Like many Christians in the last ten to twenty years, I spent a lot of time and energy learning about Jesus’ second coming, the rapture, and tribulation. I was weaned as a baby Christian on all the best known teachers of the second coming of Jesus. It was and still is a subject that truly excites me! However, after several years of hearing many debates on whether there would be a rapture before, during or after the tribulation, I simply “wore out” waiting for Jesus. I decided it was time I seriously looked into the bulk of Scriptures dealing with the Christian’s lifestyle and ministry. I discovered that Jesus said this regarding the end times: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt. 24:14) Jesus clearly links the end times to the completion of a task. That task is the extending of God’s rule upon the earth in the words and works of the kingdom! This message and ministry of the gospel is to be taken to the whole world by each generation of the church until he comes! Jesus does want us to be committed to his Second Coming and be prepared at all times. But he also wants us to be committed to speaking his words and doing his works until he appears! John Wimber
Our Theme: ON MISSION.
Over the years, I must admit that I’ve experienced much of what Wimber talks about here. Ever since the release of Hal Lindsey’s classic book, The Late Great Planet Earth in 1970, Christians have been abuzz about the end of the world as we know it and how that plays into the second coming of Christ. Back then, I remember some of my more conservative friends being very frustrated with me because I wouldn’t read the book, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988. After managing a Christian bookstore for so many years prior to that and seeing a long litany of second-coming books bite the dust, my sarcastic side seemed to show when I told my friends that I was going to wait and buy the book in 1989, because then, I would be able to purchase it for pennies on the dollar!
More recently, the Left Behind novel series has served to stir the flames of second-coming imaginations for so many believers. And does anybody remember Y2K? Or what about the recent 2012 Mayan calendar debate? Gosh, even the godless sinners who run some of the major Hollywood movie studios got caught up with that one, didn’t they?
So, as I see it, Wimber was right. When it comes to our limited time here on planet earth, I often ponder if Satan has his dirty little hands in all of this? Think about it with me for a minute, will you? Let’s say, for example, if the devil really wanted to accomplish something of worth for the kingdom of darkness, what better way could there be than to get a great majority of the good guys and gals so focused on the end that they neglect to do the very thing that Jesus says will actually usher in the end?
Hmm. Almost makes you wanna laugh doesn’t it?
But, friends, this is serious business. Way too serious for us to chuckle over how distracted Satan can get us if we don’t pay attention to what is real and what is just a mirage. The second coming is set in stone. A done deal. In heaven, there is no uncertainty or doubt about it. No worry there that the end will turn out differently than God the Father has already planned it to be.
I love the line Jack Hayford reportedly uses when asked to lay out all the gory details surrounding the coming of the end. “Pre-trib? Post-trib? Mid-trib,” Jack quips, “All I know is that the Bible says when Jesus comes, we go!”
Somehow, I think Wimber and Hayford, good friends for a good many years, hold the key to how we Christians should approach this second-coming dilemma in which we often find ourselves. As I see it, let’s not worry about all the sordid details, but let’s just get about the business of loving “the hell” out of folks around us. So much love and so much care that it will be almost impossible for people in our communities to go to hell. So much of Jesus, so much of his kingdom mercy, deliverance, and healing, it will be next to impossible for the devil to slip in there and pull anyone off track.
Wha-da-ya-say, church? Let’s get busy just doin’ the commission and spend much less time figuring out the fine print! For Jesus’ sake!
Jesus, I believe you said it rightly. No one, including you or the angels in heaven, know the day or the hour of your return (Matthew 24: 36). But, Father, for those of us who live on this planet today, help us to keep our eyes and ears ready for that return, while keeping our focus on doing the very work of the kingdom that Jesus says will usher in that same end we all are looking forward to. For your name’s sake. Amen!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO PONDER
- What needs to change in my approach to the “second coming” of Jesus?
- Am I caught up in the theology or the countless opinions surrounding this important future event, or am I devoting myself fully to the work of the kingdom?
- Am I keeping my eyes and ears focused on Jesus and the work yet to be done before he returns?
So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Wisdom of Wimber?
Between Easter 2016 and the end of August, we are sharing with you a blog series we call The Wisdom of Wimber: As I See It. In order to keep all 64 blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Wisdom of Wimber page for ease of use. Might we also suggest that you order a copy or two of our book by the same title! It’s available in both paperback and e-book formats…and will soon be available in Spanish! Click here for more info. ENJOY!
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