The door is closing on this age. For many, this idea resides solely in the realm of theology where they accept the idea of an end to the age, but don’t consider that we may actually be there. For those who do have an understanding of this, another danger emerges as there’s a tendancy to engage in endless debatings. Debatings over the timing of the rapture, debatings on when the man of sin will appear, debatings on whether to store up food and ammo or live by faith. Debatings over a host of issues which can consume an incredible amount of time and energy. I’ve seen running correspondances over such topics which are so long and filled with extraneous detail that it’s dizzying. Yet the implications of this age nearing its final moment are often not fully grasped by any of us. If we understood this as we should, we would probably be less concerned about scoring “see I told you so” points and more concerned about the billions who are in danger of facing an eternity without Christ.
It should be pointed out that we must contend for scriptural truth and never embrace compromises or departures from sound doctrine. But sometimes we can become consumed with gnat-straining over those things seen through a glass darkly, and then defending our conclusion concerning those issues. For example, Last week I heard Pastor Lankford discussing on how the man of sin will be “revealed.” We can speculate dawn to dusk on who it is and make multiple referances to “Obama-nation” but the truth is that none of us will know until it is supernaturally revealed. (Amazingly, after hearing Pastor lankford, I turned to another station where a different preacher was talking about this very same thing.)
John 9:4 “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work.”
For everyone who is born of the Spirit, the time will come when our earthly ministry is complete. Those who we failed to reach with the gospel of Jesus Christ will remain unreached. Those in despair, who were crying out for help while we were busy praising God for all of our material abundance, will forever be a testimony against us. Those who slipped needlessly into the night will forever be lost and no amount of sincerety will bring them back. Each of us must begin to understand the seriousness of the hour, the desperate situation of those without, and the treacherous footing of those who who profess that they know God but in works deny him. I cannot express how “unqualified” I am to talk about this topic. When I think of all the blown oportunities that I know about (I shudder to think of the ones that I didn’t see) it’s discouraging to say the least. My prayer is that all of us (emphasis “us”) will be granted a deeper understanding of the situation before us.
I Peter 4:7-8 “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover a multitude of sins.”
We look for the day when we are absent from the body and present with the Lord Jesus. We ponder the moment when Jesus returns to earth and every eye beholds him. When Jesus returns to earth there will be no questioning about who it is. He will send his angels into the four corners of the earth and gather those who remained standing. Those who know him not will cry out to the rocks “fall on us.” Those who are watching will comfort one another with the truth that our temporary circumstance is nothing when compared to the age to come and the moment when this mortality puts on immortality. (There’s a post about this when I get around to finishing it.) But while we anticipate the return of Jesus and look forward to the moment when time runs out of itself, we should grasp the implications of this on a greater scale; both the positives and the sobering.
( 1 ) The end of the age will mean an end to the endless cycle of iniquity that has causes the creation to groan and travail. The man of sin, who deceived the whole world, will be cast into the lake of fire where he and the false prophet will remain during the millenial reign of Christ. (They will have the entire lake to themselves until after the great white throne judgment.) Jesus will establish his kingdom on earth and judge righteously.
( 2 ) For the saints, we will have entered into his rest. All of the afflictions endured while living in this temporal world will only be a memory. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh in us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” May the Lord grant us understanding as to the profoundness of II Corinthians 4:17. (and verse 18) When we truly have our hearts set on the world to come, no amount of tribulation will shake us.
( 3 ) Understanding. Over the past few days Pauls words of “but then shall I know even as also I am known” have been on my mind. To “know as I am known?” Well God has the very hairs of our head numbered and he sees our thoughts afar off. Will we have understanding of things that, in this present world we never even dreamed of? As we ponder these things, questions are certain to come up, but when we see him as he is, those questions will be answered. If what we see through a glass darkly is awesome, imagine what it’ll be like when the glass is removed. “WOO HOO” is an understatement.
( 4 ) This is on the sobering side. When Jesus returns and every eye beholds him, there are millions upon millions of souls who will head into eternal torment. Souls that are currently alive and well on planet earth, going to work, raising their children, and being model citizens.
( 5 ) Our embodiment of works will be complete and whatever we didn’t get to, we didn’t get to. Kind of like those tests in school where a certain amount of time was granted. When time was up, the unanswered questions would remain so. We should make the most of every encounter that we have with those outside the household of faith because tomorrow, one of us may not be here anymore. When we leave this world, or when Jesus returns; whichever comes first, our embodiment of works will be completed.
Well, it’s about time to close this up. One thing that should be evident is that when we truly become focused on heavenly things, and on the imminent return of Jesus, we’ll be of much more earthly good. When we grasp the fact that every day finds new souls in hell that weren’t there the day before, we’ll find ourselves less concerned about the football game and more concerned about the people across the street. We’ll strive to be good ambassadors for the Lord Jesus Christ and will simply “let go” of the weights that once seemed to be stuck to us like glue. I apolagize if this post sounds choppy. It wasn’t exactly anticipated. I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.