Until He Comes- Part 2
Franklin Kirksey, pastor
First Baptist Church, Spanish Fort, Ala
- Second, remember your assignment from God.
Some assignments from God are specific and others are general or for all believers. 1 Peter 4:10 reads, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Ephesians 4:1 reads, “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” Dr. Jerry Sittser explains in Discovering God’s Will, “The will of God concerns the present more than the future. It deals with our motives as well as our actions. It focuses on the little decisions we make about the future. The only time we really have to know and to do God’s will is the present moment. We are to love God with heart, soul, mind and strength, and we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. These are the basic responsibilities Jesus challenges us to pay attention to…” Along these lines note three of your assignments from God.
- Note the “let us” of faith. Hebrews 10:22 reads, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” This speaks of our responsibility to the Lord. The aspect of faith is expanded in Hebrews 11. James 4:8 reads, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
- Note the “let us” of hope. Hebrews 10:23 reads, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” This speaks of our responsibility to the world. The aspect of hope is expanded in Hebrews 12. Hebrews 3:6 reads, “but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.” Hebrews 6:11 and 19-20 reads, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end. . . This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 7:14-19 reads, “For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. For He testifies: ‘You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.’ For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.” 1 Peter 3:15 reads, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
- Note the “let us” of love. Hebrews 10:24 reads, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.” This speaks of our responsibility to the saints. The aspect of love is expanded in Hebrews 13. 1 John 4:20-21 reads, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”
We find this Christian triad of faith, hope, and love in other passages of Scripture as well. For example, Romans 5:1-5 reads, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 reads, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 reads, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8 reads, “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.”
III. Third, remember your accountability before God.
Hebrews 10:25 reads, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” 1 Corinthians 3:13 reads, “each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4 reads, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.” When asked the question “What is the greatest thought that ever passed through your mind?” Daniel Webster (1782-1852) responded: “My accountability to God.” Remember the believer’s three-fold judgment.
- There is the believer’s past judgment as a sinner. Isaiah 53:6 reads, “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lordhas laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 reads, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 1 Peter 2:24a reads, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) writes, “Today Jesus Christ is being dispatched as the Figurehead of a Religion, a mere example. He is that, but he is infinitely more; He is salvation itself, He is the Gospel of God.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 reads, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
- There is the believer’s present judgment as a son. 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 reads, “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.” Hebrews 12:5-7 reads, “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lordloves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.’If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?’” Dr. A. W. (Aiden Wilson) Tozer (1897-1963) writes, “Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and bring Him nearer to our own image.”
- There is the believer’s prospective judgment as a servant. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 reads, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 4:5 reads, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 reads, “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
Romans 14:10-12 reads, “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” 1 John 2:28 reads, “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” Dr. T. W. (Thomas Walter) Manson (1893-1958) writes, “In the Kingdom of God, service is not a stepping-stone to nobility: it is nobility, the only kind of nobility that is recognized.”
Remember your approach to God.
Remember your assignment from God.
Remember your accountability before God.
What is your attitude toward the Word of God? Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe explains, “The major theme of Hebrews is ‘God has spoken—how are you responding to His Word?’ When the nation of Israel refused to believe and obey His Word, God chastened them. Paul used this fact to warn the Corinthians against presumptuous sins (1 Corinthians 10:1-12). Note that the examples given in this passage involve people who died because of their willful sins.”
What is your attitude toward the worship of God? Dr. William R. Newell writes, “I do not say this to judge my brethren, but I profoundly fear, alas, that there are many who take heed not to forsake the assembling of themselves together after the letter, concerning whom it could not be said that they have drawn near. . . into the holy place by the blood of Jesus, and by Christ Himself as their Great Priest, and are worshipping ‘in the Spirit of God.’ Is it not so?
Have I made it plain that even ‘Brethren,’ gathered in the most careful (and some in the most ‘exclusive’ manner), could miss the great exhortations of this passage to draw near with a true heart, into God’s very presence, and really worship ‘in one Spirit’? If I have not made this plain, sad indeed is my failure.”
What is your attitude toward the work of God? Fanny Jane Crosby (1820 -1915) shares the following in the first stanza of the great hymn of faith:
To the work! To the work!
We are servants of God,
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod;
With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,
Let us do with our might what our hands find to do.
Toiling on, toiling on,
Toiling on, toiling on,
Let us hope, let us watch,
And labor till the Master comes.
Keep these things in mind until He comes!