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Posts Tagged ‘Return of Christ’

The Soon Coming King

April 11th, 2017

… until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:14-17 ESV)

In giving his divinely-inspired charge to Timothy, Paul added this thought. He said that Timothy was to “keep this commandment,” or he was to fulfill his calling “until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The “appearing” is epiphanea in the New Testament Greek, and was an important word in the New Testament for the coming of the Lord and the end of the age. (See 2 Tim. 4:1 and Titus 2:13.)

We often say these words with a sigh, “until He comes,” aware more of the delay in His coming than the promise of it. But it is given here in an entirely different manner, in a completely different spirit. Here there is faith, hope, and enthusiasm for the coming King.

There is one view of life that sees old age dismally. We start out strong and then grow weaker through the years, losing friends, strength, mental abilities, and optimism. We die as a relief, exhausted by our long and tiresome journey through life. Even some Christians fall into this view, even though there is little Christian about this outlook on life.

The other view is that for the Christian there is always a brighter day coming. We grow old and despite whatever indignities are associated with age, despite the losing of friends, strength, etc., we can say with the apostle Paul, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16 ESV).

The hope of the pastor and of each Christian, is not that we will be recognized and rewarded on earth for our contributions to the work of God, but that we will be affirmed in heaven by Christ Himself, who says, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

And in order for that to happen, He must return. Truthfully, we are more excited about His return than about our own reward. He will come at the right time, and all of history is moving and working toward this goal. He is the One worthy of praise:

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:11-12 ESV)

We do not serve for just the sake of resting. We do not serve in order to be forgotten. We do not serve a cause or a calling that is passing away. We serve and worship the coming King, who is and will be victorious. This is the hope that we are to keep before us at all time.

Art is made, whether in paintings, music, or literature, by contrasting light and darkness. Dark and subdued colors fade into the background and bright and vivacious colors leap off the canvas. The darkness of this age, the subduing of man’s spiritual nature and of God’s standard of holiness, the darkening of hearts across this world, has caused a shadow to pass over our age. But the light is not some “new” human idea, or some “new” charismatic leader. Those are just more of the subdued colors of darkness.

The hope is the coming King who is the Light of the World and the hope of eternity. He is the new bright “color” of the future. From the moment we trusted in Christ we began living for eternity. Each day is closer to His return. Each day is closer to this great event. This is what we look forward to. He is who we look forward to.

1 Timothy, Second Coming of Christ , , , ,

Are You Worried about Government?

January 12th, 2017

All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. (Isaiah 40:17)

I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:34-35)

An incredible amount of emotion, fear, worry, and even rage are spent in concern for things that we cannot control, specially human governments. In these days in America, with the presidency of Barak Obama coming to an end and the presidency of Donald Trump beginning, there has been a significant amount of outpouring of emotion from both sides. Some prefer the style of Obama, and others prefer the substance of Trump – no doubt that in personality Obama is smoother than Trump, or than most people in the planet, for that matter.

No human government in the history of the world has been perfect nor can become perfect because they are always dealing with the sin and failure of humanity. Some governments are better than others, and some are worse than others, but beyond that no one can truly say that a flawless one has ever existed, or will ever exist, until Christ returns.

God’s work in our age is redemptive. He lifts up the fallen, forgives the sinner, and redeems the captive from his addiction to sin. He establishes people in His grace and allows us to stand in Him forgiven, free, and new. He gives peace to the troubled, health to the sick, food to the hungry, and joy to the joyless. He makes peace between enemies, turns swords into plowshares, and makes former enemies to become brothers.

Paul wrote:

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (1 Cor. 1:27-29)

Government’s work is as an agent of God to establish order and to see that justice is done. Romans 13:1-7 teaches us the biblical principles of governments, that they are instituted and upheld by God for without them there would be anarchy and chaos, the rule of the mob and of the mobster. So be grateful for the government that you have. It is imperfect, flawed, but still helpful. Seek to make it better if you can, but do not expect it to be perfect.

But God is not in awe of human government. He does not tremble at the thoughts of kings and dictators, or of presidents and prime ministers. “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing.” He loves and He redeems from sin, and He has a plan for our eternity, but human government is not impressive to God.

What we can do in the name of Christ is to seek to spread love, forgiveness, peace, and redemption. There is enough indignation, cynicism, anger, and hate. If you are spreading more of that then you are not necessary, and you have made yourself such. We need people who will reach out in compassion and grace and draw people to Jesus Christ. He is our hope.

Instead of anger and hate, instead of fear and worry, I suggest we spread love and grace, that we preach confidence in the final victory of Christ and of His return. I believe this will bring more honor to Christ and will be a bigger blessing to people on this earth.

Kingdom of God , , , ,