Thursday, 3 December 2020
Title: The Inexorable March to the Second Coming of Christ
Author: Arnold Lim

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your staff and rod, they comfort me.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a resurgence of interest in the end of time with the second coming of our Lord Jesus. As found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, on that day, the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command and with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Are we near the end of time? What are the signs?

Matthew 23:37-24:31, Mark 13:3-33 and Luke 21: 5-36 are all accounts of the conversation Jesus had with his disciples with regard to the end of time. Here is a summary:

  • Hear of wars and rumours of wars, nation will rise up against nation
  • Earthquakes, famines and pestilence
  • Christians will be delivered to courts, flogged in synagogues and stand before kings and governors for Jesus’ sake
  • The Gospel must first be preached to all nations
  • Brother will betray brother to death, father, child and children will rise up against parents
  • Christians will be hated because of Jesus’ name
  • False prophets will arise and mislead many
  • Increase in lawlessness, people’s love will grow cold

The Covid-19 pandemic is surely a pestilence. So, one sign is fulfilled. But one pandemic may not be enough. And looking through the list above, there are other signs yet to be fulfilled. At least two signs – the persecution of Christians and earthquakes and famines – need increased incidence. Although, some views argue that we are already in a period of tribulation, the sufferings of the Israelites and Christians today are nothing like what is described in Revelation 12 and 13. In other words, we still do not know. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:42-44, no one knows on what day He will come. And He will come at an hour when we least expect. But the march to the second coming of Christ continues relentlessly.

In the meantime, what should our response be?

We should live as children of the light and be very careful, then, how we live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-20). We must put on the armour of God so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:10-18).

And what about persecution? Should we worry? Because as Jesus said, it will happen. We already see signs around the world. Today, Christians are hated and called racists because of their beliefs.

Well, I pray that when persecution comes, we will have the faith to stand firm. God has promised that when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, that his staff and rod will comfort us. He has assured us that in heaven, there are many rooms and a room is reserved for us. He will bring us there.

Stand firm in the Lord!

Prayer

Our Lord and Heavenly Father, grant us the strength to stand firm when persecution comes. Comfort us with Your rod and staff and assure us of Your presence. We pray that we will not panic and that Your peace that transcends all understanding will be with us.

We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

每日灵粮
星期四, 2020年12月3日
标题:坚定地迈向基督再临
作者:林文礼弟兄
翻译:薛秀合姐妹

诗篇23:4
我虽然行过死荫的幽谷,也不怕遭害,因为你与我同在;你的杖,你的竿,都安慰我。

在新冠肺炎疫情期间,人们对末日并基督第二次降临的兴趣又重新燃起。正如帖撒罗尼迦前书4:16中所说,在那一天,主必亲自从天降临,有呼叫的声音和天使长的声音,又有神的号吹响;那在基督里死了的人必先复活。

我们已接近末日了吗?有什么预兆呢?

马太福音23:37-24:31,马可福音13:3-33 及路加福音21:5-36都是耶稣与门徒之间关于末日的对话的所有记载。以下是摘要:

  • 听见打仗和打仗的风声,民要攻打民
  • 地震、饥荒、瘟疫
  • 基督徒将要被交给公堂,并且在会堂里要受鞭打,又为基督的缘故站在诸侯与君王面前
  • 福音必先传到万民
  • 弟兄要把弟兄,父亲要把儿子,送到死地;儿女要起来与父母为敌
  • 基督徒要为耶稣的名被众人恨恶
  • 假先知将要起来,迷惑多人
  • 不法的事增多,人的爱心会冷淡

新冠肺炎流行病无疑是一场瘟疫。那么,一个预兆已经实现了。可是一个流行病可能还不够。看一看上面的清单,还有其他预兆尚待实现。至少两个预兆,基督徒被迫害、地震及饥荒 – 需要增加发生率。尽管有些观点认为我们已经处于灾难时期,但是当今以色列人和基督徒的苦难与启示录12和13中所描述的完全不符。换句话说,我们仍然不知道。正如耶稣在马太福音24:42-44中所说,没有人知道祂会在哪一天来到,而且祂将会在我们最意想不到的时候就来了。不过,基督第二次降临的行进并不停懈。

在此期间,我们又该如何应对呢?

我们应当活像光明之子并要谨慎行事,不要像愚昧人,当像智慧人。要爱惜光阴,因为现今的世代邪恶。(以弗所書5:15-20)我们要穿戴神所赐的全副军装,就能抵挡魔鬼的诡计。(以弗所書6:10-18)

那么,逼迫呢?我们应该担心吗?因为如耶稣所说,那将会发生的。我们已经在世界各地看到了迹象。如今,基督徒因着他们的信仰而被憎恨,及被称为种族主义者。

嗯,我祈祷当迫害来临时,我们将在信仰上站立得住。上帝已经应许,当我们走过死荫的幽谷时,祂的杖和竿将会安慰我们。祂已向我们保证,天堂里有许多住处,且为我们预留一个地方。祂会带我们到那里。

在主里面坚立!

祷告
我们的主和天父,愿祢赐予我们力量,使我们在逼迫临到时站稳脚跟。用祢的杖和竿来安慰我们,并向我们确保祢的同在。祈愿祢使我们不会惊惶,因祢所赐出人意外的平安将与我们同在。

我们奉耶稣的名祈祷,阿们。

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