we now enjoy is knowing that our sins are forgiven is true peace. Many times, even after the war is over, there are aftershocks and little pockets of resistance. There is resentment. This is not the case when it comes to God’s peace with us. Our sins have been completely taken away. They are gone and forgotten. We are completely at peace with God because of Jesus Christ. This is the peace that Isaiah talks about as happening in the last days.

Just as millenialists misinterpret verse four of our text, so also some put their own interpretation on verse two, “In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.” The mountain of the Lord’s temple is Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Some people have read this passage and taught that, during the millennium, Mount Zion will grow until it is higher than all of the other mountains in Israel. Some say that it will be taller than all of the mountains in the world. Jesus will establish his kingdom in Jerusalem and all the nations of the world will come to him there and bow down to him.

Is that what the Bible is teaching here? First of all, we look at 2 Peter 3:10, “The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” According to these words, it appears that the whole earth will be completely destroyed at the Last Day. At the every least, it will be changed from what we see around us. So, as far as, Mount Zion, all of a sudden, growing to a height greater than that of Mount Everest, that is not going to happen.

What, then, are we to understand by this picture of Jerusalem? The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 4:26, “The Jerusalem that viagra sans ordonnance is above is free, and she is our mother” Paul was speaking about the difference between those who tried to earn their way into heaven and those who are saved though faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. He says that those who are saved through faith belong to the New Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a picture of God’s people, what is often called the Holy Christian Church. The Holy Christian Church is all believers of all times from all places.

Doesn’t that description of the Holy Christian Church fit the picture in verse 2, “All nations will stream to it.” There are many people who belong to the Holy Christian Church. It doesn’t matter your race or nationality. As long as you believe that Jesus is your Savior, you belong to that Church.

As far as Mount Zion being raised above all the other hills, or chief among the nations, this gives us the picture of endurance and preservation. Nations will rise and fall, but the Church of God will remain forever. In spite of Satan’s schemes and plans, God will preserve his Word and, therefore, the Church until the end of time. All members of the Christian Church will be kept safe in their faith. May we listen, as loyal subjects, to his Word. Isaiah reports the words of those who are there, “He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” (Verse 3) May we listen with ready ears and hearts to our King’s message and live according to his words. We are members of his kingdom.

When will the last days be? God tells us peace will be established between himself and the world. That happened when Jesus died on the cross and rose again. God also tells us that he will establish his kingdom and all the nations of the earth will belong to it. This, too, is something that has already happened. God’s Church is comprised of many members from many nations. Both of these events have happened. In other words, we are living in the last days that Isaiah spoke of. As Paul reminds us in Romans 13:11, “The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” May we not spend our days in foolish talk that has no Scriptural basis. Rather let us spend our days in God’s Word, so that we are prepared to welcome our Lord back when he returns at the end of time. May our lives be spent doing what is pleasing to our God. Let us give thanks to the Lord for the peace that is ours through Jesus Christ and for making us members of his kingdom. Amen.