By Steven J. Hogan
~ A Saturday Morning Post #12 ~
In the past two weeks we’ve looked at Matthew 24 and Revelation 6, and I’ve talked about “what” is going to occur in the years leading up to the coming of Christ and the rapture of the church. But now we need to answer the “how” question. Since all these things are going to take place before Christ’s return, then how should we live, and how should we prepare? I hear people give all kinds of answers to these questions, but what does God say?
In His Word, God instructs us how we are to live. And I want you to see that every single one of the following instructions is given in the context of Christ’s 2nd coming. Yes, we are to always have these godly qualities, but all the more so as we live in the end times. Those living on the earth right before Christ’s return will need to up their game, for this will be their World Cup, their World Series, their Super Bowl, their Olympics. How then should we live in the end times?
HAVE FAITH – “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8. In the years leading up to the rapture, life will be very difficult, for there will be lawlessness, wars, famines and persecution, and we are to trust God, to believe His promises, to rely on Him.
FIX YOUR HOPE ON CHRIST – “Fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13. When there is tribulation, you need hope – you need to think about being with Jesus, being in heaven, being with believers, and being in a new body.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER – “The end of all things is near… above all keep fervent in your love for one another.” 1 Peter 4:8. Loving one another is one of the main ways you are to live for God in the end times. Be patient, kind, gentle, humble, compassionate, forgiving, forbearing, and be loyal.
BE HOLY – “What sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” 2 Peter 3:11. This instruction is simple – don’t be fleshly or worldly. Put sin to death, be living a holy and obedient life, and all the while be looking for Christ.
BE SOBER – “Let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:6. Don’t be sleeping – be spiritually awake and alert, untainted by fleshly desires and worldly temptations, setting your mind on Christ’s coming, and doing the work He wants you to do.
BE IN FELLOWSHIP – “Not forsaking our own assembling together, …encouraging one another… as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25. As we get closer to Christ’s return, and as times get tougher and tougher, you will need other Christians, and others will need you.
BE PRAYING – “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7. The storm will rage before the Son appears in the sky, and you will need to pray, for faith, wisdom, courage, endurance, for one another, and for His Kingdom to come.
SERVE GOD – “You turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9. When life gets real hard, don’t go by how you think or feel, but keep serving God, trusting Him, obeying His commands, using your gifts, doing what He wants you to do.
PREACH THE GOSPEL – “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14, 28:19-20. Right up to the end of this age you are to be winning and building, proclaiming the gospel and making disciples.
WAIT FOR CHRIST – “Wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10. As the days get darker, as there is persecution and even death, keep looking for the Light, keep waiting for Christ, “for the blessed hope.” Jesus will come!!!
PERSEVERE – “Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.” Revelation 13:10. Here is another key: no matter how tough it gets, do not quit. You are to endure, to keep believing, to not grow weary, to stay the course, to keep going to the end of your life or to the end of the age.
DO NOT BE DECEIVED – “Let no one in any way deceive you.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3. In the end times the devil will lie to you like never before. It is imperative that you not be deceived, but that you discern what is true and what is false, what is of God and what is of the devil.
DO NOT FEAR – “Do not fear what you are about to suffer…Be faithful until death.” Revelation 2:10. Do not be afraid, do not worry, do not be anxious. If you die, then you will be with the Lord; and if you endure to the end of the age, then you will be with the Lord. Either way you win.
BE AN OVERCOMER – “To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life.” Revelation 2:7. In the context of the end times, Christ continually instructs us to be overcomers, to be winners, to get victory over sin, fears, doubts, worldliness, our enemies, and yes, the Antichrist.
BE FIGHTING – “Take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day…” Ephesians 6:10-13. The most evil days will be the end times, for the spiritual battle will be most intense. Be strong in the Lord, put on the full armor of God, and be a good soldier for Christ.
Please, do not put these instructions in a drawer and then pull them out when times get tough. Now, not later, is the time for you to be learning them and practicing them, and then you will be ready for whatever comes. If you are a designated survivor, then know that God is training you for the great tribulation days, so that you endure, so that you overcome, so that you are a champion for Christ. Psalm 144:1-2. “In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39