The Mind That Knows The Lord is At Hand
There are many characteristics that seem to go hand in hand with the bible’s frequent employment of the imminent return of Jesus, that time when he will come again to receive us to himself, that, where he is there shall we be also.
One of the most evident descriptions in the bible respecting this event, is related to the state of the mind of those that know the Lord is at hand.
The frequency of joy related to that event as well as the natural accompaniment of comfort that comes from this joy seems to be the greatest unattested distinction between what we see as the Rapture of the Church and the time of Gods wrath.
Its still incredible to me how on earth anyone can make the claim that sees the Church go through a time so terrible that no time before or after can compare to it, and willfully ignore the context of joy, hope and comfort that accompanies even the subtle hints of the Lords coming FOR his Church.
Rejoice and Be Self Controlled; The Lord is at Hand.
4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Two verses not accidently interlinked.
We indeed have Joy in the Lord, we rejoice for our common salvation, but knowing the Lord is at hand, in this passage, has not the slightest hint of fear or trepidation, quite on the contrary, it tells us what our state of mind ought to be like as we wait his return.
Think for one moment of our lives today compare to what it was;
How different our lives are today to what they once were. How wonderful it is to have total confidence in the Lord who died that we might not only have life, but “have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). What change has God wrought in our lives that can turn us “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to unto God” (Acts 26:18).
From the chasing of life and peace in this world, to already having it presently abiding in us through the Lord.
Never had I thought that by having peace with God I would also have peace even in this life. Not a peace that is without trouble or difficulties, but a peace in SPITE of the trouble and difficulties, a peace that passes understanding, a peace that rejoices in the hope that is before me, and ONLY because of the peace being made between myself personally and God.
Turn to Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
In this we rejoice in the Lord, and it is first and foremost because we have now peace with God.
But Paul speaks more to this, he speaks of rejoicing always; 4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Is it possible to rejoice in the Lord always?
What if we are in troubles in this life? Jesus did say that in the world we will have tribulation (Jn 16:33) didn’t he? Can we then possibly “be of good cheer” if in this world we are going to have tribulation?
Is this the same tribulations spoken of respecting that day of wrath? Clearly not. These troubles are the standard fair of life we all endure from time to time.
Yet our Romans 5 passage makes it clear that, unlike the world that is confounded by all that is going on in the world, we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
The end purpose of these tribulations are growth and maturity, the end goal of THE DAY OF WRATH is Judgement.
Now I am to Rejoice in the Lord Alway
The shortest verse in the Bible in English is ….. “Jesus wept” (Jn 11:35), would you like to know what the shortest verse in the Bible was originally?
When it was first written in the Greek language, the shortest verse in the Bible is found in 1 Thess 5.
Turn to it and consider the context, Chapter four speaks to the imminent Rapture of the Church, chapter five speaks to the day of Wrath and tells the Church specifically “for God hath not appointed us to wrath” (v9), then it speaks to “comfort” and “edify” each other in verse 11, teaching us how to live in this present time to verse 15 and verse 16 is found the shortest verse in the Greek New Testament;
“Rejoice Evermore” 1 Thess 5:16
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Rejoice because The Lord is At Hand
Rejoice because you have peace with God
Rejoice even in the daily troubles of life, “rejoice evermore”.
PAUL IN PRISON
The Philippians knew the state of Paul when he wrote this letter to the Churches and perhaps they might have taken it that much more seriously than we do today.
Knowing that he was in prison, with all earthly possessions removed, gives a certain level of appreciation for those of us who have our comforts and joys wrapped a little too tightly with this life’s goods.
Paul did not have a burden of earthly riches, he was free from the shackle’s of this worlds freedom, he was well and truly liberated from the enjoyments of the privileges of this life that can be here today and gone tomorrow, but “having food and raiment” he was “therewith content” (1 Tim 6:8).
In prison he wrote, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil 4:11)
4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men.The Lord is at hand.
‘Rejoice and Be Self Controlled: The Lord is At hand’
Knowing the Lord is at hand, knowing that he is even at the door should in every way provide for us a level of evident self-control, patience, gentleness or, as the text states perfectly ‘Moderation”.
Turn to 1 Cor 9:25-27
“25aAnd every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.
To be “temperate” is the earthly quality of those who seek to be professional in their endeavors, it’s a sign of maturity.
25b Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Paul writes of self-control and works to maintain it, he resists the temptation to run away with his emotion, he desires moderation to be the evident display to all men, why?
lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway
We ruin our witness to others if we are seen to be AS OTHERS.
The saddest element in the Church that will be seen in the last days are men without self-control. These are described as “lovers of their own selves, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God” “covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce” (2 Tim 3:2-3).
“incontinent” here referring simply to a lack of self-control. Peter refers to these as simply “walking after their own lusts” (2 Pet 3:3). They have no self control, they are the opposite of moderate, temperate etc.
Paul writing to Titus to teach Christians;
“To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men” (Tit 3:2)
It is this gentleness and temperance that Paul is encouraging in our Philippians passage.
Should it not be this way if we are rejoicing always?
The Mind that knows the Lord is at hand, with all confidence and all assurance, should not be one that is prone to bouts of extremities of emotion, or without control of behavior.
