RSS

Tag Archives: order

The Second Coming – Order is Everything

CakeIn my last post I began looking at how to make the return of the Lord less confusing to us. I talked about methods of study that are helpful, and not so helpful.

Another confusing method that some people use is to start their study of the end times with the book of Revelation. They just can’t wait. They don’t realize that Revelation is the icing on the cake.

When baking a cake, we don’t start by getting the icing into the shape we want and then try shoving the cake into the icing. That would be foolish (and messy). But some Christians do that with the Second Coming by starting with the book of Revelation.

What I intend to do, is to start with Christ. If anybody knows about His return, it’s Him. He’s the One coming back. So we’ll start with His teaching and then build upon it by adding the apostle’s teaching to the Lord’s foundation.

Only then can we see how the book of Revelation applies to the whole. If you start with the right foundation, there’s no room for confusion and contradictions.

I’ll also be defining terms as we go along. Phrases such as the last days, the last day, the day of the Lord, and the day of the Son of Man need to be defined based on their use in Scripture. I can’t just use a term like the day of the Lord and make it mean whatever I want it to mean. I’ve got to know what the writer meant when the Holy Spirit inspired him to use that term.

As we look at all these things together, we must be prepared to let the Word of God speak to us. You’re going to hear some things that will challenge you. Hopefully you’ll rethink some of the things that you’ve always assumed about the coming of the Lord. Our goal is to be witnesses who are ready for Christ’s return.

Our direction is simply to follow Jesus’ outline as He taught His disciples. He started with one simple precept and built on it. What you’ll find, if you study out all the teachings of Christ, is that He taught on four main tracks in dealing with the end-times. We’re going to take each of these tracks of teaching at some point in my future posts.

We’ll proceed down these tracks in the order that Christ taught them to His disciples. In this way, we’ll have a clear picture of the end-times that’s received straight from the Savior’s mouth. If you’re prepared to receive Jesus’ teaching, wherever it may lead you, then you’re ready to begin the journey.

I suggest that you subscribe to these posts by e-mail, so that you don’t miss any of them.

Question: Are you excited by the thought that Christ will return? Are you looking forward to that day?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 12, 2016 in Return of Christ, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Getting Things in Order

SpotlightIn the last couple of posts I’ve been talking about how those of us in ministry run the risk of getting too busy. By that I mean we start to neglect our intimate times with the Lord. Specifically, what Christ said in the following verse.

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”
Revelation 2:4-5

What do you do if you find yourself in this condition? How do you get your spiritual life back on track?

The answer to this problem is clear from the Lord’s own words. The first step is to remember. Remember the height from which you have fallen. Think back to what your walk with the Lord used to be like. Allow a hunger to be birthed in you for the way it was. This will make the next step that much easier.

Step two is really the key to the whole process. Restoration always involves repentance. At this point, you may complain, “But I didn’t backslide – I still love the Lord, and I’m still doing the work of the ministry.” That’s probably very true. However, to God, the most important thing is your relationship with Him.

In any relationship, it’s not the fact that you love the other person that brings you closer. It’s the time spent communicating. If you haven’t deepened your walk with the Lord, through time in the Word and in prayer, then there needs to be repentance. I’m sure you already know that true repentance includes a 180-degree turn around to the right path. It’s time to renew your walk with Christ.

You also need to realize that if you ignore His call, you’re missing out on God’s best for your life. The words of the Lord in Revelation 2:3 above make it clear that if this condition is left unchecked long enough, then the church will suffer for it. Jesus said that He would remove the lampstand from its place.

It doesn’t sound fair that just because a church leader is out of relationship with the Lord, that the whole church can be dragged down with him or her. Unfortunately, that’s the way of spiritual things. Jesus said that if the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the ditch. The church will never progress beyond the depth of the leadership’s walk with the Lord.

At this point I have to pause, and give a special exhortation to pastors and teachers. Too often we fall into the rut of self-deception. Sermon and Bible Study preparation time is NOT the same as a personal time in God’s Word. Interceding for your congregation is not intimate, personal prayer time with the Lord.

In my experience I’ve found that many leaders substitute the work of the ministry for the walk of relationship. The key to renewing your first love is to cultivate your relationship with God in personal time with God’s Word and in prayer. Above all else, we should be deepening our relationship with our Lord.

Question: How have you struggled in setting aside time for intimacy with Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 19, 2015 in Leadership, Ministry, Prayer, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Christianity: The Counter-Culture…or not?

DifferentIs the church called to run contrary to the world?  If so, then where are we missing it?  I want to take a few posts to deal with this issue.  I want us to think about our walk as Christians in America.

This topic actually isn’t that new.  James wrote about it long ago.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
James 4:4

Those are some strong words he uses.  He called them an adulterous people.  What does cheating on your spouse have to do with the spiritual condition of a generation?  The answer is found in the verse just preceding this one.  It explains his choice of words.

As he talked about asking for things in prayer, he wrote…

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
James 4:3

Here’s the problem that James is describing as adultery.  They asked God for things so that they could then spend those things on their pleasures.  It literally says that their motives in seeking God, was so that they could become consumers of pleasures.

That sounds a little too familiar.

“God, please help me to get a better job.”

Then, as our blessings increase, we get more things and push God further into the background.  After all, now that I have more stuff, I have less time for “church”.

Here’s the problem from God’s perspective.  It says in verse 4, above, that trying to make friends with the world is an act of hostility toward God.  To make a friend, you need to try to please them or be like them in some way.

Remember, we’re not talking about the people, but the world system.  You can make friends with people without buying into the system.

There’s a word we use for the world’s system of order.  It’s the word culture.  Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary defines culture as, the sum total of the attainments and activities of any…people, including their implements, handcrafts, agriculture, economics, music, arts, religious beliefs, tradition, language and story.

In other words, the American culture is our entire way of life.  It’s how we live and what we expect.  It’s what we strive for as well as what we accept as “normal”.

When I think about the mainstream of life in the United States, I get a picture of the system at work here.  Then, when I see the lifestyle we are called to as followers of Christ, I get a whole different picture.  There are some areas where the two cultures are drastically different.

How do we live in both worlds?  That’s what I want to talk about in the next few posts.  Hopefully you’ll join the conversation.

Question: Do you see areas where the church is too friendly with the world system?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Revival, The Church

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,