Friday, December 11, 2009

Not Long For This World

As I woke up this morning, the title of this post were the exact words being planted in my mind. I have been saying many prayers lately. Prayers for people who are ill, who are disabled, who are old (and often shut in because of bad weather); the jobless, the homeless, and the needy. I have been praying about the terrible government we now have to endure, the deficit, a Congress that will push through an America-wrecking health care bill and fraudulent climate bill; and the fact that those who are supposed to represent WE THE PEOPLE are totally ignoring what their state constituents (who put them into office) DON'T WANT. I'm sure that I left out some of the items that came to my mind last night while I was praying about all of these sufferings. However, I asked the Lord to guide me about what to write at this blog concerning all of these frightening and dire needs here in America.

"Not long for this world" was my answer. Just those five words. At the time they came to mind, I was half asleep, half awake. I often think that the Holy Spirit of God knows that I will shut up long enough to really hear, and listen, to what He has as an answer to previous prayer. Such messages don't usually come when I am wide awake, bustling around the house doing chores, listening to T.V. or radio, while on the Internet and this blog (what I'm doing right now!), or out running errands. I need to be completely quiet and open to what it is that God wants to communicate to me.

If the truth be told, I often pray short little prayers throughout the day. Unfortunately, I sometimes get distracted and have to apologize to God for drifting away from my prayer train of thought. Has that ever happened to you, fellow Christians?

But in the quiet of the early morning, as I am awakening from a deep sleep, the period of time between deep slumber and fully awakening presents itself as an opportunity for me to hear the thought whispers of the Lord. This morning was one of those kinds of mornings!

Let's examine the five words, "not long for this world."

I have heard those words to mean that our lives on this earth (compared to eternity) are "not long." Therefore, we could see that phrase as meaning we, as human finite creatures on this earth, are not going to be here for very long.

The second meaning could be said to mean that we are not to "desire" the things of this world. We are not to ultimately "long" for this world and everything in it. It is interesting to note that the word "world" occurs 288 times in 249 verses in the KJV!

We know that God created our world. and together with His Son, Jesus Christ, He gives life unto the world:

Jer 51:15 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding.

Jhn 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

Jhn 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

And there will be those who deny God's creation:

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Jesus taught us that the world can be deceitful, and those who speak against the Holy Spirit of God and are not born again are in danger:

Mat 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Mat 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come.

There are several Bible verses that back up the idea that as followers of Christ, we are "not to long for this world":

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1Cr 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1Cr 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

1Cr 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Mar 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Jhn 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Jhn 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Jhn 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Jhn 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Jhn 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice

The phrase "not long for this world" can also be representative of the end times. This world is finite. It will, one day, come to an end. Why focus on a finite world instead of eternal God?

Psa 22:27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

Psa 24:1 [[A Psalm of David.]] The earth [is] the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Psa 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

Psa 98:9 Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

Lastly, we are not to "long for this world" for we are destined to ultimately long for God! Jesus asks us, "have you understood all of these things?"

Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments [are] in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

Psa 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou [art] God.

Psa 96:13 Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

Isa 62:11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before him.

Isa 64:4 For since the beginning of the world [men] have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, [what] he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];

Mat 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

Mat 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

Mat 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,

Mat 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Mat 13:51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.

Mar 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Mar 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

In his new book, "Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World," Dr. David Jeremiah discusses the instruction of patience. I plan to share a lot more of what he writes in his book, however, the following portion could be applied to the discussion here:

[J.]I. Packer states, "living out the belief that God orders everything for the spiritual good of his children."

He equates this with a "therapeutic workout planned by a heavenly trainer who is resolved to get you up to full fitness."

That kind of believer understands that God is in control even when something unpleasant occurs. He accepts it as one more obscure, multi-sided piece of the jigsaw puzzle of his life -- for which he has no box cover pattern. He trust the One who sees the finished project and seeks to develop trust-based patience. Puritan Thomas Watson wrote, "There are no sins God's people are more subject to than unbelief and impatience; they are ready, either to faint through unbelief, or to fret through impatience."

Fretting through impatience? I plead guilty! That's me, alright! However, when I get over my little pity party, new resolve occurs:

If you think back over your life, you're bound to realize that while a doctor needs bright light to do his surgery, God likes to work in the dark. We don't learn character when life is cruising along -- only when it demands us to reach within ourselves and find new patience, new faith in God, and new resources to overcome the obstacles.

Wow...THAT'S the kind of word I need today. It's what I've needed to realize all year!

Dr. Jeremiah nails it:

Perhaps your family is coping with difficult times at present. What if you viewed this as a time of revelation from God, an occasion for learning to trust Him, and a stepping-stone to good things in the future? That's how God has always worked, so why would this occasion be any different?

Good question to hear, listen to, heed and answer within our walk with Christ...isn't it?!

What are we to be doing while we are in this world?

Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Jhn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

As we share the gospel, Jesus' promises and comforting words are here now, and for all eternity:

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen

Hat Tip:

Blue Letter Bible
Dr. David Jeremiah, "Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World."

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