The Ultimate Grace Trip
by Sam Gordon
The next great event on God's prophetic calendar is the moment when millions are missing, ‘Lift off for glory’ is number one on God's agenda for the church. I tell you, this is the ultimate grace trip — it's what the ol’ gospel song calls: that great gettin up morning.’ Two thousand years have come and gone since the Lord first made that glowing promise to His bewildered disciples in the Upper Room (cf. John 14:3). You know as well as I do, so much has happened across the word since then. We think of some key events, within the last 100 years, of cosmic significance.
Two great world wars: the establishment of the modem slate of Israel — now over 70 years old: the emergence of Europe as a major player in global politics; the political out and economic influence of China: the dollar-effect in world markets (America sneezes and the rest of the world catches pneumonia); the fall of Eastern bloc Communism; the rise of militant Islam — and, don't forget, her aspiration is global domination, they want to run the entire show; the threat of a potential nuclear holocaust: globalisation, international terrorism, etc.
Today, we're well past the eleventh hour and, with the darkness deepening, time is fast running out. It seems to me, when we read the signs of the times, they all tell us that it can't be long until Jesus returns. We need to realise, the prophetic clock is synchronised with God's time. And he's always on schedule!
Come with me then, Bibles open, let's unpack some of the truths in this amazing chapter — 1 Thessalonians 4. What we have here is a twofold picture: we see, first, a church energised in the Spirit - the people of God are radiating holiness; second, we see a church expectant in the world - the people of God are reflecting hope. Another quick look at the chapter and you'll discover its one of those chapters that is filled with a series of remarkable contrasts:
he zooms in on life — then zeroes in on death
the 'here and now' — the ‘there and then’
thoughts on time — exploring eternity
those wide awake — those fallen asleep
Basically, Paul is talking about living well and dying well. To die well means we embrace a wonderful hope; it's a hope that looks forward to a better day when we shall see. the King in all His stunning beauty. Charles Wesley's splendid words reflect this princely attitude: ‘Happy, if with my latest breath, I may but gasp His name; Preach Him to all, and cry in death, ‘Behold, behold the Lamb!” Hope. Isn't that what postmodern man is searching for — the trouble is, unlike Job, he often looks in the wrong place. The old saint asked the double-barrelled question, “Where then is my hope? Who can see any hope for me?" (Job 17:15).
When we see what is happening al around we could easily be driven over the edge of despair. There are times when our backs pinned to the wall when we have that awful sinking feeling in the pit of our stomach; when we feel like giving up and giving in; in frenetic moments like that, we urgently need hope,
Love the way the author talks about a better hope in Hebrews 6:19 and likens it to an anchor for the soul...
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Also in this edition
Powerpoint from Stephen Boreland
From The Editor
In Touch with the General Director
The Ultimate Grace Trip - Sam Gordon
Steadfastness in The Light of Our Lord's Return - Wayne Edwards
Signs of The Times - Tony Pearce
The Saviour of Revelation - Stephen Boreland
Israel Desk - Tony Pearce
The Throne of Jesus - John Williams
What In The World Is Happening?
Book Of The Month