Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Elijah had been the most hated and despised man in Israel; but he ended up the greatest when he faced King Ahab and the nation on Mount Carmel. Now, the Lord has sent him to "us" (Mal. 4:5, 6). The great confrontation of ancient Mount Carmel must be repeated on a world scale. Elijah has work to do.
The reason? The Lord Jesus Christ is coming to fulfill His promise (John 14:1-3), and it's necessary to judge before His coming who will have part in the "blessed" first resurrection (cf. Rev. 20:6), and who will be left to sleep on until the dreaded second resurrection (vs. 5) at the end of the thousand years.
Jesus explained that this judgment (being "accounted worthy") must of necessity precede His second coming. The steps are explained: "We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord [grab that, by faith; be in that group!] shall not precede [Greek] them which are asleep. ... We which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so [in this way] shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thess. 4:15-17, KJV).
But not only must the dead be judged as to who comes up in the first resurrection; Jesus says that those of us living on the earth must also be pre-judged as to who shall be "accounted worthy" to meet Him and be translated, as Elijah was (Luke 21:36; cf. 2 Kings 2:11).
That judgment is going on right now. If you listen to the Holy Spirit He will convict you that life now is solemn. Whether you are young or old, the reality is the same. Our last day on this planet will be the same as our first day in whichever resurrection we shall find ourselves at last.
If entertainment and sinful indolence are our "life," we can't be happy in any resurrection. Jesus adds that if we let the "cares of this life" occupy our time and attention (Luke 21:34), we can't be happy at the end.
Do you want the Holy Spirit to point you to an effective motivation for better living? Behold, ponder, consider, contemplate, think, appreciate, spend quality time, ... at the cross of Jesus; His love will "constrain" you to live "henceforth ... unto Him who died for [you], and rose again (2 Cor. 5:14, 15).
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 28, 2008.
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