“Don’t waste your time then wake to find, you’ve been left behind.”
One of the bylaws of the River of Life Assembly of God church (in Belleville, Michigan) is the belief in the premillenial return of the Lord Jesus Christ. For those who do not know what that means, allow me to explain briefly. Jesus Christ is promised to return to the earth, to reign for one thousand years. That time could be next century, the next decade, next year, tomorrow, or one minute from now. No one knows when it will happen but, rest assured friend, Jesus is coming back someday. When he does, the Bible says His church will be caught up (or raptured) to Heaven, before His millenial reign.
Everyone encounters trials and tribulations throughout life. The reality is, no one grows physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually without a healthy dose of strife, to make us uncomfortable enough to adapt and conquer our fears and setbacks. The tribulations we encounter help us to mature; they refine our delicate thinking processes; they actually mold and shape us into the people God intended us to be. Granted, some of us turn out to be monsters, because we rebel against the will of God, but that’s a different discussion entirely. What I’m talking about here, is the difference between our individual tribulations versus The Big One promised to end life as we know and have known throughout man’s entire history. Trust me, no one wants to be around to see the sci-fi and horror-flick sights and expriences destined to claim the world, during the time of the Great Tribulation. Now, there is all sort of speculation floating around out there, as to when The Great Tribulation will occur along the timeline of history. This isn’t a discussion about that. It’s my article, so I’m going to tell you that I support the pre-tribulation rapture. I wanna get up outta here, before all hell breaks loose, literally speaking. You need to have a Christian perspective on life to ride Jesus’ train out of town.
Here’s where I’m going to start losing readers. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t want to be told, “you need to get right with the Lord”. That statement threatens the livelihood of so many unbelievers,
they would rather end the discussion before it even starts. I know this personally. By human nature, we do not want to be told what we need to do. We want to do what we want to do, when we want to do it. Anything other than our own ambitions can be thrown away, or filed into the distant mental “to-do list” for a later time.
But, you can’t fight truth, and the truth is…we all do need to get right with the Lord. The world is full of evidence, of financially successful misers. Turn on the television, and you’re guaranteed to see yesteryear’s supermodel looking like a living plastic Barbie doll because of the amount of collagen and botox injections, plastic surgeries and crash diets aimed at retaining the perfect beauty look. Can someone tell me why our sports heroes of years past are drinking themselves to death, overdosing, and comitting suicide? Don’t even get me started on some of our former local politicians (insert K.K. and M.C. here). Yes…whether you realize it or not, we all need to get right with the Lord! Everyday-life is proof enough of what happens to the soul who rejects the Lord.
People know what has to be done. Deep down, we were all born with an innate knowledge of God. Somewhere down the line of living, we simply turn away from Him. We get so engrossed in our daily grinds, whether good or bad, that we simply put off our obedience to Him. Yesterday, while on the job, I had the pleasure of running into a 70-year old resident of Detroit. He asked me what I did for a living. I told him I worked for an engineering company under contract with the Detroit water department. That’s when he laughed sarcastically.
“Boy, you got yo’ work cut out for you, son,” He said. “Er’thang in this city is broke! What this city needs, is to be taken over by a dictator, demolished, and then rebuilt by the white-money.”
“Well,” I said, “I have the faith that God can turn this city around, if it is within his plan to do so.”
“You see! That’s why we in such horrible shape now! Too many people believin’ in that faith-based S.ugar, H.oney, I.ce, T.ee! People need to get a grip on reality. Religion ain’t gon’ fix a (blank) thing, around this city! I’m 70 years old, son. I’m a Detroiter, but I don’t claim Detroit! Detroit is dead, and can’t do a (blank) thang for me, no mo’!”
I let this poor man rant on like that for about 15 minutes, before he finally rode off on his bicycle. He did tell me to have a nice day, so that was one positve note, to our conversation. But, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, because he clearly never found God, during his lifetime. Now, he’s nothing more than a miserable soul. In that brief moment in time, I thought to myself, “God, don’t ever take your eyes off me. I don’t want to die without you in my life.”
Life’s got a joyful pitch to it, when you’re obeying the Lord. He’s not going to make all of his faithful rich; He won’t guarantee a trouble-free life; He might even bring strife into your life, just to break you down for rebuilding; but, His grace grants strength to His faithful. Life is still hard under God’s authority, but it’s a totally different kind of hard, because you’re not fighting alone anymore. Those true believers out there know exactly what I’m talking about.
We’re never promised tomorrow. Just as Jesus doesn’t know when He’s going to get the green light to come back, we’re never promised a new day. That’s why time is so precious. People who put off finding the Lord are foolish. I know that may poke at a few sensitive hearts, but I don’t care. Truth isn’t always friendly. Wasting time by chasing selfish ambitions could get you a ticket to the hottest place under earth. Wasting time, gives the devil ample opportunity to sway your logic. Delaying finding the Lord gives the enemy plenty of time to draw you into his version of reality, only to kill you in the end; not just physical death, but spiritual death as well. We’ve had gifted singers with God given talents, who were swept away under terrible circumstances. Too much time wasted, chasing selfish ambitions, when God could have been calling them for something wonderful. Ignoring God’s call on your life could actually curse your own children. Oh yeah…the generational curse is real!
The point to this article is summed up in a line I wrote for a song. “Don’t waste your time, then wake to find you’ve been left behind.” If God decides to send Jesus to sweep up His faithful followers, during the night, would you be surprised to roll over and find your lover gone without you? How about your child disappearing, leaving you wondering what happened, single parent? How about this: one second you’re talking with your wife, and in the blink of an eye, she disappears right before your eyes. That’s the promise folks. Two in the field; one will be taken: the believer, who didn’t waste time with selfish tendencies.
Seek the Lord, family. I will never claim to know when He’s coming back. I do, however, believe in His word. His word tells me that He will return someday. I want to be ready, when He does. I refuse to be left behind.