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The End-Time Generation #secondcoming

JesusAs I was meditating on the life of John the Baptist in Scripture, it occurred to me that his calling was a lot like ours.  He was positioned to minister before the coming of Christ.  In the same way, we find ourselves very close to the return of the Lord.

How should we be living, knowing the age that God has placed us in?  The calling of John the Baptist should speak to us about it.

“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous– to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Luke 1:17

I’ve come to the realization that he was a man ahead of his time.  Scripture tells us that he spent a great amount of time in the wilderness seeking God.  When God said go, John became a man on a mission.

As I studied his life and message I came to a startling conclusion.  John saw forward not only to the first appearing of Christ, but to the second coming as well.

Do you believe that Jesus is coming soon?  If so, then we are the “John the Baptist Generation.”  I want to look at John for a few posts to get some insight into who we are and who we must become to fulfill our calling.

The above verse was told to Zechariah by the angel Gabriel.  This message foretold who John was to be.  His calling was to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.  He was to provide a people thoroughly equipped for Christ’s coming.

Our generation must be equipped.

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.  If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
2 Timothy 2:20-21

This verse literally says that we must be fully equipped to do any good work.  If we want to do the work of God, then we must be equipped for it.

It’s important to realize that equipping relies upon purpose.  How you’re equipped depends upon what your purpose is.  So in the discussion about preparing us for the return of the Lord, we’re also talking about purpose.

What is your purpose?  Why are you doing what you’re doing?  John had a clear purpose; to prepare God’s people.

We have no choice in the matter.  We’ve been born in the last-days before the coming of Christ.  The question is; will we live up to that calling?

Question: Do you believe that Christ is coming soon?  In what way does that affect how you live?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Ministry, Return of Christ

 

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Have You been Bought Off?

PeopleWe call Satan “the enemy.”  But in many cases, it looks like regular church people have accepted payment from him to ignore the work of God.  Are you one of these individuals?

God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you
Romans 1:9-10

In this verse, the word serve literally means to serve as a hired menial.  So Paul is saying that he considers himself hired by God for a purpose.  He understands that there’s a payment, a reward that he will receive from God for a job well done.

How do we handle this?  In our modern American culture there’s not a lot of job loyalty anymore.  People are constantly keeping their resumes tuned up in case a better position opens up in another company.  It’s unfortunate, but this same mindset has spilled over into the church.

Satan tries to capitalize on this thinking.

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
Matthew 4:8-10

In this verse we see Satan trying to give Christ a better offer.  It was promised that the Messiah would one day rule over all the kingdoms of the world.  But by God’s way, the Lord would have to suffer and die in agony to receive it.

Satan is giving Christ the chance to bypass all the pain.  By a simple act of devotion, He could receive the reward without the pain of the cross.  I’m so glad that Jesus saw through the deception, and carried out God’s plan as it was meant to be done.

Satan tries to buy us off all the time.  He holds out to us all the pleasures, entertainments, and activities of the world.  He tells us to just play with these toys for a little while.

“They’re not sinful, and nobody will be hurt by them.”

But there’s a price that’s being paid.  The work of the kingdom is being ignored by a large segment of believers.  There are souls not being saved, prisoners not being set free, and lives not being healed.  There’s a calling that only you can fulfill.

If you’re looking for a better offer, Satan will give it to you; he just won’t follow through with it.  It’s time for the church of Christ to rise to its feet.  We must throw off the distractions of the world and complete the assignments that we were call to do.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
Hebrews 12:28

Our wages from the Lord are well worth what we are called to do.  We are hired by God for a purpose.  Let’s give all and do great things for God!

Questions: How has the enemy tried to buy your time?  How have you answered his offer?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in Ministry, The Church

 

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