In the maze of modern Christian beliefs, there is much mania concerning end time events.  A proliferation of movies, books, and media reveal humanity’s keen interest in the subject.  Even amongst mature Christians, fascination sometimes takes hold, causing negligence in more important spiritual disciplines.  Sometimes harsh debates and divisions ensue. 

It’s important for us to understand that the Bible doesn’t speak on this topic for the sake of spiritual entertainment.  It does so for our spiritual edification.  Peter referenced this reality in 1 Peter 4:7-10.  The Lord isn’t as concerned with our knowledge of events and characters, as He is with our personal devotion to Christian character and Himself.  The reality concerning His return should serve as a catalyst for spiritual fervor.  Consider three responses we should have to end time truth.

Get serious about prayer. 

Most believers are familiar with Bible instructions concerning prayer.  We know we should “pray constantly” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and “pray at all times in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:10).  However, we often fail to maintain a steady discipline.  Prayer is an aspired value, but it often isn’t actualized.  We must remember that prayer is a primary expression of our belief in God.  When Christ returns, He wants to find faith on the earth (see Luke 18:8). If we are going to spend eternity with God, shouldn’t we regularly talk to Him now?  If you want to be ready for the end, make prayer a habit of life.  Schedule daily times of worship at Jesus’ feet.  Learn to talk to Him throughout your day.

Love like Jesus. 

Charity is the hallmark virtue of the Christian faith (see 1 Corinthians 13:13).  We are called to love God and others (see Matthew 22:37-40).  The Bible teaches that we naturally fulfill all of the Lord’s commands by being devoted to this axiom (see Galatians 5:14).  Tragically, many believers are slack in this area.  They are religious, but they aren’t real loving.  Their hearts aren’t fixed on God and others as they should be.  They unwittingly operate according to the world’s economy of relationships.  Living by a tit-for-tat mentality, they like people who like them, and they are cold towards people who don’t.  In light of Christ’s soon return, we should be sober concerning how we treat others (see Matthew 25:31-46).  We should seek to love like our Heavenly Father (see 1 John 4:8), showing kind regard to even those people who don’t deserve it (see Romans 5:8).

Use the gifts God has given you.

At salvation, each believer receives the Holy Spirit.  With the Third Person of the Trinity, he or she also inherits a spiritual gift (see Romans 12:6-8).  When Christ returns to earth, He desires to find His people using His gifts for His glory, and for the good of others.  Jesus told a story to illustrate this point (see Matthew 25:14-30).  Just as a manager would expect his employees to use their positions and skill sets for a return on investment, the Lord desires for His children to make good use of what He has given them.  If you want to be prepared for the Lord’s return, get busy doing God’s work!

Dr. Patrick Latham
Pastor

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