...I wrought for my name's sake...
Ezekiel 20:9 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.
Ezekiel 20:14 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.
Ezekiel 20:22 Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.
The Lord states that He chastised the nation of Israel for His name's sake. The fourth time this phrase is used is very encouraging though:
Ezekiel 20:41-44 I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
When the nation of Israel repents of their sins and turns back to the Lord, He declares that He will work with them for His name's sake - not according to their sins, not according to their wicked ways or corrupt doings - but according to His mercy and grace.
That is great news for believers! When we realize we have done wrong, repent and turn back to the Lord, He offers to us that same mercy and grace today. If He dealt with us according to our sins, none of us could stand or have a hope - but when He works in our lives and within us for His name's sake, there is a new beginning and a confident expectation of what He has in store for us.
A related New Testament verse that comes to mind is:
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Doing a Bible search for the specific phrase, "name's sake", reveals many things that the Lord has promised to do for His children because of His name's sake:
1) Not forsake us, nor break His covenant with us:
1 Samuel 12:22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.
Jeremiah 14:7-9 O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee. O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night? Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save? yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not.
Jeremiah 14:20-21 We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee. Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.
Through our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ - and the salvation He provides through His death, burial and physical resurrection - the covenant that the Lord has made with believers is an everlasting covenant!
Hebrews 13:20-21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Answer the proselyte's (convert's) prayers:
1 Kings 8:41-43 Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name's sake; (For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house; Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.
2 Chronicles 6:32-33 Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name's sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house; Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.
Matthew 18:18-20 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
What a wonderful promise of the Lord's presence when believers are gathered together in fellowship and prayer!
Six times the Gospel of John speaks of the Lord answering His children's prayers that are done in Jesus' name. When our prayers are for His kingdom and His glory, asked according to His will, then He will hear and answer our requests:
John 14:13-14 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
John 16:23-27 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
3) Lead and guide us:
Psalms 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Psalms 31:3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
For a look at the Hebrew words for "rock" and "fortress" used in Psalm 31:3, see this study: Eight Reasons David Loved The Lord.
The word used for "leadeth" in Psalm 23:3 and "guide" in Psalm 31:3 is Strong's #5095, and means: "a primitive root; properly, to run with a sparkle, i.e. flow; hence (transitively), to conduct, and (by inference) to protect, sustain."
That is a neat definition. This Hebrew word is used only 10 times in the Bible. Two of the references are above, and it is also used negatively in Isaiah 51:18. Read these seven other verses, and see if you are not blessed by the Lord's promises to lead and guide you (the bolded words are how this Hebrew word is translated into English in each verse. NOTE: some of these verses are referring to others leading or guiding - but I wanted to show how this word is used in the Bible):
Genesis 33:14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
Genesis 47:17 And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.
Exodus 15:13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.
2 Chronicles 28:15 And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria.
2 Chronicles 32:22 Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side.
Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
Isaiah 49:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
If you are a child of God, trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, He has promised to gently lead you on in the ways He would have you go. As a Shepherd watching over His sheep, He is also protecting and sustaining them. Are you following your Shepherd?
4) Forgive our sins:
Psalms 25:11 For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
Psalms 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.
1 John 2:12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.
The Lord has many names in the Bible - each one relevant to the situations and needs each of His children face in life - but the most important one is the name Jesus. Jesus means "The Lord is salvation." It is in His name that we can be saved - His name represents all that He is: our Saviour!
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
5) Deliver us (whether from our sins or our troubles):
Psalms 106:8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.
Psalms 109:21 But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.
The word for deliver in the above verse means: "to snatch away." The Lord will pluck His children out of the nets the wicked have cast for them, He will snatch them away from the snare of the fowlers (including the snares that Satan would have us fall into!), and one day soon He will snatch us away out of this weary world and take us home to be with Him forevermore!
Psalms 124:7-8 Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The word rapture (of which this passage is referring to) is the Latin equivalent of the phrase "caught up together." One day the Lord will catch up all church age believers together - both those that are still living and those that have already died, and take us all home to be with Him in Heaven.
Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
6) Quicken us:
Psalms 143:11 Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble.
