Monday, April 25, 2005

Preparing for the second coming

I was on the phone talking with one of my friends. She was confused with her career situation. She wants to pursue a job that helps people with their future. However, she has been influenced by one of her friends to believe that Jesus is coming really soon in a couple of years. So, my friend is having second thoughts about pursuing that job. She feels that if Jesus is coming in a couple of years, then she should not be helping others plan for a future that won't exist.

Her friend told her she was planting gardens now to prepare for the time of trouble that will occur right before Jesus' second coming. Now, I don't have anything against planting gardens to prepare for the last days' persecution. In fact, I'd love to have garden fruit and vegetables. I'm sure it would taste much better than Wal-Mart fruit and vegetables. However, I feel that our focus should not be on stockpiling food for the time of trouble.

How should we prepare for the second coming?

We should not isolate ourselves from culture and civilization. There may be a tendency among Adventists to live away from the world when we feel that the second coming is near. However, Jesus calls us to be sent by him into the world (John 17:18). Our witness to a dying, broken world hastens the Lord's coming (Matt. 24:14, 2 Peter 3: 9, 11, 12). If we think that the Lord is coming very soon, we should be urgent in our service and witness to the world.

We don't know when Jesus will come again (Matthew 24:36-37). He may come in our lifetime or he may not. God delays the second coming so that more people will have more opportunities to accept His free gift of salvation (2 Peter 3:15).

Also, our service and witness will actually prepare us to withstand the spiritual battles in the last days. As we serve others and witness to unbelievers, we will become more mature Christians who are able to fight sin and temptation more effectively. Notice what Ellen White wrote:

The persecution that came upon the church in Jerusalem resulted in giving a great impetus to the work of the gospel. Success had attended the ministry of the word in that place, and there was danger that the disciples would linger there too long, unmindful of the Saviour's commission to go to all the world. Forgetting that strength to resist evil is best gained by aggressive service, they began to think that they had no work so important as that of shielding the church in Jerusalem from the attacks of the enemy. Instead of educating the new converts to carry the gospel to those who had not heard it, they were in danger of taking a course that would lead all to be satisfied with what had been accomplished. (Acts of the Apostles, chapter 11, italics supplied)

(My friend, Scott, has some other things to say about preparing for the second coming).


At 6:29 PM, Blogger Scott Severance said...

Great point. People have been stockpiling food now for many years, but Jesus hasn't come yet. Why not invest that energy and money in spreading the gospel? According to Psalm 91, we don't need to be worried about the end times if we're saved.

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous jesse said...

there is no scriptural support or evidence for a set time frame for Christ's second coming nor is there any basis supported by scripture to indicate that last day christians should be concerned with stock piling supplies. if our survival in the last days depended on food, clothing and shelter then would not God be very clear about that in his Word? Christians should not spend even one iota of mental or physical energy striving for self sustainment for events in the future for which there is no clear basis for at this point. no one knows exactly how the events before christs coming will unfold in full detail. It would best benefit christians to be mindful of the present and balance out short term goals with long term goals in both their personal lives and their spiritual lives.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger d2 said...

Right ON! Each and everyone of us must prepare for the end - but that preparation must be a spiritual one. Only in learning to rely on God for our every need will we be prepared. For each of us, the "end" will come soon - either because of the second coming or because we die. If today I die in an automobile accident, the next thing I'll know is Christ's coming. Spiritual preparation is vital. Spiritual preparation is drawing close to God, knowing His voice and doing His will. When it comes to the rest, God can and will take care of our physical needs.


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