When I was a young adult attending Bible College, the imminent return of Jesus was the hot topic. Hal Lindsey had recently published his, The Late Great Planet Earth, which we carefully studied. This was of course one man’s interpretation of when Jesus was going to return and what would happen when He did. If you had asked me in 1971, “If Jesus is coming back soon, how should I live?” I would have told you, as I would now, to believe in Jesus and to tell others about Him, as a matter of urgency the time is short.
In Luke 17, Jesus answers that question “How should I live now?” in a different way. Beginning in verse 22, He pointed to the future time of His return as the Son of Man. He includes a line that fills me with excitement and fear for the lost erson, “That night [when the Son of Man comes] two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left” (17:34). Yet, in the previous verse, Jesus says, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it” (17:33). Other translations speak of trying to preserve your life versus losing it (ESV, for example). We should let go of trying to save our own lives and entrust all that we are to Him. True life is to be found, not in our anxious efforts, but in reliance upon God through Jesus Christ.
Thus, as we consider the second coming of Jesus, we should not be preoccupied with our own selves. If we have trusted ourselves to God, we have nothing to fear. Rather than clinging to our own lives, Jesus urges us to let go, to trust Him, to serve Him, and give ourselves to His work. The more we invest lives in the kingdom of God, the more we will experience a full, complete life, both now and in the age to come. On Sunday we will consider this question further in 1 Thessalonians 5:1n-10, “Living in the light of Christ return”.
Bruce Davie, Pastor/Elder IBCZ
This week we consider Ukraine in our Missions Report.
Ukraine – Help pastor Slavic transport basic needs materials from Western to Eastern Ukraine
For more than 1 year now, since summer of 2022, IBCZ has been supporting the mission of Slavic Bodnar in Ukraine. Slavic is the pastor of a church near Kharkiv, one of the cities heavily bombarded during the Ukraine-Russia war. Since the beginning of the war, Slavic has been sourcing and distributing humanitarian transports of food, medicine and basic needs materials from western Ukraine (aid donated by churches, organizations and individuals in Western Ukraine) to needy families in Eastern Ukraine. In the period since the war broke out, and since his mission started, pastor Slavic’s mission expanded to include educational sessions for the young, psychological support and counseling sessions for affected families, sport activities and of course, proactive and intentional sharing of the Gospel to the people his team is interacting with.
As the end of the war is not in sight yet, there are more and more people needing the help of Slavic’s mission team, and IBCZ plans to continue supporting this mission. The video which will be presented during the service will give an overview of the many activities Slavic supervises and the efforts of the volunteers involved. They help daily hundreds of people they do not know, have never met before, and are not related to, through an organization which is not an internationally known one, by the help of unknown individuals and organizations… and they do it all for the glory and love for the One who knows everyone by name, every need one has, and every deed of charity in support of these needs.