Tucked in the back of the Old Testament were two obscure prophets who warned the Israelites, “The Lord is Coming!” – Obadiah 1:15 & Zechariah 1:4. The signs of our times sure seem to affirm the many prophecies related to Christ’s return. The events happening in the mid-east this very minute are clearly a pre-cursor to what the Bible calls “end times” (Mark 13).
Many Christian are so concerned about reigning with Christ in the future that they’re not living for Christ in the present. Christ doesn’t ask us to crack the mysteries of the code for his second coming, but to invest our time and efforts in reaching the lost. Even the angels don’t know when Jesus will return. Neither does Jesus Himself. Only the Father knows.
With the international concern about “end times” comes the opportunity for revival. For that, we can all rejoice. As the Holy Spirit moves in the lives of men, women and evangelical churches around the globe we can see the blessings associated with the “harvest”. In thirty-three years of ministry I’ve never seen so many folks open to God’s Word. As scripture reminds us “the fields are ripe with harvest but the workers are few” (Luke 10:2).
I’ve been asked by a few people who are in the final months of life to help them plan their funerals. It is always interesting to note how they wish to be remembered. Winston Churchill had planned his funeral, which took place in Saint Paul’s Cathedral. He included many of the great hymns of the church and used the eloquent Anglican liturgy.
At his direction, a bugler, positioned high in the dome of Saint Paul’s, intoned, after the benediction, the sound of “Taps,” the universal signal that says the day is over. But then came the most dramatic turn; as Churchill instructed, as soon as “Taps” was finished, another bugler, placed on the other side of the great dome, played the notes of Reveille”. “It’s time to get up! It’s time to get up! It’s time to get up and get going!”
That was Churchill’s testimony that at the end of his life, the last note will not be “Taps,” it will be “Reveille.” And that is a challenge for every Christian today. Let’s get up and get moving for Jesus. What neighbor, relative, co-worker or friend in your path doesn’t know Jesus? As they begin to discuss the disturbing issues surrounding the plight of our world and the disorder associated with the continual moral decay of our nation – remind them there is hope. Hope in Jesus that this need not be the end of it all. With Christ we have the hope for eternal life and the promise of fellowshipping with other believers forever and ever.
Let’s all be prepared and look/listen for the sound of the trumpets.
— Dr. James E. Grassi