Saturday, January 1, 2011

While We Wait

This article is a must read, and it puts everything in the proper perspective. From Jan Markell's site, as written by Heidi Swander.

Here it is, in its entirety:

I Can Hardly Wait!

I went out to dinner with a couple of girlfriends a while back and the conversation easily slipped into world events and how dire the forecast looks economically, socially, politically, etc. Finally I burst out excitedly: "Goin' Home!" (This has become a trademark of mine. When I see the rapid decline of so much in our world, the increase of earthquakes, the decline of the church, the rapid descent into socialism -- it reminds me that the hour is late, and that reminds me that Jesus promised to come and get me!). In response, one of my girlfriends smiled wryly. I said, "Jesus could come back and get us tonight!" to which she replied, "Oh, Jesus could come back tonight, but I doubt it."

My heart wrenched. It wasn't that I believed it any less. It was grief I felt that she, for all her lip service to the imminence of the Lord's return for His bride, very obviously wasn't anticipating Him, let alone waiting with bated breath. And I wondered: How many does she represent in Christendom? How many Christians say they are waiting for Jesus to rapture us out of this world and take us Home, but in practice they evidence a lack of belief because they don't anticipate it moment-by-moment? And their lack of joy reflects it.

Get all excited!
In speaking to the Philippians of our heavenly citizenship, Paul took it for granted that his Christian readers would all be greatly anticipating the return of Jesus Christ. He said, "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ," (Phil. 3:20). Did you get that? Eagerly wait -- that's what he said. Of this verb, John MacArthur in his study Bible says, "The Greek verb . . . expresses the idea of waiting patiently, but with great expectation."

Paul used this same Greek verb in I Corinthians 1:7 when he wrote to the Corinthian church, "So that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of Jesus Christ." In this context, the whole scope of the second coming -- from the rapture through His second coming just prior to the set up of His millennial kingdom -- appears to be in view.

And then there's Paul's letter to the church at Rome. In chapter 8 Paul discusses how all of creation is groaning in anticipation of its transformation back into what God originally intended. And in that context he says, ". . . we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body [the rapture] (8:23). Yep, he used the same word Greek word again.

But Paul isn't the only one who addresses this. When writing to "the saints scattered abroad" in II Peter, the Apostle Peter admonished the believers that their conduct should be holy and they should be "looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God," (II Peter 3:11-12). Of this verb - "hastening", Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible says, ". . . by implication, to await eagerly."

So you see, God expects us -- as a matter of course -- to eagerly anticipate our Home-going. I looked up the word, "eager" in my American Heritage Dictionary and here's what it said: "Intensely desirous of something; impatiently expectant." Reality check: Are you intensely desirous and patiently (or impatiently) expectant for Jesus Christ to return to take you Home?

Do you love it?
As Paul was preparing to be martyred for Jesus, he eloquently spoke of looking back to a life lived in obedience to God and looking forward to his Home-going. He specifically said that not only he, but all those who "love" Christ's appearing, would receive a crown of righteousness. The word "love" used here connotes passion. And my faithful dictionary gives a description that seems to match the context very well: "A strong enthusiasm. To like or desire enthusiastically." Reality check: Do you enthusiastically, passionately desire for the Lord to come back and take us Home?

Another perspective
Let's look at this from a different perspective: a wedding - specifically, a Jewish wedding. In John 14:2-3, Jesus alluded to a Jewish wedding when He said, "In my Father's house are many mansions . . . I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

In his article, "Pattern is Prologue: The Rapture, Part 2", Chuck Missler does a wonderful job of outlining a Jewish wedding, upon which Jesus' promise to us was predicated. The analogies between the stages of a Jewish wedding and Jesus returning for His church are so numerous that I get excited! I hope you'll read Chuck's article, but let me quote just a portion of it here so you can see what I mean:

Once the bridegroom paid the purchase price, the marriage covenant was established, and the young man and woman were regarded as husband and wife. From that moment on, the bride was declared to be consecrated or sanctified -- set apart -- exclusively for her bridegroom. As a symbol of the covenant relationship that had been established, the groom and bride drank from a cup of wine over which the betrothal had been pronounced.

