Second Coming

It’s almost as if there is a sigh of relief, a relaxation, an excitement even, in the Christian community these days, because there is a widespread belief that the Second Coming of Christ is immanent. Things are so bad that he has to come! How could it be worse with the church under attack and people drifting away? Surely, it is time for Armageddon!

I worry about this trend, because it seems to relieve us of any responsibility in the ensuing chaos or in the time leading up to it. But we believers don’t have to worry, because we’ll be caught up in the rapture and swept up into heaven! There is something almost gleeful about that—I get to escape the chaos and you don’t! But wait a minute! I just think that we Christians have a lot to answer for here on earth, before we deserve to be lifted to heaven.

The first thing we have to answer for is that we have not helped to bring in the kingdom here on earth. We have not lived our lives following Jesus, loving God, loving our neighbors, all our neighbors as a demonstration of what God’s love looks like in our lives.

Secondly, we have preached at people in order to convert them, instead of loving them, listening to them, allowing them to be flawed human beings just like ourselves, being patient with them, being kind, gentle and good to them, faithful and so on. We have not lived the fruit of the Spirit. We have treated them like objects of conversion rather than real human beings. And we have ignored our own sin in pointing out others’.

Thirdly, we have settled for beliefs in Jesus, rather than a real conversion to God’s ways. We have not challenged ourselves and allowed God in to change our lives. We have assumed our purpose from what others say our purpose is and forgot to ask God and to wait for his answer.

Mostly, we have hung back from loving God with all of ourselves. We have failed to establish a deep, loving relationship/partnership with Christ. We have settled for a lot less than he is offering, so that we can be comfortable. So instead of being converted to God’s ways, we are still very much in and of the world.

To me, it is no wonder that churches are leaching members and that our standing in the community and the nation is compromised. We are not that different from the non-
Christians. It is time for us to wake up to the real call from Christ, not just the easy one we assume: He calls us to a radical reordering of our priorities from living out the world’s paradigm to living in his kingdom where the fruit of the Spirit reign: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control. He calls us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves—to value, to be kind to, to listen to, to love, to treat as we would love to be treated—and to love God with all of ourselves, warts and all and to serve him in this world.

I am sure that this is not the first time in history that Christians have looked to the Second Coming of Christ to save them. The early apostles thought their time would be short. Surely, during the Middle Ages and the rampant plagues or in more modern times during the wars and hostilities, there has arisen hope that the end is in sight. But this world is the proving ground of how willing we are to faithfully follow God’s leadings no matter what is going on around us or in our own lives. The questions for me, for us all, are these: Will we follow wherever Christ leads? Will we do what he asks? Will we do it willingly? Will we love no matter with whom or where we find ourselves? Will we be a part of God’s kingdom or stay with the world’s?

Even if the Second Coming is tomorrow, we still have a job to do today and every day: to represent God’s unlimited love(not human versions) in this world. I’ll ask again: how many people do you think it would take to wake up a world to the reality of God’s love? 10,000, 100,000 or 1,000,000? Will you be one of those? Will you take up your cross and make a real difference in this world?

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Questions to ponder during the week: Am I believer in Christ or a follower of Christ? Do I think the same way I’ve always thought or have I allowed God to change how I think? Can I feel the diminishing of anger, fear and anxiety in me as a result of God’s transforming Spirit? And the growth of tolerance, compassion and love? Who do I really belong to—the world or to God?

 

Blessing for this week: May we be the people of God who follow Jesus’ teachings and his ways of being in the world. May we be living a life of love and blessings and grace. May we be true to God in our inner-most selves and in the action we take and the words we say in the world. May we have integrity.

 

I am asking again for your stories for my book on the Exodus story. The topic this time is purpose: Has God made clear to you what your purpose is? How did he reveal it to you? What is your purpose, at least as you understand it today?

 

News from By the Waters:
All five of the videos about the Exodus story are up on YouTube. Here are the url’s to access them:
Part I: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKfouN0PNH0
Part II: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyvRsnqYrdg
Part IIIa: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZU32Y09UN8
Part IIIb: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHqKay89kjE
Part IV: www.youtube.com/watch?v=84z7KF_uv7Q
And a new one: God’s Invitation, www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOkp_-wDKFo

My book, “Thy Kingdom Come!”, is up on Amazon in both paperback and kindle versions. Look under Patricia Said Adams.

 

 

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