Do you know the times and consequently what needs to be done? How to best further the Kingdom of God?
The Scriptures tell a history of the world, of Israel, of the Jewish faith and of God’s redemptive work for all of humanity. Some people are key players and multiple chapters are designated to their stories like Joseph, the son of Israel who was sold into slavery by his brothers and worked his way up to second in command of Egypt. Or Jesus; about whom four entire books were written recounting his life story. Or the Apostle Paul who penned thirteen of the letters in the New Testament.
However, there are a few people who only were noted by name, and some who had one characteristic sentence written about them. Some were bad, and some were good. Enoch is one such character, about whom all we know is that he was the father of Methuselah, that he walked with God and God took him up – he did not experience death (Gen 5.24). He is therefore cited as an example of faith in Hebrews for walking faithfully with God (Heb 11.5).
Have you ever heard the commendation of the sons of Issachar (one of the twelve tribes of Israel) at the time that David became King of Israel and the people gathered under him?
“Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.”
– 1 Chronicles 12.32
They were men who understood the times and had knowledge of what Israel should do. What if that was the epitaph on your headstone? Do you understand the times? Do you know what the new Israel (the Church) should do?
We are now in the last times, as the writer of Hebrews states it. Jesus has paid the penalty for the sins of all who will believe, and we are in a period of grace where God is actively calling people from every tribe, tongue and nation to repentance (Rev 5.9). The bridegroom has left to prepare a dwelling place for his bride, and will return shortly. We, his bride, are to await anxiously, prepared, with enough oil to keep our lamps burning and without falling asleep (Matt 25.1-12). “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour” (Matt 25.13).
Being in the last times, about what, then, should we be busy?
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”
– Matt 28.18-20
Think about it. We will all enter eternity. Some sooner than later. And at some point, in the near future, Jesus will return and with Him will come the closing of the age and the end of people’s opportunity to repent. At that point, what will matter? Will it matter that you had a beautiful home? One that will be burned up when the Earth is destroyed? Will it matter that you had a good job or were the most clever philosopher? Will it matter how many seasons of Dexter you watched? Or will it matter how many people stand beside you declared “Redeemed” when the judge of Heaven and Earth judges the living and the dead?
Yes, we have Biblical, Godly responsibility to provide for our families. Paul says that the one who does not do so is worse than the “infidel” – an unbeliever (1 Tim 5.8). And the church is given to us to help care for the widows and orphans in their time of need. And yes, God has given us the sciences, arts and all of creation for His glorification, so we are behooved to understand and utilize all of these good and precious gifts from above to glorify Him and also to reach the world for His name’s sake.
And while we go about our daily responsibilities of providing for our own, we must remember that people are dying every single second, and entering an eternity of damnation. Some of whom have never heard the Truth of Jesus Christ. Do you want to stand before the throne of God at the last day and have only a nice house, two cars and a dog as your life’s product? Or do you want to stand surrounded by those who heard the Truth from your mouth and were called to repentance and will now enter Heaven as redeemed?
And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”
– Luke 10.2-3