Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Revelation 16:15.
The evil servant says in his heart, “My lord delayeth his coming.” He does not say that Christ will not come. He does not scoff at the idea of His second coming. But in his heart and by his actions and words he declares that the Lord’s coming is delayed. He banishes from the mind of others the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His influence leads men to presumptuous, careless delay. . . . He mingles with the world….It is a fearful assimilation. With the world he is taken in the snare….
“If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” Revelation 3:3. The advent of Christ will surprise the false teachers. They are saying, “Peace and safety.” Like the priests and teachers before the fall of Jerusalem, they look for the church to enjoy earthly prosperity and glory. The signs of the times they interpret as foreshadowing this. But what saith the word of Inspiration? “Sudden destruction cometh upon them.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3. Upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth, upon all who make this world their home, the day of God will come as a snare. . . .
The world, full of rioting, full of godless pleasure, is asleep, asleep in carnal security. Men are putting afar off the coming of the Lord. They laugh at warnings. The proud boast is made, “All things continue as they were from the beginning.” “Tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.” 2 Peter 3:4; Isaiah 56:12. We will go deeper into pleasure loving. But Christ says, “Behold, I come as a thief.” Revelation 16:15. At the very time when the world is asking in scorn, “Where is the promise of his coming?” the signs are fulfilling. While they cry, “Peace and safety,” sudden destruction is coming. When the scorner, the rejecter of truth, has become presumptuous; when the routine of work in the various money-making lines is carried on without regard to principle; when the student is eagerly seeking knowledge of everything but his Bible, Christ comes as a thief.
Maranatha p. 34
—–Erica was rushed to the hospital for a ruptured appendix. Please pray for them all. Mary [Pray also for Mary as she adjusts to life without Tom.]
—–I will be going to campmeeting today through Sunday. Please pray for safe travels and a blessed time. Rose
When my mother was about 10, she and her little sister were watching their mother getting the dessert ready to serve. As she saw her mother laying a slice of cake and a scoop of ice cream on one of the plates that she was sure was for her little sister, my mother asked, “All of that for her?” My grandmother said, “No, dear, this is for you.” My mother replied, “Oh, what a little bit.”
My grandmother chuckled over that funny, little memory all of her life, but it is no laughing matter when we always think we deserve the biggest and best for ourselves. How often, we are like the Pharisees, who “trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.” Jesus speaks of this, “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14
How many times we selfishly hold on to our blessings, not realizing that by doing so we become glutted and stagnant and good for nothing. We spend our pitifully short life amassing all of the wealth that we can, and forget that our life is as “a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14 Our Dear Saviour reminds us, “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-19
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matt 6:19-24
How unlike Christ Jesus our Lord, we are “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phil 2:6-8 Think of it! The Great Creator of the Universe, He, Whom all Heaven adores, left the glories of that place and came down to this dark and sinful world to live a perfect life amidst a faithless and perverse generation, and died the most painful of deaths because of His great love for even those who hated Him for His goodness.
Knowing of His great sacrifice for us, how can we be indifferent? How can we be selfish and self-centered? How can we be looking around at others and thinking that we are better than they and more deserving of God’s great blessings? How often we get so busy beholding the mote that is in our brother’s eye, that we forget to consider the beam that is in our own eye? How many times we say to our brother, “Let me pull out the mote out of you eye,” but we fail to remove that beam is in our own eye? With tears in His voice, our Loving Redeemer says, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matt 6:1-5)
May we “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling.” May we set self aside and be loving and kind as is our Dear Saviour. May we, in lowliness of mind, each esteem others better than themselves. Phil 2:12, 3