There should be in us all, hearts and minds that are at a wonderful rest and comfort, not fearful of the days ahead, but showing ourselves moderate to all men. Not triggered so quickly by the current affairs of the world.
Beloved, the birth pangs of this world should only encourage you that it will be soon delivered. If it removes from you the will to obey the command to “Rejoice alway” knowing the Lord is At Hand, then repent!
When we have a mind that knows the Lord is at hand, we rejoice always and live lives of moderation and rest.
Rest and Be Confident; The Lord is at Hand
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
“Careful” is a wonderful example of the Bibles use of compound words. One of the great studies in the scriptures are compound words, two words joined together to form a new word that has within it the meaning of both, ‘careful’ is just such a word.
Turn to Luke 10
Jesus is in the home of Mary and Martha, Martha, the text says, was “cumbered about much serving” (v40), while Mary was at Jesus feet. Martha requests from the Lord that Mary help her and Jesus responded in v 41
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41)
Here we have a context for the word Careful, it is not one that relates to “taking care”, but is associated with trouble ‘about many things’ it’s About being ‘full of care”.
Simply put, it is about ‘worry’.
The Mind That Knows The Lord is At Hand is one that is “careful for nothing” and I truly believe he means this literally.
There should literally be no worries or fears filling the minds of those who KnowThe Lord is At Hand, but that they should rest in him and trust him.
That is The Mind That Knows The Lord Is At Hand
“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Ps 37:25)
We are not to be full of care regarding the circumstances of our lives, nor of the events going on in the world that might affect our lives tomorrow.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matt 6:34)
Turn in your bibles to Daniel 3.
An event occurred in the kingdom of Judah that completely upturned the lives of all its citizens. A King came and took the vast majority of the entire population away with him to Babylon. He changed their homes, their food, their education and even their names, added to this was his desire to change the object of their worship.
In Daniel 3 the friends of Daniel are brought before the King, for he had been told that they were unwilling to prostrate themselves and worship his golden image that he set up.
We take up our consideration from verse 13;
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Dan 3:13-18)
There was no fear nor worry in the minds of these men, they had considered this already, they heard of the decree by the kind before and had already determined that they would not obey this command, they worshipped God and him to the exclusion of all others and they worried not even for the state of their own lives;
17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
They know the Lord and were completely at rest even to death if it was required of them.
They were as Job who said “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (Job 13:15)
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
This then truly is the Mind That Knows The Lord is At Hand;
We are to be “careful”, full of care for nothing, not even our own lives, yet in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
This is the wonderful and joyful confidence we are to have in the Lord.
- Rejoicing always
- Without worry,
- without fear,
- living in moderation and gentleness to all people,
- by prayer making our requests known to God with thanksgiving.
Who is it that can ever have such confidence?
Who is it that can stand before a King, who has the power of life and death in his own hands, but trust in the Lord regardless of the outcome?
Beloved, consider Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego for a moment. Consider the nations that served the King of Babylon that were of all the nations and gods of all the world at the time.
Do you think they all wanted to fall down and worship the golden image?
Do you think the command to do so forced by pain of death, was to be a voluntary thing?
There are people I know TODAY who have succumbed to doing things AGAINST THEIR WILL simply for fear of losing their jobs; how willingly will they bow the knee to a false image for fear of losing their lives?
Only those who know the Lord can have both rest and confidence, to be “careful for nothing” but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
This is the mind that rejoices always,
This is the life that is seen to be temperate, gentle, moderate in all things.
This is the mind that is free from worry, “careful for nothing”
In the place of anxieties, we, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our request made known unto God.
This is the mind that knows the Lord is at hand.
Trust and Be Assured; The Lord is At Hand
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
There are many people troubled today just as there has been in years gone by. There are times when fears abound in life for the troubles that may come and just the thought of it can overwhelm people.
It was not long ago, possibly only a year or so ago, and it was one of the very rare things that I don’t even recall sharing with my wife, that I began to suffer some anxiety about life.
My peace was gone from me for a short time.
Every now and again I felt a fear that, the longer I live the greater the chance will be that a calamity may come that threatens to overwhelm me.
I have a wife that I love, children that I adore, parents and brethren very dear to me.
And I feared grief and it threatened to overwhelm me. It was knowing that the longer I lived the greater chance I would experience it and it overtook my heart.
The fear I had was rational but irrational because it quite literally gripped me and made me feel quite terrified. What I was experiencing was the onset of an anxiety attack.
I am not sure what it was that brought it on, but I turned back to my Bible and it left me as quickly as it came, but it lasted several days off and on.
There is a peace provided by the Lord that passes all understanding that can keeps our hearts and minds through Christ.
The world DOES NOT HAVE THIS, and MANY remain overwhelmed. The only prescription offered is drugs in ALL ITS FORMS.
- 1/3 of American Employees suffer with cronic debilitating stress, more than half the millennial population suffer with it (18-33) to the point of sleeplessness and depression. 
- The National Center for Health Statistics report in 2011 states that 11% of all American aged 12 + take anti-depressants. 
