Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Hunting, Church

The prophet Jeremiah contrasts the first Exodus from Egypt with the second Exodus coming after his days – the return of the Babylonian Exiles to Judah starting in 539 B.C.: “‘Behold therefore,’ saith the Lord, ‘the days come that it shall no more be said, “The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt,” But, “The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the North, and from all the lands where He had scattered them,” and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold,’ saith the Lord, ‘I will send out many fishers, and they shall fish them, and after will I send out many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the caves of the rocks’” (Jeremiah 16:14-16, Geneva Bible).

Jesus Himself takes Jeremiah’s language of “hunting” and “fishing” for souls to bring them home in the third and final Exodus – the Church’s mission in the world:
  • “...Jesus began to preach, and to say, ‘Amend your lives: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee saw two brethren, Simon, which was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishers.) And He said unto them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they straightway leaving the nets, followed Him” (Matthew 4:17-20).
  • “...Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe the Gospel.’ And as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishers.) Then Jesus said unto them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you to be fishers of men.’ And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed Him” (Mark 1:14-18).

I recently had four days of driving many hours before the sunrise and saw the constellation Orion (the Hunter) rise. From Betelgeuse to his belt to Rigel, the Hunter reminded me of those sent to hunt souls for the Exodus from “the power of darkness” to “the kingdom of his dear Son, in Whom we have redemption through His blood, that is, the forgiveness of sins. Who is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:13-15).

This is the great Gathering, Church.
  • “And He shall send His Angels [that is, “messengers”] with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect, from the four winds, and from the one end of the heavens unto the other” (Matthew 24:31).
  • “Other sheep I have also, which are not of this fold: them also must I bring, and they shall hear My voice [through the preaching of the Gospel, Romans 10:8-17]: and there shall be one sheepfold, and one Shepherd” (John 10:16).

Happy hunting, Church.

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