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Sound the Trumpet

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand— Joel 2:1 NIV

For several years as a child, on January 1, we would gather with several other United Pentecostal Churches in my hometown for worship services. I'm a bit dodgy on the specifics, but I clearly remember the message: "The Lord is coming. It is close at hand." It didn't matter that Christ hadn't yet come but that we were all that much closer to his coming. Some fifty-plus years later, that message remains the same.

As a liturgical church, we recite this idea together in the Apostle and Nicene Creeds and the Communion.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

As Christians, we struggle with the tension between "Lord come now" and "Lord not yet." We prepare ourselves spiritually for that blessed day. As we look around at the world's mess–the wars and rumors of wars, and all the evil, we feel the clock is undoubtedly ticking down–in that countdown, we must be rapidly approaching one.

But also, there are those we love, our friends and family, who have yet to accept Christ. We pray, Lord, just a little longer. We feel a little like Abraham, pleading for Sodom and Gomorrah, "Lord, what if there are 50, 45, 40, 35, 20, okay, how about for 10?"

If ever there is a time to blow the trumpet, today is the day. Sound the alarm. Don't wait for tomorrow; tomorrow may be too late–for no one's tomorrow is guaranteed. We must be prepared to meet the Lord, whether that is due to our mortality or Christ's return.

One of the songs sung at those New Year's meetings was the gospel standard "I'll Soon Be Gone."

We're Living In Perilous Times, Each Day Brings New Distress

But God Has Told Us In His Word To Pray And Do Our Best,

To Keep Our Lamps All Trimmed And Bright, Our Wedding Garments On.

And Something Moving In My Soul Says, "Child, You'll Soon Be Gone."

I'll Soon Be Gone From This Old World Below

To Heaven's Throne, Eternal Joys To Know.

So Without Fear, I'll Wait To Hear The Angel Trumpet's Tone,

And On That Day I'll Soar Away. Oh Yes, I'll Soon Be Gone.

Well, Soon The Crumbling Works Of Men Must All Be Counted Loss

And Those Who Built Upon The Sand Must Pay The Awful Cost.

So Why Not Kneel And Pray Today, The Spirit Leads You On.

Then, With The Saved You Too Can Say, "Thank God, I'll Soon Be Gone!"

God, we believe Jesus is coming again. Though we don't know the day or hour, we're confident that day is coming. Please help us prepare and sound the trumpet so others may know. Let them hear and tremble in the knowledge that Jesus offers salvation. We pray this in His mighty name.


Pastor Tim

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