Monday, October 5, 2020

Do you long for Jesus to return?

They say that a man's final words before his death can be most trusted over anything else he has said in his lifetime. Thank the Lord, I've never had to sit by someone's death bed, but I have heard stories from others who watched friends and family pass. It intrigues me that those who know Jesus always seem to pass into eternity in peace, surrounded with loved ones, with a smile or at least a peaceful look on their face. However those who don't know the Lord get very agitated toward the end, very fearful, and hopeless. An atheist I know told me that I only believe in Jesus because I'm afraid of death, but in all honesty, it seems that it is the atheists who are most afraid to die. I have no fear of death at all because I know where I am going.
The Apostle Paul was one such believer. He writes to his good friend and student, Timothy in 2 Timothy 4 with some final instructions before he dies.  Being that we are all living in the final moments of this present age, I think it would benefit us to look at what he said. 
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.   V. 1-2
We see here that Paul is 'charging" Timothy to do something. Obviously this must be extremely important, seeing as how Paul is near his death and he's closing out his 2nd letter to Timothy. So what does he charge Timothy to do? 
  • Preach the Word  - to proclaim, publish, herald the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • Be Instant in season, out of season  - means to be ready at all times to preach whether it's popular or not, whether it's accepted or not, whether people spit at you and hate you or not
  • Reprove - convict, chasten, correct
  • Rebuke - censure, admonish, forbid
  • Exhort - comfort, encourage, strengthen
  • With
  • Longsuffering - Patience and
  • Doctrine - truth of Scriptures 
in modern day terms, this means "Spread the Gospel of Jesus wherever you are to whoever you can whether it's popular or not, whether you are mistreated or not. Show people how their sins are keeping them from God, correct their wrong thinking, and if they repent, encourage and comfort them, and do all this with patience, love, and with the truth of the Gospel on your side." 
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. v 3-4
Also known as
Prosperity Gospel
Hyper-Grace, Once Saved Always Saved
Many Paths to God
There is no hell
Kingdom now, Dominionism 
Everyone makes it to heaven
Jesus was just a man
You can be a practicing homosexual and be a Christian 
There are many more, but obviously even in Paul's day many false doctrines crept into the church.  
 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  v 5-7
Paul says he's finished all that the Lord has told him to do and he's ready to go home!  I want to be able to say that as well when the Lord comes! How about you?
 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

WOW! Who gets the Crown of Righteousness?  

Those who Love Jesus's appearing!  

Stuck right here in Paul's last words to Timothy is this wonderful promise. But there's a condition, as most things in Scripture. The condition is that you love seeing Jesus return!  The word Love here is 
agapaƍ  - to welcome, to entertain, to love dearly. 

When Jesus appears in the clouds and calls you to come up here, ask yourself, will you be happy? Will you be overjoyed, thrilled, excited? Or are there things that you want to finish here on earth? Are there things or people you are so attached to that leaving them behind kinda depresses you? Lot's wife felt the same way. 

The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.

But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
  Genesis 19

Why did Lot's wife look back? I believe it was because she was attached to her old life in Sodom. She probably had friends there, enjoyed parties and festivities. She also had a position of authority in town  because Lot sat at the gate when the angels arrived. Only the men of authority sat at the gate of a city. It's where all the business took place. Her daughters were engaged to men in the town, so she was probably looking forward to the weddings and having grandchildren! She had much to look forward to! None of these things were bad in themselves. What made them bad was that she valued them above God.

In 2 Peter 2:7 Peter tells us that Lot was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the sinful men in his town, but we never hear that Lot's wife or daughters were. 
Also, it seemed none of them really wanted to leave because the angels had to forcibly grab them all
 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city   Genesis 19:16

This actually paints quite a picture of the attitude of Lot and his family. Lot was highly disturbed at the wickedness of Sodom, yet he remained living there! Why? My guess is that he had a position of power in the town that he enjoyed. His wife certainly loved it there and his daughters had met men they wished to marry. Life was going good for them all.

Until the Angels showed up and told them God was going to destroy the town and they'd better get out!  This is actually akin to the rapture. Jesus will call those of us who are His, His Bride, to meet Him in the clouds. He calls us up Before the Tribulation and Judgment comes on the earth. 

But will we want to go? Are there things here that we love more than we love Jesus?

Here Jesus's own words

Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.  Luke 17:32

So, my question to you is this: When that trumpet blows (and I think it will blow soon) will you love Jesus's appearing? Or will you hesitate and look around at your life, friends, family, and dreams for the future and want to stick around for awhile longer? 
if so, will you still be taken in the rapture?  I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that you may miss out on that Crown of Righteousness Paul talks about. 
If you aren't sure of your answer, get alone with God and ask Him to reveal your heart to you. Ask Him to increase your love for Him so that nothing on earth could every compare to being with Him.   If you are sincere, He will honor such a wonderful request!


  1. Marylu,I don't want to miss out on what the Lord has for me NOT EVER. I want all that the Lord has for me but, sometimes I feel I miss the mark like, maybe He doesn't want me maybe he wants someone else and then I cry.

    1. So not true, Anonymous! That lie is from the pit of hell. God created you unique, special, and precious, filled with wonderful gifts, qualities, and skills to be used for His Kingdom. God doesn't make junk. He makes perfection! Yes, we ALL miss the mark. We have a fallen nature and a vicious enemy. God understands. We I mess up (which is often), I repent, get back up and keep moving forward in the Lord. God knows your heart is in the right place.. to serve Him and love Him. No one else is like you. No one else can do what He calls you to do. He loves you with an everlasting love that can never die or fade, no matter what you do! To Him, you are exceedingly precious! Just keep moving forward... spending time with Him, in His Word and His presence. Remember for those who truly follow Jesus, there is NO condemnation. No one said the Christian walk would be easy. Just keep moving forward... and lean on Him! He promises to see you safely to the end. Blessings!