Immerse: Messiah – 8 Week Bible Reading Experience

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Read Through The New Testament in just 8 weeks with the NLT Bible and Immerse: Messiah
QUICK START GUIDE
3 ways to get the most out of your experience
  1. Use Immerse: Messiah instead of your regular chapter-and-verse Bible. This special reader’s edition restores the Bible to its natural simplicity and beauty by removing chapter and verse numbers and other historical additions. Letters look like letters, songs look like
    songs, and the original literary structures are visible in each book. 
  2. Commit to making this a community experience. Immerse is designed for groups to encounter large portions of the Bible together
    for 8 weeks—more like a book club, less like a Bible study. By meeting every week in small groups and discussing what you read in open, honest conversations, you and your community can come together to be transformed through an authentic experience with the Scriptures.
  3. Aim to understand the big story. Read through “The Stories and the Story” (p. 483) to see how the books of the Bible work together
    to tell God’s story of his creation’s restoration. As you read through Immerse: Messiah, rather than ask, “How do I fit God into my busy life?” begin asking, “How can I join in God’s great plan by living out my part in his story?”
4 Questions to get your conversations started:
  1. What stood out to you this week?
  2. Was there anything confusing or troubling?
  3. Did anything make you think differently about God?
  4. How might this change the way we live?
Part of NLT Immerse: The Reading Bible, Complete Set, the Winner of the 2022 Christian Book Award for Bible of the Year!
Messiah is the first of six volumes of Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience program. Messiah takes the reader on a new and unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each part of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together combine to provide the reader with enjoyable and impactful readings all centered on Jesus. The end result is a Bible developed for the purpose of being read and understood, not referred to. Messiah is a new way to interact with God’s Word.
Messiah delivers Scripture to the reader as it was originally created: without chapter or verse breaks. While references are made available for ease of finding specific Scripture references, those references do not appear within the actual text of Scripture. This makes for uninterrupted reading of God’s Word. Created with the look and feel of a paperback book, and written using the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, the most readable translation available, Messiah enables you to easily read and understand the Bible.

Currently featured in the Saddleback Church "Anchored Life Challenge." To join the challenge and read through the New Testament in 8 weeks, join at https://saddleback.com/anchored

What is Immerse: Messiah – 8 Week Bible Reading Experience?

Read (and listen!) through the New Testament in 8 weeks with your small group or on your own.

Immerse: Messiah is the first of six volumes in Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience. Messiah takes the reader on a unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each section of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together they combine to provide a life-changing reading experience centered on Jesus. This fresh arrangement of the books highlights the depth of the New Testament’s fourfold witness to Jesus the Messiah. The Son of God, who fulfills all the longings and promises of the collected Scriptures, can be experienced in Messiah through the rich variety of lenses provided by the books of the new covenant.

The Immerse Bible Series is the proud winner of the prestigious Bible of the Year award from the ECPA Christian Book Awards. Immerse: The Reading Bible is specially crafted for a distraction-free listening and reading experience, helping you dive in and get immersed in Scripture. You’ll have a great experience using Immerse by yourself. But for an even richer experience, try reading with friends.

Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience is an invitation to a different kind of community interaction with the Bible. Less like a Bible study, more like a book club.

- 8 or 16-week Bible listening plans take you through a large section of the Bible like the New Testament or the Torah
- Meet once a week for a free-flowing discussion about the text
- Wrestle with questions and celebrate ‘aha!’ moments together

Nothing impacts spiritual growth more than spending time in Scripture. Immerse removes many of the barriers that make Bible reading difficult and invites communities to become transformed together through the power of God’s word.

 Welcome to the saddleback church anchored life challenge which can also by found on the saddleback companion app or by purchasing the immerse messiah book from tyndale.

The anchored life challenge includes speakers such as Andy Wood, Rick Warren, and Stacie Wood. 
Immerse Messiah 29
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Intro Narrator: [00:00:00] Welcome to Immerse Messiah. Reading for week six, day 29, when

Andy Wood: Jesus had finished saying these things. He left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea, east of the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him there. And he healed their sick. Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question.

