25
Sep

Why “Forever” is Important in Our Christian Walk

We live in a world of broken relationships, broken promises, and broken commitments. In this world it’s easy to become bitter and cynical. “Words mean nothing to me,” might be your cry as you recount the number of times you have been hurt.

But God wants you to know that His words are true. His words bring healing. His words are meant to inspire and encourage.

Ten times in the Bible we are reminded that God “will never leave us or forsake us.” NEVER! I’m a cynic, I don’t easily trust. But when I read these words and realize that they were  spoken by God I can’t help but feel blessed. Our God says, NEVER.

The other word that God gives to us is FOREVER. Used in a promise it is a great reminder of our unending position in Christ. The word FOREVER is used hundreds of times in the Bible but one of my favorites is found in Psalm 23:6,  “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,  and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

There’s also another aspect to the word FOREVER. It has to do with our commitment to God. Twenty times we are told that God has given us a statute, a required commandment, to worship Him in a specific way FOREVER. Not just during the time of Moses, not just during the time of the Old Testament or the during the time of Jesus and the apostles, but FOREVER. And that’s a pretty heavy commitment.

So, as is my yearly custom, I want to once again remind you that the God who promises to ALWAYS (Matthew 28:20) keep his promises has given us commandments and holy days (which became the English word holidays) that we are to keep FOREVER.

Perhaps my favorite holiday in the Bible is the Day of Atonement, described in Leviticus 16. Everything about this event gives us a glimpse into the ministry of Jesus Christ. He is our high priest (Hebrews 4:14-16), He is our sacrificial lamb (John 1:29), He is our scapegoat (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 13:12). We celebrate His birth in December, we celebrate His resurrection in the Spring, we are to FOREVER celebrate His atoning power in the Fall. In 2015 this Day of Atonement began the evening of Tuesday, Sept 22 and ended at sunset on the 23rd.

There is also another event in the Fall that God asks us to celebrate FOREVER. It is found in Leviticus 23 and is called the Feast of Tabernacles. This year it takes place from September 27 until October 5.

Here is some additional reading:

“The Feast of Tabernacles, also called the Feast of Booths, Sukkot (Hebrew for booths), and the Season of our Joy, is one of the three “pilgrimage” festivals listed in Leviticus 23, along with the Feast of Unleavened Bread (with Passover), and Sha’vuot (Greek: Pentecost), that believers in the first and second century continued to observe as part of the walking out of their faith in the Messiah Yeshua.

This festival commences on the 15th day of the 7th month on the Biblical calendar and lasts for 7 days. It looks back to the “wanderings of Israel” before they entered the “promised land” and looks forward to the “7th Day“, that is, the Millennial Kingdom, where the prophet Zechariah stated that all the world would be observing this joyful festival for a Thousand Years here on earth (Zech 14:8-21).

This will be a time when the people of all nations will learn how to walk out our Heavenly Father’s instructions and experience the resulting blessings (Isaiah 2:3).

After the seven days, there is the final festival of the Biblical calendar year, one day long, called Sh’mini Atzeret, the 8th Day, that teaches us what life will be like in the era beyond the Millennial Kingdom, the New Heavens and the New Earth.

Paul taught us in Colossians 2:17 when he said: “The Festivals, New Moons, and Sabbaths contain a foreshadowing of things to come…” And this was 30 years after the resurrection!”

I appreciate what Skip Moen has to say about the celebration of the biblical holidays,

“let me just suggest that if Yeshua is born according to God’s festival calendar, a whole lot of other festival events take on deeper symbolic meaning. The celebration of the birth of the Messiah is coupled with events that fall into God’s fuller disclosure of purpose according to the way He established the proper holidays… especially when he reminds us that we don’t see the bigger picture – the way God engineered the ENTIRE story to fit a calendar of events He was putting into place from the very beginning.”

 My bottom line: God calls us to remember. At the Lord’s table, we remember. In the feasts, festivals and holy days of the bible, we remember. The issue is not one of legalistic observance but of faithful commitment. I choose to celebrate these days because they bring me passionately and worshipfully into the presence of Christ with a greater appreciation of the unity of the scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17), the sovereignty of God’s purposes, and the power of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and future coming.

More reading on Jesus as Prophet, Priest, and King

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