When is Jesus going to return? Has He already returned? What’s all this talk of a rapture, an anti-christ, and a millennium? What does the Bible teach about the end of it all as we know it?
First… some balance. You know, like the unspoken but very much inferred beatitude, “blessed be the balanced.”
What is meant by balance is… what are believers to do with their time while they await the Lord’s return? If we’re waiting, what’s supposed to be our mindset and attitude while doing so? While this sounds pretty simplistic, evidence shows we don’t really understand what we’re supposed to be doing. Or at least, we don’t do what we understand we are supposed to be doing.
But we’re not the first. Paul dealt with at least two churches who leaned one direction or the other too far regarding their understanding of eschatology and its effect on their lives.
The first of these churches was located in Thessalonica. These people were thoroughly convinced Jesus was late in His return. The fear was what if I die before He returns… what then? Paul spent the necessary words to convince them God is always on time. He stressed, “Jesus isn’t late… there’s just some stuff that has to happen first.”
Worse than that, these people became so absorbed in the second coming, that they began to be of no value in the world. Some decided work and earning a living was a ridiculous thing to spend one’s time doing, for Jesus could return at any moment.
Paul’s response to this type of attitude is very stark. “If they won’t work… then they should starve.” The coming of the gospel in no way negated man’s responsibility to take care of his family, fellow-man, and the earth. In fact, it is intensified because with the gospel comes the knowledge that all we do is to be done for the Lord! Christians should be the hardest workers, the most obedient to the laws of the land… their absolute best in every area.
What evidences can be seen that indicates leaning too far in one’s grasp for an understanding of the end times? Evangelism… with no involvement in discipleship? …a failure to build up and edify the body of Christ in preparation for a long delay should the Lord tarry? (Note: the parables of the 25th chapter of Matthew presuppose a lengthy wait)
…then what’s the opposite of this slothful response? Lord willing, more follows.
- Faith Child – I’ll do it all for Jesus (ptl2010.com)
- So What About the World Anyway? (ptl2010.com)
- Rapture Conclusion (shepherdthesheep.com)
- Inaugurated eschatology: What it is and why it matters (spurgeon.wordpress.com)