Andy Wood: Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason? Haven't you read the scriptures? Jesus replied. They record that from the beginning God made them male and female. And he said, This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

Andy Wood: Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together. Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away? [00:01:00] They asked. Jesus replied. Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended.

Andy Wood: And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery, unless his wife has been unfaithful. Jesus disciples then said to him, If this is the case, it is better not to marry. Not everyone can accept this statement. Jesus said, Only those whom God helps. Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.

Andy Wood: Let anyone accept this who can. One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them, but the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But [00:02:00] Jesus said, Let the children come to me. Don't stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like these children.

Andy Wood: And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left. Someone came to Jesus with this question, Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life? Why ask me about what is good? Jesus replied, There is only one who is good. But to answer your question, if you want to receive eternal life, keep

Intro Narrator: the commandments.

Intro Narrator: Which ones?

Andy Wood: the man asked, and Jesus replied, You must not murder, you must not commit adultery, you must not steal, you must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother, love your neighbor as yourself. I've obeyed all these commandments. The young man replied, What else must I do? [00:03:00] Jesus told him, If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.

Andy Wood: Then come,

Intro Narrator: follow me.

Andy Wood: But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, I tell you the truth. It is very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. I'll say it again. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.

Andy Wood: The disciples were astounded. Then who in the world can be saved, they asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, humanly speaking, it is impossible, but with God everything is possible. Then Peter said to him, We've [00:04:00] given up everything to follow you, what will we get? Jesus replied, I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel and everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother.

Andy Wood: or children or property for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then. And those who seem least important now will be the greatest then. For the kingdom of heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard.

Andy Wood: He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work. At nine o'clock in the [00:05:00] morning, he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. So they went to work in the vineyard.

Andy Wood: At noon, and again at three o'clock, he did the same thing. At five o'clock that afternoon, he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, Why haven't you been working today? They replied, Because no one hired us. The landowner told them, Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.

Andy Wood: That evening, he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. When those hired at five o'clock were paid, each received a full day's wage. When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more, but they too were paid a day's wage.

Andy Wood: When they received their [00:06:00] pay, they protested to the owner. Those people worked only one hour, and yet you've paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat. He answered one of them. Friend, I haven't been unfair. Didn't you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take your money and go.

Andy Wood: I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others? So those who are last now will be first then and those who are first will be last. As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem He took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him.

Andy Wood: Listen, he said. We're going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious [00:07:00] law. They will sentence him to die. Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day He will be raised from the dead.

Andy Wood: Then the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor. What is your request? He asked. She replied, In your kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left. But Jesus answered by saying to them, You don't know what you are asking.

Intro Narrator: Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of

Andy Wood: suffering I am about to drink? Oh, yes, they replied. We are able, Jesus told them. You will indeed drink from my bitter cup, but I have [00:08:00] no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. My Father has prepared those places for the ones He has chosen. When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, They were indignant, but Jesus called them together and said, You know that the rulers in this world lorded over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them, but among you it will be different.

Andy Wood: Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. As Jesus and the disciples left the town of Jericho, a large crowd followed behind.

Andy Wood: Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, [00:09:00] Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us. Be quiet. The crowd yelled at them, but they only shouted louder, Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us. When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, What do you want me to do for you?

Andy Wood: Lord, they said, we want to see. Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Instantly, they could see. Then they followed him. As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage, on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. Go into the village over there. He said, As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there with its colt beside it.

Andy Wood: Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, The Lord [00:10:00] needs them, and he will immediately let you take them. This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said, Tell the people of Jerusalem, Look, your king is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey, riding on a donkey's colt.

Andy Wood: The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. They brought the donkey and the colt to him, and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him. And others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, Praise God for the Son of David!

Andy Wood: Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in highest heaven! The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. Who is this? they asked. And the crowds [00:11:00] replied, It's Jesus! The prophet from Nazareth in Galilee, Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice.

