Friday, October 31, 2014


Friday, October 31, 2014

C O L O S S I A N S   4 : 5 - 6
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.  Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. 

Hear the Apostle's final plea to his readers--Walk wisely and talk graciously.

The Gospel was spreading like fire.  Though still in its infancy the Church was growing--there were believers in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth--just as the Lord Himself had promised there would be. (Acts 1:8).

Paul was anxious that the work begun would continue unhindered. He instructed the Christians to make the most of every opportunity and to live wisely before the unbelievers.

Christians were viewed with suspicion and distrust in the first century.  Because they refused to burn incense to the Roman and Greek gods and goddesses they were called atheists.  According to Radmacher, "Some accused the early Christians of participating in orgies because of their talk of 'love feasts' (Jude 12). Others harbored suspicions that Christians were really cannibals, who ate and drank the blood and the body of the Lord."

It was vital that God's people lived virtuous and victorious lives if they were going to win the hearts and minds of their opponents. 

When Dr. William Henry Houghton was called to pastor the Baptist Tabernacle in Atlanta, a detective was hired to follow and to report on his conduct.  After several weeks the detective reported that Dr. Houghton's life indeed matched his preaching.  In fact, the detective himself decided to become a Christian. With such exemplary integrity, it's not surprising that Dr. Houghton was invited to be President of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where he served until his promotion to glory in 1946. 

Dwight L. Moody, founder of the Bible Institute that bore his name, said, "Every Bible should be bound in shoe-leather."  Our talk and our walk should match.

If it was true of the first century Church, and true of the generation of Christians who preceded us, how much more is it true in our day?  Oh that God would raise up "world changing" disciples in this generation who would love and live for "SIMPLY JESUS!"



Thursday, October 30, 2014


Thursday, October 30, 2014

C O L O S S I A N S   4 : 3 - 4
Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

Church tradition holds that the Apostle Paul was being held in the Mamertine prison in Rome when he wrote this letter to the Colossians.  The prison was located near the Roman Forum in an abandoned stone quarry underneath the city.  The prison itself was essentially two large rooms at different levels.  Prisoners were held with iron shackles fixed to the walls.

The lighting was very poor.  The air was rancid with the smell of smoke from fires used for lighting, heating, and cooking.  Human waste was not properly disposed of adding even more to the misery of the prisoners.  

The guards, usually Roman soldiers, were noted more for their cruelty than for their kindness. Visitors were not always allowed and the provisions they brought for the prisoners were often stolen by the guards. A few privileged prisoners were bound by longer chains so that they could sleep on straw beds with blankets. 

Now look again at Paul's prayer request. 

He was not praying that the door would be opened so that he could get out.  He was praying that a door would be opened so that the Gospel would get out. 

He was not praying to be set free.  He was praying that his captors would be set free in Christ!  

He was not asking for a chance to say something.  He was praying that the Lord Jesus would help him say what he ought to say.

And so it is with men who have the reality of eternity before them. 

Those who have set their affections on things above are not seeking to be glorified, rather they seek to glorify the Lord! 

They are not seeking for their own comfort, they are seeking to comfort others--bringing them to the God of all comfort.

They are not seeking to do their will--they are seeking to do God's Will.  And when Christ is all in all, then their will is identical with God's will. 

Rather than praying that God would change our circumstances, let's join with the Apostle in praying that God would use us in the circumstances we face today--that we would speak, and act, and think as we ought to speak, act, and think. 

May this one Cause be our Cause--SIMPLY JESUS!



Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

C O L O S S I A N S   3 : 2 4 - 25
Knowing that of the LORD ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the LORD CHRIST.  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Perspective matters.

"If in this life only we have hope in Christ," Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "we are of all men most miserable." (1 Corinthians 15:19).

Christians take the long view.  Like everyone else, we are sometimes appreciated and compensated for meeting and surpassing expectations.  Other times it seems no one notices and no one cares.

I read of a missionary couple who returned to America from Africa on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt.  The president was returning from a big-game hunting expedition.

As the ship docked in New York there were adoring crowds and trumpet fanfares. With great ceremony the President was greeted by dignitaries and welcomed home.

As the weary and worn missionaries walked off the ship there was no one who paid attention to them.  The discouraged missionary turned to his wife and cried, "Something is wrong, God is not treating us fairly."

His wife urged him to tell the Lord. He went into the bedroom of their simple apartment and poured his heart out to the Lord.  A short time later he walked out of the room a changed man.  Where there had been tears there was now joy. Where there had been trouble, there was now peace. 

