Deadlines

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Life is one deadline after another. I have always admired newspaper people because they work constantly under the restrictions of the unforgiving clock. Sometimes late hours are the only way to make it all come together on time.

Deadlines can be tremendously motivating. Do you, like me, work better under pressure? Would we get as much done if it weren’t for these time constraints?

Some things in life, however, do not have a specific deadline. They may be even more important than the urgent tasks that demand to be done NOW. And yet because there is no set time, the days and weeks and months and years go by—and little gets done.

Careful preparation

Think of all that must go into planning a beautiful wedding. Talk about a major deadline! Everything must come together by the announced hour: gowns and tuxes and people to wear them, candles and flowers, preacher and photographer, cake and punch, and countless other nuptial details.

But what happens after the honeymoon? Do those things that matter most in marriage receive the attention they deserve?

And our children? Aside from homework assignments, ball games, etc., what about those areas where there’s no set deadline? Does their spiritual training take a back seat to lesser concerns? They’ll be grown before we know it. What are we doing about it today?

And what of our relationship with God? It’s been said that the urgent tends to preempt the eternal. The demands of daily living have a way of crowding our calendars to the point that lesser concerns receive more attention than we give God (Matthew 6:25-33; Luke 8:14).

The final deadline

Whether read or unread, the Bible tells us of that final undated deadline when God will bring it all to a conclusion (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

When it comes is uncertain, but that it is coming is more certain than the precise time of tomorrow’s sunrise.

Let’s be ready.

 

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“Then What Shall I Do with Jesus?”

His question/Their answer

The governor was in a dilemma, and he knew it. As Caesar’s official representative in Judea it was Pilate’s responsibility to deal with those brought to him for judgment.

Never in his career had Pilate dealt with anyone like Him. He knew this Galilean was innocent of the charges so vehemently made against Him. He also knew what lay behind the vicious accusations: It was envy.

When Pilate asked, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” The people shouted, “Crucify Him!” (Matthew 27:22).

Countless sermons been preached on the subject “What Shall I Do with Jesus?” It’s a good question, a disturbing question, one that deserves and demands an answer.

When we meet Jesus

Jesus is not simply a great Teacher who lived nearly 2,000 years ago. He lives today, reigning at the right hand of His Father.

Someday He will return. His second coming will be quite unlike His first. He came the first time to make our salvation possible. He’ll come again to bring it all to a conclusion. He will judge the world (Acts 17:30-31).

Each of us will face Him personally in Judgment. Awesome thought!

The choice we make

We can face Him prepared or unprepared. We can hear Him say, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father . . . .” Or we can hear Him say to us, “Depart from Me . . .” (Matthew 25:34; 7:23).

Do we want Him to bless us? “. . . God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways” (Acts 3:26).

Do we want Him for our Friend? Jesus said to His disciples, “You are My friends if you do what I command you”: (John 15:14).

Do we want Him to save us? “. . . He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation . . .” (Hebrews 5:9).

What will you do with Jesus?

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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What Do We Know?

Here’s a multiple-choice question:

What do we know about the future?

A) Everything

B) Nothing

C) Something

D) None of the above

If you picked C, you’re right! If it weren’t for the Bible, we would know nothing about the future. While much of what lies ahead is known only to God, He has drawn back the veil just enough for us to know all we need to know about the end of the age.

Christ will suddenly return (we don’t know when). The dead will be raised. The earth will be destroyed. Judgment will take place. Eternity begins.

Unlike stock market projections and weather forecasts, what the Bible says about the Day of the Lord is not mere guesswork, a possibility, or even a probability. The End is certain─just as certain as the integrity of God’s promises. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:17-19).

What we do with what we know

And why does God reveal these things to us regarding the future? Certainly not to satisfy our curiosity, but rather to help us know with certainty what to expect so we can be well prepared for it. The New Testament equips us be ready for these eventualities.

We must keep in a state of readiness, always active in His service (Matthew 24:42-51). We must be prepared to give an account (Romans 14:10-12). In view of the destruction of the material order, we must live holy, godly lives (2 Peter 3:10-14). And then help others get ready for that Great Day (Acts 17:30-31; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11).

Living in a state of readiness, we can look forward to that Day. We’re going home! No more death or pain! We will be with Christ! Reunion with our loved ones! (2 Corinthians 5:6-9; Revelation 21:4; Philippians 1:23; 1 John 3:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Yes, we do know something!

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How Important is the Body?

The body: present and future

In this life we who are Christians are “at home in the body” (2 Corinthians 5:6). At death our spirit is separated from our body (James 2:26). After death we are “absent from the body” and are “present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

When Christ returns He “will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory . . .” (Philippians 3:21; see 1 Corinthians 15:42-58).

In this life we dwell in a body that is mortal (capable of dying). After the resurrection we will be given an immortal body (untouchable by death). Amazing!

The proper use and abuse of the body

“Or do you not know,” Paul writes, “that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit . . . and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Paul urges believers “to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1).

How then could we let sin reign in our bodies or use our eyes/ears/hands/feet/tongue/etc. as “instruments of unrighteousness” (Romans 6:12-13)?

“. . . the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13).

The body in view of eternity

Someday each of us will be “recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

So what we do in and by means of our bodies is of eternal consequence!

“. . . may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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