There will be times in the believer's life where he will be at a low point spiritually - perhaps times of discouragement or depression, or times of fiery trials or distress. We need to remember at those times that it is the Lord Himself that can quicken us through His Word and His indwelling Holy Spirit. He is the one that can revive us and strengthen our fainting hearts.
Psalms 119:25 My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.
Psalms 119:107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.
Psalms 119:154 Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.
7) Defer His anger:
Isaiah 48:9 For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.
Not much I can add to this, except to rejoice in the fact that our Saviour has already borne the wrath that our sins deserve - and because of that, those who have trusted in Christ will never need to face God's righteous, holy anger against sin. Yes, we will face chastisement from our Heavenly Father (this correction is lovingly given to His children when they are in need of it), but never His wrath.
8) Sanctify His holy name:
Ezekiel 36:21-23 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
When we are running away from the Lord, verses like this will probably cause us fear or dread - but when we have a desire to draw even closer to Him, the fact that He is willing to do whatever it takes to remove sin from our lives, and to make us holy - so that His name is set apart and glorified in our lives - is actually a tremendous comfort. God will finish the work He has begun in us - including the work of making us holy and more like Him.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Romans 8:28-29 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
A) Bear reproach, hatred, suffering:
Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Luke 21:12-18 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
John 15:18-21 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
Acts 9:15-16 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
Being faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God will involve some level of persecution and suffering, but there is a reward to those believers who keep their eyes on the Saviour and do His will.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
1 Peter 3:14-16 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
B) Forsake all else to follow Jesus Christ:
Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Mark 8:35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
Mark 10:29-30 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
Luke 18:29-30 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
Discipleship does have a cost, but it comes with many blessings, both in this life and in the next. Are you living for the sake of the kingdom of God and for the sake of your Saviour, or are you living for yourself? These promises are for those who live for the Lord - who find their life in Him. Who are you living for? Are you living by faith or by sight - are you living for what is temporal or for what is eternal?
James 4:13-15 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Colossians 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
C) Serve and minister to others:
3 John 1:5-8 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.
There is a reward for all that is done in the name of the Lord.
Matthew 18:5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Mark 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
Our Heavenly Father does not forget the work that we do in service to Him:
Hebrews 6:9-12 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
D) Labour and persevere in our walks with the Lord:
Revelation 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
They had borne (#941 – endured), and had patience (#5281 – perseverance), and laboured (#2872 - to feel fatigue; by implication, to work hard; toil) for Christ’s name's sake. And they had not fainted (#2577 – become weary).
Our salvation is not dependant upon how well we persevere in the Christian life. The Lord has promised to keep us by His power:
1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
True believers will persevere (overall - we have victory in Christ over the world, the flesh/sin, and the devil), because the Word of God has taken root in their souls, and the Holy Spirit has regenerated them and is working within them:
Luke 8:11-15 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
There are also various passages and promises that refer to those Christians that do persevere and endure trials for His name's sake:
Romans 8:24-25 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Colossians 1:9-11 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
1 Timothy 6:11-12 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
2 Timothy 3:10-11 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
Hebrews 10:35-37 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Though we are more than conquerors through Christ, though we do have the victory through Him by faith, our victory and perseverance is to be an active one, not passive. That steadfastness and faithful patience will be rewarded when our Lord comes again.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
James 5:7-11 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
2 Peter 1:5-8 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For an indepth look at the above passage, see my study called: Precious And Growing Faith.
I love this promise in the book of Revelation - the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ to rapture His bride before He pours out His wrath on this unbelieving world:
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
I believe the Lord's return is soon - definitely in my lifetime (Lord willing), as there are too many things falling into place for me to believe that Jesus might not come back before too long. The greatest factors for my belief are the return of the nation of Israel back to their land and their becoming a nation again after over 1800 years, and the apostasy of the church in this Laodicean age. But I don't base my faith on my understanding of endtime events, but on His promises - we need to live with the anticipation that He is coming soon. Whether we are alive and remain or have already fallen asleep in Jesus before this point, we will still be caught up together with the Lord in the clouds, to be with Him forever.
As this world gets darker and darker around us, and we get closer to the day of Jesus' return, let us keep serving the Lord faithfully and winning the lost, for His name's sake. We have this promise:
Isaiah 66:2b, 5 ...but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word... Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.