Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Current Study: Advent
Today’s Topic: Jesus is Coming!
Scripture Reading: Titus 2:13 We wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Times have changed. Things are different now. Some of it is good. Much is not. I miss some of the old things. I think I miss plain old common sense the most. My brother sent this to me the other day and it reminded me that some things have not really improved with time. It is a comparison between high school life in 1958 and the present.
Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck’s gun rack.
In 1958 – Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
Today – School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.
Jeffrey will not sit still and be quiet in class, he disrupts other students.
1958 – Jeffrey is sent to the Principal’s office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2008 – Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The school gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a disability.
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1958 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2008 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy’s mom has an affair with the psychologist.
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.
1958 – Ants die.
2008- ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents — and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny’s dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.
I also miss some of the simple truths that used to be prominent in the teaching of the church. I know that’s a self-condemning thing to say, because I’m the guy doing the teaching, so I am responsible. I assure you I will work on it. But as I recall my spiritual heritage, there was one topic consistently at the front of everyone’s thinking and teaching – the return of Jesus to take us to heaven. I remember starting most days as a child thinking “could this be the day?”
In our attempt to make Scripture relevant to our modern culture, we have neglected to teach the simple, common sense truths of Scripture. We focus on self-help rather than spiritual hope. We develop multi-step plans rather than depend on God’s majestic purpose. In our attempt to increase our knowledge of God in our personal devotional life, we have put the foundational truths of our faith on the shelf where they only gather dust. We study theology and doctrine at the expense of grace and love. We solidify our stand rather than surrender to the Spirit. We take pride in what we believe when we should be giving praise to the One in whom we believe.
For me personally, the most ignored truth of today’s modern church is the blessed hope of the return of Jesus to rapture His children out of this world into His eternal presence. The Apostle Peter warned us this day would come when he wrote, “You must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4)
Now we may not be guilty of scoffing, but we are guilty of following our own evil desires and neglecting to look upward every day for the return of Jesus. And if His people aren’t looking for His return, how will the unsaved people of the world ever be exposed to real hope?
Jesus is coming! This world is not our home. This life is only a preparation for eternity with Jesus. Get your eyes off the race and onto the finish line, where the author and finisher of your faith awaits. Any day now, He will appear in the sky, and we will go to meet Him face to face, in all His glory.
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen. (Jude 24-25 NLT)