Good morning church.
My thoughts have centered around our current condition of the world and how that relates to God’s timetable for His return.
Many have wondered how our current conditions of COVID-19 relate to the return of Jesus to gather His church home. Do the events of today point to the return of the Lord for the church called the Rapture? There are many of us who firmly believe in the Rapture; when Jesus calls his people home and the tribulation begins. The sequence of end time events vary with different theological scholars, whether there will be a rapture of the church or whether there will be a thousand year reign of Christ on the earth known as the millennium. But one thing all Christian faiths believe in is the imminent return of Jesus Christ.
So what does it mean to be ready? How do we live in expectation of His return and how do we interpret the end time events such as the pandemic that has gripped the world?
There have been other global events that have shaken the world in the past. What have we learned from those events? How have they affected the way we live in expectation of His return?
One thing we know for sure “God’s timing is always perfect” and we don’t get to control the times.
In Mark’s gospel 13:32-33 Jesus is having a conversation with his disciples about the end times and His return. He said to his disciples “but concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son , but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake for you do not know when the time will come.”
So what does it mean to be on guard and keep awake? I believe the Bible teaches us to be aware of the times, and live as though Jesus could return any day. The pandemic of today has caught the attention of the entire world and it gives a clear signal to the church to be on guard and stay awake.
It gives the church an urgency for evangelism and teaching the truth of God’s word. I believe living committed Christian lives means staying clear of things that entangle us and hold us to the pleasures of this world. I believe in Biblical separation from the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
The Bible teaches us to invest our lives in matters of eternity and to know the truth of God’s word, so that we will not be lured in by the fleeting pleasures of this world and we will be able to give an answer for the hope that lies within us. The Bible teaches us that the time we are living in is a time for reaching the lost of this world.
I love this passage in 2 Peter 3:8-9. “But do not overlook this one fact beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance. “
God’s purposes for the church have not changed.
I love this verse in Proverbs 16:9. “In their heart humans plan their course but the Lord establishes their steps.”
Psalm 90:12 says, “teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is a beautiful reminder of how God has appointed a time for everything under heaven.
So making the most of the time we are in to reach the lost, recognizing that Christ could return any day and living each day in the light of eternity is the challenge I want to leave you with.
There’s a saying that idleness is the devil’s playground. Idleness is more that just a lack of activity. Idleness of thought, and knowledge, is also very dangerous. Let me encourage you to fill your days with good thoughts. Take time to read God’s word and other healthy reading material. Spend time in prayer with those you love and by yourself.
You’ll find it refreshing to live in the days we still have.
Years ago I wrote a song that expressed my feelings about time. It seems to me that busyness is often the anesthetic that deadens the pain of a life that is out of control.
Not Enough Time
- Not enough time with so much to do
Lord when will I have time for you?
I have a time to work and a time to play
But Lord I just can’t find a time to pray.
When you look down on me and see the state that I’m in
I must grieve you for the way that I’ve been
My time tomorrow I must rearrange
We’ll talk about it Lord things are going to change
Yes we’ll talk about it Lord things are going to change.
- So many appointments I have to make
Time for you Lord is so hard to take
O there’s time I spend that’s idle
But I don’t take time to read my Bible
- When will time ever slow down
I guess not as long as you and I are around
The pace of life has gotten so fast
But only what’s done for Christ will last.
I deliberately wrote the chorus to express how good our intentions are about changing the way we spend our time, but often those changes are put off until tomorrow and they never happen.
God bless you for taking the time to listen and read what I have expressed from my heart to you.