After the marriage covenant was established, the groom left his bride at her home and returned to his father's house, where he remained separated from his bride for approximately 12 months.This afforded the bride time to gather her trousseau and prepare for married life.

During this period of separation, the groom prepared a dwelling place in his father's house to which he would later bring his bride. At the end of the period of separation, the bridegroom came -- usually at night -- to take his bride to live with him. The groom, the best man, and other male escorts, left the father's house and conducted a torch-light procession to the home of the bride. Although the bride was expecting her groom to come for her, she did not know the time of his coming. As a result, the groom's arrival was preceded by a shout, which announced her imminent departure to be gathered with him.

Can you imagine the anticipation of the bride as she waited for her groom to return? We in the Western world look forward with excitement to our wedding day -- and we know when that wedding day is. Imagine not knowing. Imagine that you get engaged and then your fiancé (groom) goes off and you don't even see him for 12 months or so while he's building a house! No dates. No letters. No phone calls. No emails. You just wait, and you wait with joy, anticipation and excitement imagining the new life you will live together!

That is the enthusiasm with which God wants us to await the return of His Son for us. Reality check: Is this a picture you and your eagerness as you wait for Jesus to return to take us Home?

What we're anticipating
It's tough to look forward to something when you have no idea what you're anticipating. I'm sure our Jewish bride had at least an inkling of the future -- basis family and societal tradition -- and she had personally met her groom face-to-face. So I thought I'd give you a little taste from Scripture of what we're in for when our Bridegroom comes to get us:

We will be changed. Remember that "redemption of the body" I referred to earlier? Paul covers that in great detail in I Corinthians 15:35-55. And John mentions it in I John 3:2. We will be like Jesus! Let's cover a few things this means for us:

1. An incorruptible body -- it won't get sick and it will never age or decay
2. Immortality -- we will never, ever die
3. No more sin nature -- not only will we not sin; we won't even be tempted to sin
4. Not limited to the space/time continuum -- there are many more dimensions than the three or four with which we are familiar
5. We will be like Jesus -- we will have His nature and a body that functions like His resurrected body

We have an inheritance already prepared for us, and we will receive it (I Peter 1:4)! We don't know all this entails, but some of the things in our inheritance include: Eternal life (Mark 10:17); the Earth (Matt. 5:5); a kingdom (Matt. 25:34); a blessing (I Peter 3:9); a dwelling place of our own (John 14:1-3); and a beautiful, breathtaking city (Heb. 11:10; Rev. 21:1-22:5)

We will reign with Jesus. This encompasses both the millennium and eternity (Rev. 5:10; Rev. 22:3-5). Reign. Let that word sink in. We will be the government under the auspices of Jesus Christ Himself who will reign supremely from Jerusalem!

Are you excited yet?

Present benefits
Yeah, Heidi. I see your point . . . I'm getting excited. But what good does it do for me to get so excited about His return? Answer: It sanctifies you.

As I mentioned earlier, the Apostle John wrote of the wonderful truth that when Jesus is revealed -- when He comes for us -- we will become like Him in nature. Then John says, "And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure," (I John 3:3). If we think He may show up at any minute, it behooves us to live every day in a way that will please Him - in case today is the day!

Here's what John MacArthur says in his study notes to this verse: "Living in the reality of Christ's return makes a difference in a Christian's behavior. Since Christians someday will be like Him, a desire should grow within the Christian to become like Him now."

And here's something else it does in the here-and-now according to that same verse: It gives us hope. Hope that no matter what crummy situation we find ourselves in here on Earth, there's a better day coming! We can endure anything if we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our future -- our eternal future -- is everlastingly bright!

Hope. That's a topic for another day, because when the Bible uses the word "hope" it's a sure thing. Just like the fact that Jesus will come to take us Home -- God willing in the very near future. I can hardly wait! Can you?


