This world is one crazy and confusing place. Everyone is doing their own thing and each thinks they are right. Whether they are chasing after fame, fortune, or pleasure, they are only concerned with serving themselves. How has everyone grown so cold?
The Church doesn't seem to be in much better shape. New ideas spring up, trends are started, and congregations are eager for more. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes.
So how should a Christian live in such perilous times?
This is what Don Carson sets out to explain in his book, From The Resurrection to His Return: Living Faithfully in the last days. Utilizing 2 Timothy 3:1-4:8 as his foundation, Carson examines the times in which we live and how we should conduct ourselves while awaiting Christ's return.
He starts things off by giving an honest portrayal of just what this world is like in these last days, which consists of the time between Christ's Resurrection and his second coming. Things are bad and will continue to be so. Not only is there the lure of sin in the world, but also the danger of wolves hidden among the sheep. Even in the midst of such terrifying times, we can stand guard having been forewarned in scripture.
I found the second chapter to be the most convicting. In it Carson speaks not only of our need for godly Christian mentors, but also of our responsibility to be godly mentors for others. Ouch! Am I living in such a way that I could comfortably tell someone to watch me?
Do you ever say to a young Christian, Do you want to know what Christianity is like? "Watch me!" If you never do, you are being unbiblical.
Next Carson exhorts us to have a realistic view of the world. We should not be caught unprepared for trials and temptations, we know the evil that is out there.
What is astonishing is that after the bloody century we have just come through, so many people think that if we simply sit around a table and talk we will sort it all out. This attitude is astonishingly naive. Christians should never, ever, be surprised by evil. While we should always be horrified by evil, we should never be surprised by it. Do not adopt a Pollyanaish view of things. Do not be surprised by evil. Hold few illusions about the world.
The fourth chapter deals with the bible and our need to be immersed in the scriptures to keep ourselves orientated to God and his view of this world. Without repeated exposure to God's word we won't be prepared to resist all of the deceptive ideas that constantly bombard us.
In the end, Carson pleads with us to respond to all of God's grace and mercy in the only rightful way we can, by sharing it with others. We must teach and proclaim God's word to everyone.
In some measure, everything that has been said before this point is essentially defensive. We follow the right mentors so that we will not go astray; we hold few illusions about the world that has so many corruptions in it; we hold onto the bible so that our thinking does not go astray. but now for the first time we have something that is essentially and strategically offensive - we hold out the bible to others.From The Resurrection to His Return: Living Faithfully in the last days is short on pages, but long in wisdom. This book can be read comfortably in one sitting, yet the material will continue to convict and encourage for a life time. This is most definitely a worthwhile read, as is everything Don Carson has written. Praise God for the gift of men like this who are able to bring the power of God's word to us time and again.
I'd like to thank Christian Focus Publications for sending me this copy for review.
All excerpts taken from the Kindle version of From The Resurrection to His Return: Living Faithfully in the last days.