So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Hebrews 9:28.
The heading of my Daily Light reading for today is “We look for the Saviour” from Philippians 3:20, and all the rest of the verses had to do with looking for the Lord’s appearing. After reading and pondering the verses for a while, the difference between what they instruct and what Harold Camping and those like him advocate is clear. Some years ago when there was another prediction of the supposedly exact date of the Lord’s return, some people actually sold all their property and went to some hillside and waited before being sadly disappointed. But Scripture nowhere teaches that response.
Really, most of the New Testament gives instruction about what we’re supposed to be doing til the Lord returns. The Bible does say we’re strangers and pilgrims on this earth and our eventual home is in heaven. But there are some verses that tell us specific things to do in anticipation of His return.
The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:11-14
1. Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts
2. Live soberly, righteously, godly
3. Look for His return while actively living here
4. Be zealous of good works.
We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless, And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation… Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.II Peter 3:13-15a, 17-18.
5. Be at peace with Him.
6. Be without spot and blameless, and be diligent about both of these.
7. Be glad for His longsuffering that gives more people a chance to be saved.
8. Beware of error and falling from steadfastness.
9. Grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Philippians 3:17-20
10. Follow the Bible’s teaching.
11. Don’t live for earthly things, even though we partake of them.
12. Remember our conversation, manner of life (citizenship, some translations say), is in heaven.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:1-5
13. Seek those things which are above.
14. Set your affections on things above.
15. Mortify (put to death, or, as the NASB says, consider as dead, echoing Romans 6 about reckoning ourselves dead to sin and not yielding to it any more) our sinful tendencies.
16. The rest of the chapter tells of things not to to and to do.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. I John 3:2-3
17. Purify ourselves.
And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:7-11
18. Be His witnesses (Matthew 28:18-20: Make disciples and teach them what I have taught you.)
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. Isaiah 25:8-9