Russell and Duenes

So I Don’t Get “Left Behind”

leave a comment »

I confess, I don’t ponder the “end times” all that much. And why should I? Should I ponder them so I don’t get “left behind” at the rapture? So that I can discern what in the world is happening in the Middle East, or so I can read certain “signs?” (e.g., the formation of the modern state of Israel). Or so I can mock the date-predicting preachers?

This came to my attention as I was ponder 1 John 2:23-3:3 with a group of buddies. St. John says that Christian must stick close to Christ “so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him at His coming.” (v.28). Yet John goes further, telling his listeners that they are – right now – children of God, but that “what we shall be has not yet been made manifest.” (v. 3:2). However, “when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (v. 2). Excellent. But John is not done. He tops it off with this: “And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as [Christ] is pure.” (v.2). In other words, there’s a purifying power upon the believer’s life by stoking our hope in Christ’s appearance.

Hebrews 10:35-39 contains a similar line of thought. The author tells his readers to hold tenaciously to their confidence in Christ. (v.35). Why? Because “yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.” One of the grounds of our endurance in Christ is found in our remembrance of His future coming. (v.37).

Finally, in 1 Cor. 15, St. Paul discusses the glories of the Christian’s future resurrection in Christ. He says that, at some point in the future, “we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (vs.51-52). We should contemplate this future event, so that we might be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (v.58).

I generally subscribe to C.S. Lewis’ dictum that the Christian should “dance until the music stops.” This does not mean I think the “end times” or God’s future plans are imponderable or not worth considering and understanding. Yet perhaps they are worth considering for a different reason that we often might think. The reality of Christ’s second coming, and our confidence in it, will have a purifying and strengthening effect upon our life in Christ. In that we ought to rejoice.



Written by Michael Duenes

March 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Posted in Duenes, Theology

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: