OK, so we're living in the end times as described in the prophetic scriptures - most of us realize that now. Usually after being exposed to a literal view of prophecy and the various signs that are present today, I find that most folks become convinced that indeed, we really are living at the very end of this age; awaiting Christ's return to gather up His Church. But the question often becomes "What do we do now? Now that we have this information - how do we react?"
Listening to a pastor preach on this very message this morning, reminded me that often - as we watch the various signs happening in the world around us, convincing us on a daily basis that we're rapidly approaching the last days - we forget the most important aspect of prophecy watching. What to do now that we have this vital information.
The bible offers some advice:
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more AS YOU SEE THE DAY APPROACHING." (Hebrews 10:23-25)
"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ...Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus...May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)
"And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming" (1 John 28)
To summarize the scriptures, which are specifically directed to living at the end of this age, we see the following messages:
- Hold to and "continue" in the hope that we profess - the hope that we are given by salvation, through Christ Jesus.
- Spur one another toward love and good deeds.
- Encourage one another by NOT giving up meeting together (in other words - MEET together, as Christians in a spirit of love).
- Pray continually and give thanks continually
- Live so that we may be "confident and unashamed" before Him at His coming.
- Encourage each other, and build each other up.
God knew that these would be dark days, perhaps a little scary, just before His return. It seems obvious, based upon these scriptures that God knew that gathering together, praying together, worshiping together, building each other up, encouraging each other, staying in constant prayer, and doing all of these things will allow us to meet Christ in way that we are "confident and unashamed".
These are powerful words, and these scriptures give us important information on how to live in faith during these last days. God knew the exact circumstances we'd find ourselves in. He knew that the financial collapse would be present; He knew the world would be seeing ominous signs, including war and rumor of war, famine, pestilences, a growing world-government, loss of freedoms, loss of financial security, worries about the future, and on and on this list goes. God knew all of this. And He also knows how we can have comfort as we watch the world's events just before His coming.
So we should gather together and give each other encouragement, pray together, build each other up, spur one another towards love and good deeds. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, lets hold on to the hope that we have in Christ.
Jesus will come back, and He will come back soon. Its a promise.
MARANATHA! Our Lord Comes!