We need to keep looking for Jesus to come, but we must never forget that we have responsibilities until he comes. Let us spread the light around.Ed Dobson, The End: Why Jesus Could Return by A.D. 2000, ZondervanPublishingHouse, 1997, Pages 186-187
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Today I present another End Times post.
What are we focused on, here in the End Times?? That’s a question that you, me, that we all need to seriously consider these days, Readers.
Yes, The End is now. We take that on Faith. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to come tomorrow, or this year, or next year … or even in ten years time!! We will simply never know the day nor the hour, as Jesus Himself said (Matthew 25:13).
Since we don’t know when He’s coming, are we supposed to spend our remaining time watching the skies, waiting for His return?? It’s very tempting to focus on Jesus’ Return and The End of the world. But it would be a fatal mistake if we did that, not only for us but for many others. We have a lot of work to do while waiting for Jesus to return, and that’s what we should be focused on. And that’s the topic for today. So let’s get to it.
Of Course We Want God!!
As I write this (about a month in advance of posting), I sit here wondering if I was once again under Spiritual attack by a powerful demon last week. I wonder if the Python spirit was choking and constricting me again. If it was, I didn’t discern it till it was too late, and the attack was over.
I say it’s possible I was under attack last week, because I was really feeling down and depressed. You may have read the previous End Times post, where I wrote about Peter Maurin’s vision for a new Christian society after the collapse of this one. I more or less said, “Yeah, sure let’s try to make this Christian society. Might as well give it our best shot before The End, when LORD Jesus returns. But of course we already know we can’t get it perfect, and we’ll never have a perfect society here in our fallen world.”
After finishing the post and scheduling it, this pessimistic thinking led me to a whole train of thought I had no need to get on. I started thinking about how wretched our corrupted, fallen condition is here on earth. How we’re stuck down here, separated from God with desires that can never be fulfilled because at the root of all our desires is the desire for God.
I thought about how our souls are trapped in these corruptible, temporary human bodies that weaken and decay over time until we die. I thought about how we’re targeted and attacked by demons and Satan’s kingdom the whole time we’re on earth, only finding relief when we die. I started saying, “Physical death is relief. It’s a blessing. It’s the end to our trouble.”
And all these thoughts led me to loudly proclaim Revelation 22:20, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” I wanted the Day of the LORD. I wanted the End of this fallen world. All the problems and chaos of this world, I just want it all to be over. Forever.
Well … yes, of course we all want that. That’s a given!! Who doesn’t want the Day of the LORD?? The End of this fallen world is the beginning of God’s new, perfect world. All social evils (like racism, inequality, poverty, warfare, and more) and sin will be destroyed when God corrects what got corrupted here, and deigns to live with the human race in His new world. Who doesn’t want this?? It’s only natural to desire the Coming of the LORD, to desire an end to the pain of this world and our final reunification with God, forever.
But our final relief is not what God wants us to focus on. The End of the world is not what He wants us fixated on. The Second Coming of Christ is something for Christ to handle, not us. Jesus makes it clear He expects us to focus on following His commandments and serving our fellow humans as always, all the way till the day He returns in all His Glory.
In other words: Let God worry about the day and the hour. We still have a lot of work to do until that time comes. And that’s what we need to focus on.
Look Right in Front of Us
Wayyyyyyyyyyyy back in Part 6, one of my earliest posts ever, I wrote about Luke 12. About the parable Jesus teaches in Luke 12:35-48 about always being ready for His return. We will never know the day nor the hour of His return, and we don’t need to. Jesus told us everything we need to do, and we’re expected to keep doing it as best we can until we either die or He comes back.
(43) Happy are the servants whom the master finds fulfilling their responsibilities when he comes. (44) I assure you that the master will put them in charge of all his possessions.Luke 12:43-44 (CEB)
Well what is this work we’re supposed to be doing until He returns?? Oh, that’s simple. Jesus said if we love Him we’ll keep His Commandments. And those are simple (I said simple, I didn’t say easy).
(15) If you love me, you will keep my commandments.John 14:15 (CEB)
His Commandments are to love God, and love one another as we love ourselves. To love our neighbor and our ‘enemies,’ to turn the other cheek and pray for those who persecute us. To perform the Works of Mercy (Charity, Service, and more) in Matthew 25. To evangelize, spread the Good News and bring people to Jesus.