"What happened?" his wife asked.  The missionary explained.  I told the Lord how bitter I was that the President had received this wonderful homecoming, when no one met us when we returned home.  Then the Missionary smiled and said, "It seemed as though the Lord put His hand on my shoulder and simply said, 'You're not home yet!'"

We may not own property.  We may not be well-paid.  We may not be honored.  But if we will be faithful, the Lord has promised His people an inheritance that is out of this world.  Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you." 

So in Jesus' name we press on.
In Jesus' name we seize the opportunity of each day.
In Jesus' name we do our best, whether it seems significant or insignificant in the eyes of others--or even in our own eyes. 
In Jesus' name we receive instruction gladly, apply ourselves willingly, and persist energetically.
If God has willed that we would be doing what we are doing, then we will do our best at it. 

And what of those who slack and sin?  What of those who have seemingly prospered in spite of their disregard for God's will?    The inspired Apostle warns, "they will receive for the wrong which they have done." 

But for us, the greatest of all rewards is this: Eternity with "SIMPLY JESUS!"


Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

C O L O S S I A N S   3 : 2 3
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the LORD, and not unto men.

God did not only command His people to keep the Sabbath day holy by NOT working, He commanded His people to keep every other day holy BY working. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work." Exodus 20:8,9.

Christians see the workplace as one of the best places to shine the light of Gospel and to example Christian virtue. After all, the average worker in America will invest over 100,000 hours of their lifetimes in the workplace.  What an opportunity to witness for Christ.

Sure God has called some to be missionaries, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, but He has also called His people to be "salt" and "light" in every sphere of life.  Even work assignments that are not inside the Church are to be carried out with energy and completed, "as unto the Lord."

The Apostle Paul told Titus to encourage Christians servants to "be obedient," "to please their masters well in all things," "to not be smart-mouthed and talk back," to "not steal from the workplace," and to "show good faith," so that the doctrine of God our Savior would prove attractive to those who were watching.  (Titus 2:9,10)  If that was God's requirement of servant who were unjustly treated by their masters, what must He require of those who are well treated by their employers?

Martin Luther understood this when he wrote, "The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the man who prays--not because she may sing a Christian hymn while she sweeps but because God loves clean floors.  The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship." 

Princeton Ethicist Max Stackhouse believes that we have ceased to link our work to God's work in the world. How tragic, and how unscriptural that is.

In Ecclesiastes we read, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might."  (Ecclesiastes 9:10).  The Wisdom of Proverbs declares, "In all labor there is profit, but the talk of the lips tends only to poverty." (Proverbs 14:23).

The Apostle Paul urges Christians to "do your own business and work with your own hands." (1 Thessalonians 4:11).  He says, "If a man will not work, neither should he eat." (1 Thessalonians 3:10).  As God's Workmanship we are created in Christ Jesus to do "good works!"--that must include doing our best job, everywhere, every time.  (Ephesians 2:10).

After all, Peter says, when the critics of Christ see our good works, they will finally glorify God.  (1 Peter 2:12).

So as Christians we are on the job not for our glory, but for Christ's glory!  We are doing our best not to advance ourselves, but to advance the Kingdom of Christ. 

It turns out that there is actually one person for whom we are working today.  SIMPLY JESUS!


Saturday, October 25, 2014



Saturday, October 25, 2014

14. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Wars end, and peace is won when either one side is forced to surrender, or both sides decide to quit fighting. 

Jesus promised a peace that was different from this world's peace. He said, "my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth..."  (John 14:27)

His peace is not only different in cause, it is different in kind.

The peace of Christ is not won because we struggle, it is ours because Christ struggled in Gethsemane and then defeated the enemy of our souls at Calvary.  Man-made religions make men labor to secure blessings. Christ invites to rest in Him, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, I will give you rest."  (Matthew 11:28)  Christ "gives, preserves, and establishes" His peace in our hearts  He is the prince, promoter, and keeper of peace.  (Adam Clarke)

The peace of the world cannot bring peace with God.  But the peace of Christ always brings peace with God. Hallelujah.  "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."  Romans 5:1

While the peace of the world is tenuous and often temporary, the peace of Christ is secure and enduring.  "And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)

The peace of the world is disrupted by the tribulations of daily life.  But the peace of Christ sustains God's people in every trial.  Jesus said, "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  John 16:33.

The peace of the world is imposed. The peace of Christ is imparted by the Author of Peace.  "To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."  (Romans 8:6).

