Week 37 – The Bottom Line About The End Times
Speculating about the end times is beyond foolish… it’s futile! Let’s focus on what we know for sure.Ron Lewis
The resurrection, God’s recreation of his wonderful world, which began with the resurrection of Jesus and continues mysteriously as God’s people live in the risen Christ and in the power of his spirit, means that what we do in Christ and by the Spirit in the present is not wasted. It will last and be enhanced in God’s new world.N.T. Wright, Jesus is Coming, Plant a Tree!
What Should We Do?
What should we then do in regards to His coming and the future fulfillment of His Kingdom? These basic points present the crux of the matter and help us to get ready and not fall prey to the hype that often surrounds this glorious event.
Do God’s Business.
Jesus said, “Occupy (do business) until I come” (Luke 19:13). For the most part, all believers are to be engaged in the world with a disposition of occupation, at the coming of the Lord (Acts 1:5-8). We are not to have “our heads in the clouds” in that unhealthy preoccupation about His coming which has led many believers to a “retreat” mentality. Rather than cowering in defensive subcultures, we are to season our societies:
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:13-14)
Live Sensibly and Godly.
“Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people 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 destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!” (2 Peter 3:11-12) Peter exhorts us to live sensibly and godly in light of the impending judgment and renewal of all things. This lifestyle renounces living in fear as well as unbelief and disregard for God, His Word and His people.
The Lord Jesus continuously tells us to be prepared (Matthew 24:42-51; Luke 21:36; Ephesians 5:27) and eagerly await His coming (ICorinthians 1:7; Titus 2:13). Since His coming will be as a thief (I Thessalonians 5:2-3), the unprepared and unsuspecting will be taken off guard.
Pray “Come, Lord Jesus!”
Pray for the Lord to come again (Revelation 22:20). In praying this way we are agreeing with the ultimate intention of God in the earth, for the bride and the Lamb to be united as one. This prayer at the end of Revelation, “Come Lord Jesus,” encompasses God’s heart for a universal revival, ultimate renewal and the restoration of the church in the fullness of Christ.
How Do You Respond to the Thought of the Second Coming?
|Fear (Isaiah 8:12)||Faith and expectancy|
|Retreat from the world (John 17:14)||Doing God’s work in the world (Luke 19:13)|
|Predicting date (Acts 1:7)||Trusting the return date to the Lord|
Scripture clearly tells us that nobody knows when He will return (Matthew 24:27, 36; Mark 13:32-33), only that He will return. His second coming will be the glorious culmination of this era of human history, thus scripture calls this our “blessed hope.”
When he appears, we will be transformed into His likeness (1 John 3:2-3). As true followers of Christ we long for this event, we welcome His appearing (Greek “parousia” – appearing, manifestation) and live in such a way that we are ever ready, as He will return quickly, suddenly… “like a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2)
- What should be our primary attitude about the Second Coming of Christ?
- What does it mean to be prepared?