“I fear that Christians that stand with only one leg on the earth, also stand with only one leg in heaven.
In the early nineteenth century a group of Christians known as the Millerites, were convinced that the world would come to an end on October 22, 1844. So, they divested themselves of all their assets, and as the date approached, they went up on a hillside to await the end. A contemporary writer of the day wrote, “fields were left unharvested, shops were closed, people quit their jobs, paid their debts, and freely gave away their possessions with no thought of repayment.” I find two major flaws with their thinking. First, and most obviously, the world did not come to an end on the assigned date. The second flaw in thinking stems around the question, ‘why go up on a hillside and wait?’ Of course, we know we are not of this world (John 17: 16), but while we are here, we have work to do. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a preacher during the 1930’s and 1940’s in Nazi Germany. He worked very hard in opposition to the Nazi despite the inherent risks. In fact, he was finally executed by the Nazi’s on April 9, 1945. He wrote, “I fear that Christians that stand with only one leg on the earth, also stand with only one leg in heaven”.
I’m sure there are Christians today who look at the world around us and want to throw up their arms in disgust, and go sit on a hillside and wait for the end. I don’t think that is what the Bible teaches. Jesus said, “but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matt. 24: 13) The Apostle Paul compares our time on this earth to a race. We can find many verses where Paul tells us to run the good race to the end. I don’t know of any verse that says we should coast the last one hundred yards! I have a grandson who runs cross country, and I have seen him race. He runs hard, and doesn’t give up until he crosses that finish line. We need to be about God’s work to the end, and be a light for the world to the end. In Paul’s letter to Titus, he wrote, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authority, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” (Titus 3: 1-2) Let me leave you with a quote from our family doctor. I have gone to him for over forty years, and almost every time I leave him he says, “hang in there”.
About The Author
Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Dan is a graduate of Otterbein College (now University). He graduated with a degree in education. From time to time Dan still substitute teaches. His interest in history led him to investigate the historical accuracy of the Bible. This, in turn, led to a full investigation of Apologetics.