Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Essentials

The essentials -- Jesus' birth, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, and return as Judge of the living and the dead-- beliefs virtually all professing Christians hold onto in one way or another. They're in all the creeds of Christendom. 

But look at that list. Only one thing on the list is yet to be fulfilled -- all the others are a fact of history. We look back in wondrous awe at all He has done in fulfillment of the prophecies as He relayed to His prophets. But even more glorious are the prophecies yet to be fulfilled recorded for us by those very same prophets.

Then why is it that our friends, family and foe alike trouble us for our anticipation and the excitement we display in our -- some say fanatical - watching of the birth pangs heralding His soon arrival? We're even falsely accused of forsaking all He has done because of our emphasis on what He is about to do. That is ludicrous of course, because we are even more exuberant about His Gospel of repentance unto salvation knowing that those we love, and the world upon which we have compassion, have such a short window of opportunity to escape the things soon to come upon this planet.

I wonder if the Jews in the first century gave the old Rabbi Simeon a hard time as he lived for the promise of the Consolation of Israel and expected it in his lifetime. I wonder if they called the old guy a kook or a whacko for not shutting up and just focusing on his duties in the Temple?

Like him, we must close our ears to all the harassment, knowing the truth of what we have staked our lives upon -- the veracity of the Word of God. Whether we leave this planet by death or by rapture, we must hold onto our faith that He will fulfill all -- every jot and tittle -- and let no one steal our hope - our blessed hope - from our hearts.

"Hold onto your crown!"

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s." - 2 Cor 10:4-7

"And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us." - 1John 4:16-19

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