"Looking for that blessed hope and, the glorious appearing of the Great God and Savior, Christ Jesus" Titus (NIV).
Many Christian's long for Christ's return as a means of escape; they find the world crazy. Willing to forsake long term goals and plans, they prefer to hunker down and hold on. Years pass, He doesn't return and opportunities are missed. I fully expect Christ to return someday. I do wonder, however, if we really want Him to come back right now.
Sound heretical? Here's my point. When His disciples asked Him how to pray, Jesus taught them this:
"Thy kingdom come they will be done in earth as it is in Heaven" Matthew (NIV).
From my viewpoint, earth in its present condition, doesn't look very much like Heaven. If our victorious King were to appear right now, would we want to proudly hand back the world to Him in its present condition?
According to Scripture, creation or the cosmos is eager for the sons of God to be revealed (Rom. ) and its been waiting a long time. Dependent upon the sons of God to take up their positions and reverse the damage done at the fall, creation waits by helplessly for us to get our act together. It's our responsibility but I don't hear many Christians voice concern about this or contemplate strategies that could bring this to pass. Much conversation is centered around how bad things are and the hope of departure before everything implodes.
That course of action doesn't seem to be producing many results. Luke 19 contains the Parable of the Ten Minas. A master equipped his servants and instructed them to occupy (in the Greek this means to busy ones self, or to trade) until he returned. Lacking a detailed description of the survival mentality they should adopt, the workers were expected to be actively engaged and productive in the master's absence. Since the sons of God are those designated to re-right the wrongs creation has suffered, shouldn't we find out how to do this and get on with it?
We have an exciting and enormous job. God has entrusted the restoration of His ever increasing creation to His sons. He's confident that we're up to the task, but are we? Do we even know about this glorious opportunity He's afforded us?
To get on board with God's timetable and agenda, we've got some growing up to do. Scripture delineates the different stages of maturity a believer should progress through. To administrate the type of authority needed to fulfill God's plans requires wisdom and maturity not acquired by natural means. The writer of Hebrews addressed this matter.
"Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teaching about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instructions about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment" Hebrews 6:12 (NIV).
How many Christians have successfully mastered these basic principles? How many churches have a Christianity 101 class for new believers? If we haven't progressed beyond what are considered foundational issues, how can we hope to step up and into the training needed to be a mature son of God?
How about you? How would you describe a mature son of God? Since the restoration of creation is our responsibility, what steps are you taking to reverse its present fallen state? Has that thought even crossed your mind? What are you doing to mature into a son of God? What do you think would be Jesus' reaction to our handling of creation if He came back right now?