One of our elders on Sunday challenged us with a thought: He was looking ahead at an appointment with his attorney and the tax man on Tuesday… But think of what Jesus was looking toward that week following “Palm Sunday”. The Cross!
Well, I’ve been meditating on that this week. How could Jesus press on, knowing what He was going to suffer? I think I found the answer in Hebrews 12:2 – “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” He could only face the cross because He could see thru and beyond the cross!
And then I thought of the Apostle Paul who sat in the Roman prison awaiting the executioner’s ax. He was “now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.” But instead of looking at the chop block and the agony of death he was looking thru and beyond to his “crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
So what should be my attitude and focus when I take a hard and honest view of our beloved nation and what is ahead for America and for the rest of the world? Our Lord Himself gives clear and plain instructions thru the Apostle Peter: “Seeing then that all these things shall be…” (remembering that John 16:33 declares that “in the world we shall have tribulation”) we must be looking “for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness”. But this does not mean sitting idly by or even anxiously awaiting. We must “be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.”
If our Lord tarries His coming it is only that you and I may have opportunities to share His great salvation with those who do not yet know Him.
My personal conviction still is that the only reason our Lord has not returned is that He has promised that this good news of the resurrection that we already celebrate will be to ALL people, to the uttermost part of the earth. And He is extending us time to finish that task. We must hasten to reach new tribes until the last tribe has been reached!