Daily Devotional – Monday, August 30, 2021
“I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:1-2, NLT)
With all the news we’re being bombarded with these days—earthquakes, floods, droughts, fires, starvation, civilian protests, military takeovers, brutality of all kinds, “wars and rumors of wars,” it is easy for those of us looking forward to the return of Christ to wonder if it might not be any day now. Jesus warned of these very things, but said these were but “birth pains, with more to come” (Matthew 24). The reality is that what we are experiencing today is, unfortunately, not new. Humanity’s existence on this sin-infected planet is set to repeat similar cycles until Jesus returns and brings it all to a screeching halt.
Paul gave Timothy a much different list of things to look for as an indication of the last days, “You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
This list too, while very evident in our world today, is also not new to the human experience on this planet. It appears to me that we meet the listed criteria for the ‘end days,’ but we have done so for a considerable amount of time already. What is holding back Jesus’ return? I think there is really only one thing: “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:9)
So, now is not the time to stop what we’re doing to watch the sky for Christ’s return. He will come…when the time is right…which may be in the next week or in the next 1,000 years. We need to take Paul’s advice to Timothy to heart. We need to continue to teach the truth found in the Bible, whether “the time is favourable or not,” patiently correcting, challenging those in error and encouraging those who want to learn.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!