If we love God we’ll do these things as best we can, right up till the Final Day (if we live to see it).
The evangelizing is especially important for God’s Plan. Remember that the LORD doesn’t wish for even one person to perish (2 Peter 3:9), and we know that Jesus is the Good Shepard who goes out to find the one lost sheep. The LORD wants everyone in this world to come to Jesus while they still have time. And Jesus’ Salvation is for everyone who believes in Him. It’s free for the taking, all a person needs to do is believe.
This is why, as 2 Peter 3 explains, the Second Coming of Christ appears to be delayed. God is showing the world Mercy and Patience by delaying the End. He doesn’t want anyone to suffer damnation if they will believe in Jesus and change their hearts and lives.
This is where we come in. We have work to do, right here, right now. We have to evangelize and live out the Gospel. We have to perform the Works of Mercy, doing Charity and Service for humanity. We have to show good examples of the Christian life and show the world what Christian Love is all about. We have to lead as many people to Christ as we can (and He will take them the rest of the way if we can only get them started). Because God doesn’t wish for even one person to perish for eternity.
We have work to do right now, and God makes that clear in Scripture in 2 Peter 3. It’s only natural we should desire the Day of the LORD, The End to this world’s pain and corruption. But it’s not God’s Will that we focus on that. Instead, He expects us to do what He taught us to.
(3) Most important, know this: in the last days scoffers will come, jeering, living by their own cravings, (4) and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? After all, nothing has changed—not since the beginning of creation, nor even since the ancestors died.”2 Peter 3:3-4, 8-9 (CEB)
(8) Don’t let it escape your notice, dear friends, that with the Lord a single day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a single day. (9) The Lord isn’t slow to keep his promise, as some think of slowness, but he is patient toward you, not wanting anyone to perish but all to change their hearts and lives.
In my queue of books I’m going to read, I have a book called The End: Why Jesus Could Return by A.D. 2000 by Ed Dobson. Well it’s a good thing Dobson put “Could” in his title, because it’s quite clear the world didn’t end in the year 2000.
I look forward to this book, but haven’t read it yet. I did flip to the last page though, where I saw that Ed Dobson had nicely written exactly what I’ve been saying today. It’s OK to desire the Second Coming of Christ. But don’t forget we still have a lot of hard work to do, right here, right now. And Jesus already told us everything we need to know to do it. So let’s get going.
That’s something we need to keep in mind, Readers. What are we focused on, here in the End Times?? Ed Dobson reminds us that as much as we want to look up to catch Jesus coming in all His Glory, we need to spend more time looking right in front of us at the people who need Jesus’ Saving help right here and now. So I’ll close out today with the words of Ed Dobson from The End: Why Jesus Could Return by A.D. 2000.
HEADLIGHTS IN THE SNOW
A group of people in our church has adopted some of the homeless people in our city—people who live year-round under the bridges downtown. This group takes a hot meal to these homeless each evening and provide basic necessities when asked. The church people simply love them and have cultivated a relationship with them.
I went with one of the men to visit a man we’ll call Fred. It was the middle of winter, the snow was blowing, and the windchill was 30 degrees below zero. We drove downtown. We walked along an isolated path to the bridge. In the center of the bridge was a cardboard box covered with a bunch of blankets. Fred did not want to eat the hot meal in his box. “It attracts mice and rats,” he said. So we went back to the car and sat with Fred while he ate the meal.
Fred had been living at the bridge for more than three years. He was alert and intelligent. He was a skilled tradesman but had chosen to live in the cardboard box. He called it his condo. “Great advantages,” he said. “No heating or lighting bills, and the IRS doesn’t know where I am.” I enjoyed our conversation. When he was through eating, Fred made his way back down the path and into the darkness of that winter night.
It was snowing as I drove home. I noticed an unusual phenomenon that I had never seen before. The way the snow was coming down caused lights to cast their beam straight up into the sky. Streetlights, car lights—all pointed straight up. The sky was filled with lights pointing upward.
The scene is really an illustration of how many of us live. We keep pointing our lights to the sky waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ. This is important. But underneath the bridges we cross and all around us are people who need to be illuminated by the lights we carry. We need to keep looking for Jesus to come, but we must never forget that we have responsibilities until he comes. Let us spread the light around.Ed Dobson, The End: Why Jesus Could Return by A.D. 2000, ZondervanPublishingHouse, 1997, Pages 186-187
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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