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One Last Message For 2010
by GBC Ministry

 

            A little over two years ago the United States (and the world) suffered one of the most amazing financial disasters ever experienced. Our country was changed forever. The life savings of many were devastated. And the hopes of everyone were shaken to their very roots.  The events of that time provoked many churches to gather together for prayer for both for our country and one another.
 
            Since then, things have settled down. We now hear assurances from many sources that the worst may be “over.” Consumer confidence appears to be increasing. Businesses appear to be growing. I rejoice is whatever good news I hear about our temporal circumstances. To God be the glory of all such blessings. However, I want to remind us all that the Christian’s hope is not tied to these things. It is surer, eternal, anchored within the throne of God, in His mercy and grace.
 
            Some were affected mightily by that “downturn;” others, not so much. In fact, some actually profited from it! However, there is coming a stupendous event that will affect the entire world without exception: the return of Jesus Christ. To those who “love his appearing,” it will be a time of great rejoicing and reward (2 Tim 4:8). To those who do not know Him as Lord and Savior, it will be the worst time ever known to mankind.
 
            My exhortation today is for true believers.
 
            In view of our blessed hope (Titus 2:13), we must guard against spiritual complacency, against becoming self-satisfied and comfortable in this present world. This will be increasingly challenging because the day of His return will not be in a time of great revival (though the many false gospels of that time may make it appear to be one of great religious advancement), nor a time of great natural troubles. Rather, it will be at a time when things will be so “good” that “the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt 24:12). Now, I am not speaking of His glorious return at the end of the great tribulation (Rev 19:11-16) when, in fact, there will be great troubles on the earth. Rather, I am speaking of His pre-tribulation rapture of His Bride, the Church, to gather them safely away from the troubles to come (1 Thess 1:10) to be forever safe in His glorious presence (1 Thess 4:13-18).
 
            We must be ever mindful that the trials that deceive true believers are never times of great difficulties. These drive us to prayer, to the comfort and assurance of our Lord and Master. What deceives the believer are times of “plenty” that turn hearts from the things of God to the pursuit of the “good things” of this life: its attractions and gains.
 
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)
 
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. (Luke 21:34-35)
 
            The Christian’s heart is to be given wholly to the Lord, his eyes are to be fixed on “things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God,” and his affections are to be focused “on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). As we come to the end of 2010, and head into another New Year, it would be wise to take a personal inventory of our heart’s desires. Do we truly “love his appearing,” or is our hope really fixed on something less, something(s) on this earth.
 
            One day soon, we shall see our Savior and Lord face to face. At that time we will be required to give an account for what we have done during our life on this earth.
 
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
 
            I pray that this time of accounting will be glorious for you (and me), that your (and my) standing before Him will be filled with full joy. May the love of Christ provoke us all to a careful self examination today (2 Cor 13:5) that it might be so.
 
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3)
 
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, (Ephesians 4:1)
 
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

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Grace Bible Church :-: (217) 384-7614 :-: 3900 N Willow Rd Urbana, P.O. Box 303, IL 61803 :-: pastor (at) gbcurbana.com