What Will You Be Doing?
Looking forward to the Lord’s return for the church is the hope of every authentic Christian (Ti. 2:13). The context surrounding Rapture teaching, however, also contains practical instruction.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Ti. 2:11-14).
Some think “the grace of God” is a theological term that simply describes the mechanics of salvation. While Jesus Christ truly died as the substitutionary sacrifice for all mankind and was the embodiment of God’s grace, Christians are called to live responsibly (Jn. 3:16).
LIVE RESPONSIBLY . . .
God’s grace must influence how we live in light of Christ’s return for the church. Although the saving aspect of the grace of God is usually the focus in Christian circles, there’s more to grace than unmerited favor. As recipients of grace, we can no longer be characterized by indifference toward God or negligence in our obligation to serve Him. Paul calls those attitudes “ungodliness” (v. 11).
Similarly, “worldly lusts” that refer to passions, goals and ambitions anchored to the world system ruled and governed by Satan must no longer dominate our lives. Ungodliness and worldly lust are uncharacteristic of Christians who have genuinely experienced the benefits of God’s grace. With grace at work in your life, self-control, integrity and passionate service for God will be evident.
LIVE ZEALOUSLY . . .
Appropriating the benefits of God’s grace dramatically changes the focus of our lives. The prospect of our Lord’s return for the church has a purifying effect for the expectant Christian. The apostle John observed that, “everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He [Christ] is pure” (1 Jn. 3:2-3).
We must make a conscious choice to resist apathy and laziness with regard to God’s purposes for us. Jesus Christ’s imminent return for the church should motivate us to be zealous and determined in service for the Lord while there is still time (v. 14).On the basis of God’s grace, Christians can and should look forward to Christ’s return for the church. But more importantly as beneficiaries of God’s grace, we should daily ask ourselves, What will I be doing for Him when Jesus Christ returns?
1) Illustrative Featured image and Photo montage, [Public domain]. Digital composition, MKM Portfolios
2) Detail : Jesus Christ Returns for the Church. Background image, Lehava Activity 2012/Pikiwiki Israel/Wikimedia Commons. Foreground image, [Public domain]. Digital composition, MKM Portfolios
Copyright © 2017 Charles E. McCracken, commentary only. Repost/Reprint with permission. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.