Wherever you find the peace of Christ you find, "righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost."  (Romans 14:17)  Those endued with this peace, "abound in hope," (Romans 15:13).  And their Savior guides their feet into "the way of peace."  Luke 1:79.

And where the Prince of Peace rules, the spirit of peace prevails.  It is this peace that marks the children of God.  Peace within makes them blessed ambassadors of peace.  Hear the Lord teaching on the Mount, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9)

Dr. Adam Clarke comments, "The continual prevalence of the peace of Christ is the decisive proof that the heart is right with God.  When a man loses his peace, it is an awful proof that he has lost something else; that he has given way to evil, and grieved the Spirit of God."

125 years ago Warren Cornell found his way to an old fashioned Methodist tent revival meeting in Wisconsin.  After seeking the Lord, Cornell took out a piece of paper and penned, "Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight, rolls a melody sweeter than Psalm..."  After sometime the poet arose and unwittingly dropped the written verses on the ground.  An hour or two later, Mr. William Cooper walked into the tent and found that paper.  Taking it in his hands he read the verses and was so moved he completed the poem and composed the melody we sing today. May we find and never lose the peace of Christ they so beautifully expressed in song:

Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight
Rolls a melody sweeter than psalm;
In celestial-like strains it unceasingly falls
O’er my soul like an infinite calm.

Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
In fathomless billows of love!
What a treasure I have in this wonderful peace,
Buried deep in the heart of my soul,
So secure that no power can mine it away,
While the years of eternity roll!

I am resting tonight in this wonderful peace,
Resting sweetly in Jesus’ control;
For I’m kept from all danger by night and by day,
And His glory is flooding my soul!

And I think when I rise to that city of peace,
Where the anchor of peace I shall see,
That one strain of the song which the ransomed will sing
In that heavenly kingdom will be:

Ah, soul! are you here without comfort and rest,
Marching down the rough pathway of time?
Make Jesus your friend ere the shadows grow dark;
O accept this sweet peace so sublime!





Friday, October 24, 2014


Thursday, October 23, 2014

C O L O S S I A N S   3 : 1 4
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

As the universe is held together by Christ (by Him all things consist, Colossians 1:17), the power that holds the body of Christ together is "agape"--Godly love.  Unlike eros which is sensual, and phileo which is brotherly, agape is divine love. 

Agape is "unconquerable benevolence, undefeatable good-will," (William Barclay) and it is indestructibly holy. John Wesley calls it, "God's reigning attribute, the attribute that sheds an amiable glory on all his other perfections."  

The ancient philosopher Plato observed, "Two things cannot be held together without a third...and the best bond is that which is fused into the things which are bound." 

Agape is that "best" or we can say in the words of Scripture "perfect" bond.  It's the glue that fuses with and holds every other virtue in place.

Without Agape our motivation for being merciful, kind, humble, and meek is often selfish.  We are merciful so that people will notice and praise us for being merciful.  We are kind so that people will honor and esteem us for being so kind.

But when Agape is fused with mercy, kindness, humility, and meekness, then WE ARE WHO WE ARE--with or without the appreciation or recognition of others. 

We are merciful even though others are not merciful or grateful that we are.

We are kind and longsuffering even though others are not kind to others--even to us.  And we do not keep score.

The Agape driven are giving and forgiving no matter what and regardless of who. We are not prejudiced.  Remember what the Bible tells us about the God who is love--He is no respecter of persons. 

The perfect demonstration of this love was at Calvary.  The people that our loving Christ died to save, despised and rejected Him.  They nailed Him to a cross.  Yet He prayed, "Father forgive them..."  That's Agape.  That's divine love.

We marvel at Agape on display in the Word made flesh--Jesus. 
We admire Agape described in the Word of God that is written--Scripture. Read the 16 characteristics of Agape in 1st Corinthians 13.  Simply amazing.
But can this Agape be imparted--literally fused--into our hearts? 

The Apostle Paul tells the Colossians to clothe themselves with love. The Apostle John says that those who "dwell in love dwell in God."  He promises that as we abide in Him and He abides in us, "our love is made perfect." (1 John 4:16,17)
"That's not natural!" some protest.  "You're right!" we reply. "That's super-natural!"
Made right in the sight of God through faith in the Son of God "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us." (Romans 5:1-5).
Now we pray as we sing with Charles Wesley:
Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!

Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.

Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.
Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.
Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;

Changed from glory into glory,
'Til in heaven we take our place,
'Til we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise. 


