Monday, March 4 2024 - 8:13 PM

Sharing Scripture — June 24, 2023

Ablaze With God’s Glory

 

For use: June 18 – 24, 2023
Texts: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; John 8:32; Revelation 4:11; 5:6; 5:12; 13:8; 18:1; Exodus 33:18, 19

 

The phrase “Going out in a blaze of glory” usually refers to someone’s or something’s demise, albeit spectacularly! Good examples of this are the endings to the movies “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” and “Thelma and Louise.”

Films aside, we can occasionally witness this breathtaking glory during meteor showers, or when man-made space junk such as satellites or rocket boosters burn up in the earth’s atmosphere. The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 spacecraft met just such an end recently. Crowd-funded by 50,000 supporters, the plucky little solar sail proved that spacecraft can move through the heavens using nothing more than the photon particles of the solar wind for propulsion. Though it sailed three times longer than expected, it sadly gave in to the drag of earth’s atmosphere and met its fiery end last November. Going out in a blaze of glory was a fitting finish for its spectacularly successful mission.

Although “a blaze of glory” usually denotes a dazzling demise, “ablaze with glory” is just the opposite. When that glory comes from God, that means that we humans—rather than meeting our ultimate demise—receive eternal glorification. 1 Corinthians 15:52-54 speaks of the day when we perishable mortals will become imperishable immortals. Ablaze with God’s glory, while signifying the end of our old, deteriorating existence, is just the beginning of our new resplendent lives.

In the meantime, we may still face challenging times ahead. We know from the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation that troubles are coming, but we need not be overwhelmed by that prospect. God gave us the words of prophecy so we would know what’s happening ahead of time (Amos 3:7). Revelation 10:7 tells us that these things will happen just as God has said. The troubles are just a brief interlude before the ultimate fulfillment of a glorious eternity with God.

Thanks to the words of prophecy, we can know that our eventual future is not to go out in a blaze of glory, but that we perishable mortals can look forward to a life ablaze with God’s glory.

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: How do you imagine God’s glory? Could you describe your mental image of God to someone else? Try drawing your conception of what it means to be ablaze with God’s glory.

Sharing: From your own study of Bible prophecy, how well do you think you understand future events leading up to Jesus’ return?

  1. I’ve been to several prophecy seminars and I have a good grasp of future events
  2. I’ve been to several prophecy seminars, but I don’t think anyone really knows for sure what will happen
  3. All I know is that God controls the future, and that’s all I need
  4. I think I know as much as humanly possible, but I’m open to new possibilities and interpretations
  5. I’d really like to know more
  6. Other:

Applying: Discuss with your group: How do you relate to people who are absorbed by fanciful conspiracy theories about current events as they apply them to Bible prophecy? Do you have strategies to help them release their anxieties and experience a calm assurance of God’s providence? Is it best to just let them be and not get mixed up in their paranoia?

Valuing: If Jesus doesn’t return in your lifetime, how do you want your life on this earth to end? Do you have a current Advance Directive form or Living Will? As unpleasant as it can be to discuss such things with your loved ones, it’s good to be prepared for any eventuality. Does your hope of eternity make these discussions easier?

 

~ Chuck Burkeen

 

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