Items for Prayer And Praise
By Lois J. Stucky
The topic of the Second Coming of Christ is both glorious and sobering. What could be more glorious to anticipate than being caught away with our Saviour to an existence that is surpassingly grand, beyond anything we know in this sin-polluted world so downfallen from the world God created in beauty and in purity. God’s coming Kingdom of righteousness, love and peace is marvelous to contemplate.
But the prospect of our Lord’s Coming is sobering as well. While we await Christ’s coming, we find ourselves in increasingly grave world conditions. This gives us reason to be deadly in earnest about living a life in the midst of it all that will please Him who has called us to Himself. It will take the purposeful intent and application of the good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ if we are to overcome. Battles against the world, the flesh and the devil are strong.
The Apostle Paul forewarns of the society about us. He tells us men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, abusive, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without love, trucebreakers, false accusers, lacking self-control in morals, despisers of those who are good, traitors, rash and conceited, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof (see 2 Timothy 3:1-5.)
Paul’s admonition is “From such turn away.” Don’t let yourself become contaminated by the ungodly society around you. And the reason: The Lord Jesus Christ will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and Kingdom. Paul further says that the Christian’s responsibility is to “Preach the Word … reprove, rebuke, exhort” with loving patience and “careful instruction.” That charge was especially to Timothy and to Christian leaders. But it has a message for the least of us.
“Keep your sense of urgency … whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable,” says the Amplified version (2 Tim. 4:2). We can apply this not only to the pulpit, but to the work place, on the street, in the home.
In fact, it seems especially important that it be applied in the home. So much of our formative living takes place there. What a responsibility parents have! They need to turn from society’s evils not only for their own sake, but for the sake of those precious young ones entrusted to their care. The home needs to be a “haven” from the evils of the world. Every negative influence that can be kept out, should be kept out. Television, radio, reading material—all have strong influence, and in this day, unless guarded, it is often toward immorality and violence. Even toys have an influence. I have seen little two-year-olds from Christian homes point a toy gun at people and jabber, “Bang, bang.” Insignificant? Perhaps, but here is an opportunity for “patient, careful instruction.”
Gang shootings have become a serious problem in nearby Wichita. This is surprising to many, because this is mid-America, the “heartland,” in general, more conservative and more protected from the violence of some other parts of the country where conditions are more conducive to lawless behavior. A majority of the gang members interviewed said they turned to gangs because they were unaccepted at home, and sometimes shooed out. They wanted acceptance and love. There are doubtlessly faults on the side of both parents and children, but truly, how important is the home!
And how important are the “patience and careful instruction” advised by Paul. It is easy to be angry and disdainful over the sinful conditions of the day. Righteous indignation, yes, but it is to be tempered with the patience and love of God for those to be rescued from sin’s clutch. The grace we need to keep ourselves “unspotted” from the world, and yet loving the souls within it, can come only from God. And it comes as we draw near Him, wait upon Him, meet often with Him.
What an hour of challenge for us all! Every part of our being needs to be on the alert—watchful—and to be turned Godward, in loving devotion to Him and in complete dependence upon Him. He is able to keep us “from falling” and to present us “faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24).
Preach the Word!
Here at Herald of His Coming we are busy day in and day out preaching the Word by means of the printed page. And a good number of you are workers together with us in this. Together we sow and water, and God gives the increase! Might you feel the excitement we do in being workers together with God in that which counts for eternity! A good amount of Herald literature, especially that going overseas, goes to pastors, teachers and other Christian workers. The seed is multiplied as they use the messages in their ministry. It is a delight to share the finest of wheat with hungry hearts.