When I had eaten the bacon I sat back with a cup of coffee in my hand, leaning against the trunk of a ponderosa, and studied my situation.”
–Louis L’Amour (Passin’ Through)
In the graylight of the mornin’ it is very still, with only a few birds chirpin’ as I’m sittin’ on my back deck, coffee in hand, waitin’ for yuh to show up, Pard. Just spendin’ some time ponderin’ while waitin’. Pard, yuh ever stop to wonder how much time we spend just waitin’? Guess it helps teach us patience.
I haven’t done too much a studyin’ on this here China virus. I do know that it’s caused a lot of heehawin’ and of course the media has to have their hoorawin’ as well. I’m looking out at the woods, lookin’ to see which trees around have the best leaves in case we run out of paper. Plenty of oak, gum, and maple, so I should be all right.
Saw where a several of those young snips were smartin’ off again. Yep, you guessed it Pard, the Millennials and Generation Z told the police that they were not goin’ to let the virus destroy their partyin’. Besides bein’ obnoxious, arrogant, and selfish they represent a society that will be left behind when the Lord comes like a “thief in the night.”
So, in the midst of all the uproar, I reckon I’ll just trust in the Lord and enjoy my coffee. Doin’ some writin’ on a new novel. Hmmm, from the looks of the pot, I’d say it’s time to brew up a new batch.
You be safe an’ stay at home. One thing that does for yuh, yuh won’t have to be a wonderin’ if’n yuh checked yur cinch or not.
Life has its sorrows, but the good Lord gives us many blessings to compensate, don’t you think?”
–C.M. Curtis (Return of the Outlaw)
“So you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again. Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will rob you of your joy.”
–John 16:22 (HCSB)
“I am watching for the coming of the glad millennial day,
When our blessed Lord shall come and catch His waiting Bride away;
Oh! my heart is filled with rapture as I labor, watch and pray,
For the Lord is coming back to earth again.”
In my way of understanding Scripture, there is a problem with the theology of this verse. It seems as if this person might be a postTribulation rapture believer. That put aside, we should all be following the idea of us laboring, watching, and praying, for FOR SURE the Lord is coming back to earth again.
“Jesus’ coming back will be the answer to earth’s sorr’wing cry,
For the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the earth and sea and sky;
God shall take away all sickness and the suff’rer’s tears will dry,
When our Savior shall come back to earth again.”
The earth is groaning; the inhabitants of the earth are moaning. But when the Lord appears to establish His reign on earth He will remove the curse. The earth will replenish itself; pollution will not be seen. Man will smile and not fear; he will not worry about being sick or losing someone to a dreaded disease.
“Yes, the ransomed of the Lord shall come to Zion then with joy,
And in all His holy mountain nothing hurts or shall destroy;
Perfect peace shall reign in ev’ry heart, and love without alloy,
After Jesus shall come back to earth again.”
Those of the Lord can begin to rejoice–NOW! But the, the hope of His coming will become a realization. Jesus will rule from His temple in Jerusalem. The “Prince of Peace” will bring perfect peace to the inhabitants of the earth.
“Then the sin and sorrow, pain and death of this dark world shall cease,
In a glorious reign with Jesus of a thousand years of peace;
All the earth is groaning, crying for that day of sweet release,
For our Jesus to come back to earth again.
Oh! our Lord is coming back to earth again,
Yes, our Lord is coming back to earth again;
Satan will be bound a thousand years, we’ll have no tempter then,
After Jesus shall come back to earth again.”
I mentioned a phrase of this in yesterday’s Echo, that’s why I thought it would be good to look at the complete song. What a glorious time that will be. Now don’t think for a minute that you’ll have wings, or that you’ll be floating around with a harp. Oh no, you’ll be working, working for the Lord. However, the curse will be removed–the Lord will reign!
It is a thing I must remember, that men must always remember, that civilization is a flimsy cloak, and just outside are hunger, thirst, and cold…waiting.”
–Louis L’Amour (Bendigo Shafter)
“For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”
–Matthew 24:44 (NASB)
Apocalypse/Post-Apocalypse! What comes to mind? Most likely a movie as it has been a major theme of many film producers. Perhaps you thought of the virus that is upon us. The term is now being used again.
