Some Advice for Christians as They Approach “The End of All Things”…

I heard a Christian say it with alarmed emphasis the other day… “What is this world coming to anyway!”

Good question!  And the Bible is not ambiguous about the answer!  (This is where the habit of daily Bible reading can be helpful … it supplies Biblical answers to questions like that!)

But a related question begs for an answer… What should Christians do about it?  How should they respond to that reality?  At least a partial answer was supplied by my Bible reading today… 1 Peter 4.7-11 (I’ll post what it says as kind of a bulleted list)

“The end of all things is at hand [immanent]! Therefore…

  • Be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your  prayers.
  • Above all, keep loving one other earnestly, since love covers over a multitude of sins.
  • Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
  • Use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
  • If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.
  • If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides…

And then the finale … DO ALL OF THESE THINGS “SO THAT IN ALL THINGS GOD MAY BE PRAISED THROUGH JESUS CHRIST! To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen”

Listen… If the Bible is right in its assessment of the future (and I am convinced it is) … it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.  In light of that, it seems to me that what you just read is really good advice!  I’m going to put the things Peter emphasized on my spiritual “bucket list.”  I want stay alert and be prepared for “the end” when the Lord returns!

Suffering and Sanctification

It’s not a popular topic, but Scripture seems to indicate (and experience seems to validate) that suffering and sanctification seem to go together.  That’s right… I don’t know about you, but some of the holiest, most godly people I know, or have encountered, have suffered a great deal.  Like I said, we’d like to change that narrative, but we can’t!

Here’s how Apostle Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, expressed it…

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God!  For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles [those who are not “children of God” through “new birth”] want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.  With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you.” (1 Peter 4:1-4)

So if you’re suffering right now – for any reason, but especially because of persecution for your decision to follow Jesus – allow that suffering to drive you closer to the Savior, deeper in faith, and purify your life through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.  Don’t turn back to the old life but embrace your “new life in Christ” with devoted tenacity.  The Lord will strengthen you, sustain you, and he promised to “never leave or forsake you!”  After all, as this passage teaches, He is your supreme example in this regard!

Just Trust Him When You Can’t Figure it Out!

Don’t know if you’ve ever felt like this… Got a beautiful piece of new technology… did wonderful things… but suddenly one day it just stopped working… so frustrating!!!  I couldn’t find an owner’s manual… tried Googling for a solution… Talked to every “techie” I knew about my issues… Tried everything imaginable… all dead ends!!!  I couldn’t figure it out or make it work!!! … I FELT ABSOLUTELY AND COMPLETELY HELPLESS!!! 

The writer of Ecclesiastes must have felt a little bit like that one morning when he wrote these words…

“I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race… He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3.10-11)

So what is to be done?  We’ve just got to trust Him!  He knows the beginning from the end… He’s the one who’s got it figured out “inside-out”… and we don’t!  We can’t fix it on our own… It’s beyond us.  We’ve just got to bring it to Him… talk to Him about it… and leave it in His hands!  Fortunately, that’s where the analogy I presented earlier ends…  God can’t be Googled… but He is THERE!!!  He hears!  He listens!  Prayer works!  Faith is NOT a dead-end street!  He has everything in control and will work things out!  I believe it!!!  I’m going to trust Him!!!

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