Promises and Prophesies
“. . . He is near, right at the door.” Mark 13:29
For our faith to be of any real value it must be stained with the blood of Jesus Christ. Only by committing to the call to follow Jesus does one discover that all Jesus did and said during His earthly ministry, He now does in the life of the believer.
The first church was experiencing turmoil because of the words of Jesus. His last prophesies were still ringing in their ears. It was the last days with Him, it was the last days of all their dreams. Seemingly, there was nothing more to be made of this life. According to Jesus the earth was already shuddering from the birth pangs of the coming new world. For the church, it was an hour of heartbreaking disillusionment.
But the church survived and thrived. Their passionate expectation was bound to the Lord’s own promise and prophesy, Jesus’ prediction of a total collapse of all things stable, coupled with the apocalyptic reversal of man’s achievement. The times coming would be bleak, but the faith of the church would endure these dark days.
The church kept their faith strong. They set to work resolutely to create a new kingdom for God among the people with which they lived. They set their sight on this long, enormous, difficult task. They worked with a deliberate determination, unbroken confidence and unconquerable hope.
The dream Jesus had entrusted them with was big, bigger than they could imagine. It would occupy them for years to come. They would eventually pass the high and holy dream of Jesus on to the next generation, who would not be detoured by slow delays. It shook off quarrels and complaints, and carried on the work which they were pledged to do.
Their expectation of the kingdom to come never did away with the focus of the present kingdom that was already theirs. They diligently worked at one, in full sight of the other. It’s the same for us today. The church stays fully engaged in extending the kingdom here on earth, while expecting His return. They press on and taste the joy of a job well done.
Are you part of the work of extending His kingdom?