Andy Wood: He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, The scriptures declare, My temple will be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves. The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles, and heard even the children in the temple shouting, Praise God for the Son of David!

Andy Wood: But the leaders were indignant. They asked Jesus, Do you hear what these children are saying? Yes, Jesus replied, haven't you ever read the scriptures? For they say, you have taught children and infants [00:12:00] to give you praise. Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight. In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, and he noticed a fig tree beside the road.

Andy Wood: He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, May you never bear fruit again. And immediately, the fig tree withered up. The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, How did the fig tree wither so quickly? Then Jesus told them, I tell you the truth. If you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more.

Andy Wood: You can even say to this mountain, May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea, and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it. When Jesus [00:13:00] returned to the temple and began teaching, the leading priests and elders came up to him. They demanded, By what authority are you doing all these things?

Andy Wood: Who gave you the right? I'll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question. Jesus replied, Did John's authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human? They talked it over among themselves. If we say it was from heaven, he will ask us why we didn't believe John. But if we

Intro Narrator: say it was merely human, we'll be mobbed

Andy Wood: because the people believe John was a prophet.

Andy Wood: So they finally replied, We don't know. And Jesus responded, Then I won't tell you by what authority I do these things, but what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, Son, go out and work in the [00:14:00] vineyard today. The son answered, No, I won't go, but later he changed his mind and went anyway.

Andy Wood: Then the father told the other son, You go, and he said, Yes, sir, I will,

Intro Narrator: but

Andy Wood: he didn't go. Which of the two obeyed his father? They replied, The first, then Jesus explained his meaning, I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you do. For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live.

Andy Wood: But you didn't believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins. Now listen to another story. A certain landowner planted a vineyard, built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and [00:15:00] built a lookout tower.

Andy Wood: Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country. At the time of the grape harvest, He sent his servants to collect his share of the crop, but the

Intro Narrator: farmers grabbed his servants, beat one, killed

Andy Wood: one, and stoned another. So the landowner sent a larger group of his servants to collect for him, but the results were the same.

Andy Wood: Finally, the owner sent his son, thinking, Surely they will respect my son. But when the tenant farmer saw his son coming, they said to one another, Here comes the heir to this estate. Come on, let's kill him and get the estate for ourselves. So they grabbed him, dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him.

Andy Wood: When the owner of the vineyard returns, Jesus asked, What do you think he will do to those farmers? The religious leaders replied, He

Intro Narrator: will put the wicked men

Andy Wood: to a horrible death [00:16:00] and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest. Then Jesus asked them,

Intro Narrator: Didn't you ever read this in the scriptures?

Andy Wood: The stone that the builders rejected has now become the

Intro Narrator: cornerstone. This is the

Andy Wood: Lord's doing, and it is wonderful to see. I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit. Anyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces. And it will crush anyone it falls on.

Andy Wood: When the leading priests and Pharisees heard this parable, they realized he was telling the story against them. They were the wicked farmers. They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowds, who considered Jesus to be a prophet. Jesus also told them other parables. He said, The kingdom [00:17:00] of heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son.

Andy Wood: When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited, but they all refused to come. So he sent other servants to tell them, the feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet. But the guests he had invited ignored them and went their own way.

Andy Wood: One to his farm, another to his business. Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them. The king was furious, and he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their town. And he said to his servants, The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren't worthy of the honor.

Andy Wood: Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see. So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and [00:18:00] bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn't wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. Friend, he asked, how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?

Andy Wood: But the man had no reply. Then the king said to his aides, Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for many are called, but few are chosen. Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested.

Andy Wood: They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. Teacher! They said, We know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don't play favorites. Now tell us what you think about this. Is it right [00:19:00] to pay taxes to Caesar or not? But Jesus knew their evil motives.

Andy Wood: You

Intro Narrator: hypocrites, he said.