Caver said...

Check you email now.

Peaceseeker said...

I'm jumping out of my skin EXCITED!

There is not an hour that goes by in my day that I don't think about Him returning for me, look up into the sky and imagine what I'll see when he comes, or talk about him coming! I remind my family members practically everyday that the time is so near.

I'll just be so happy when we're in heaven and sharing stories about where we were and what we were doing when our much anticipated blessed hope was realized!

Anonymous said...

Scott >>>>

I will always stand by what I believe.....2nd Thessalonians 2...
where Paul is VERY CLEAR that this
Rapture will not take place until
2 conditions are fufilled.

(1) The apostasy or rebellion process......already fufilled...

(2) Antichrist revealed to the
nations on the Internet...


so we wait, I guess....

Please go here >>>

and tell me what you think...

this COULD be the makings of the
7 year covenant with many being
set up in Paul
described in 2 THESS 2....

Stephen in Hawaii !!!!

Scott said...

Stephen - I'll check that out - many thanks for the link!


Thanks so much for the words of encouragement! I so agree and I share your anticipation....That day will be like none other. I can't wait until we hear that Trumpet call - it will be a moment of indescribable joy!

Anonymous said...

I guess it's one thing to be eager, and yet another to KNOW that some conditions MUST be met prior to the 2nd Coming of Christ.

Yes..... 2 Thessalonians is very clear about those conditions.

Expected Imminently said...

Hello Stephen
You said: 1) The apostasy or rebellion process......already fufilled...

As the apostasy clause is copulative with the revealing of the man of sin clause, I do not agree it is ‘already fulfilled’.

Before either event, the ‘restrainer’ (The Holy Spirit?) is taken out of the way.

2Thess2: 4-7 are an ‘aside’ (appositional phrase) where Paul breaks off from his main premise as he reminds the Thess what he had previously told them. Paul returns to the thrust of his argument from vs.3 to vs 8.

Out of interest ‘apostasy’ is a ‘leaving’ or a ‘departure’. Some consider this could even be the Rapture of the Church which leaves with the Restrainer (Holy Spirit?) OR it could refer to the ‘strong delusion’ sent by God in vs.11

Presently we are in the ‘Perilous Times’ of 2Timothy 2.

This MAY refer to the early stages of labour (unpleasant though bearable) the birth pangs of Matthew 24, before the waters break when the seven years begin, and the pain intensifies coinciding with the breaking of the seals in Revelation 6 becoming unbearable to the birth.? (Supposition on my part)

Expected Imminently said...

Stephen, Scott and all,

My!Aren’t I the pompous one :-\

I do apologise for my pretentious ‘turn of phrase’; I should have checked myself before posting. Urgh!

We all ‘see through a glass darkly’, so some things have a sharper focus than others that are more opaque. Whatever is happening, The Lord has it all under His control, and I remind myself that Jesus could come for us at any moment before we see any more fulfilment of prophecy this side of eternity.

I consider myself ‘slapped’ – ow!

God bless


Scott said...

I've yet to see you appear as pretentious!

Anyway, it is interesting that bibles prior to the KJV all did in fact use the term to mean "departure" and without explanation, the KJV started with apostasy.

Either way, I have come to the conclusion that we will see both occur -- we'll have apostasy in several forms, one of which is described by the church age of Laodicea where we are today.

But I believe the original intent was "departure" for this reason.

Paul was attempting to comfort them, that they weren't actually living in the Tribulation, as many assumed.

And in this scripture, he was telling them that one reason they weren't in the tribulation was because
this ("apostesia") hadn't happened yet (therefore, they can't be in the Trib)...The only problem with that is this: There was a ton of "falling away" in faith back then, in that region. It wouldn't have been comforting to tell them that the apostasy/"falling away in faith" hadn't happened yet - because it was happening - and in a big way. That would have been a bad way for Paul to have tried to comfort them...

