What manner of persons


By Timothy Johnson

Preacher’s Point

Hamas’ attack on October 7th, Hezbollah’s constant missile barrage upon Israel from Lebanon, Iran’s aerial attack upon Israel with hundreds of drones and missiles, and Israel’s response to all these things all appear to be fulfilling the sign Jesus spoke about when He said, “Wars and rumours of wars” (Matthew 24:6, Mark 13:7). Some of the other signs that are prevalent today are the lack of morals (2 Timothy 3:1-5), the severe weather around the world (Luke 21:25), and many other signs also abound in current events. You get the point. The signs are everywhere.

The more signs Christians see, the more we anticipate the rapture. The rapture is a future event when Jesus appears in the air and calls up all the saved. This calling up includes the saved who have died since His resurrection and also those Christians alive at the time (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58).

As mentioned earlier, the Bible does give us signs that the rapture may be getting close. Still, no one knows when it will occur except God the Father (Matthew 24:36). It could happen today, by the end of 2024, by the end of the decade, or so far into the future that no one living today will live to see it.

The Bible tells us of things to come beyond the rapture. Soon after the rapture, the seven-year tribulation will start. During these seven years the Antichrist rises to power and rules the world. At the end of the seven years, Jesus returns to earth, locks up Satan, and establishes His kingdom. He will reign for one thousand years. God releases Satan at the end of the thousand years, and then the final battle – God wins. After this battle is the end of the world, the judgment of the unsaved, and the beginning of eternity.

The Scripture describes the end of the world in 2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

The following two verses, 2 Peter 3:11-12, are one sentence and also speak to the end of the world, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the element shall melt with fervent heat?”

Although phrases are speaking of the end of the universe, the main thought of verses 11-12 is God questioning us about what type of “persons ought ye to be” in the meantime – between now and the end of the world.

Take a minute to look at the wording of the passage. God uses the words “holy conversation” and “godliness.” God wants Christians to live godly and holy lives. When we think of living a godly and holy life, we often think of things we must start or stop doing. But notice the passage does not ask, “What manner of things should you do or not do in your life…” It reads, “What manner of persons ought ye to be…”

God is not emphasizing what you do or don’t do but what you are.

God wants holiness and godliness to be our nature. He does not want us to struggle with right and wrong; He wants us to do the right thing naturally. God does know that we will fight with right and wrong (Romans 7:15-25), but He does want us to strive toward godly living with all our strength (Philippians 3:14, Matthew 22:36-40).

Again, though, the emphasis is not on the dos and don’ts; the emphasis is on what you are. The closer your heart is to what God wants it to be, the more natural the dos and don’ts become.

How do we become the person God says we ought to be?

The first step in everything a Christian does should be prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17, James 4:1-3). Tell God you wish to be holy and godly. Confess your sins and character flaws to Him and ask Him to change you.

Next, study the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15).

Both prayer and Bible study need to be done in faith because, without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Lastly, do not do this yourself. God must be your partner in becoming holy and godly, or you will never accomplish the goal. You must allow God to work in and through you (Philippians 4:13).

Christians, we can see that the time is at hand. Are you willing to be what God wants you to be?

Preacher Johnson is the Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website: www.preachers-point.com; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638. All Scripture KJV.

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