- Almost ¼ of women aged 40s & 50s are clinically depressed and on anti depressants
- Recent study (2017) 60 million adults (28%) suffer with alcoholism. 
- 24 million on other illicit drugs such as Marijuana, cocaine, heroin, meth etc
- 2013 Nation Survey on Drug use reports that a further 24 million people using Illicit Drugs.
Friends when you all all those on anti depressants, stimulants and those that are addicted to Alchohol and Illicit Drugs you are speaking about well over 100 MILLION people.
AMERICANS DEPENDANT ON TOXIC SUBSTNACES TO GET THROUGH LIFE, that is 1/3 of their entire population.
Add to this is the number of men, women and children addicted to Pornography
85% Young Men and over 50% women addicted to Pornography.
But this is not limited to America, the problems are worse in Europe.
A study in 2011 showed 38% of Europeans suffering mental illness of one form or another. The studies author said “”Mental disorders have become Europe’s largest health challenge of the 21st century,” The study covered 30 countries and over 514 million people. 165 Million people in Europe suffering with mental disorders.
The World Health Organisation said that Depression alone will be the second largest contributor to the Global Burden of Disease across all ages.
Does it mean WE DON’T HAVE PROBLEMS?
No. But we deal with it patiently waiting for our Lord.
Turn to James 5:7
7 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. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. 10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11 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. James 5:7-11
To the Mind that Knows the Lord is At Hand there is a peace that passes all understanding, there is a keeping of the heart like an anchor to the soul that enables us to live lives in patience even though at times we endure suffering;
The Mind That Knows The Lord is At Hand
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phil 4:4-8
There is a natural tendency of the mind to wander toward those things that are not edifying nor encouraging even when we have no external influences. When we think we are thinking about nothing, we are indeed thinking on something and, more often than not, without the influence of the word of God to redirect our minds, we are thinking on something that is impure, spiteful, sinful and condemning of others.
This is in a purely natural state of the mind that has the tendency of the natural world to decay from order to disorder and can eventually lead to our temporal ruin.
We see the natural fallen tendency in Romans 1 and we need to take great care to fill our minds with the things of the Lord lest we succumb to that vacuum.
Take great care beloved of the things that you permit to enter your minds.
Take care what you see
Take care what you hear
Take care of what you are thinking on that is lines itself well to that noted by Paul.
Keith Richards is the old lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones (who seems to defy gravity at 78 years of age).
In an interview he once acknowledged the permanent effect of music saying, “once it goes into your ears, there is nothing you can do about it”.
He was referring to its effect on your life.
Beloved YOU HAVE THE CONTROL ON THIS.
YOU HAVE THE ON/OFF SWITCH
YOU CAN TURN YOUR NOTIFICATIONS “OFF”.
YOU CAN DELETE APPS
YOU CAN TURN OFF THE TIME VAPORISOR
Each time you switch on entertainments you should here a great sucking sound as your mind is drawn into its vacuum and it does its will with you.
Those of you who think you are only watching news and being informed, CHRISTIAN OR SECULAR; NO YOU ARE NOT.
YOU are being CONFORMED
You are the advertising material for huge corporations and the ONLY material you will see are those that will drive you in one direction or another. You are being manipulated.
In place of this Paul writes to ensure we tend our minds actively to whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
There are far too many people who tend toward the opposite of these things, the result of which can be devastating to the encouragements of the heart, the joy of the spirit, the confidence of the life and the peace of the soul.
Paul writes of the conclusion of the matter and all of this on the back of our knowledge that the Lord is at hand.
This is the mind that knows the Lord is at hand.
This is the state of the mind that knows in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 1 Cor 1:5-7
We are enriched by him and have need of nothing, we come behind in no gift as we wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The first century Church had their dominating consideration on the Imminent return of the Lord, we see this as we read the concerns of Paul to them in both of the letters to the Church of Thessalonica.
This passage to the Corinthians, opens Paul’s account to them for the encouragements that come in “waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 1:7).
There is no point filling our minds about the madness of the world, or filling our hearts with the anxieties of the world, we are to demonstrate to the world HOPE.
Turn to 1 Pet 3:15
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:
How can you do this if what dominates your day are the godless motions of a sinking world?
the ‘dishonest, the unjust, the impure the disgusting, whatsoever things are of evil report, if there be any sin and if there be any disdain should not compete against
whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise.
If these are the things that you spend most of your time permitting to filter into your minds, how on earth are you going to be thinking of those things you are commanded?
How long will you sin in this manner?
Beloved, I am speaking to you as a man who spent the better half of twenty years in just such a place. I watched the sinking of this world so much more than I watched for the glorious appearing of my Lord.
I had a mind that knew the world was at an end rather than a mind that Knows the Lord is at hand.
And I lacked those wonderful elements noted in this Philippian letter.
4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
You cannot even begin to Rejoice in the Lord if you are still lost.
A / B / C Salvation.
If you are saved, than Paul reminds you from doors of his prison cell that your rejoicing has its source in a mind that knows the Lord is at hand.
To you who know Christ;
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phil 4:4-8)
You already have the victory, you are more than conquerors, the battle has been won for you and you rest in the glory of the coming of the Lord!