Thursday, August 1, 2013

IN THE MEANTIME...

One Biblical topic I could talk your ear off about is Eschatology or End Time Events.  I get really excited speaking about seeing my Savior one day soon.  However, with all the studies I have done, with all the bending of the ear I could do about this topic I have found something else.  That something else is a charge or challenge to live a magnetic, Christian lifestyle while eagerly expecting the return of Christ for His church or bride, commonly known as The Rapture.

In a recent study I did, I found some major New Testament prophetic Books and Chapters have this charge or challenge to live out an attractive, magnetic, Christian lifestyle located right behind the prophecy of Christ's return.  The Books I studied were Matthew, 2 Thessalonians, 2 Peter, and Revelation.  The following are the verses that fell after the prophecies.

Matthew 24:44-47
So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

2 Thessalonians 2:15
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

2 Thessalonians 3:6
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.

2 Peter 3:11-12
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

2 Peter 3:14
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

The instructions within these verses like standing firm, holding to teachings, avoiding idleness, living holy and Godly lives, living a life of integrity and peace with God, and listening to the Holy Spirit's voice are all great building blocks from which to build your personal ministry on this earth while waiting for the Lord's return. However, there is more to being a flavorful Christian that is spelled out in other Scripture and needs study. 

Several examples to study toward being a better Christian are all the Churches in the Book of Revelation (Chapters 2 & 3).  Read what Jesus had to say to these believers and just for a moment take it personally as a spiritual gut check (if you will).  Then after careful observation of anything that the Holy Spirit is pointing out, you can pray like David prayed - "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24)

It is great to have our eyes and expectations and hopes on Christ's return!  The Lord Himself told us to "keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." (Matthew 24:42)  But if this is our main focus all the time, it does not do anything for our development as Christ Followers.  As individuals, making up a body of believers, Christians have gifts and talents and specializations.  These gifts, talents, and specializations (teacher, encourager, etc.) must also not become the Christian's sole focus.  As believers in Christ we all have The Great Commission - "...go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." - Matthew 28:18-20
So, it is perfectly acceptable to study, speak, get excited and eagerly await the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, BUT you have your Commission and your Calling and everything in between to develop for the benefit of yourself and others - In The Meantime.