In his first letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul wrote, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1). Over the last several years, the fulfillment of this prophetic writing has accelerated within the church at dizzying rates. As one person put it, "In 1975 we preach Jesus, his crucifixion, resurrection, and return. In 1985, we preach Jesus, his crucifixion, and his resurrection. In 1995, we preach Jesus and his crucifixion. In 2005, we preach Jesus. In 2015, we preach." There is a sad, but true reality in that statement.
Our calling at Crossway is to the preach the full counsel of God. The message of the world today wants to lead people away from the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, the lukewarm message of the Laodicean church as mentioned in Revelation also does not lead people to Christ. The Gospel begins with repentance and leads us away from sin and to forgiveness. We accept God's gift of forgiveness and while living our lives of faith, we await the sound of the trumpet when Christ calls His Church home. We call that event the Rapture and the Bible is clear that this event will imminently happen at the direction of the Father. Are you listening for the sound of the trumpet?
Meanwhile we remain in the world, but not of the world. We live our lives to be an example to others of the victory through Christ. We pull ourselves away from worldly pleasures and sinful practices. We no longer follow the doctrines of demons. The Apostle Paul tells us to have nothing to do with these practices. "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons" (1 Corinthians 10:21). The abundance of countless blessings given to us from God leaves us too satisfied for anything else or anything less.
Are you listening for the trumpet? It could be today. Our Rapture and the resurrection of the saints is the greatest hope Christ left for believers. His promise is that he will come back to take us there himself (John 14:3). Therefore, do not let the condition of this world get you down, but let it encourage you and you be an encouragement to others (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).
Be of good cheer and keep your head lifted high (Luke 21:28). Jesus is coming soon!