january 9th - Just Could be...
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless. 2 Peter 3:9-14 (NKJV)
As a kid there was one thing that “my” church was certain of…God’s trumpet was about to sound and Jesus was climbing on a white horse and preparing to descend. There was chaos in the Middle East—an explosion of “End-Times” prophecy in the Church—songs, such as Larry Norman’s “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” gaining popularity…surely the Lord was about to come back! I had some church friends who were lamenting the fact that with Christ’s
eminent return they would not get to experience marriage or
have a family. Many years have passed since the days of the “Jesus Movement” and the feeling of “Maranatha!” “OK.” Let me state the obvious…Jesus did not return—most of us got married, had children and are looking at retirement.
Have I lost sight of Christ’s return? “No,” just could be that we are living in the Last Days. No bold predictions here. No great prophetic insight. No clear word from the Lord. Not trying to scare people straight. Not even trying to anticipate what is to come. Still, there is this nagging feeling that we are facing difficult times ahead, where Christians will be out of step with the New World Order constructed of political correctness and humanist ideals. I am not of a survivalist mindset, but when they begin to hand out the equivalent of “yellow stars” to those who claim Christ…I might head for the hills.
The Lord has clearly stated why He is waiting to return. He is waiting until that moment when the Gospel has reached every tongue, tribe and nation; and that the maximum amount of people will have been “saved.” It is going to happen…and just could be, that it will happen soon. In the meantime, I have a job to complete and a race to run. I want to have oil in my lamp—my hand to the plow—my eyes on Jesus—becoming less, while He becomes more—loving God, neighbors, family, brothers and sisters in Christ, and even my enemies… Doing my part to hasten His return.
Author's Note: There is a balance to be obtained, where we are not ignoring the return of Christ and are not preoccupied with it to the point of distraction. God is calling us to be fruitful and to work in the harvest that is plentiful. While I am looking at the world and praying, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus," I am also praying that the Lord would raise up faithful workers to bring in the harvest! RJD