- Light means nothing to a blind man (A.W. Tozer)
- A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism, or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do (C.S Lewis)
- You can embrace a system of theology and not even be born again (John Piper)
- If you want to get along with God, stay off his throne (Jim Denison)
TEXT (Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
To go through life ‘blind’ to important information can be dangerous. ”Where are we going?” is a question that cannot be silenced. Thinking of mental blindness or ignorance reminds me of a time I visited a friend who had opened a super market in one of the populous areas in the city. I saw a woman come in and place a 500 shilling note which was then the highest denomination in our currency.. She then picked a basket, selected the items she wanted and brought them to the counter. My friend explained that the woman was illiterate and did not know how to add up numbers. She left the arithmetic to the cashier. My friend told me that her business was thriving on account of these women’s ignorance who counted on her trust and that of her cashiers. Can you imagine what such mental darkness means; particularly today when Covid-19 is shaking anything that can be shaken? Jesus Christ explained to his disciples about the order of things as we are coming to an end. “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”(Matthew 24:3), Note the disciples inquired, and that is what today’s disciples of Christ should do. In the words of the song “In Christ alone . . .” Stuart Townend and Keith Gerry (2001) concludes by saying “No power of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand: Till He returns or calls me home, Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand”. That is in alignment with Jesus word sat the last supper that were to be regular experience that kept alive the proclamation of his death until he comes.
If the best decision anyone can make is become a disciple of Jesus Christ, why then is there such a struggle in proclaiming the gospel? Might it be unbelief that blurs the power of the gospel in life? There is need to renew one’s vision of who God is and His plan about us. A day is coming when “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp” (Revelation 21:23). In the meantime we need to stand in the power of Christ and take our place in proclaiming his kingdom. It is not formulas, or techniques, but authenticity, credulity and dependence on the spiritual power in everyday operations fully aware that Jesus is coming back. What does Jesus coming back again mean and what is expected of us in the meantime?
IMPORTANCE OF CONFIRMING JESUS’ COMING AGAIN AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE
It is what he said – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1-3). At the time Jesus had what is referred to as the Last Supper he told the disciples to keep the ritual regularly as proclamation of His return. That major event will occur in uneventful time – He said his coming will be like the time of Noah when people lived normal lives, oblivious of the impeding danger. It was the same in the times of Lot. “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17: 26-30). The fact that it is not one of the topics of discussion among believers, and certainly not among those who do not acknowledge the faith, does not reduce its certainty. The word of God endures forever (Isaiah 40:8).
Mission focus – It is not possible to focus on the mission that Christ left if his coming back is not in the fore front of mind. The emphasis placed on the believer’s role as the light and salt of the world and rightly so can dim the reason behind the actions. It is possible to have one’s identity tied up with what he/she does rather than who one is. That is one of the most dangerous traps because one seems to be on course. The New Covenant is just a phrase and so is the Holy Communion. This is more prevalent where the concept of leadership is the ability to think for others. It does not seem to spring from the overflow of one’s personal walk with God but from what the world teaches.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF THOSE LIVING IN AWARENESS OF CHRIST’S RETURN
Active attention to Jesus expectation – Jesus told his disciples to love one another. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35). The disciples are not to imagine or be creative on how to love one another. It is ‘as I have loved you’. He was involved in what they were doing, taught them publicly and privately, demonstrated the power of God in healing the sick, the deaf, and even raising the dead. It is those disciples who have known the love of Christ, who look out for each other, and so keep reminded that they are in the world but not of the world (John 17:16).
Make disciples – Usage of words guides a person to have perceptions that could be different from another. While it is important to have people consent to start the journey of discipleship, it is important to know it is making disciples, not just winning souls. Whether you are planting churches or winning souls, the end product should be disciples who are making disciples. Disciples of Jesus Christ, not church, or people who disciple them, or systems in which they operate, depend on direct feeding on his word… Jesus commissioned his disciples not to merely get people saved, but also to labor to make them disciples just like themselves. It is not a Church program designated to some few people. While church planting is good, if it does not result in people becoming disciples, then that may be a cultural assignment not what Jesus commanded. The concept of some work being secular and others sacred which created the need for some people ‘called’ ‘to full time ministry while others remain sheep to be fed may be just a cultural construction. It is important to check again what Jesus commanded.
Be a witness – If you know that Jesus is coming again, and that “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”(Acts 4:12), then you cannot rest when there are people you know who do not know the way. To know that very close relatives who die without knowing who Christ is, are not assured of resurrection, would make one lose sleep. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The concern of those who have not rejected the gospel, but have not even heard of it comes to mind. You are not the first one to ask. “Someone asked, Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved? It is more a question with me whether we — who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not — can be saved.” (Charles H. Spurgeon, 1834 – 1892).
In seasons of transition and change, ravaging pandemics and shrinking economy, earthquakes, intertribal and religious conflicts and so many lose their sting when viewed in the light of Christ’s second coming. There is courageous power inherent in having a mental posture that sees the relationship between one’s origin and destination… Accommodation of the thought that any belief can lead people to eternal life with God, may be an indication that you have not understood and accepted what the New Covenant is about. It is not possible to long for Christ’s second coming, when his first coming does not make sense. This is not an issue of being identified with a given denomination or historical construction. It is a relationship with the Living God through Jesus Christ. C. S. Lewis on God as Father says, “We want, in fact, not so much a father in heaven as a grandfather in heaven: a senile benevolence who, as they say, “liked to see young people enjoying themselves” and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, “a good time was had by all.” For such people the second coming of Christ is not part of what they have in mind. The one who knows the Lord sees himself or herself on duty every moment of the day. With so much information, pain and struggles, it is important to remember what Apostle Paul said, that before Christ’s return the world would have perilous times, filled with pleasure-seeking, materialism, immorality, violence, idleness and a rejection of the things of God (2 Timothy 3:1-5). If Jesus came back today, why would you qualify to meet him in the air?
“Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.” (C. S. Lewis)