Therefore, I believe he was referring to a physical departure.

But again, we'll have apostasy in this age as well :)

Expected Imminently said...

Dearest Scott
I bet you have a loverley 'bedside manner'. You are so kind.

I think we are in 'An' apostasy, a departure from Biblical Truth with a lower case 'a'. As you say, because of the Laodicean church 'age'. Yet I consider there is a 'definite article'THE, higher case 'Apostasy on its way too.

I also think it is really a departure UP just as you say, as the N.T. and early Church was nearly crushed by gnosticism plus the Roman persecution was horrific, and yet the 'departure' had not come? Hmm

In recent days I have been nervously sure THE Apostasy does mean 'departure', but I try to keep a lid on it so I don't get over zealous. Or else I could get 'taken away' by men in white coats first :(

Maranatha P-leeees!

Hugs from Sue

elderchild said...

Because their "citizenship is in Heaven" the brethren of The Messiah are but "aliens and pilgrims while on the earth"! And they no longer have their portion with those who follow this world's "broad way to destruction" for they have taken heed unto The Call to "Come Out of her, MY people"! They have "Come Out" of this wicked world and it's systems of religion and have taken heed unto the exhortation to:

“Love Not The World”

”For the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one”.......(I John 5:19)

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.”(IJohn2:15-17)

“If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John15:19-20)

“Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)

“The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)

The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)

John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James4:4)

"Come Out of her, MY people"!

Global warming, polluted air, land and waters, toxic wastes, sexual perversion, evil inventions of destruction, greed, hate, carnal warfare, dis-ease(no-peace),,etc,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life” all of which fuel the fires of mankind’s “imag”ination ;-(

"Come out from among them and be separate"!

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth......

Truth IS, a lie never was and is not.......

Abide in Truth....... francis

Scott said...


Many thanks for those highly germane scriptures, all of which are extremely relevant to the age we are living in.

God bless

elderchild said...

Appreciate your responding to my comment.

Father Help! and HE does.......

Expected Imminently said...

Scott and Elder

I texted the following New Year promise to my son and family because their Emergent, postmodern, fellowship has told them that we can never KNOW what truth is.

God IS Truth.

John 8:31,32 …"IF you continue in My WORD, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will KNOW the TRUTH, and the truth will make you free."

Followed by:

Romans 3:4 …let God be found true, though every man be found a liar…

To a Philosopher, who also said to me ‘what is truth’? I said ‘Jesus Christ is the personification of truth; to know Him is to know truth’. He didn’t reply, but at least he looked extremely thoughtful!

The Truth is severely under attack in these dark days.


Expected Imminently said...


Postmodernism and Emergent/Purpose Driven/ Seeker Sensitive ‘churches’ claim that logic and reasoning is man made, and man has forced it onto the Bible, that’s why they say we can never really KNOW anything. Including truth which they claim is relative to individual experience. So they say logic does not exist.

Obviously they are using logical reasoning to deny the existence of logical reasoning! What’s that called Scott, apart from daft?

In case anyone is wondering, logic and reasoning is part and parcel of all the languages God has created and is demonstrated throughout the Bible starting in Genesis. We all do it quite naturally.

Just like gravity, man discovered the existence of logic within language; man did not ‘invent’ either of these laws.

(The latest 'bee in my bonnet')


elderchild said...

Truth has been under attack since time began, and as promised "evil men and seducers will(are) wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived" ;-(

The religious ones in the days The Messiah walked the face of the earth, joined hands with the world as they sought to crucify The Truth.

And in the days since?

Nothing has changed, the religious ones and this world are joined hand in hand as they seek to crucify The Truth ;-(

Yet Thankfully, no matter their efforts, Truth can not be crucified, for Truth Will Always Rise Again!

So while there is breath(spirit) there is hope!

For Miracles do happen.......

Hope is there would be those who would experience The Miracle that is receiving "the love of The Truth"!

Father Help! and HE does.......