I find it fascinating how people gravitate towards things related to Bible prophecy. There have been tons of books written and debates over when the rapture is going to happen, who is the antichrist, the mark of the beast, and basically every imaginable topic surrounding Bible prophecy. I am not saying prophecy is not important, because God gave these prophecies to us in the Bible for us to know. However, there is one prophetic truth that sometimes gets lost in the study of Bible prophecy, and we find this little truth in the gospel of Luke.
This little truth is a simple one; work until he gets back. The King James Version says, “Occupy, until I come.” Lost in the shuffle of trying to ascertain when certain prophetic events are going to happen is the command to get to work. Until Jesus comes back, whenever that is, we have a mandate to get to work. Let me share with you some simple reasons why we must get to work.
The Bible is clear that no one knows when Jesus is coming back and there is no room for debate concerning this. You can study all the signs, look at all the charts, try to figure out all the numbers, but at the end of the day this truth remains: no one knows the day or the hour.
Yet in this same Scripture, Jesus mentions that as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. While we love to attempt to look at the similarities between these two periods, here is one similarity that often gets overlooked. Noah did not enter the ark until God told him to. Noah worked and built the ark and he continued to live righteously until God told him it was time to get in the boat.
Noah didn’t hide in the ark waiting for the rain, neither did he spend his time looking for the rain. He simply kept living and obeying God among unrighteous people. This is what we need to do. Study all the prophecy you desire, but make sure it doesn’t keep you from working until he returns.
I know it feels like the world is getting darker and colder, and that is because it is. Men’s hearts and the love of many are growing cold, but we shouldn’t be surprised by this. Yet as dark as it may seem, the truth is it is still day because we can still work. Things may feel bad and feel like they are getting worse, but regardless of how it feels, it is still day.
The reason Jesus makes us aware that night is coming is to increase our urgency. Since we know the days are drawing closer and we are aware that he could return soon, shouldn’t this make us more determined and motivated to reach more people? Shouldn’t this make us less caught up in the trappings of this life and more focused on the will of the Father?
Somehow what should be logical questions with yes answers have turned into something else. It feels like the church, who I am defining as those who carry the name of Christ, is more concerned about things that don’t really matter as much. If Jesus is coming soon shouldn’t that be the thing that gives us laser focus on what we need to be doing? Yet it’s not. If we are going to work until he comes, we need to pay less attention to the things that don’t matter, and put those things down so we can pick up the things that really do matter.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Harli Marten
There is an interesting reality about darkness. The darker it gets, the brighter the light you have shines. I have one question I want to ask you.
Why did Jesus put his light in you?
He put his light in you so that you could shine in the darkness. He didn’t give you his light so you can complain about the darkness; he gave you his light so you could do something about the darkness. The expectation is that you would see the darkness and bring your light into it, and by so doing point people to Jesus.
This means people who are in darkness need to be shown light so they can potentially find their way out of the darkness. It seems for far too many we are either comfortable with people living in their darkness, or we simply don’t care. Instead of seeing people as blinded and being in bondage needing help, they have become the enemy and the opponent.
People who don’t know Jesus are not your opponents, they are your mission field. They are part of the fields that are ripe with harvest and Jesus expects you to be one of the workers who will work until he comes. Let it be that we would not be lamps under a bowl, which is of no value, and that we would become lamps on a stand that shine for all the world to see.
I want to end this article where I started, in Luke. The king went away, and he will return. We all know Jesus is coming back, we just don’t know when. If we want to truly honor him, let it be that he would find us at work doing what he has called us to do when he returns. These are the types of servants God is looking for.
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Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. He has also just released his new book The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord but can’t seem to overcome the stuff that keeps getting in the way? This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.