Things to Come: Part One
It would be foolish to try to do something that God says will not be done, wouldn’t it? Yet some Christians are working very hard, hoping to bring in the millennium by converting the whole world. Do you know what the millennium is? It is that wonderful time described in the Bible, when Christ will reign here, and everything living in the world will be under His rule. Yet in spite of all the good work Christians may do, they cannot bring everyone to Christ.
What was the Lord Jesus' last command to His disciples? He told them to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (Matthew 28:19). That is a command to us, too. We are obeying Him if we are doing everything we can to bring people to the Lord Jesus. We can be witnesses (Acts 1:8) telling them what Christ has done for us, and how He has saved us and wants to save them too, but we must not think that we can convert them. Only God can give eternal life to people. And we must not think, either, that everybody is going to be converted, for God's Word tells us distinctly that many will refuse to believe in Christ. (John 3:19; 1 Corinthians 1:26; Matthew 13:1-23 this is the parable of the sower, and shows that only part of the seed sown bears fruit. You will have to explain the symbols carefully, leaving nothing to the imagination of the children, for symbols are not too easy to understand.)
Today God is forming the Church. By that we do not mean building church buildings, but saving those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and making them part of that great group of believers which God's Word calls "The Church.” There are many churches, but only one great Church, to which all those who are born again belong. It is not Presbyterian, or Catholic or Angelican, but includes all from all denominations who have truly been born again by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. This will not include everybody in the whole world, but there will be some from every nation. When the very last person whom God has chosen to be a part of this Church has been saved, then the Lord Jesus will come again.
In the Bible we read some sad things about the time before the Lord shall come. We are told that before He comes there will be an apostasy. Do you know what that word means? Apostasy is going away from the true faith. When the Bible tells us that there will be an apostasy before Christ comes, it means that many people will refuse to believe the truth and turn to lies. This will even happen in the church—not the true Church, of course, among those who are really born again, but in the churches. That is true today. Many ministers in churches that are supposed to be all right, are preaching things that are not in the Bible, and even saying that the Bible is not true (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; 2 Peter 2:1-2). Since there is a great apostasy even now, we know that the Lord Jesus may come back very soon, and we look forward with joy to seeing Him. In the meantime, we must ask Him to keep us faithful, and not let us be influenced by those who are preaching and teaching lies, because of the apostasy.
- How come Christian's can't redeem the world?
- How is God forming the Church today?
- Explain the distinction between the visible and invisible church.
- What is an apostate?
- Is the Bible trustworthy? (Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; 2 Peter 2:1-2)