Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, KS
I Timothy 6:12-14 - “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession. That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Our focus today should be the “Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Apostle Paul called the world of his day, “this present evil world (Gal. 1:4). The world at that time was full of sin and debauchery. As we read about the history of that time, we are amazed at the riotous living and sinfulness that went on during the Roman Empire in Paul’s day. He admonishes Timothy to keep his view Spiritual and looking toward the soon appearing of Christ. Paul thought that Christ would come in the time they lived in, but He has not returned yet, over 2,000 years later. The world is in worse condition than when Apostle Paul was here. II Timothy 3:13 tells us, “Evil seducers shall wax worse and worse.” This prophecy has definitely came to pass. But the child of God, who vehemently looks for the Lord’s appearing, will be ready to go to be with the Lord, when He calls whether by life or by death. As Apostle Paul says in Philippians 1:20, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that my boldness as always, so now Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.”
In Luke 19:12-13, Jesus told a parable, “ A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said to them, Occupy till I come.” the word “occupy” means in the Greek, “To busy one’s self with, to trade.” In other words, “I must be about my Father’s business (As Jesus said).” In the English “occupy” means “to fill or preoccupy the mind and thoughts.” Other words that describe this are, “to busy, absorb, engross, preoccupy, or hold the attention.” So, we are to occupy doing God’s will until Jesus comes back.
Philippians 4:8-9 tells us to occupy our mind with, “...whatsoever things are true, ... are honest, ... are just, ... are pure, ... are lovely, ... are of good report, ... if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.” These are the things to meditate on until He comes back to take us to dwell with Him forever. Matthew 24:44 says, “Therefore, be you also ready, for in such an hour that you think not, the Son of man cometh.”
In Philippians 1:6, Apostle Paul says, “Being confident of this very thing that He which hath began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Until Jesus comes back again to catch away His waiting Bride, work in our lives goes on. There’s a little song which says, “He’s still working on me to make me what I ought to be.” Until He comes this wonderful work is going on to change us into His image. It is not done by gritting our teeth to try to overcome in our own self effort. Any of us who have ever tried that, know that we cannot achieve what we would like. Our part is to yield to the Lord’s working, which will go on until He comes. He will have a bride who is prepared, as is seen in Revelation 19:7-8.
In Matthew 24, Jesus Christ tells of the future events, of the coming judgment and the endtime scenario of the wickedness of the world and the Antichrist. In verse 32, He speaks of the “fig tree” which is representative of the nation of Israel. Jesus says, “When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh; So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generations shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Here again we have the word “till” or until. This shows that certain prophetic things must happen before the Lord will return in power and glory. This is speaking of His return at the end of the seven years of tribulation, not His appearing before the tribulation which is mentioned in I Thess 4:13-18.
In Job 14:14, he says, “ All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change comes.” This word he uses “wait” means in the Hebrew, “be patient, have hope, stay or trust.” Paul speaks of this truth in I Corinthians 15:51-52, “Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be changed.” We are certainly waiting for the change. Praise the Lord! “Death will be swallowed up in victory (Vs. 54).”
As we wait, “Until Then” we worship and serve the Lord and others. In I Corinthians 11:23-26, Apostle Paul instructs about remembering the Lord’s death by eating and drinking of the bread and the wine. This is a blessed time to remember and think of what the Lord did for us on Calvary, as He gave His life for us to be redeemed. In Verse 26, the Apostle says, “For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup you do show forth the Lord’s death, till He comes.”
Until He comes, what are we to be doing? Walking with God everyday - Letting God lead and direct us everyday - Yielding to His divine will for our lives - Praying and seeking Him on every occasion for every need that comes up - Loving Him supremely, above all else - Looking and watching for Him to come today! Praise the Lord!