Do you ever look at the world and wonder if life as we know it is going to hell in a hand basket? In a recent survey, 60 percent of Americans believed this to be the case. Others believe that due to recent events, we may be entering a season of reprieve. Wherever you stand, many of us are still asking, “What is the world coming to? Where are we headed?” The answer to all of those questions is found in a single event toward which all history is marching: the return of Jesus Christ. No matter the chaos of the world around us, Jesus gave believers three characteristics that should mark us as we prepare for His return.
1.We are to be people of hope.
It’s easy to look at the world situation today and get discouraged, we see the very real threat of ISIS, Russia attacking our infrastructure, and the possibility of a nuclear Iran. It is easy to lose or misplace our hope. Psalm 39:7 says, “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” Our hope is in the everlasting God. One of the worst witnesses we can be to unbelievers is to go around depressed, and scared, and fearful. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for the hope that is within you.” Christians ought to be the most hopeful, the most optimistic people there are.
2. We are to be people of insight.
Tucked away in the Old Testament is a verse that I think best describes how we ought to be living. 1 Chronicles 12:32 says that the sons of Issachar were men who understood the times with knowledge of what Israel should do. These sons of Issachar knew what was happening in their nation. They knew that there was a shift in the political winds. They had an understanding of the moral and spiritual climate of their nation. And we need to be the same way today. We need to have our finger on the pulse of what is happening in this country and what is happening in this world: morally, spiritually, and politically.
3. We are to be people of courage
A.W. Tozer said, “A scared world needs a fearless church.” God wants us to be fearless people as we stand for him. People of courage know what the people of God should do. To be like the sons of Issachar, we must say: Yes, the times are terrible, but these are the times in which we are living, and we ought to be doing something. We are to be people of action (Daniel 11:32).
So how do we prepare for the certain and soon-coming of the Lord? As Jesus’ representatives in the world today, we are to be salt, a preservative in this culture. We are to keep this world from prematurely imploding so that people have longer to accept the gospel (Matthew 5:13-14). And as we push back against evil, we hold forth the word of the light of God so that more people can come to know Him.
Want to know how you can be a person of hope, insight, and courage who is equipped for the times? Join us every week at First Dallas or via the iCampus.
Adapted from “How Should We Now Live” by Dr. Robert Jeffress. Listen/watch to the full sermon HERE.