Awake, Aware, but Not Alarmed

Canada150.

The year was 1964. I was a typical fervent Spirit-filled Pentecostal kid. Our church had a Clarence Larkin End Times Chart on the wall and our church culture was dominated by a "These are the Last Days" mentality. I remember my young Christian friends and I having conversations about the upcoming 1967 Canadian Centennial Celebrations. Living in a continual state of apocalyptic anticipation, we lamented over the foolishness of the country preparing for something that just could not possibly happen, seeing as the Lord was definitely returning long before then. And now, our nation is having yearlong sesquicentennial festivities, and preparing for July 1, 2017, when Canada will be celebrating 150 years of nationhood. If someone had told the 11-year-old Ken that we would see this day, I would have thought him a heretic and a blasphemer!

Left Behind

I also remember coming home from school, not finding my Mom, and being overwhelmed with fear and dread that the Rapture had taken place and I was one of the doomed, Left Behind. I frantically searched my mind, examined my heart, and reviewed my life. Did I read my Bible that morning? Was my prayer life up to scratch? How long has it been since I last witnessed to someone? Had I been a good little boy? The checklist was long and extensive and sure enough I had failed in some way or another. It is clear now I had an inadequate understanding of the Grace of God. Sadly, talk about the Last Days and some still suffer from a checklist mentality.

Y2K001.

The Signs of the Times have indicated the imminent return of Christ many times over these fifty plus years since my friends and I had our conversation. Anyone remember 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988 and On Borrowed Time? Eventually, 300,000 copies of 88 Reasons were mailed free of charge to ministers across America, and 4.5 million copies were sold in bookstores and elsewhere. Yes, sold in bookstores! This had a profound effect on the Christian culture of the time. But his revised books predicting 1989, 1993, 1994 and 1997 did not sell nearly as well. Next, Y2K came and went without a hitch. Then several years ago we had the heavily publicized and much discussed predictions of Harold Camping who declared that May 21, 2011 was Judgement Day. And it seems like every summer I hear of some cataclysmic event that is prophesied to happen in September. Every October I note that September has come and gone, safely.

Will we will see the Second Coming or the End of the Age in my lifetime? Could it finally happen? Yes, of course. And we could also experience a great Time of Sorrows between now and then. While I confess to a jaded scepticism I must admit that the Signs of the Times do seem to indicate that these are The Last Days.

Awake, Aware, but not Alarmed

So, with this admission, what am I going to do? First, I am going to live my life and "occupy until He comes.” Luke 19:13. I am going to live awake, and aware . . . but not alarmed. I believe that is key; awake and aware, but not alarmed. And while being awake and aware I am going to enjoy my life and my walk with God as much as I can. I am going to passionately live for Him, but after all these years I confess I will do so not so much with relentless vigilance because of the End Times but more by doing my best to maintain constant conscious contact with Christ because of the Beauty of His Person and Pleasure of His Presence. Then when my time is up, or He returns, I will just go from the foretaste of His Presence here to the fullness of His Presence there, where with ultimate delight, I will see the Beauty of His Person fully revealed. Hallelujah!

Foretaste of Heaven now, fullness of Heaven then. He comes to us, or we go to Him. Either way, we win.

Happy 150th Anniversary Year Canada!

Canada150.
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Awake, Aware, but Not Alarmed (PDF)


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