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Sunday, September 30, 2012
Unity # 5: Looking Together For the Day of His Return
Unity # 5: Looking Together For the Day of His Return
The unfolding of Your Word brings Light; it brings understanding to the simple. Thank You that though the work of the cross and the work of the Spirit is incomprehensible, You chose to bring simple spirits to Life. Because You have awakened us, we are awakened to Your glory and Your Spirit teaches us Your Words. Who are we that You care to guard the deposit that we have entrusted to You? We are saved by Your purpose and grace. Thank You for all of Your people who have blessed me recently.
In Jesus Christ’s Name,
Our Father has disciplined us and caused us to return. He has removed our hearts of stone and placed in us hearts of flesh. He has made an eternal Covenant with us by which He never stops showing us His goodness. He has inspired us to fear Him. He gives us singleness of heart and action so that we will never turn away from Him. He faithfully plants us in His Kingdom with all of His heart and soul. (Jer 32:29-31) Dear saint, do you love Him with all of your being? Has your desire for Him been increasing in the recent days? Has He brought your spirit to life? Last week’s letter was about the peace that we experience in the salvation boat of Christ in spite of our temporary differences.
This letter is about the unity that is present among us as we look for the Day of the Lord’s return. There are no other people in the world who are looking forward to the return of Christ except for the saints. And He has surely commanded His beloved to watch and pray so that we will not fall into temptation. He reminds us that the Day will come at an hour that we do not expect and when the worldly people are engrossed in their worldly affairs. The Day when the heavens and elements are destroyed in intense heat comes like a thief (2 Peter 3:10). Ever since Christ ascended, God’s purpose for us is to look forward to the Day of His return. This eager anticipation has an effect of purifying our hearts and causes us to number our days so that we may present to Him a heart of Christ’s granted wisdom (John 3:3, Ps 90:12).
13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matt 7
The people around us who do not fear God care nothing about His coming. They are busy like the people living in the time of Noah; their hearts are set on what they will do here on earth and on the earthly pleasures that they seek (Matt 24:28). The Day of His return will come upon them unexpectedly like a trap in the midst of drunkenness, dissipation, and the anxieties of life (Luke 21:34). Dear saint, will His coming fall on you unexpectedly like a trap? Yes, we can think of many times in the past week where we would have been ashamed before Him at His coming. But we have a great hope. Our hope is that He will remain faithful even when we are faithless (I Tim 4:13). Does this mean that we may remain faithless? No, He remains faithful to His Word and to His Covenant. His Covenant includes the aid of the Holy Spirit in our guarding of the deposit which we have entrusted to Him (2 Tim 1:14). He has promised to keep us firm until the end so that we will be blameless at His coming (1 Cor 1:18). His faithfulness to His people and to the glory of His Name causes us to stand firm until the end. Trust the One who is able to keep us from stumbling and to cause us to stand in the Presence of His glory blameless and with great joy (Jude 24). We cannot do it on our own! We would fail miserably in our prostitution, double-mindedness, and the idolatry of the sinful flesh, but He is able to do it!
He calls us to be on our guard so that our hearts are not weighed down by these types of earthly attachments. He tells us to keep on the alertat all times, praying that we may have strength to escape all the things that are about to take place and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:35). Since everything will be burned up, He calls us to be a sort of people with a holy conduct and godliness as we look for and hasten the coming of this Day. We ought to look forward to His promise of a new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:11-13). He calls us to be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and to regard His patience as salvation for those who have yet to believe (2 Peter 3:14-15). We know for sure that false prophets and teachers are in the world today and He tells us to be on our guard so that we are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from our own steadfastness. He tells us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:17-18). The hour has come for us to wake up because our salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed. We must lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of Light; we must PUT ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts (Rom 13:11-14)
Persecution is ahead of us. We will be delivered to tribulation, some of us will be killed, and we will be hated by all the nations because of the Name of our Lord Jesus. Many are going to fall away because they never belonged to us. Many will betray and hate one another. False prophets are arising and misleading many. Because the Law of God is trampled daily around us, most of the people’s love has already grown cold. Can we stand firm in the midst of physical torture? As Corrie Ten Boom’s father told her, “Just as I do not give you your train ticket until the train arrives, when the time of persecution comes, though you feel that you could not bear such suffering now, God will provide”. When the persecution comes, the true sheep will be kept from denying Him by His strength. Together we will endure to the end and be saved. The Gospel will be preached to the whole world as a testimony to all the nations and then the end will come. (Matt 24:9-14)
What are we looking forward to? God tells us that He is jealous for His people. He will return to her and dwell in her midst. The New Jersusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of host will be called the Holy Mountain. Old men and women will sit in the streets and each man will have his staff in his hand because of age. The streets will be filled with boys and girls playing. This is not too difficult for God to bring about. He is saving all of His people throughout the world, from the east and the west, He is bringing His people to Himself. He will live in their midst and they shall be His people; He will be our God in Truth and Righteousness (Zech 8:1-8). To have God in our midst with His full glory on display, to be united perfectly as His Bride, to worship Him forever, to have Him be our everlasting Light, to have been set free from the presence of the sinful flesh, and the consequences of sin…what more do we long for? Nothing! Dear saints may we be united in our longing for His Day when the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His Kingdom will be an everlasting Kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him (Dan 7:27).
Much tribulation, persecution, testing of our faith, and Spiritual warfare must occur before that Day. The strength of the evil one will wage war against the saints and overpower them until the Ancient of Days comes and judgment is passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the times arrive when the saints take possession of the Kingdom (Dan 7:21-22). He will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before great and awesome Day of the Lord comes. It will come about that whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls (Joel 2:30-32).
He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3 So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. 4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. Rev 3
Oh Father, there is a depth and intensity of Spiritual passion, love, fervor, devotion, and single-mindedness that you have intended for us. We cannot conform to the complacency, shallowness, hypocrisy, and the infinite SOPs. You have removed these hearts of STONE and given us hearts of FLESH which can feel the hidden recesses of Your glorious heart poured out in Your Words. There is a Spiritual intensity of love and a depth of fellowship that we long for with You and with Your people. I do not want to die without seeing it. I do not want to die before I know what it is to share in the sufferings of Christ, becoming like Him in His death, and so somehow to attain to the resurrection of Your Son. I am trusting You to fulfill my dream. I have asked and imagined unspeakable fellowship with You and Your people in Your love. You said that You are able to do IMMEASURABLY more than all we ask or think according to Your power that works in us. I feel You giving me a single-mindedness for Your glory that I have never experienced. My eyes are on You. And I see You working in the sheep. I see You removing the shroud of death from over their heads. I feel You calling dead bones to Life by the breath of Your Spirit through the Word. I feel Your Spirit being poured out among us. I sense You instituting the purpose of Your great Commission in our hearts. I do not want to die without experiencing everything I have dreamed. Maybe this requires your slayings. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world. I Cor 11:32
Sometimes the Lord Slays His Loved Ones Article by John Piper
The Truth Video by Al Martin (deep Agape may appear harsh like Martin’s voice here)
Desiring God 2012 Conference Messages on Sanctification Audio by John Piper
Everything A song that hits the heart chords right where it burns
Love in Christ,
Praise God for Anand and Prasanna’s baby girl.