End-Timely Living :: by Desiree Effner

What we see now in the U.S. is God’s judgment accompanied by mercy.This judgment is gradual.The warnings haven’t stopped.America will reach a point of no-return.Until then, utter disaster may be deterred.

What do we do in the meantime?

Chapter 21 of Jeremiah intertwines pronouncements of wrath with instructions on how to live. Not surprisingly, the commands for living are not much different in times of judgment than they are for normal, day-to-day living in the days that lead up to the Day of the Lord.

It is easy to become obsessed with the myriad events that hallmark His prophecies, currently being realized around us. That can lead to confusion, despair and paralysis.But graciously, the Lord continues to put good works before us, those things we are called to walk therein.

Our obligations to study to show ourselves approved, to evangelize and disciple, have never been rescinded. Our resources, time and efforts should primarily go to building the city that Abraham, in faith, looked for, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10).

Shortly before Jerusalem ’s final demise in 586 BC, Jeremiah was directed by God to redeem a parcel of land that was his by right of inheritance (Jeremiah 32).The evidences of this transaction were kept safe in a vessel until the field would be reclaimed

By faith, Jeremiah believed that one day – 70 years hence, in fact – Israel would return to the land, just as God promised.That land would always be their Promised Land.

Our calling is to invest in Christ’s kingdom.We have His seal of the Holy Spirit, and our faith reminds us that these earthly bodies will soon be fully redeemed and transformed to take occupancy above.What reason could we possibly have for stockpiling any earthly thing, except to use it for His purposes and glory, now.

There have always been people who need what we have so abundantly been given in stewardship: The gospel and the practical means of survival.All the more should we be practicing open-handedness in these last days.

Yes, calamity approaches. We’ve been alerted to the coming dangers for some time; and are already experiencing its early stages.We can try to evade, hold off, even ignore the obvious. We are certainly on the edge of the abyss. Some days feel like a welcome reprieve. But for most of us, there is a sense that we are in freefall—emotionally, spiritually, financially, professionally.

What we hear about and experience for ourselves tries our patience and exhausts our willpower; all the more because our attention has been commandeered by the heralds of global upheaval. That’s a sure way to lose sight of our Shepherd and the yoke He’s place on us.

But the things that characterize the Christian life didn’t change when we officially entered into the end-times.A small sampling from the Old Testament:

“Thus saith the Lord; execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place”(Jeremiah 22:3).

“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor”(Psalm 15:1-3).

“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble” (Psalm 41:1).

And then there is the New Testament’s law of love to keep us occupied. Can we measure all our end times scrambling against the basics of righteous living, clearly explained throughout the Bible, and come out shining?

We desperately pour over end-time passages, trying to fit the pieces together.That’s one way to hedge our bets and display a veneer of security to the mirror we also love to gaze into.It speaks back to us:

“You’re saved [read: safe]; we won’t be raptured today; America will not be WMD’d today; there’s still time to hoard and enjoy earth’s pleasures for another season; just send another check to a ministry; you’re covered.”

Far better, if we could live the alert, prayerful and godly lives that are unmistakably peculiar to God’s people.It’s not like we are a majority.Let the dead bury their gold and ammo. The signposts on our path say:

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God”(Philippians 1:9-11).