Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Is the "Blessed Hope" Imminent?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
You don't hear much about it, but it's clearly a part of Bible teaching: God's people who are ready will be translated without seeing death at the second coming of Jesus.

To some, that Bible doctrine sounds too close to fanaticism for comfortable discussion. Actually, it's no more difficult for God to translate His people without their dying than it will be for Him to resurrect the dead ones from their graves--at the second coming. This is the essence of "the blessed hope" that is cherished by those who believe in the second coming (Titus 2:13). Paul makes clear that when Jesus returns there will be a people "who are alive and remain [who] shall be caught up together with [those resurrected from the grave] to meet the Lord in the air [and] ... always be with the Lord" (1 Thess. 4:17).

Is this blessed hope something imminent? Or is it no longer so? "Occupy till I come" (Luke 19:13) is a command of Jesus that suggests for many the implication that if we are wise we should be planning for peace and prosperity here on this sin-cursed earth. It's a very sensitive issue. Suppose you do have a long retirement ahead of you, a long life to live before Jesus returns the second time? Suppose He further delays His return beyond the current "blessed hopes" of His people? Shouldn't you invest here wisely?

But whatever we do, we remember the experience of Noah. While others were investing and counting this world their home, he kept busy putting all he had into the building of an ark. People thought he was crazy; but actually, building the ark became fun for him; it was a project on which he felt the blessing of the Lord, and when you're doing anything that you know God blesses, you find real happiness.

And we remember the words of Jesus applicable to us right now: "Take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighted down with ... cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly" as it was in Noah's time (Luke 21:34; 17:26, 27). Don't be fooled into thinking this world is your home.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 2, 2000.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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