WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING?
CHRISTIAN LIVING 21C
Unquestionably, looking forward to the Lord’s imminent return for the church is the “blessed hope” of every authentic Christian.
The context surrounding Imminent Rapture teaching also contains practical instruction concerning how we should live in light of the blessed hope.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
Some imagine “the grace God” that Paul notes in conjunction with the Rapture is simply theological terminology describing the mechanics of salvation. Jesus Christ truly was the embodiment of the grace referenced by Paul. Our Lord died as a substitutionary sacrifice for all mankind without prejudice (Jn. 3:16).
The text, nonetheless, makes obvious that God’s grace must powerfully impact how we live in light of Christ’s return for the church. The blessed hope should arouse more than passive acknowledgement of the fact.
LIVE SOBERLY . . .
Although the saving aspect of the grace of God is usually the focus when discussed in Christian circles, there’s more to grace than clichéd unmerited favor.
As recipients of God’s grace, we can no longer be characterized by indifference toward God or negligence in our obligation to serve Him that Paul identifies as “ungodliness” (v.11).
Similarly, “worldly lusts” describing any passions, goals and ambitions anchored in the present world system (that is ruled and governed by Satan) must no longer dominate our lives.
Ungodliness and worldly lust are uncharacteristic of those who have genuinely experienced the benefits of God’s grace.
With grace at work in your life, self-control, integrity and passionate service for God will be evident.
LIVE ZEALOUSLY . . .
Experientially appropriating the benefits of God’s grace dramatically changes the focus of our lives. The grace of God teaches us to deny self and anything that appears ungodly, while at the same time instructs us to be zealous in service to Him.
The lives of those genuinely anticipating the imminent return of the Lord reflect that reality.
Additionally, the prospect of our Lord’s imminent return for the church has a purifying effect for the expectant. The apostle John succinctly states,
“And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 Jn. 3:2-3).
In contrast to prevalent indifference, inactivity and apathy with regard to God’s purposes, knowledge of the reality of Christ’s imminent return for the church stimulates zealous determination to faithfully serve the Lord while there is still time (v. 14).
On the basis of God’s grace, we look forward to the blessed hope of Christ’s imminent return for the church. But, as a recipient of God’s grace, we must ask ourselves:
“What will I be doing for Him when He returns?”
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via Contact Form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Emphasis added.)