But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 1 Peter 4:7.
The signs of the times tell us that the end of all things is at hand. Prophecies fulfilled have become facts of history, clearly defining our position. We are standing upon the verge of the eternal world. . . . Our Lord forewarned His people that iniquity would abound in the last days and would have a paralyzing influence upon true godliness. Wickedness is seen and heard and felt all around us. It seems to permeate the very atmosphere, and affects the faith and love of God’s professed people. It is difficult to hold fast Christian integrity. The fact is, much which is current in our day as Christianity is indebted for its very existence to the absence of persecution. When the test of fiery trial comes, a great proportion of these who profess the faith will show that their religion was hollow formalism. . . .
The days in which we live are days of peril. Carelessness, levity, love of pleasure and selfish gratification, are seen in the lives of very many professed Christians. Is this the time for Seventh-day Adventists to lose their faith and grow cold and formal? God forbid! Shall we turn traitor at the very moment when God would be most glorified by our steadfast adherence to principle? Shall we turn from the heavenly attractions now, when we can almost see the glories on the other shore? We are living in the most important period of earth’s history. By maintaining our allegiance to God, we may bear the noblest testimony for Christ and the truth.
The true Christian will cling to the promises of God more firmly now than ever before. His heart is where he has laid up his treasure– in heaven. When right principles are despised and forsaken, then the true and loyal will show their warmest zeal and deepest love; then they will stand most firmly for truth, unpopular though it be. . . .
The Lord is coming. . . . Let us be consistent; let our works correspond with our profession of faith.
That I May Know Him p. 352
Occasionally, we drive by Watson park one of the local parks here in the city. Every time we do, we remember the time, some years ago, when we were invited to a wedding there. The bride was a friend of Eileen from the trailer park where we live. This was her third marriage and she and the groom didn’t seem to take it all that seriously.
The pastor who was officiating, however, took it very seriously. He had some really important things to say about marriage. He spoke of the seriousness of the marriage vows that are taken before the Great King of the Universe. When he guided the bride and groom through their vows, we were surprised at how very strict they were. He stressed the point that these vows were not to be entered into lightly. Then he addressed the congregation and had them vow to do all within our power to help the bride and groom to keep the vows they had just taken.
The Bible speaks of a wedding that is the most important and grandest wedding that will ever take place, a wedding where the Groom is our Dear Saviour and His followers are the bride. John gives us a glimpse of that marriage. “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” Rev 19:6-9 It is a wedding where “thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” Isa 54:5 Paul used the symbol of marriage when he told his converts, “I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Cor 11:2
Each day, we are preparing for that great ceremony above. Just as Jesus said “He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matt 19:4-6, so when we accept Jesus as our Saviour we begin a new life of oneness with Him. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Cor 5:17 Just as a man and woman become more like one another the longer they are married, so we become changed into His likeness through a closer and closer walk with Him. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor 3:18
When we join ourselves to our Loving Saviour, we are no longer the same, no longer our own. His thoughts are to become our thoughts; His will, our will; His life our life. How our Great Redeemer longs for us to have this close relationship with Him. He assures us, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”Jer 31:3 How His Great Heart of Love longs for us to fellowship with Him continuously. How He desires us to show our love for Him not only by the words we say, but also by the things that we do. Our greatest joy will be to do those things which please Him. Paul tells us, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Cor 6:19,20
May we daily invite Jesus into our heart allowing Him to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Phil 2:13 May we spend so much time with Him through Bible study and prayer that others will see Him image stamped upon our character is my prayer.