October 14, 2013
An Ending Too Soon
Since we are on the fringe in most areas of our life, you can imagine that we would be attracted to a class titled, "Spiritual Readiness for the End Times". Right up our alley! This group of 30 or so individuals had somehow found each other from within the ranks for a 7500+ member church, and proceeded to examine today's headlines and compare them to Bible prophecy, as well as dig deeper into the Word and prep for the Day of the Lord. By "prepping", I mean spiritually, intellectually, physically. No topic was off the table, as long as it remained true to the Word and God's revelation to His Church.
We were so excited about this radical approach to worship, that we were willing to drive 2 hours each Sunday to talk honestly and openly about our faith and what the Bible was telling us about the times we are living in.
But all good things must come to an end. Yesterday the class disbanded. But I wanted to dedicate this post to the hard word that Paul, our leader, performed on behalf of our Lord. His efforts need to be applauded and praised. For personal reasons, this very dedicated and knowledgeable leader needed to close this chapter in his life. For three-and-a-half years he led the group through new approaches and new ways of looking at our faith and the Bible.
We re-discovered the importance of the Lord's Feasts; they were not declared just for the Hebrews, but for all believers for all generations! We took a look at how the ways in which our Government treated the nation of Israel affected natural disasters in this country; and how similar things have happened throughout the history of the Bible whenever God's people disobeyed Him. And we studied eschatology with God's character in mind, rather than simply trying to satisfy our own curiosity. And while we considered many sources, the Bible was always our benchmark and authority.
But here is the deal .... Paul is what the modern Church needs! Christians, especially in the U.S., need to know what time it is in Biblical prophecy and discern what God would have us know and do. Which leaves me astounded that there aren't more groups meeting like our unconventional little band of Watchmen. And it has amazed me from day one of our interaction with this group, that only 30 people out of 7500 found the purpose of this class worth considering. If you say you are a Christian, wouldn't you find it interesting to know what the Bible has to say about current affairs and how we should be preparing ourselves spiritually? It was always fun to see who wandered into the class and who stuck with us, and who got more than they bargained for!
But at the end of the day, Paul left our class with three burning questions. These are issues that I think each of us who call ourselves Believers should answer:
1) Do you feel the urgency of telling others about where we are in God's timeline? Although none of us can predict the day, time, or hour of this world's deliverance, we are called upon to know the season. And we have been commissioned to spread the Gospel message. Are we doing that? We all know someone, friend or family, who has not accepted that knock at the door, and time is running out. If we are not actively reaching out to non-believers, then we are failing in our task.
2) Do you have more Faith or Fear? At the end of our class, we needed to ask ourselves if our study together had resulted in more knowledge that increased our faith, or had we just given into the fear propagated by the Enemy? And as we go forward, will we continue to pursue more understanding so that we can share what is being revealed to us? And will our message instill faith, or fear? As for me, I take great encouragement from what the Bible and God tell me. Perseverance and endurance will rule the day, and only Faith will allow me to accomplish both.
3) Finally, will you continue to be a Watchman? If you are one of those to whom God has given discernment about His plans, then you are already aware that this role comes with great responsibility. You are assigned a very important part in God's End Times scenario. Failure to warn others about the knowledge you have received will weigh heavily upon you. But you must also be cognizant of the arrows and slights that will be heaped upon you. And you must keep a balance in your life. Yes, you are a Watchman, but you are also probably a husband or wife; parent or child. You have been given many areas in which you are to perform righteously. Yes, you may feel burdened, but you must not shirk your other responsibilities. To whom much is given, much is expected.
So, if you happen to identify with PLW and myself, and feel that you are blessed to be living in these momentous times, then I urge you to consider the questions I have extended. They are important questions that have eternal consequences; not just for yourself, but for all those whom you happen to cross paths with. Don't put off their contemplation; you could be the most important influence in someone's life.
2 Corinthians 2:17 "For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ."