Friday, December 31, 2010


Fifthly and finally all true disciples of Jesus Christ LEAVE. That’s right, they leave.

This is THE MOST poignant and acrid common denominator of them all. For in this denominator is couched the TIME TABLE OF GOD. In Genesis 6:3 the Lord declares; “My spirit shall not always strive with man…” For the arrogant you will simply pass over this point, but for the humble, you will take deep note of God’s sobriety.

God is very aware that His grace IS limited based upon the humanity of us all. In other words we have “X” amount of time to respond to His wooing and then the clock stops. Oh not because He is unwilling to continue, but because our days are numbered.

For instance, Jesus taught that when His disciples would enter a town and not be welcomed by their hearers, they were to turn and shake the dust (Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5) off their feet (they actually did it as recorded in Acts 13:50-51).

The point was an open DECLARATION and DEMONSTRATION of their efforts to penetrate the hard hearts of their hearers. Never underestimate the damnation associated with a hard heart. Never!

So how does that touch us in the twenty-first-century? We must be very decisive and Spirit-led as to who, what and when we present and or retract the gospel opportunity. For true disciples of Jesus Christ are led by the Holy Spirit as to how much effort is merited for any one individual. In other words, if we’ve not struck oil stop drilling and move on.

Being led by the Spirit as to who is good soil and not, IS VERY CRITICAL. Because if we don’t listen to the Spirit’s leading, we can WASTE precious time. Or we can be trampled and bitten by the unwilling-pigs, even with our greatest efforts (Matthew 7:6).

Which leads to the second aspect of this Fifth Common denominator: we are leaving this planet soon. I’ll never forget my first exposure to a life-time-mortgage.

I was painting for a living while attending Bible College, and happened to get a job finishing a new home on the south side of Springfield, Missouri. It was an executive home that was very large. My client was an old friend’s brother from years passed. In speaking with my friend, he told me his brother’s mortgage was open-ended; in other words a life-time mortgage.

That simply meant that this guy would really only be “renting” this place until he sold it, because the cost was so huge that he could never really pay it off.

Here’s the point: WE DON’T HAVE an unlimited amount of time here on this earth. Period! Some generation will be the LAST generation. Some generation will actually witness the Parousia first hand.

For the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are left will be caught up in the air, to connect with Christ and live forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – take note of the comfort we are to have in this truth, verse 18)). Man that sounds like sci-fi; but IT’S NOT!!!

The end of all we know IS coming sometime and that should influence how we live here on this earth. Granted, no one knows that day or hour; but we must spiritually prepare as if THIS IS THE DAY!!!

I remember going to summer Bible camp at our Iowa District Camp Grounds (Storm Lake, Iowa). They would wake us with the revolutions of a crackling old LP that played: “This could be the dawning of that grand and glorious day…”

At fourteen that was very unsettling. At fifty it’s still unsettling, to the degree that no eschatological events are preventing the rapture of the church. That’s right, we could go at any minute and God would press on with His agenda.

That being said, disciples LEAVE. Whether it’s from the context of personal evangelism and people reject the message of LIFE, or the context of the rapture, this place IS NOT OUR HOME!!!

Circa 1978 Larry Norman pressed a record entitled: Only Visiting this Planet – Part 1 of the Trilogy. As I listened to this Message, I realized he was right. This place IS NOT my home; therefore I better not plant too deeply.

A life-time mortgage or even a 30 year mortgage seems totally unrealistic for the Disciple of Jesus Christ. Although there have been countless devotees of Christ who have believe the end was so near they sold all and sat on a mountain; I’m not one of them.

But I am constantly aware of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES that keep me looking up.

If you are NOT looking up on a daily basis, my guess is you are looking too deeply into the earth on which you were born for your comfort and confidence.

Ignoring the truth and even the facts WILL NOT CHANGE THEM!!! Disciples KNOW WHEN to leave according to the Spirit’s impetus or leading. They pay close attention to what the Spirit tells them; as to how much and when to stop scattering. And they pay close attention to what the Spirit tells them as to when to leave; because THAT DAY IS COMING SOON… like it or not.

So there it is: Five Common Denominators of all True Disciples of Jesus Christ. Fourteen hours from now we will clock out and clock in to 2011. Are YOU a True Disciple of Jesus Christ?

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