The clock striking midnight on December 31st reminds us once again that only one second divides us from the old to the new. As we enter the New Year, let us be mindful that God’s clock is also getting near to the “midnight hour”. In one second – we will enter the “new” era. Yes, God’s Eternal Era that has been in His Plan from the beginning of time.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. I Cor. 15:52
IN A MOMENT – ON AN ORDINARY DAY
By Dr. Opal Reddin
During the holiday season I was awakened very early one morning. Engrossed in the busy-ness of the season, I began mentally going over my list: “To do today.” For some reason (I guess it should seem reasonable!) I began to think about how really transcendent the Incarnation is and how we do our best to bring it to human terms all can understand.
While I was lying there musing, I heard a sound, perhaps a car horn – not sure. It sounded as if quite some distance away; then the phrase “in a moment” came to mind. I was taken over for a while just thinking about 1 Corinthians 15: 51-52: “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” I reminisced and pondered God’s wisdom and timing. Out of Eternity (and in Eternity) He has carved what we know as TIME. We don’t know how to define time, but we know we are controlled to a great degree by it: clocks, calendars, etc.
In Eternity — God planned every moment of Time. He promised the One Who would reverse the curse on mankind by allowing His heel to be bruised while He was crushing the Serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15) fatally and forever. Billions of moments passed, centuries passed, milleniums passed. Then a tick of God’s Timeclock and in a moment on a previously ordinary day Zacharias was informed the Good News that he and Elizabeth would yet have a baby who would be unique in that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit before he was born and would be a forerunner to prepare Israel for Messiah.
Six earth-months later, a tick of God’s Timeclock and Gabriel came as unobtrusively as angels can come — to Mary, who was planning her wedding. In a moment on what I presume to have previously been an ordinary day, her life was changed forever. The Eternal Son was united with the human ovum; thus God became flesh, “in the likeness of sinful flesh” — totally God and totally man but never “sinful” in His essence. Later He would become the sin-offering, but for the time being He was a perfect Little Baby Who would grow in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man. He is the only One to experience Immaculate Conception. He is the only One Who could be the spotless Lamb of God to atone for Adam and Eve’s sin, for His mother’s sin, and indeed for all the sins of all people in all of time. One moment He was with the Father in Heaven; the next moment He was in Mary’s womb; she was “with child.”
About 33 years later, a tick of God’s Clock and on a previously ordinary day, He said, “I have really been looking forward to sharing this Passover with you because I will not do so again until it is all fulfilled in the Kingdom. This is my body; this is my blood….” In God’s timing He prayed, “Let this cup pass from me – nevertheless Thy Will…” In a moment after hours of torture, He released His spirit to the Father — His blood atoned for all sin for all time for all who will receive Him.
At some point in God’s Timing (exact details are shrouded for the time being), in a moment His mutilated body with face more marred than that of any other human, His back ploughed in furrows, His heart broken (literally and figuratively) for our sins — that blessed body was changed. He appeared to many in His glorified state, and He appears now before the Father as our Advocate, our Intercessor (and do we ever need Him!). We love Him though we have not seen Him with natural eyes; we adore Him though we sometimes ill-treat Him; we make Him preeminent Lord though at times we ignore Him; when we are faithless, He remains faithful!
As these thoughts thrilled my soul, I pondered the respective schedules of my loved ones and friends. How varied and yet how much in common after all. All of us are involved in the Lord’s work as we pursue our individual callings. This necessitates a lot of mundane things that make days quite ordinary, quite “daily,” even at times rather dull. But — just as surely as God intersected Time two thousand years ago — just that surely Jesus will come again. And — it very likely will be that on an ordinary day, a tick on God’s Clock, and a trumpet will be heard. It may be blown for quite some time, because the sound will encircle the globe and will “wake up the dead in Christ.” This we know for sure: in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye we shall be changed because HE will have come in the clouds. All our Dear Ones whose bodies are now in graves will rise before we all go up together to meet HIM.
If all the music of all the greatest could be orchestrated in one sound, it would not equal what we shall hear. If all the LOVE of all the Mothers – and – Fathers could be bundled in one heart, it would not equal the love we will know and share with all. If all the sweetness of all the babies ever held near could be congealed in one drop, it would not equal the sweetness of life together in Heaven. If all the bliss of all the honeymoons of all human history could be distilled into one essence, it would not compare with the pure bliss of seeing JESUS at last and being welcomed into His Home forever. If all thrills of winning games, of perfect banquets, of gorgeous clothes, of clean, organized homes, of good nights of sleep, of getting well after flu, of getting mail from loved ones – et cetera on to infinity…the composite of all of these cannot compare to that moment.
In a moment on a previously ordinary day it will really, actually, totally happen just as He has promised. Why do we not contemplate it all more often? Good question — I asked myself. I think one of the main reasons is that it absolutely seems too good to be true. And yet – if it is not true all of us are, as Paul said, of all people to be pitied. We could be just “doing our thing” with no thought of judgment or any such. But happily it’s too late for us to so exist. We know HIM, and we know HIS WORD is true. Hallelujah! Even so come Lord Jesus! ( DISCERNMENT NEWSLETTER “…how is it that ye do not discern this time?” Luke 12:56
Volume 18, Number 1)
In love and tribute to one of my most highly respected teachers:
Opal Reddin’s pursuit of higher education continued her entire life. Having obtained her teaching license in 1936, she attended Arkansas Tech College from 1937-38, and taught grades 1-3 at Pleasant View from 1938-41, before attending Central Bible College in the fall of 1941. She received her B.A. in education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1965, her M.A. in English at Southwestern Missouri State University in 1969, a second M.A. in biblical studies in 1977 and a Master of Divinity from Assembly of God Theological Seminary in 1980. She received a doctorate in ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1985. Opal joined the faculty of Central Bible College in Springfield in 1968, where she remained for 24 years. She retired from CBC having taught more than 15,000 students as they followed their callings into the ministry and onto the mission field. Opal traveled for many years in ministry across the United States and overseas in the Philippines, Russia, Bulgaria and Ukraine. While dedicating her life to the education of ministers and missionaries, she also authored several books and publications.
Opal was widely honored. She was named to the Who’s Who in American College and Universities (UALR and AGTS); the Directory of Distinguished Americans in Biblical Education; as Distinguished Educator in the AG, Delta Alpha; as CBC Professor Emeritus in Biblical Studies; and to the World-Who’s Who in Religious Education. She was honored with the Opal L. Reddin Distinguished Chair of Pentecostal Truth in 1999 and with the Opal Reddin Biblical Research Library in Connecticut in 2005. (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/64284158/opal-laurene-reddin)
(In the beginning, before ever I knew who I was really carrying on an email conversation with, she simply signed her name “Opal.” Later, when I discovered who she really was, I attempted to change that to “Dr. Reddin.” She would have none of it. Always she remained just Opal, always willing to take time to answer all my Biblical inquiries. She will be one I long to see on “that glorious day” ). It is both humbling and an honor for me to be allowed to have her as a guest on this blog. Maranatha, Lord Jesus, Maranatha
Credits: Image https://goo.gl/images/mHk1aa