The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

10/22/2013

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The Last Inning


"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day" (2 Cor.4:16).

With many of the TV evangelists blasting away about the end times, I sometimes wonder about their fixation with it. In His ministry on earth, Jesus never mentioned the rapture, 1,000 year reign, a great tribulation, or a battle at Armageddon... This is not to say that the thought of eternal life did not permeate His teachings. The return of the Lord was the backdrop against which Christian living is played to its completion. When you are playing a baseball, basketball or football game, you are not thinking about the end of the game when you just get started. Though you know that the last inning will come, you want to enjoy the pleasure of the game as it unfolds. The apostle Paul longed for the return of the Lord. "Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day ---- and not only me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing" (2 Tim.4:8). Paul also did not speak of those supposed last time events, as he left the timing of the Lord's return to God. That being said, the return of the Lord and the end of the age were and still are important Christian doctrines. Various references to the Lord's return dot his writings, with some of his most pointed ones found in this section of the second Letter to the Corinthians. The apostle's teachings on the end time are often within the context of reflections on our daily living. When Paul saw suffering in the lives of Christians, he often reminded them of the end of the age as a form of renewal. As we get older, day by day we are coming closer to those times, but it is not necessary for us to be obsessed with it. The last inning is hopefully somewhere down the road for us, and we need to enjoy the game. Jesus said that He came that we might have an abundant life, both here and eternally. When Paul referenced the end times, I think it was for two reasons. First for encouragement in the face of adversity. The other is something we need to embrace daily. It is the call to live godly lives. Our preparation for the Lord's return ought to be reflected on how we live all of our innings, not just the last one.... Enjoy the whole game....

Have a wonderful day... Do good and give God the glory... Love mark Phil.4:11

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