I Wish We’d All Been Ready – Larry Norman 1969
I have had the privilege over the last year to be in a directed study with Pastor Paul on the EFCA Statement of Faith. As some of you may recall, several years ago, Pastor Paul brought a series of excellent messages on each article of the statement. In the last year, I have been able to read a good bit about each article and then flesh out on paper my belief on each one. The most recent article of the Statement of Faith talks of Christ’s return. I have been challenged in my thinking about how I view this world. Some of us have come through a generation where there was much talk of the end times. “The Late Great Planet Earth,” along with many other books about Christ’s imminent return, was a big seller in the Christian book stores back in the day. That seems to have diminished. But do we (or I) have the right perspective on this issue? I have appreciated reading many passages from the Bible that talk about the time of Christ’s return. Jesus gave one of His lengthier teachings on future events in Matthew 24 & 25. The Apostle Paul also wrote of our conduct as we wait for Jesus to come. In Titus 2, he tells us “we should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion (love) for God.” The Apostle Paul also tells us in Hebrews 10:25 that we should “not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.” I think a part of our “Growing in Community” is to encourage one another to stay the course so that we will be ready when the Lord returns. In that same passage in Hebrews 10, we are told to “think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” We are to serve those in our world and encourage each other to the same.
In our study this week, Pastor Paul pointed out some verses that I have read many times and not thought about. In 2 Peter 3, the apostle gives his perspective on this. He says in verse 13, “We are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth He has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. And so dear friends, while we are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in His sight.” Do you give much thought to the new heavens and new earth, where those who are following Christ in this life will spend eternity? Do you (or I) get as excited about our forever home as we do some of the things that we are blessed with on this temporary earth?
Easter in two Sundays! It is my favorite time of the year, even better than Christmas. The reason we get to be in the new heavens and new earth is because of the simple message of the gospel that Jesus died for our sins and rose again so that we might have eternal life. That’s it. Who is it on your Soul Fishing list that needs to hear this good news? I have a couple of folks I am asking to come to our Easter service. Only the Lord knows what will happen. Lord, help me to be your hands, feet and mouth in letting others know of your great love for them.
That’s all I’m saying today.
Director of Ministries