Andy Wood: Why are you trying to trap

Intro Narrator: me? Here,

Andy Wood: show me the coin used for the tax. When they handed him a Roman coin, he asked, whose picture and title are stamped on it? Caesar's, they replied. Well then, he said, give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God. His reply amazed them, and they went away.

Andy Wood: That same day, Jesus was approached by some Sadducees, religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question, Teacher, Moses said, If a man dies without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who would carry on the brother's name. Well, suppose [00:20:00] there were seven brothers.

Andy Wood: The oldest one married and then died without children, so his brother married the widow. But the second brother also died. And the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them. Last of all, the woman also died. So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.

Intro Narrator: Jesus replied, Your mistake is that you don't know the

Andy Wood: scriptures, and you don't know the power of God. For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect, they will be like the angels in heaven. But now, as to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead, haven't you ever read about this in the scriptures?

Andy Wood: Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God [00:21:00] of Jacob. So he is the God of the living, not the dead. When the crowds heard him, they were astounded at his teaching. But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again.

Andy Wood: One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question. Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses? Jesus replied, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart.

Andy Wood: This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important. Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments. Then, surrounded by the Pharisees, Jesus [00:22:00] asked them a question, What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?

Andy Wood: They replied, He is the son of David. Jesus responded, Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah my Lord? For David said, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet. Since David called the Messiah my Lord, how can the Messiah be his son?

Andy Wood: No one could answer him. And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions. Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the Law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you. But don't [00:23:00] follow their example, for they don't practice what they teach.

Andy Wood: They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. Everything they do is for show. On their arms, they wear extra wide prayer boxes with scripture verses inside. And they wear robes with extra long tassels. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues.

Andy Wood: They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And to be called rabbi. Don't let anyone call you rabbi. For you have only one teacher. And all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. For And don't address anyone here on earth as father, for only God in heaven is your father.

Andy Wood: And don't let anyone call you teacher, for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant, but those who exalt [00:24:00] themselves will be

Intro Narrator: humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Andy Wood: What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees? Hypocrites, for you shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people's faces.

Andy Wood: You won't go in yourselves, and you don't let others enter either. What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees? Hypocrites, for you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are. Blind guides, what sorrow awaits you?

Andy Wood: For you say that it means nothing to swear by God's temple, but that it is binding to swear by the gold in

Intro Narrator: the temple. Blind fools!

Andy Wood: Which is more important, the gold or the temple that makes the gold sacred? And you say that to swear by the altar is not binding, but to swear by the gifts on the altar is binding.

Andy Wood: [00:25:00] How blind! For which is more important, the gift on the altar, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? When you swear by the altar, you are swearing by it and by everything on it. And when you swear by the temple, you are swearing by it and by God who lives in it. And when you swear by heaven, you are swearing by the throne of God and by God who

Intro Narrator: sits on the throne.

Intro Narrator: What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law

Andy Wood: and you Pharisees? Hypocrites, for you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law, justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

Andy Wood: Blind guides, you strain your water so you won't accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel. What sorrow awaits you teachers of [00:26:00] religious law and you Pharisees? Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy, full of greed and self

Intro Narrator: indulgence.

Intro Narrator: You

Andy Wood: blind Pharisee, first wash the inside of the cup and the dish,

Intro Narrator: and then the outside will become clean too. What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees,

Andy Wood: hypocrites, for you are like whitewashed tombs. Beautiful on the outside, but filled on the inside with dead people's bones and all sorts of impurity.

Andy Wood: Outwardly, you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees? Hypocrites. For you build tombs for the prophets your ancestors killed, and you decorate the monuments of the godly people your ancestors destroyed.[00:27:00]

Andy Wood: Then you say, If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would never have joined them in killing the prophets. But in saying that, you testify against yourselves that you are indeed the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead and finish what your ancestors started. Snakes, sons of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of hell?

Andy Wood: Therefore, I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers of religious law. But you will kill some by crucifixion, and you will flog others with whips in your synagogues, chasing them from city to city. As a result, You will be held responsible for the murder of all godly people of all time. From the murder of righteous Abel, to the murder of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you killed in the temple between the sanctuary and the altar.

