Part 1, The Return of Christ, How Should We Then Live.
In 2013 my autoimmune diseases sidelined me from all the ministries I had led or participated in. At that point, I didn’t yet have a diagnosis. I was devastated to discover that my brain fog, fatigue, and pain were now incompatible with the service I had participated in within the church and the prison. I had to stop.
The previous ten years had been spent writing the Bible study material for our church, in addition to working in many ministries. I had written the material chronologically through all of the epistles, and it had been an incredible blessing to study and prepare the material. But, as my illness grew worse, our pastor had to put together the material for Hebrews, for I was no longer able to sit at the desk for hours weekly. We didn’t get to study Revelation, the final book.
In early 2014 I found myself totally flattened. I had been sick for three years then, and I spent the day moving from bed to couch to soaking in Epsom salts and back to bed again. Typically, my laptop was with me, so I could interact with others outside my home.
Every book of the New Testament had been studied except Revelation, and I am a task completer. I wanted to finish my journey through the entire New Testament. Since I wouldn’t be preparing material for adults and teens, formatting it for printing, editing for errors, overseeing the printing, passing it out to all the groups during the regular Bible study times, and then leading a group myself, I could simply study the Word for my own enlightenment.
I spent the next three years in my recliner, examining the text of Revelation in the original language on Logos, making detailed notes in my working copy, studying each cross reference, and being challenged by the content.
The number of warnings and admonitions throughout the Bible, in texts our church had previously studied, jumped into my mind as I began my study of Revelation. These texts prepared us to be ready for Christ’s imminent return. These commands and instructions help us to come out of “Babylon the Great,” the evil world system that seeks satisfaction in power, wealth, and exploitation.
The Apostle John penned Revelation from the island of Patmos, writing: “I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 1:9 ESV).
He addresses the need to come out of the evil world system, “Babylon the Great” in the 18th chapter of the letter.
“Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her [Babylon the Great], my people,
lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues;
5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities.
6 Pay her back as she herself has paid back others,
and repay her double for her deeds;
mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
7 As she glorified herself and lived in luxury,
so give her a like measure of torment and mourning,
since in her heart she says,
‘I sit as a queen,
I am no widow,
and mourning I shall never see.’
8 For this reason her plagues will come in a single day,
death and mourning and famine,
and she will be burned up with fire;
for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”
This is where we live, within an evil world system where children are trafficked, abortion has been normalized to the point of being used as birth control, pedophilia may become a norm, the poor and the needy are neglected, prisoners are forgotten, the worth of human beings is often measured by their hue of skin, money seems more important than character, and the indigent poor are often unseen and neglected. Add to that wars, wars, and rumors of wars.
My goal for the next few months is to take apart the instructions scattered throughout the New Testament, which help us, both you and me, to prepare for the imminent return of Christ, informing us how we should live, what we can do to help others, and why. Each message will be about this length or shorter.
In these end times, these final days, these days of tribulation, we can definitely read, consider, and apply the instructions given in Scripture for how we should live.
The Lord bless you and keep you in the coming new year!In these #EndTimes, these final days, these days of tribulation, we can definitely read, consider, and apply the instructions given in Scripture for how we should live. #bgbg2 Click To Tweet Living for Jesus in the new year. My goal is to prepare for the imminent return of Christ, examining the Scriptures and uncovering how we should live according to Jesus' instructions, what we can do to help others, and why. #bgbg2 Click To Tweet