Olson's Calendar
february 7
Preach Amistad Cristiana
Cuernavaca, MOR
february 9-11
BGU Board Meetings
Orlando, FL
february 12-16
Family Get-Together
Worcester, Mass

march 7-11
Globeserve Ex-Com Meetings

March 11-17
Ministry Trip


jesus is coming soon, but not tomorrow!
By Kerry A. Olson

Jesus is coming soon, but not tomorrow... not next Wednesday morning at 9:30! I know that statement sounds quite brash, and if you are biblically minded you could be saying to yourself, “But Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 that ’No one knows the day or the hour Jesus will return, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.’ “ Yes, nobody knows the day or the hour when Jesus will return, but we know when He cannot come!

In the United States there has been a popular teaching, with increasing focus and fervor, on End Times study and steps to prepare for the tribulation. I wonder if much of this present-day fad is not a knee-jerk reaction to the global recession that has been taking place over the past 24 months, in particular the effect that it has had on the United States economy and people’s personal income. Many have lost substantial amounts of their savings in the stock market, income is down, inflation and unemployment are up.

As missionaries living in a so-called “third world” country for over half of our lives, our personal income has fluctuated by a 40% margin for years. As is the case in many parts of the world, we have experienced inflation rates and seen consumer prices rise in excess of 100% in a 12 month period!

I recently spent several weeks in the United States, and while it was evident that many are struggling financially (perhaps for the first time), I still see people eating out in restaurants, driving large SUVs and going to the mall. To my amazement and added reverse culture shock, I saw many ads on TV promoting a myriad of weight-loss gimmicks, Caribbean cruises, and new cars; One television ad that caught my attention was for cat food with real shrimp and Alaskan salmon!

Don’t worry about tomorrow!

I feel for those who have lost their jobs and are struggling to “make ends meet,” but know that for many the only real effect this recession has had on their pocketbooks is that numbers in their personal financial portfolio have decreased and their sense of insecurity about the future has increased.

Many Christians love to quote Matthew 6:33, where Jesus tells us to “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.” Often we are selfishly seeking “all these things” and forget about truly seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness. The context of this passage of Scripture, both before and after verse 33, says that we should not worry about our lives, what we will eat of drink or wear, but should trust in a good and faithful God who provides for us daily. Although it’s not very “American,” I think it’s okay to ask God for “daily bread.” Hey, that sounds biblical too! (See Matthew 6:11).

Preach the Gospel today!

On my Facebook page, I have an application entitled DAILY UNREACHED PEOPLE provided by The Joshua Project, which highlights a people group somewhere around the world that needs the gospel. Nearly every day there is a group listed as “Unreached” with the sub-title: “No known believers!” or “Few believers, if any!” The fact is that there are still an estimated 5,000 - 6,000 unreached nations (1) (people groups) around the world who still do not have the testimony of the gospel.

I believe that we are in the “last days” and that prophetically numerous things are coming into place for the return of Jesus, but Matthew 24:14 states emphatically that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and THEN the end will come.”

There are still thousands of unreached nations around the world without a viable testimony (the Church established in their culture), and Jesus says He will not return until this takes place. Northern India for example, still has an estimated 3,000-plus unevangelized people groups waiting to hear the gospel. Running through the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is the theme of the evangelization of “all nations, peoples, tongues and tribes” that must have their representation before God’s throne.

Let’s all draw closer to Jesus and seek to be holy and live righteous lives. But if we truly know Christ, our next obligation is to make sure that others know him as well! The late singer–song writer Keith Green stated 28 years ago that “This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls!” Today is the day of salvation and salvation is the theme of today for many who still do not know Christ!

Don’t make the mistake of yesterday!

For centuries, Christian groups have formed “naval-gazing cliques,” believing that the return of Christ is imminent. While we know that we are closer to His return today than ever before, do not commit the error of running up the hill outside the city next Wednesday, singing “Kumbaya,” and waiting for Jesus’ return at 9:30 am!… Sound outrageous? This type of incident and others similar in nature have happened repeatedly in Church history, in the distant and not-so-distant past.

When Jesus does return, if I am still around, I want to be found faithful – my “hand on the plow,” doing what He asked us to do: preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth. Not in my backyard building a bomb shelter and creating a food bank for the assumed tribulation years at the doorstep.

Nobody knows the day or the hour when Jesus will return, but it’s possible to know when He cannot come! He cannot come tomorrow, because we still have a task to fulfill, the task of the Great Commission to take the gospel to every nation, tribe, people and language.

(1) The word nation in the Bible is ETNOS, translated as ethnic group or people group referring to a group of people that has a common language and culture.


kerry & Janyce Olson © 2010
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