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The Weight of the World and Christ's Coming
In Defense of the Faith
Friday, March 11, 2016
Alf Cengia

A few years ago I worked in a corporate environment. I was surrounded by account managers, salespeople and technical engineers who were constantly in and out of the office. They could be anywhere at any time, so I hardly ever paid much attention to what they were doing. I didn't report to them and we had our own tasks to worry about. 

It was different with my boss. He's the sort of man who demands hard work and quality performance from his staff. Under his leadership our branch of the business broke record after record. It was flattering when he head hunted me, though I always felt I didn't quite measure up. So I cared about what he thought of my work.

My boss had to travel inter-state a lot. When he was in the office there was always a tension that we ought to be diligently working. But when he was away, everyone relaxed a little bit. There were times when he would tell us he'd be out of the office for a few hours. However, he'd inevitably return much sooner than we expected. We got caught out a few times.

I learned to work as if he was constantly sitting in his office behind me, watching everything I did. This is the attitude I know I should cultivate regarding the Lord. This isn't a good time to be fooling around. In fact it never has been.

I don't know about you but I've been feeling despondent lately. We can be weighed down by health and financial concerns. The list goes on - if it isn't American election fighting, it's what's happening around the world. It's also the Christian leaders who overlook sinful practices while focusing on social justice issues and anything else bar the gospel.

Lately I've been remembering to pray daily for the coming of the Lord. I'm fed up with this God-rejecting world. How about you?

But the overhanging question is; am I personally ready for Christ's imminent coming? I know I'm saved yet what have I been doing with my time, other than constant grumbling? Have I been diligently working for Him? I'd have to say no to these questions. Am I allowing all that's happening around me to stifle my witness? Yes, I'm afraid so.

Incidentally, those of you who have an issue with the Lord's imminent return may ask yourselves: "What if I die and meet the Lord today? Have I run my race well?"

Dale Johnsen has written a book called What To Do Until Christ Comes. He lists the five guidelines for Christians to be doing:

1) Watching for the Lords return; 2) Witnessing to the unsaved; 3) Worshipping God; 4) Walking the talk by pursuing holiness; 5) Working by persevering in good works for the spreading of the gospel

Are you feeling uncomfortable yet? I sure am! Honestly, I fail daily on just about all these items. John MacArthur adds more to my angst when he notes:

"The sins of every believer are, of course, forever forgiven through the cross; salvation cannot be forfeited. Yet those who squander their God-given opportunities for spiritual service will one day discover that their works consist of little more than wood, hay, and stubble." ~ Slave (p184)

Remember that this isn't about salvation and I'm not preaching. This is a confession about my own spiritual state at times. Too often I allow the weight of the world to hijack my walk. How do I fix this?

I remember listening to a sermon by Pastor Alistair Begg some time ago. His demeanor was noticeably grim as he spoke about something the current US administration had done. I could tell by the sound of his voice and in his carefully chosen words that it had affected him deeply.

Pastor Begg went on to counsel the congregation to read five or six times the volume of Scripture to every news item. How many of us are doing that? He also reminded us that we are in relentless spiritual warfare but that Christ had already won (Eph 6:10-17). He also talked about the need for daily prayer!

Are we all praying daily?

Frankly, I'm never going to be a super Christian and I'll always stumble. There's very little you and I can do to change this godless world. But we can pray. There are ministries to pray for and the unsaved. Dwight L. Moody benefited mightily from prayer warriors. Prayer warriors have sparked revivals throughout church history. People have been saved and healed because of prayer - I have!

Chuck Swindoll recently talked about prayer warriors and the "little people behind the scenes" doing God's work. He told the story of his need for an air conditioner for his fledgling ministry. Swindoll couldn't afford one, so he asked a prayer warrior to put it on her list of prayers. So she did. And he was offered one out of the blue, at the end of winter. When Swindoll told the lady he got the air conditioner, she said, "Terrific! That's the way it ought to be. Now what else do you need?"

I like that little story! It gives me hope and fires me up.

Despite the chaos around us we have to continue to run our races to the finish to win our prizes. There are lots of things we can do, but prayer is essential. And everyone can do it.

Don't forget that we're in the thick of Spiritual Warfare. Let's pray daily and unceasingly. May the Lord find us doing it faithfully when He returns!

It could be today.

About Alf Cengia

Last week: The Dangers of Premillennialism

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