Andy Wood: I tell you the [00:28:00] truth. This judgment will fall on this very

Intro Narrator: generation.

Andy Wood: Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers.

Intro Narrator: How often I have wanted to gather

Andy Wood: your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings. But you wouldn't

Intro Narrator: let me. And now,

Andy Wood: look, your house is abandoned and desolate.

Andy Wood: For I tell you this, you will never see me again until you say, Blessings

Intro Narrator: on the one who comes in the name of the Lord. As Jesus

Andy Wood: was leaving the temple grounds, His disciples pointed out to him the various temple buildings, but he responded, Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth. They will be completely demolished.

Andy Wood: Not one stone will be left on top of another. Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples [00:29:00] came to him privately and said, Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world? Jesus told them,

Intro Narrator: Don't let anyone mislead you.

Andy Wood: For many will come in my name claiming, I am the Messiah.

Andy Wood: They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars. But don't panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won't follow immediately.

Intro Narrator: Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

Andy Wood: There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world, but all this is only the first of the birth pains, with

Intro Narrator: more to come.

Andy Wood: Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed.

Intro Narrator: You will be hated

Andy Wood: all over the world because you are my followers, and many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will [00:30:00] deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.

Andy Wood: But the one who endures to the end will be saved, and the good news about the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will

Intro Narrator: hear it, and then the end will come.

Andy Wood: The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about, the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the holy place.

Andy Wood: Reader, pay attention.

Intro Narrator: Then those in

Andy Wood: Judea must flee to the hills. A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

Andy Wood: For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. [00:31:00] And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive, but it will be shortened for the sake of God's chosen ones. Then if anyone tells you,

Intro Narrator: look,

Andy Wood: here is the Messiah or there he is.

Andy Wood: Don't believe it, for false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even

Intro Narrator: God's chosen ones. See,

Andy Wood: I have warned you about this ahead of time. So if someone tells you, look, the messiah is out in the desert, don't bother

Intro Narrator: to go and look.

Andy Wood: Or, look, he is hiding here, don't believe it.

Andy Wood: For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west. So it will be when the Son of Man comes. Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs [00:32:00] indicate that the end is near. Immediately after the anguish of those days, the sun will be

Intro Narrator: darkened. The moon will give no light.

Intro Narrator: The

Andy Wood: stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens,

Intro Narrator: and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples

Andy Wood: of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great Glory, and he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet,

Intro Narrator: and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the

Andy Wood: world, from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.

Andy Wood: Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return

Intro Narrator: is very near, right at the door. [00:33:00]

Andy Wood: I tell you the truth. This generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place.

Andy Wood: Heaven and Earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the sun himself.

Intro Narrator: Only the Father knows. When the Son of

Andy Wood: Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah's day. In those days before the flood, the

Intro Narrator: people were enjoying banquets and parties

Andy Wood: and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat.

Andy Wood: People didn't realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. Two men will be working together in the field. One will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill.

Intro Narrator: One will be [00:34:00] taken, the other left.

Intro Narrator: So you, too,

Andy Wood: must keep watch. For you don't know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this. If a homeowner knew exactly

Intro Narrator: when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch

Andy Wood: and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the Master can give the responsibility of managing his other household's servants and feeding them.

Andy Wood: If the Master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns, but what if the servant is evil and thinks, my master won't be back for a while, and he begins beating the other servants,

Intro Narrator: partying and getting drunk.

Andy Wood: The master [00:35:00] will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place, there

Intro Narrator: will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten

Andy Wood: bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the

Intro Narrator: bridegroom.

Intro Narrator: Five of them were foolish, and five were

Andy Wood: wise. The five who were foolish didn't take enough olive oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, They all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight they were roused by the shout, Look,

Intro Narrator: the bridegroom is coming.

