Our Role in the King’s Return

Our Role in the King’s Return

The Bible says that Jesus is coming again

. . . who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”  (Acts 1:11)

So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.  (Heb 9:28)

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”  (Joh 14:1-3)

Why does Jesus delay His return?  For what is He waiting?

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.  (Jam 5:7)

This verse is talking about an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the gathering of souls, and revival.  The Lord doesn’t want anyone to perish, so He is longsuffering and patient.  (2 Pet 3:9)  He is wanting as many people to be saved as possible before He returns.

Is there a role for us, believers, to play in accelerating the Lord’s return?

Yes!

The Lord challenges us to live holy lives, in order to hasten the Lord’s return.  (2 Pet 3:11-12)  One of the first things upon which to focus is whether we are living holy lives.

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.  (1 Joh 3:2-3, emphasis added)

In verse 3 above, the hope that is referred to is the hope of being like Him, and Jesus’ return for the Body of Christ.  Paul describes the scene for us:

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  (1 Thes 4:16-17)

In order to be included in the Rapture, we must be “dead in Christ.”  The Bible tells us how to get into Christ—by being born again.  (Joh 3:16; 2 Cor 5:17)  We are born again when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.

So how may we be involved in speeding up the Lord’s return?

  • Live a life that is ready at all times. We do so by being in Christ and living holy lives.  (1 John 3:3)
  • Tell the story of Jesus, the gospel of Good News to everyone! And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.  (Mat 24:14) 

The gospel must be preached in every nation.  We have received the Lord’s command to do so.  (Mk 16:15)  If you can’t go, send others to share the good news.  Support missionaries and evangelists and by doing so, you bear fruit to God.

The first tribe to welcome King David back was the tribe of Judah.  (2 Sam 19)  Judah means PRAISE.  The tribe of praise showed the way.  And so it will be in the 2nd coming of the Lord—the “tribe of praise” will pilot the way.

As we praise the Lord and worship Him, He sets ambushes against the enemy!  (2 Chron 20:1-22)  In the New Testament, when Paul and Silas were in prison, they prayed and sang praises to God.  As they did, they were delivered.

Throughout the Bible, miraculous victories came during pronounced and abundant praise of God.  The same is true today.  A spirit of praise should dominate our lives!  As we do these things, we’ll welcome and invite the return of our King, Jesus Christ.

The Treasure of Our Tongue

The Treasure of Our Tongue

There is a fairly well-known book titled The Treasure of Our Tongue authored by Lincoln Barnett, published in 1962.  This is the story of the English language from its obscure beginnings to its present eminence as the most widely spoken language, and it’s a very interesting book.

We, as believers, have another—even better—Treasure of Our Tongue

For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food.  (Job 34:3, emphasis added)

My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long.  (Ps 35:28)

The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.  (Ps 37:30)

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  (Ps 34:1)

He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.  (Ps 40:3)

Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.  (Ps 54:2)

I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue.  (Ps 66:17)

My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits.  (Ps 71:15)

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.  (Pro 21:23)

The treasure of our tongue, from these verses in the Bible, is our ability to praise God daily, and to speak of His righteousness not only to other people, but to ourselves!  Test the words of your mouth and determine if they edify others or put them in a negative frame of mind.  Proverbs 21:23 reminds us that when we guard our words, we keep ourselves out of trouble!

We have been given a new song, a song of praise, since our rebirth into God’s family.  The author of Psalm 54:2 invites the Lord to pay attention to the words that he speaks!  You must be very sure of yourself before you invite the Lord to pay attention to your words. You words would be full of praise and would speak forth the wisdom of God.

Psalm 71:15 states that the psalmist does not know the limits of God’s righteousness or His salvation.  What a positive, faith-filled declaration!  Let us join with the psalmist in lifting our voices in praise to God, and in glorifying His righteousness and his salvation.  This is an honor and a treasure that we believers have been given, so let us exercise it.  

Declare God’s Mighty Acts

Declare God’s Mighty Acts

One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.  I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.  Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness.  They shall utter [bubble forth] the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness.  (Ps 145:4-7 NKJV)

I believe that this passage of the Bible reminds us to remember and to broadcast (declare) our exciting testimonies of what God has done for each and every one of us!  These blessings are also praiseworthy, so we should praise Him for them, and I don’t mean just once or twice.  Every remembrance of them should bring fresh praise and thanksgiving to our hearts and lips.  Meditate upon and declare the miracles that God has done for you.

