Sunday, July 27, 2008

Simply Jesus - The End Times Part 2

By guest blogger - Sue Ward

Dare we mention the end times again??

Mark 13

My father-in-law, John, was a lovely Christian man who had a very simple faith. His outlook on his Christian life was ‘keep it simple’. He wasn’t into debate and arguing and had no time for what he called the ‘isms’ of Christianity. It was all far too complicated for him and he lived his walk with Jesus very personally. In church he was in the background, always there doing practical things but not into ‘up-front’. I remember at a weekday meeting he was asked to close with prayer – his reply? ‘I won’t but my wife will.’

When he died, the family were amazed at the number of people who said ‘John helped me out when I was struggling financially’, John was the one I sought out when I needed some wisdom’, John was always there when I needed a shelf fixing’ etc. etc. He had done all of these things without even his wife knowing.

He didn’t need to tell people God had made a difference in his life – he ‘just lived it’ and they saw.

His response to V. 32 would have been ‘no-one knows, so what’s the point of wasting time talking about it’. If we follow Jesus’ advice throughout this chapter and ‘keep alert’, ‘be on guard’ ‘watch that no-one deceives you’ we have no need to fear.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank God for radical followers of Jesus who are not keeping their walk with Jesus personal or private (a lie from the pit of hell to keep it private and personal) while satan is recruiting openly
Thank God for the woman at the well when she met Jesus she did not keep it private/personal she told every one she met and many lives were changed
Thank God for the disciples who did not keep it private or personal they put their lives at risk by telling every one
Other wise Jesus would have died in vain
Thank God for christians who are not ashame to talk about Jesus during their walk with him Jesus command us to go and tell How will they know if we dont tell them
By the way what is endtimes? we appear not to have a meaning for this word

Anonymous said...

Living the "life" is not enough We must tell them about Jesus
We must not be ashame of him by keeping it personal and private

kathy said...

he was a very religious man doing a lot of good works in secret to be rewarded by the father in heaven But he had a wife, should husband and wife have secrets among them, never mind keeping Jesus private /secret to himself
If he was under a secret order or secret mission how did he extend the kingdom ,just a thought
what part the endtimes plays in this story did not quite get it

Billy Ritchie said...

Sorry did not mean to bring confusion. Jesus followers as him about the end times in the reading for the day in Mark 13. Obviously Sue did not pick it up in her devotion. Sorry!

Sue said...

There is nothing wrong with good works as long as they are not the end of our involvement with people. Eph 2:10 says that God created us for good works - the thing about John was - that was his Christian walk - the people he helped knew he was a Christian and he witnessed to them using what he did as a first step rather than pinning them against a wall and forcing them to listen. People came to know Christ through him and there was nothing about his life that he was under a secret order - everyone knew he loved God - friends, neighbours, workmates, he just wasn't the type of man to shout it from the rooftops but when people wanted to know what the difference was in him, he was happy to tell them. Isn't it great that God makes us unique - we all have our part to play in getting the Gospel known and God chooses lots of different vessels to fulfil his purpose.
As far as the 'endtimes' go - the whole point was just to say that not everyone is comfortable with debating. Seems that this has already run it's course on Billy's blog.

Anonymous said...

well done John he had the gift of encouragement the greatest gift of all and was covered and overflowing with the love of Jesus We need more like him in the Kingdom i am sure he will be rewarded

Anonymous said...

The endtimes is not a debatable topic it is there for us to know the season we are in. No one knows when Jesus will return not even the angels Ever christian should know and understand the endtimes the world will not end by the increased in evangelism this is only a sign there are things that have to take place before the end
In revelation there are the 144,000 Jews,the two witnesses and the three angel proclaiming the gospel it is worth reading Our job is to be ready our purpose is to plunder satan kingdom and take a lot of souls with us for Jesus

Anonymous said...

When we read something we can choose to read with a positive and open mind or a critical and negative mind. In a short snip like this we are never going to see a full picture.
This man obviously made an impact on Sue. People looked him out for advice, thats not a man thats hiding. May be he gave someone £10. Sometimes we get on with life, and sometimes things that are just something small to the giver is huge to the receiver.

People saw Jesus in this man, actions speak louder than words.
So many have the words, and say the right things but how many live it.
I am not a front person, give me a stage and I feel sick. But put me in the inner city and hundreds know who I am, across many cultures and religions and I have seen hundreds come to church. This is not by shouting words at them, but by doing. They all know who I am and what I am.

Isn't it sad when christians after reading a short snip choose to see the negative in something caring that someone did. If every time he gave someone £10, or fixed a shelf he stood and said "look at me I'm doing it for God". We would of all cringed.
He reached out to one person at a time and in his life he probably reached out to many.

You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples that will grow from that seed.

Billy Ritchie said...

Maybe worthwhile reading Sue's post again. She never said that this man did not share his faith. What she did say was that he was not interested in was arguments about various doctrines. He prefered to stay out of all that stuff and concentrate on living a "simple" christian life. You can not do that in secret because that type of life by its very nature stands out a mile to all around because its so different.

Peoples reaction after John's death tells you much. Would they have cared about his beliefs on say the end times - NO but to them he was to borrow a phrase from Andrew Shearman - God with skin on.

Anonymous said...

Explain this phrase to your readers "God with skin on"

Billy Ritchie said...

Hey as I said I borrowed the quote from Andrew Shearman probably best to listen to him explain it himself. Click this link to take you to a video post on this blog of him talking about it. http://www.billyritchie.org/2008/06/god-with-skin-on.html

Anonymous said...

Well clarified Billy.

You can't do this life style in secret. God with skin on. Not heard the phrase before but sounds a good one.

I have learnt that people can only see in me the God I let loose in my life. If i limit God because I haven't got enough faith or its inconvenient I show a small God, I can only give away what I have.
But when i let loose the God almighty in my life people see an amazing God.
I am working on this one and God is so challenging me.
We so under estimate God if we think our words are so important. My responsibility to the people I meet in my world is not to bend their ear but to spend time with God. And every time I touch someone's life the God in me touches their life also.
People try to hard sometimes when all we have to do is let God be God in us.
I feel so empowered by God to impact my world as much as anyone who can speak it out. Or who has a stage to speak from. It is such a privilege to do the one to one. Get to know people and see lives changed.
And just to top it off I have found myself and Gods fulfillment in my life. What more can anyone want?
I've gone off on one sorry.
John should be a role model for us all. But to those who don't have the calling to preach or speak it out. God empowers us just the same. Our empowerment depends on the same things as the preacher at the front, our relationship with God and our faith level. I am privileged to be on the front line.

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