Occupy Till I Come

If you read any of the headlines on my homepage, you can see that the news is not good. One day these types of headlines are going to increase and get worse like a woman's "labor pains" (Matthew 24:8 - original Greek). People have suffered hard times since the beginning of humanity yet in the future they will suffer unlike any other time in history. What should Christians do until Jesus Christ returns? Some cults have sold everything they had and waited for the Second Coming. Others haved holed up in wilderness regions or caves looking for a way to survive any cataclysms that may occur. So what should Christians do? Jesus gave us the answer in a parable:

"11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." (Luke 19:11-27)

Jesus related this parable as pertaining to Himself. Like the nobleman in the story He too was going away after His death, burial, and resurrection. Just as the servants received money, so too Jesus gave gifts to His followers with which we are to further His kingdom on earth. The citizens of the world rejected what he was offering and did not want Him to rule over them. But He required faithful service from His servants.

For the last two-thousand years Christians have been occupied with spreading the gospel and helping those in need. Until Jesus does return, we still need to be occupied with the work of the Lord. As times get tougher we need to reach out to those who are hurting both spiritually and financially. At no time during Jesus' ministry did He ever tell His followers to rely on the governments to meet their needs. When His disciples berated a woman for anointing Him with expensive oil He told them to leave her alone because "Ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always." (Mark 14:7) Christians are to help and feed and clothe and shelter the poor. Jesus said His followers were to pray for and heal the sick. And He commanded us to lead people to eternal salvation through His sacrificial death and resurrection.

As times get harder, people will look for answers. They currently look to the government first. This is a sad commentary on the modern Church. It's time for that to change. The government doesn't have the most important answers such as turning people to the true God of the universe and His Son Jesus Christ. Some churches already offer free medical services to help the sick and they do it with the love of Christ. Food pantries have always been a mainstay of a lot of churches in order to feed the poor. With the power and guiding of the Holy Spirit, Christians can meet the people's needs spiritually and temporally. Whether or not Jesus returns in our lifetime, the world is getting worse and Christians need to let the light of Christ shine through them in order to bring peace and comfort to an unbelieving world and in doing so will be obeying Jesus' command to "Occupy till I come".

For non-Christians the best way to prepare for the world's End-Times or just your own personal end-times is to receive salvation through the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. (What must I do to be saved?) You will then be in God's hands in this life and the next and there's no other place in the universe that I would want to be!

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