Originally scheduled for November 12
In the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty-four, in the
town of Newville,Ohio, many of the townspeople are walking around
wearing white robes — ascension robes, to be specific. It seems that
one William Miller had written a book telling the world this
particular date would be the day the Lord returns, and the townsfolk
want to look their best for entry into heaven. This presented a
slightly silly look to those who weren’t believers in Miller’s
theory. It was not the first time somebody had flubbed the date of
our Lord’s return, nor the last. To the nonbeliever in this theory,
it must’ve looked rather silly.
It’s the same way today. Radio
and television preachers are fond of telling you their predictions
about Revelation. The usual reaction divides the congregation into
two groups. There are those who are absolutely certain this — and no
other – theory is prevailing. Then there are those who are just
bewildered by the whole thing. But there is help in the Scriptures!
We find this in the Old Testament:
anger of the LORD will not turn back Until He has performed and
carried out the purposes of His heart; In the last days you will
clearly understand it.
(Jeremiah 23:20 NASB)
important question is not the exact date on which the Lord will
return. The important question is, “what do I do until he returns?”
May I suggest three general things that must be done.
Fight the good fight. Do justice when iniquity comes your way, with
the tools that you are given.
Do the good work. Make disciples out of those around you. When they
come to Christ, teach them what he needs them taught. Do this with
all the love you can muster.
Keep yourself pure. Make sure you are ready to meet your God — or be
an example to others — at all times.
As you approach
communion today you should focus on keeping yourself pure. May I
suggest three steps?
Begin by acknowledging Christ as your Lord as well as your Savior.
Both points are essential; communion at least proclaims your
Enter into a time of self-examination. If you see an area in which
you need repentance, settle it quickly with your Lord.
As you partake, remember that the bread symbolizes
his body broken for you; the cup, his blood. You do this to remember
his sacrifice. You do this to acknowledge the atonement in your
salvation. You also acknowledge that he is faithful and just to
forgive those who repent. Don’t worry about the date of his return;
it will be clear to us later.