The Last Days-cont.
(I Thess. 3-4)
I could not write all my thoughts in one entry. Focus on Matthew 24 and the awesome and troubling words Jesus spoke, caused me some distress. Thank God that, by the Spirit, others wrote to provide a picture that is more encouraging. In the reference passage, Paul clarifies the end with uplifting words. We will meet Jesus in the air! How uplifting is that! His beauty will draw us right up to Him. And we will ever be with the Lord. I don’t see Him landing on the earth. The longing of the apostles was to see Him in His full glory and be fully transformed. Paul desired to put off this earthly, temporary tent, this corruptible body. Search that out in I Corinthians 15.
We experience heaven and eternity here and now. We receive foretastes, and in these times nearing the end of the age, larger meals than known to those who have gone ahead of us. He has prepared a table for us in the presence of our, and His, enemies. We begin to live in an eternal, or heavenly, reality.
When will we see this, His full appearing? Where in the process are we? No doubt the time is accelerating. Yet John, the one who had the awesome revelation of Christ on Patmos writes from a different perspective. He writes (I John), “Little children, it is the last hour.” The last hour? We are looking for the last days. Are we in them? Of course, we are. I sense that John wrote such words because he had been so caught up in the very presence of God. He had witnessed so much; his perspective was fundamentally altered. He was ruined for this world and more prepared for heaven. He experienced all that he wrote in Revelation.
Do we want to have such a heavenly revelation? It will cause us to lose this world. We sometimes hold back in fear, or because we hold on to the familiar. I have understood that our Father, our Daddy, knows what we are ready for. I know someone who was literally knocked over by the Spirit in their prayer time and found themselves praying in tongues. No other person was present. They had previously not believed in such. Saul was blinded and knocked off his horse. We cannot make such experiences happen, but we are encouraged to pursue the Lord Himself (Heb. 12:2), and to desire such experience (I Cor. 14:1). We pursue Him by taking time apart, learning to focus on Him. Call it prayer, devotions, meditation, whatever words you may use. It is a time of expecting the Holy Spirit to reveal something more of Christ in the way He may choose. If the result is not clear for you, ask God for understanding.
The Lord Himself is sovereign in all things, including these matters of His appearing. But we have a part in seeking Him, in desiring His presence above all things. Each of the disciples had different but awesome experiences. All the disciples were in the upper room when the day of Pentecost was fully come. Thomas had put his hand in Jesus side. Peter, James, and John had already been on the mount when Jesus was transfigured. John had the awesome revelation years later. Peter and Paul did not experience that in the same way however. Paul had his third heaven experience. We each receive what the Lord determines. For us it is to make ourselves available, to seek His face, that is, intimacy with Him.
That is what the bride is about, longing for and waiting to be fully intimate with Him. He is coming for her. He is not coming for a collection of institutions. Now Paul makes it plain that some will be asleep, dead in the grave, but some will not. I see no break in the action here, and I read nowhere that He came in between in such a majestic way. This is the day they all, the apostles, looked for. By the time of the close of the written record we have as the book, the Bible, how many were called as, and identified as, apostles? We need such humility, to remain as little children, yet ready for His sending.
Are we still seeking ministries, and “positions?” Lord, draw us in closer. We have positions, as living stones fitted into the wall of His heavenly house, His heavenly city. We are being refined as precious jewels (Malachi 3:17), true living jewels. Revisit the description of that city in Revelation 21. This what He is building, a heavenly city, to be displaying His glory in the earth. This is His work in these last days. He is coming. Open up you gates and welcome Him!