Intro Narrator: Come out and meet him. All the bridesmaids got up and

Andy Wood: prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, Please

Intro Narrator: give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out. But the

Andy Wood: others replied, [00:36:00]

Intro Narrator: We don't have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy

Andy Wood: some for yourselves. But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came.

Andy Wood: Then

Intro Narrator: those who were

Andy Wood: ready went in with him to the marriage

Intro Narrator: feast, and the door was locked.

Andy Wood: Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside calling,

Intro Narrator: Lord, Lord, open the door for us. But he called back, Believe me, I don't know you, so you too must keep watch, for you do not know the day or hour of my return.

Intro Narrator: Again, the kingdom

Andy Wood: of heaven can be illustrated by the story of a

Intro Narrator: man going on a long

Andy Wood: trip. He called together his servants and

Intro Narrator: entrusted his money to them while he was gone.

Andy Wood: He gave five bags of silver to one,

Intro Narrator: two bags of

Andy Wood: silver to another, and one bag of silver to the [00:37:00] last. dividing it in proportion to their abilities.

Andy Wood: He then left on his trip. The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five

Intro Narrator: more. The servant with two bags

Andy Wood: of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug

Intro Narrator: a hole in the ground

Andy Wood: and hid the master's money.

Andy Wood: After a long time, their master

Intro Narrator: returned from his trip and called

Andy Wood: them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more. The master was full of praise.

Andy Wood: Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been

Intro Narrator: faithful in handling this small

Andy Wood: amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. [00:38:00] Let's celebrate together. The servant who had received the two

Intro Narrator: bags of silver came forward and said, Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest. And I have earned two more.

Andy Wood: The master said, Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in

Intro Narrator: handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities.

Andy Wood: Let's celebrate together. Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, Master,

Intro Narrator: I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting

Andy Wood: crops you didn't plant and gathering crops you didn't cultivate.

Andy Wood: I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Here is your money back, but the master replied, You wicked and lazy servant. If you knew I harvested crops I didn't plant and

Intro Narrator: gathered crops I didn't cultivate, why didn't you deposit my money in

Andy Wood: the bank? At least I could have gotten some [00:39:00] interest on it.

Andy Wood: Then he ordered, Take the money from this servant and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who

Intro Narrator: use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance.

Andy Wood: But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken

Intro Narrator: away. Now throw

Andy Wood: this useless servant into outer darkness,

Intro Narrator: where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Intro Narrator: But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit upon His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in

Andy Wood: his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand, and the goats at his left.

Andy Wood: Then the king will say to those on his right,

Intro Narrator: Come, you who are blessed by my father,

Andy Wood: inherit the kingdom [00:40:00] prepared for you from the creation of the world, for I was hungry. And

Intro Narrator: you

Andy Wood: fed me. I was thirsty. And you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you

Intro Narrator: invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing.

Andy Wood: I was sick,

Intro Narrator: and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. Then these righteous ones will reply. Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink, or a stranger and show you hospitality, or naked and give you clothing? When

Andy Wood: did we ever see you sick or in prison

Intro Narrator: and visit you?

Andy Wood: And the king will say, I tell you the truth,

Intro Narrator: when

Andy Wood: you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters.

Intro Narrator: You were doing it to me. Then the king

Andy Wood: will turn to those on the left and say, Away with you, you cursed ones, into [00:41:00] the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For

Intro Narrator: I was

Andy Wood: hungry, and you didn't feed me.

Andy Wood: I was thirsty, and you didn't give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn't

Intro Narrator: invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn't give me

Andy Wood: clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.

Intro Narrator: Then they will reply. Lord, when did

Andy Wood: we ever see you hungry or thirsty, or a stranger or naked, or sick or in prison and not help you?

Andy Wood: And he will answer. I tell you the truth.

Intro Narrator: When you

Andy Wood: refused to help the least of these, my brothers and sisters,

Intro Narrator: you were refusing to help me and they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life. This concludes today's Immerse Reading Experience. Thank you for joining us.