Now, I don’t proclaim to be a Bible scholar, nor an eschatological expert (why, I can hardly spell it, much less say it), but I would like to give a few thoughts to the idea of Apocalypse. The word, I found in studying, is actually a Greek word meaning “revelation” or “an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and could not be known apart from the unveiling.” It speaks of the unknown future and has taken on the concept signifying the end of the world as we know it.
First of all, Post-Apocalypse is not destruction, but restoration. However, before looking at that I do want to say that there will be an Apocalyptic time. This time is the Great Tribulation and will culminate with the Battle of Armageddon, or the Day of the Lord. It will surely be a time of troubles that the world has not seen since the time of Noah, and it will actually be worse with all the wrath that is upon the earth.
“The harvest of the earth is ripe… Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe. So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into a great wine press of the wrath of God… He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.”
–Revelation 14:15,18-19;19:15 (NASB)
This coronavirus will be mild in comparison to what will take place during the Great Tribulation–Apocalypse. There will be pandemics the likes of which mankind has never seen, plus a myriad of other calamities–Apocalypse.
But after Armageddon–post-Apocalypse–the earth will begin a process of restoration. The “curse” will have been removed. Jesus will rule from Jerusalem. It will be a time of prosperity, safety, and plenty. Satan will be bound, the Tempter will be in chains and in the “bottomless pit.” Makes me want to sing the words of J.M. Kirk’s song, “Satan will be bound a thousand years, we’ll have no tempter then…” Imagine this wonderful Millennial Reign of Christ.
When we read the signs of Christ’s return found in Matthew 24, there is a very important verse. Jesus has been speaking of what it will be like before He returns. He speaks of various kinds of disasters and troubles, but notice verse 8: “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” (24:8, NASB)
The Lord is preparing to return! The COVID 19 is only part of the beginnings of birth pangs. Don’t fret, don’t worry, don’t be anxious, but set your eyes upon Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith”.(Hebrews12:2, NKJV)
You must live your life. Make it worthwhile. Every man, every woman has a burden. Lift yours cheerfully and begin to climb… Love those with whom fate has placed you. And fight—fight the dark moods, the selfish thoughts, the hateful memories! Work…love.”
–Zane Grey (Wanderer of the Wasteland)
“So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is… always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.”
–Ephesians 5:17,20 (NASB)
Have you ever come to the end of the day and remarked, “My that was a wasted day”? If so, you must ponder the reasons that it was wasted. Some waste time away with wantonness, other waste the time away in daydreaming. We are told to “redeem the time,” yet all too often we find that we are wasting time.
I’m sure that most of us, at one time or another, has made the following statement, “Well, that was a waste.” You purchased something and it didn’t prove to be what you thought it would be; it didn’t do as you expected. Perhaps you have given money to a homeless person, and someone has said to you, “You wasted your money.” Recall the words of disdain when the woman broke the vial of perfume to anoint Jesus, “But some were indignantly remarking to one another, ‘Why has this perfume been wasted?'” (Mark 14:4) In John, the words are attributed to Judas, but it seems that many were in agreement.
Watchmen Nee says this about “waste”:
“What is waste? Waste simply means giving too much. If a shilling will do and you give a pound, it is waste… A waste means that you give something too much for something too little. A waste means that the one who is receiving the something is not worth so much.”
The world would say that if you have talent and you use it for the Lord then you are wasting it. You could be making much more money. Many would say to Christians that you waste too much time in service for the Lord. Don’t waste your money on that small church, give it to some decent charity, such as the United Way. “When once our eyes have been opened to the worth of the Lord, nothing is too good for Him.” (Nee)
It seems that the Christian wants to be blessed, yet wants to sacrifice little for the blessing. Is the Lord satisfied with our labor and service? It is vital that we recognize, and shamefully some have not, that our service to the Lord is not on commercial lines. It can never be; our service must be to please Him.
Take some time to inventory your works. Then take more time to prioritize them. See what you are doing for the Lord, then check why you are doing them. Are you working for a blessing, or to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?