We should share our testimonies with our children and our grandchildren—generation to generation. As Psalm 63:1-5 demonstrates, as we express our praises to God, we feel a spiritual gratification as if having dined on the richest of spiritual meals.  When pondering the good, merciful, miraculous, supernatural, and kind works of the Lord, it is a feast!

 

It’s Time to Reason With God

It’s Time to Reason With God

Do you have a need in your life?  Then, it’s time to reason with God!

I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.  Put Me in remembrance; let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted.  [justified] – Isaiah 43:25, 26 NKJV, bracketed word added

The Lord wants us to “put Him in remembrance” and to reason with Him (Isa. 1:18) and to state our case for receiving the blessings of salvation.  Forgiveness and justification have been provided to us through Jesus, our Savior.  All of the blessings of salvation are ours through Jesus Christ. 

Take words with you, and return to the Lord; say to Him, “Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously, for we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.” – Hosea 14:2 NKJV

We are to take words with us to the Lord—His own words!  He also desires that we offer the sacrifices of our lips (our praise) to Him.  (Heb. 15:15)  He is pleased when we trust in His Word, obey it, and rely upon it.

And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand.  – Isaiah 51:16a, b NKJV

Here the Lord says He has put His words in our mouths, and has covered us with the shadow of His hand.  As we remind Him of His Word, and tell Him that we know it’s true and that we’re relying upon it, He takes pleasure in our faith and our hope in Him.  As we speak God’s own words by faith, He provides all that we need in every area; and He protects us under His sheltering hand. Glory to God!

Rejoice!

Rejoice!

Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness [graciousness, forbearance] be known to all men.  The Lord is at hand.  (Phil 4:4-5) 

The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.  (Ps 118:15)

Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart.  (Ps 119:111)

Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.  (Jer 15:16)

. . . rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer . . . (Rom 12:12)

As you can see from these Bible passages, rejoicing is an integral part of the life of a believer.  We’re told to rejoice in Philippians.

The “voice of rejoicing and salvation” is heard in the homes of the righteous because God’s right hand (who is Jesus) does valiantly. 

Valiantly means with courage or determination.  Jesus fulfilled his calling to become our Savior and Redeemer!  He fulfilled that calling with courage and determination. 

“That hero of heroes, the conquering Savior, gives to all the families of his people abundant reasons for incessant song now that he has led captivity captive and ascended up on high. Let none of us be silent in our households: if we have salvation let us have joy, and if we have joy let us give it a tongue wherewith it may magnify the Lord.”  –  Excerpt from commentary on Psalm 118:15

Source of above quotation:  http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/treasury-of-david/psalms-118-15.html

As believers, we have so many great reasons to rejoice.  God’s word, which is full of His precious promises to us, is another reason for us to rejoice.

As we wait for God to fulfill His promises to us, we rejoice in hope!  Under all circumstances, let us praise God and rejoice in Him.

PRAISE: The Fruit of Our Lips

PRAISE:  The Fruit of Our Lips

By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.  (Heb 13:15 KJV – emphasis added)

To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.  (Ps 30:12)

Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard . . . (Ps 66:8)

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.  (Ps 104:33)

The Word reminds us in many different Bible passages to praise the Lord, and to praise Him continually.  In Hebrews, we are instructed to offer the “sacrifice of praise,” which may mean that God expects us to praise Him even when we don’t feel well, and even when our life circumstances are difficult and painful to us. 

In these types of situations, praise truly feels like a sacrifice.  But praising God in the midst of difficulty is obedience to His Word, and the Lord appreciates our obedience. 

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”  (1 Sam 15:22)

Our praise to God is the best and highest fruit that our lips can produce!  We all know that words—the harvest of our lips—can be uplifting or hurtful, encouraging or critical.  It’s our job and responsibility to be sure that our words bless all who hear them. 

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.  (Eph 4:29)

The test of our words is:  will they edify the hearers?  Edify means to enlighten, inform, educate, or improve.  Will our words improve the hearers?  If not, then they’re best left unsaid.

Words that praise the Lord and bring Him glory will bring us blessings and will edify all who hear them.  Let our lips and our words SERVE us, rather than harm us or anyone else.  Let us determine to guard our words from this moment forward, that we may be blessed!