"Build me a son, oh Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one that will be proud and unbending in defeat, and humble and gentle in victory." —General Douglas MacArthur
Soccer was my sport as a kid. I grew up in England, so soccer was normal. But there's one thing that isn't normal about soccer: the scoreboard doesn't have a clock. The referee is the one who keeps the time. And when it comes to the future, the Father is the one who keeps the time.
From cover to cover, the Bible contains hundreds of passages that deal with the second coming of Christ. Some of these verses are in apocalyptic literature, including books like Daniel and Revelation. These books are beautifully written and fascinating to read—full of wild imagery and amazing snapshots of future history—but they are very difficult to interpret. Few of the passages are presented in a clear sequence so determining the order of the events that take place around the second coming of Christ is a real challenge.
If you want to be a serious student of this stuff, you’ll first have to learn a whole new set of words like premillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialism. Once you're through with the new set of “isms,” you'll need to figure out if you're pre-, mid- or posttribulation. I have to admit, I've always liked a good debate. But my concern is that we get so caught up in dating and debating that we forget the point.
Imagine you are watching a World Cup soccer match. It starts getting pretty intense, but all of a sudden the guys from one team sit down in the middle of the field and start debating about when the game is going to end. Sure, we could spend a lot of time and energy debating it and trying to convince our own teammates to see our point of view. But what's the point? Paul put it to the Ephesians this way:
“Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. —Ephesians 5:14-17
Jesus, come soon, my Lord, come soon. But between now and then, I ask that You will live through me, that I will think as You think, and see as You see. Amen.
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Stand Strong in These Uncertain Times!
More than ever, people today are searching for hope, purpose, and significance. And in 2014, Stuart, Jill, and Pete addressed many of these matters head-on in some very popular messages. We want to send 6 of them to you in our Best of 2014 series.
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• Why you can trust the Bible
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