“For 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. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” (Titus 2:11-15 KJV).
It’s really hard to live between two worlds, isn’t it? For the believer in Christ, we among all men, live our earthly lives between two worlds and two destinies. On the one hand, we must live in this temporal fallen, increasingly evil world trapped in mortal, failing, sin-cursed bodies. Yet on the other hand, our spirits, having already been redeemed, long to be clothed in our promised immortal bodies so that our redeemed souls can be united forever with our as-yet-to-be redeemed bodies. We long to be made fully whole in incorruptible bodies dwelling in eternity with our Lord.
It is hard to be divided: living in this world while longing for the next.
Believers are the only people on earth who have to deal with the ugliness of this world, having our sinful flesh constantly at war with our already redeemed souls. The Apostle Paul understood this dilemma very well.
The closer we get to our deliverance from this vile place via the soon-coming rapture, the harder it becomes to stay here. Like righteous Lot living trapped in the hedonistic, homosexual abominable cesspool of Sodom, we too are trapped not just in a wicked and debauched city, but in an entire world that has sunk to the very depths of narcissism and depravity.
Lot was vexed in his righteous spirit, and so are we. There is NOWHERE in this world to escape from the evil that is entrenched to the core in this fallen, Hell-bound world. In truth, the very second one is born again in Christ, we long to be “absent from the body and present with the Lord,” dwelling with Him in an eternal place where Sin, Death, and Evil can never exist. For each and every true believer, that day IS coming. But until the day of our deliverance arrives, we still have to live in THIS world – as disappointing and wearying as that fact may be.
Jesus knew exactly what we who are living in these last days would be facing. He understood completely just how evil these last days would be, and how weary, vexed, and yes, lonely we would be living on the cusp of the rapture. He knew we would be hated, marked, abused, lied about, mistreated, vilified, and in many cases tortured and killed. He knew just exactly how bad it was going to get for us, so He warned us ahead of time of exactly what life would be like here in the last minutes of the last hours of the last days.
What He has called us to do is to “occupy until He comes.” This means that we are to “be instant in season and out of season.” In other words, we are to remain faithful to Him and to what He has called and placed us here to do whether it is easy or hard, popular or unpopular, whether our lives are restful or nearly unendurable. Why? Because THIS world is NOT our real home.
In THIS world, we are mere pilgrims passing through – strangers in a strange land; and for as long as we are here, we are to be about the business that our Sovereign King has given us to do. We are to spread the gospel everywhere to anyone who will listen. We are to “earnestly contend for the faith” regardless of the political climate we are in, and we are to warn a dying world of coming judgment.
You see, we are ambassadors for Christ. This means that in this alien, hostile world that hates God and hates His Word, WE are His representatives to a lost and Hell-bound world that lies on the very brink of God’s wrath and judgment.
We are His “watchmen on the wall” – His sentries who are called to sound the alarm of coming judgment, crying for the lost to repent—to come to salvation NOW.
This is what He means by “occupy” until He comes to rescue us. Only we have the truth of both prophecy fulfilled and prophecy yet to be fulfilled as recorded in His Word. Only we have the truth of salvation because only we believers know the true God as revealed to us in His infallible, inerrant, immutable Word. This is what Jesus has commanded us to do as we await His call for us to “come up hither” to meet Him in the air.
Yes, we are tired. We are weary to the bone. We are vexed in our spirits over the depth and breadth of the evil that grows bolder and more blatant day by day. Yes, we LONG to go Home to a place we’ve never been before. We long to lay the weapons of our warfare down, to find those eternal “green pastures” where we can dwell safely for all eternity, following behind our Good Shepherd as He leads us beside those “still waters.”
Oh yes, our weary souls long for our eternal Sabbath Rest. Our hearts yearn for eternal peace. It is coming. Jesus is not blind to our plight, neither are His ears deaf to the cries of His suffering bride. It is only His great mercy and love that stays His return just a little while longer because He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” But His patience has its limits, and His mercy in extending this Age of Grace will not continue forever.
The Lord Jesus hears the cries of His bride; and the very minute that the full number of Gentiles has “come in,” then His bride will be complete. When that last Gentile comes into the fold, then the Lord, King Jesus will rise from His seat at the right hand of the Father. He will leave the great throne room of Heaven and step out into the atmosphere above the earth.
There, standing in the midst of the celestial heavens, wreathed in clouds of glory, and with the sound of the mighty trumpet blast of the archangel, and a tremendous shout that will reverberate in the halls of Glory, the Lord will cry with a thunderous shout that will be heard by both the living and the dead who are “in Christ.” He will call for us, His bride, to “COME UP HITHER!” He will call us Home – finally and forever HOME!
Oh, let’s don’t grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we will reap the rewards that we will have won. On that day, we will hear the most blessed words ever uttered in human speech. We will hear our risen Lord say to us, “Well done, My good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joys of Heaven.”
Oh, my fellow believers, even though it is so hard to live between here and eternity, let us not falter this close to the finish line. Let us keep on keeping on; for one day very soon, when we least expect it, our Deliverer will come for us, and we will be set free – forever.