Friday, August 26, 2011

Get Ready!

As we check the news each day it surely seems that we are approaching the End Times, as event after event seems to fulfill Bible prophecy and Christ’s warnings of the end of the age -- earthquakes with increasing frequency and in unusual places, wars and rumors of wars, widespread famine, rising food prices, false prophets and teachers, and disease epidemics (Matthew 24). As millions on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard are getting ready for what could be the most devastating storm in half a century, we should be even more concerned about preparing for our spiritual destiny.

What should we do until the Rapture, when all who have trusted Christ as our Savior will be instantly caught up to meet with Him in the air, transformed into glorified beings, and spending eternity in the light of His presence? (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53)

First, we must be saved. We must turn from our sins and trust in Christ, and only Christ, to save us from the penalty of sin, namely death (Romans 6:23). We must have faith that His suffering and death on the cross paid for all our sins, past, present and future, so that when Holy God looks at believers, He sees not our sins but the perfect righteousness of His Son that reconcile us to Him (blog post). We must believe the Gospel of grace , that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ allows all who have faith in Him to have eternal life (John 3:16).

Second, we must know what we believe! We must stand firm in our beliefs (2 Thessalonians 2:15-17) and not be shaken by false teachers or scoffers! We must be ready, “in season and out of season,” (2 Timothy 4:2) to share God’s truth with others whenever the Holy Spirit opens the door to such an opportunity.

Third, we must follow God’s general will for our lives. This means following His Word to do those things we know He wants everyone to do, and not to do those things He doesn’t want us to do, which is not easy because of our sin nature! (Romans 7:14-25). He wants us to be joyful and thankful, to pray without stopping, to be led by the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-19), to study His Word, to tell others about how He has changed our lives, to attend church (Hebrews 10:25), to encourage and uplift others (1 Thessalonians 5: 11-19), to live together in harmony, and to have an attitude of submission, self-sacrifice, and love toward one another that will result in our meeting the needs of others (Colossians 3:12-25; James 2:14-17). He doesn’t want us to sin, i.e. to break the law of the Ten Commandments (Col. 3:5-10).

Fourth, we must follow the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). What a blessing that not only has God adopted us as His children (Ephesians 1:5), but that He has appointed us to be His ambassadors! (blog post). He has entrusted us with the awesome responsibility of going forth to spread His Word, to teach, and to baptize in His name. Not all of us can or should go to a foreign mission field, but each of us should be a missionary, or a witness for Him, in the unique sphere of influence where God has placed us, and each of us should support foreign missions through prayer and/or financial support.

Fifth, we must put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18) to be able to carry out God’s general will and the Great Commission. As we become more faithful in these, God will reveal to us more and more about His specific plan for our life, and to be in His perfect will is the greatest blessing we could ever have! We must recognize that we fight a spiritual battle daily (Ephesians 6:12), our sin nature warring against the Holy Spirit, and Satan and his demons fighting against God, His angels, and every believer. The world and its stress and empty values will try to seduce us from God’s priorities (Romans 12:2), but we should set our sights on heavenly things, lay up our treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6: 19-21), and keep our focus firmly fixed on Jesus (Colossians 3:1-4).

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Why should we follow these marching orders? Because Jesus is coming back soon, and time is running out! Let’s make haste to win crowns to lay at His feet (2 Timothy 4:8), to hear Him say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21-23) and to enjoy the rewards He will give us throughout eternity!

1 Cor. 15: 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Love in Him,

Laurie Collett


Nadwra┼╝liwiec said...

I watch in TV news about big hurrican in Eastern USA. Yes, You are right: it is only one of the many signs of time. Wars, storms, famine, epidemies (illnesses not only infectious, but also connected with civilisation, like asthma or diabetes) and odd cults - all this is one big sign, that Jesus is near. I heartly greet You from South Poland.
God bless You.

Ian Curtis said...

Thank you kindly for the invite, and I am happy to see how God is working through fellow believers. I like to see the gospel proclaimed in all of its brilliant simplicity. While the rapture is looming it is good to focus not on our departure, but on Christ's command and fellowship with Him. Thank you for the post.

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you Zim, for your comment. It is a blessing to hear from fellow Christians around the globe. The Internet certainly helps with that -- another sign of the End Times: "many shall run to and fro [like a computer search] and knowledge shall increase." (Daniel 12:4). God bless you too!

Laurie Collett said...

Ian, I appreciate your comment, as you do so much to proclaim the Gospel. Yes, while we are looking up for our redemption (Luke 21:28), we must also look upon the fields that are white for harvest (John 4:35). Love in Christ, Laurie