Thursday, October 23, 2014


Thursday, October 23, 2014

C O L O S S I A N S   3 : 1 2  , 1 3
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

What kind of a world would this be if everyone acted the way we act?

What kind of church would we have if every Christian lived the way we live?

What kind of a family would we have if everyone reacted the way we react?

Honest answers to these thought provoking questions are always in order. 

As a young child I tossed a gum wrapper out the car window. Seeing what I had done my father instantly reproved me.  He asked, "What if everyone in the nation threw their gum wrappers out their car windows?"  He answered his own question to be sure his point was made: "The roads would be littered and the country would be a mess!" 

Consider: If everyone acted like Muhammad (the prophet of Islam) what kind of world would this be? If everyone acted like Joseph Smith (the founder of Mormonism) what kind of world would this be?  If everyone acted like Jay Z (the rap star) what kind of a world would this be?

Then think about this: What kind of people would we be if we thought and lived like Jesus?

Suppose we put on His merciful nature?
Suppose we had His kind heart?
Suppose we possessed his humility and meekness?
Suppose we were as longsuffering as He was, and is, and certainly will be?

Suppose we made allowances for the frailties of others as Christ did?
Suppose we were as forgiving as Christ? 

And suppose that the awareness that Christ has been so gracious to forgive our offenses, that we freely and anxiously forgave those who offended and quarreled with us?

We relish the thought that Christ has so freely forgiven us.  We recoil at the implications of "Forgive us our trespasses, even as we forgive those who have trespassed against us."

Dwight L. Moody once pictured the Lord Jesus saying to Peter:

"Go hunt up the man who put the crown of thorns on my head, and tell him that I love him. Tell him that he can have a crown in my kingdom--one without a thorn!"

"Find the man who spat in my face and preach the Gospel to him.  Tell him that I forgive him and that I died to saved him!"

"Find the man who thrust that spear into my side and tell him that there is a quicker way to my heart." 

Suppose we were as forgiving as Christ?

C. S. Lewis wrote, "Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive."

At the close of the Second World War, Corrie Ten Boom, herself a captive in the Nazi Concentration Camp at Ravensbruck, was faced with a forgiveness crisis.  Her sister had perished at Ravensbruck.  The conditions they endured at the hands of their Nazi captors was indescribable.  But Corrie felt led to encourage the devastated people of Europe to choose forgiveness over bitterness.  Everywhere she went she spoke of God's grace that had sustained her in her darkest hours. 

One night as she was speaking she recognized one of men in her audience.  He had been a guard at Ravensbruck.  He did not recognize her, but she could never forget him.  Following her message he approached Corrie.  Holding out his hand he testified to God's forgiveness and then he begged her forgiveness.  "I wish I could go back and undo those years.  I can't. But I've been prompted by God to come tonight and ask you, would you forgive me?"

Corrie said it was a moment that seemed like an eternity.  Her mind raced back to the atrocities, the death of her sister, and the abuse she had endured in that concentration camp.  She inwardly cried, "Jesus help help me. I can lift my hand, but you will have to do the rest."  The Holy Spirit prompted her, "What have you been telling everyone else to do? As an act of your will, will you choose to forgive?" 

She reached out to him and said, "I forgive you brother! with all my heart."  She later testified, "It was like a dam broke loose--all the bitterness and resentment--and God set me free...You never touch the ocean of God's love as when you forgive and love your enemies."

Who is our perfect example?  Simply Jesus.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Wednesday, October 22, 2014
11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

There really is no place for tribalism in the family of God. 

For the Christian, it is not our religious heritage,
not our race or cultural roots,
not our ancestry or nationality,
not our occupation or station in life, and certainly
not the person God used to lead us to salvation, that makes us significant.

Our identity is first, and foremost in Christ who "is all, and in all."

The Apostle had plenty to brag about.  He was "a Hebrew of the Hebrews," (Philippians 3:5).  He was intelligent and highly educated.  He knew Hebrew, Greek, and was familiar with Latin. He wasn't kidding when he told the Corinthians "I speak with tongues more than ye all." (1 Corinthians 14:18).  He was educated in the school of Gamaliel--one of the best teachers in the Temple at Jerusalem.  Yet he testified, "what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ." (Philippians 3:7)

Placing ourselves above God is obviously wrong.  Placing ourselves above other people is also wrong.  Both tendencies are natural.  Neither tendency is characteristic of the spiritual. 

