PASTOR COLUMN - What if you knew the world would end in 2012?

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What would you do this year if you know the world really were coming to an end in 2012?

Well, as Christians, we'd need to focus in on Jesus more than ever, and on faithfully preaching His gospel.

That's what Christians should be doing every year, by the way, but with ever greater fervency and ever-increasing and deepening faith, hope and love.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news, the kind the people around us really need to hear.

We Christians need to hear it again, too, and to live it out better than we do.

Christians must focus on actively and daily engaging as individuals with Jesus, with each other, and also in the world.

In 2011, we Christians must become radically connected to Jesus, to each other, and radically committed to doing what God has called us to do.

He's called us to be His disciples - which means, to be like Him in this world - and also, to be disciple-makers.

We do this best by demonstrating His character and nature by loving one another, and by loving the world, as He does.

Local pastors must come together in unity, supporting each other with prayer and fellowship. So should their congregations.

After all, if we can't get along together, why would people ever want to know our God?

As individuals and together, we Christians need to guard our own hearts, and to be faithful to pray, for each other, for our pastors and leaders, for other churches in our communities, for our nation and for the world.

We must be responsible and take action, too, by engaging in our communities and in politics.

God is faithful, and He wants to bless us, our families, our communities and our nation, but we limit our ability to receive those blessings if we're unfaithful to Him.

Old Testament Bible stories warn us that when a nation turns away from God and His ways, Satan is easily able to bring destruction upon it.

It's only too evident that in these days, in our time, our nation is at risk of such destruction. So 2012 and what it symbolizes may be closer than we think.

So, Christians, guard you hearts, and watch and pray. The time is short, and the enemy knows it - but Jesus is more than enough to meet the challenge.

The Rev. Tim Bruner is pastor of New Beginnings Chapel, 822 W. Main St. Contact him at 509-527-3385. Pastors in the U-B circulation area who want to write a column should contact Catherine Hicks at 509-526-8312, or by e-mail at catherinehicks@wwub.com.

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