Coming to a sky near you…The Second Coming of Christ!
We’ve been studying the Book of Acts in our online Bible study for the last 6-weeks. The framework and ingredients for their success is right there. Following the history of the Early Church from Acts Chapter 1 through the last letter of the Apostles we see that His Return was never far from their minds.
What is “the Blessed Hope”?
Titus 2:12-13 (NKJV) 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
The New Living Translation offers the same thought but gets right down to the nitty-gritty when it says in verse 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,
“To turn from godless living and sinful pleasures” calls it like it is.
To do that we need to be IN the world but not OF the world by living with wisdom, righteousness and devotion to God.
Peter warns us in 2nd Peter 3: 3-5 that those who deny His Return is imminent will willfully live according to their own lusts. Is it any different in 2010 then it was in over 1900 years ago when Peter wrote these words to the Believers of his day? It was slightly over 30-years since the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord and the church were already doubting His Return. They willfully returned to their worldly ways. No matter how many times the Lord warned us that His return would be like a thief in the night with no warning or announcement we ignore the admonition to be ready, diligent about using our “talents” for Him and fulfilling the Great Commission.
There may be some of you reading this who do not believe in the Rapture or Second Coming as presented here. I’ve heard the theories, read the teachings and have to say that to make your beliefs work a lot of scripture must either be left out or manipulated.
My attitude is this – if the Lord spoke of it (Matthew 24 & 25), the Apostles taught it and the Early Church believed it – IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME. If it’s not good enough for you, I ask that you read the rest of this with a “what if” mentality; what if you are wrong?
It comes down to the question of what would you do differently if you knew that any moment, in the blink of an eye, He would split the sky and return for His Church?
How would you live your life?
Soberly? Righteously? Godly?
Would you risk being in bed with your lover (live in, committed or otherwise) engaged in what the Bible calls fornication or adultery (if you are married to someone else) when He appears?
Whatever your sin of choice is could be the very thing that causes your Blessed Hope to disappear. No matter how good it feels you will feel worse if it costs you everything.
Risking the chance that you will have time to repent is playing spiritual Russian roulette with your soul and life. That’s what you do every time you commit an “in your face God” presumptuous sin.
Any sin is sin and will keep you from going. Those aren’t my words they are The Word. The Apostle Paul constantly pointed out the things that would keep us from entering the Kingdom of God. He was being critical or judgmental. He was warning the church out of love and compassion. He understood “grace” and taught it in Galatians but he also warned that it wasn’t a license to sin. And, then he warned of the price for choosing to sin. He loved them, and us, enough to sound the alarm of warning in his writings.
Would the unsaved, sinful state of your friends and loved ones motivate you to do more to lead them into the Kingdom? Or, have you become so numbed by the world and the feel good message of a watered down Gospel that you would continue with business as usual?
Remember that people in Noah’s day watched him and his family build that Ark in preparation for the coming flood of judgment. They probably mocked and ridiculed Noah as they continued their sinful, ungodly ways. Is it any different now? I cannot imagine what it felt like for Noah and his family to sit inside the ark for 7-days as the flood waters grew to cover the whole earth. They must have heard the cries and screams of their friends and neighbors to let them in. They had to hear the clawing on the gopher wood as the people drowned.
If you could see your friends and loved ones in the fires of Judgment would it motivate you to share the Gospel and tell them the Truth?
If you could see what your backsliding Christian friends and family will have to endure if they get left behind would it inspire you to do more? It inspired the Early Church enough that they risked their lives to spread the Gospel.
It inspires Believers in Communist and Muslim countries all over the world RIGHT NOW to risk their lives. Here in America we are spending our time fighting for the right to be Christians instead of living it.
Preach the Gospel. Use words only if absolutely necessary!
The signs of His Return mentioned in Matthew 24 & 25 are blazing like a neon sign in Times Square. Has it gotten your attention or are you distracted by the cares of this world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life?
How about you? Does it inspire you? Does it even matter?
It mattered enough to the Early Church that it was the central focus of their efforts. It mattered enough to the Lord that it was a constant theme in His parables.
To help you as you meditate on this I have compiled a mix of 5 selections from a Dennis Jernigan CD for you to listen to. Take a short break from what ever you are doing and go to:http://www.onsolomonsporch.org/word/audio/therescomingadaymix.html
Listen to the lyrics and then think about it. If you are moved and want to share the link with a friend or loved one please feel free to do so. Follow the link offered to Dennis’ site and buy the songs in mp3 format and share them.
Who knows, you may have just given them a Blessed Hope!
Shalom & Blessings,
Richard J Grund