Isn't it interesting how much satisfaction we derive from circumstances that are completely out of our control (i.e. race or ethnicity), and how dismissive we are of our standing in Christ--a standing that is ours because we choose to believe and He chose to receive us.

Whoever we are, whatever our station, wherever we've come from, and however long we have been Christians, what matters most is that CHRIST IS ALL, AND IN ALL!  

What joyful, boundary-less unity we have in Him!  

We sing:
I don't care what church you belong to,
Just as long as for Calvary you stand,
Just as long as your heart beats with my heart,
You're my brother so please take my hand.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Tuesday, October 21, 2014
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.

Christ's men are new and renewed.

They purposefully put off anger, wrath, and malice.  The uncontrolled temper is a mark of immaturity and carnality.  By the knowledge of Christ we mature.  By the Spirit of Christ carnality is cleansed.

They talk a different talk.  Blasphemy, filthy talk, and lying are never in their vocabulary. 

But putting off the old man is not enough. Christ's men put on a new man--one that is renewed and like our holy Creator. 

The Apostle urged the Colossians to be accountable. He gave them specific objectives to meet.  In that same spirit, John Wesley and the first Methodists held themselves accountable by daily asking these questions:

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am?  In other words, am I a hypocrite?

2. Am I honest in all my acts and words or do I exaggerate?

3. Do I confidentially pass on to others what has been said to me in confidence?

4. Can I be trusted?

5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?

6. Am I self-conscious, self pitying, or self-justifying?

7. Did the Bible live in me today?

8. Do I give the Bible time to speak to me everyday?

9. Am I enjoying prayer?

10. When did I last speak to someone else of my faith?

11. Do I pray about the money I spend?

12. Did I get to bed on time and get up on time?

13. Did I disobey God in anything?

14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?

15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?

16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?

17. How do I spend my spare time?

18. Am I proud?

19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?

20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard?  If so, what am I doing about it?

21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?

22. Is Christ real to me?

Who is the key to victory in all these areas of life?  "Simply Jesus."




Monday, October 20, 2014

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

"Eat this, NOT that!" has been read by millions of people who are anxious to find healthy food alternatives.  Today's Scripture passage might be entitled, "Do this, OR else!"

Either we rule our passions or our passions rule us.  Men of reason and self discipline are able, at least in some measure, to restrain their sensual appetites.  But Christ's men are different. Their consecrated desire for Christ opens the door to the Spirit of Christ to sanctify their passions--destroying their natural carnal inclinations and giving them a spiritual mind.

The Apostle could not be clearer.  Every Unnatural, degrading, sensual desire must be put to death.  Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires must be purposefully and zealously eradicated. 

Under the impress of the Holy Spirit the Apostle commands God's people to put greed and every form of idolatry to death.

And then he warns, God's wrath is awaiting all who are rebellious and disobedient.  Jesus himself warns, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."  (John 3:36).

Chafing under the realization of God's demand for holiness and his own carnal inclination the Apostle Paul cries out, "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" 

His answer is still THE ANSWER!  "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"  (Romans 7:24,25)

Who delivers?  SIMPLY JESUS!



Sunday, October 19, 2014


Sunday, October 19, 2014

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory

Christians believe history is linear. 

There was a moment when God said, "Let there be Light," and there was light.  There was a time when God breathed into man the breath of life and man became a living soul.

There was a day when God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.  In that Bethlehem stable, Mary wrapped a present to the world. 

There was an hour when Jesus cried out from the cross, "It is finished."  And there was a glorious resurrection day when the Savior conquered the grave and rose again from the dead. 

And now, with joyful anticipation, God's people anticipate that climax of human history "When Christ who is our life, shall appear!" 

Lo! He comes with clouds descending,
Once for favored sinners slain;
Thousand thousand saints attending,
Swell the triumph of His train:
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God appears on earth to reign.

Every eye shall now behold Him
Robed in dreadful majesty;
Those who set at naught and sold Him,
Pierced and nailed Him to the tree,
Deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
Shall the true Messiah see.

John Cennick

Ever since the angels who stood by our ascending Savior declared, "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11) God's elect have been anticipating our Lord's return. 

We are closer than we ever been before.  Read what Jesus said himself about His return:

"For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." (Matthew 24:4-5; 11; 23-27).

"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." (Matthew 24:30-31)

"As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." (Matthew 24:37-39).

"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. (Matthew 25:1-12)

CHRIST'S DISCIPLES NEED NOT FEAR.  "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3

"31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:..
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"  Matthew 25:31-41.