The LORD is Punctual
Punctuality. Here's a definition: arriving or doing something at the expected or planned time. For those of us who live in America, this character trait is a necessity. Busy, fast-paced lives with constant demands and pressures require serious time management skills, and failing to be on time is not only frowned upon, but it could also cost someone their job. Basically, in a world where the saying goes, "Time is money," it pays to be punctual.
Do you ever get the feeling that you are falling behind schedule? Is there anyone else who feels that they could use an extra day of the week, preferably another day to rest? Well, without getting into any Sabbath controversies, I would like to rest in the truth that our God is a punctual God. The LORD is punctual, and He is never late.
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:8-9 NASB)."
*Interesting side note to ponder: I realize that this passage is often used as evidence demonstrating God's patience toward unbelievers, but remember that the apostle is writing this message to believers, "...but [He] is patient toward you..." The "you" here refers back to the plural "beloved" in verse 8. If you want a verse with the same concept applied toward unbelievers, try 1 Timothy 2:3-4.
Ironically, I felt compelled to share this message about God's punctuality, because the hour is late. For those of us who have been keeping up with the signs, wonders, and major world events of our time, we are on an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride as we await the coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Php. 3:20-21; 1 Thess. 1:10; Titus 2:13).
Things may seem slow at times, and some may even be tempted to think the world is getting better (I'm looking at you with the Trump hat on). But then, unexpectedly, a torrent of prophetically significant headlines will overwhelm us in a day or two, waking us from slumber and re-engaging us in prayer and God's word. Now, I will admit there are days where the sun is shining, life is going reasonably well, and I'm thinking that I could make my home here. Complacency becomes my default lifestyle, and I am almost convinced that this could be Eden....
Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you (Revelation 3:3 ESV)."
...and again the alarm goes off. But don't hit the snooze button this time. Let's stay awake and sharpen one another, and remember that the LORD is punctual. Everything is right on schedule and is fixed in the heavens (Ps. 19:1-6; Lk. 21:25; Rom. 10:18; Acts 2:16-23).
In fact, take a closer look at something Gary touched on in an earlier post from Peter's sermon in Acts 2. According to the apostle in verse 22, Christ's first coming was heralded by pinpoint "miracles," "wonders," and "signs." Isn't it interesting that Peter mentions the celestial phenomena? He doesn't stop with the Holy Spirit being poured out but goes on to proclaim wonders in heaven, especially those involving the sun and the moon. This is something that those present had witnessed for themselves—a partial fulfillment of the prophecy given to Joel (total/final fulfillment yet to come). The very next verse contains a profound truth:
This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men (Acts 2:23 ESV)."
Let that sink in for a moment. The events of Jesus' first coming were according to "the definite plan and foreknowledge of God." A good cross-reference verse in the New Testament is Galatians 4:4, "But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son..." For some of us this might seem like something covered in Vacation Bible School. However, we need to remind our sleeping brothers and sisters that not only did God send forth His Son at a fixed time in the past, so also He will do in the near future (c.f. Acts 17:31).
I won't get into the seven appointed times (feasts) of the LORD right now; many of you are already very familiar with how the first four have been fulfilled (if not, see the bottom of Gary's post). In all four our Lord was punctual. Prompt. Swift. Immediate. The prophetic events on earth were in-sync with the signs in the heavens. The sun, the moon, and the stars aligned like clockwork; a predetermined fixed order of astral objects coming together with divine accuracy.
Today, it may be that only a few zealous seekers are aware of the great sign from Revelation 12 occurring next Fall 2017, but this is only the beginning. We've got some months to go, and I believe that by word of mouth, the news will spread. Some will seek to discover the truth for themselves, others will dismiss it altogether. However, I don't think it will be quite like the uproar and backlash over the blood moons or Jonathan Cahn's books. This amazing and spectacular fulfillment of Revelation 12 is just...too precise! It's not vague in the least, nor does it require extensive knowledge of Hebrew or Jewish customs. It requires faith in the word of God, written both in the Bible and in the sky (before I get too carried away, astronomy software helps a lot too, lol). And that's something I plan on covering in future posts—issues of timing in the book of Revelation and what we can anticipate come late September 2017.
In closing my first post, a final point: Don't be discouraged if it seems like God is delaying His plans for the return of Christ. I'm not the first one to say this after the outcome of the election here in the United States. And don't get me wrong, Donald Trump's victory was a mighty answer to prayer as well as the predetermined plan of God. Nevertheless, watch out for the deceitfulness of sin; more specifically, guard yourself from the sins of complacency and a denial of unseen realities (Heb. 3:12-14; 11:1-2). The stock market may be up, but the spiritual war is still going down (Eph. 6:10-17). The enemy knows his time is short and will seek to draw more of our brethren into error and apathy. The Lord Jesus is coming for us. It's an appointment that cannot be canceled or rescheduled. So, let's keep watch! He'll be right on time.