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Dialing in the Distance

Friday, April 12, 2024

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“Your eyes cannot see the wonderful future: borrow the telescope of faith; wipe the misty breath of your doubts from the viewfinder; look through it and behold the coming glory.” – C.H. Spurgeon

Last Christmas, Deanna gave me a very special present. Knowing how much I love to play golf – and also knowing that I need all the help I can get on the course – she bought me a rangefinder. Now, instead of looking for the 100, 150, and 200-yard markers and estimating where my ball sits in relation to them, all I have to do is focus my rangefinder on the flag and “voila!” I know within a few feet exactly how far I am from the hole.

Believe it or not, it has actually helped. If I know that I am 120 yards from the flag, I’ll hit a full 9-iron. However, if the distance is closer to 125, I will pull my 8-iron and swing a little easier.

In spiritual terms, we can’t always measure things quite as precisely. For instance, we know that Jesus will return in the clouds someday to rapture His children after which a 7-year period known as the Great Tribulation will take place on earth. After that, we will return on white horses with the armies of heaven to fight and win the Battle of Armageddon, which will then give way to Christ’s 1,000-year reign on earth.

But when will this all begin? Well, Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 24 that His return will be preceded by “wars and rumors of wars” as well as by “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.” However, He added the caveat that “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, but My Father only.”

So, what should we do as believers? First, we are to watch. “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42). Second, we are to be prepared. “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44).

Yes, we may not know when Jesus will return, but we do know that it is imminent… and will be accompanied by a shout, the sound of the trumpet, and a splitting of the eastern sky (I Thessalonians 4). How glorious that will be!

“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13 (NKJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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