I Timothy 6:13-16
I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
Have I been keeping this commandment? The commandment to fight the good fight of faith is one that we all need to keep, especially in this day and hour. Paul sensed Jesus would be back any day and he lived his life as though Christ would be returning soon. In this day and age, we are surer than ever that Jesus will soon be seen riding in the clouds, ready to take His church home to heaven with Him. Am I living my life in a way that reflects that thought, or am I just waiting for Him to come and not doing anything different than usual? What should I be doing as the day approaches?
Jesus told us a few things we should be doing when the signs point to his coming. In Matthew 25:10-13 He tells a parable of 10 virgins. They set out to meet the bridegroom with their lamps. But five of them had no oil for their lamps and had to turn back to get oil. This made them late for the wedding and, when they finally arrived, said they should depart because he never knew them. The virgins who had oil in their lamps were welcomed into the wedding, Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit all the way back into the Old Testament. The oil was used to anoint the priests for service. Jesus left His Holy Spirit, the Comforter, with all those who accept Him as Lord and Savior. At the day of His coming we better be ready and full of His Spirit or He will tell us to depart as well. There will be no time to go and get filled up! This parable warns us to always be ready for His return.
In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus tells us another story which begins with the words “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory…” He goes on to say that he shall separate the people like a shepherd separates sheep and goats. The sheep are the ones who have been ministering to Him by ministering to others. The goats are those who have not been ministering to others, the sheep are asked to join Him in heaven, the goats are sent to everlasting punishment. This story tells us that we must be doing good to those around us and not just sitting in our easy chair and relaxing now that we are saved. If we are doing good to others we will be accepted because we are following the commandments. If we are not, we will not see heaven.
In Matthew 24:36 Jesus says that even He does not know when He shall return, only the Father knows. In Matthew 24:42, Jesus says to watch for we know not the hour when the Son of Man will come. He then talks about the good man of the house who would have protected his house if he knew when the thief was going to come. He uses this analogy to let us know we do not know so we should always be ready for His coming. What if he came when we were in the middle of some sin? Maybe when we are telling a lie, or watching something we should not be, or with someone we should not be, or defrauding someone. We surely do not want to be caught doing anything he would not approve of when He comes. If we don’t know when he is coming how can we afford to do anything he would disapprove of.
Then there is Hebrews 10:25. This is one of the most neglected scriptures in all the church. Jesus tells us not to neglect getting together in fellowship and doing so even more as the day approaches. Yet we see so many Christians who say they are content with listening to that TV evangelist or listening on the radio. They don’t need the church. They can have a wonderful relationship with God all by themselves. There is nowhere in scripture that supports this. We need each other and others need us. We don’t go to church for ourselves, we go for everyone else. And what we get out of the service is a bonus! When I was going through cancer I could not go and I really missed the corporate worship. I could listen to preachers as much as I wanted, but nothing replaced the time of worship with others. IT was a holy time. A time when we could minister to one another, which is the call of Christ to each of us. Make sure you are not forsaking this vital ministry. It’s not for us – it’s for our brothers and sisters that we go to church and have fellowship.
The day is coming that He will return. The word says He will come like a thief in the night, in the blink of an eye, and all of us who are saved will be raised up to meet Him in the clouds. He will be glorious, full if splendor and wonder. It will be obvious to all that he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. No one will escape His judgment. We will either rise to meet Him or face His wrath in the tribulation. Our duty to Christ is to take as many as we can with us when He comes. We have not been placed on the earth to merely make it to heaven ourselves but to make sure others come along. In these last days, let us make sure we are fulfilling that great commission. “Go unto all the world and preach the gospel.” Your world is your church, your friends, your neighbors, your family, your co-workers. Your world needs to know Jesus. You are there to tell them. That is a huge part of fighting the good fight! Don’t let the enemy take prisoners of war!