By definition, a forerunner is “a person or thing that precedes the coming or development of someone or something else.” That someone is Jesus and the something is Christ’s coming and the events that surround it. Obviously, the concept may be used in a broader application but I want to focus on the idea of being a forerunner for Jesus.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to John’s father Zacharias, he called John a forerunner who would go on ahead of the Lord.
“And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him (Luke 1:16-17)”
Forerunners are those that prepare the way for the Lord’s coming. They will do so by the lifestyles they live, choosing to develop systems and habits that support the lifestyle and the message of Jesus. They will live with an awareness that the Lord is coming back soon, knowing that the greatest difficulties the world has ever known are still ahead along with the greatest revival in human history. Jesus wants His Church to be ready for what is coming and He has a plan to prepare His forerunners.
Forerunners From Past Generations
If we are called to be forerunners then we need to look at some examples of forerunners from past generations that preceded us.
Those Who Restored the Tabernacle
These are the people who, throughout Israel’s history, re-established the Tabernacle of worship ordered by King David.
“He stationed the Levites in the temple of the LORD with cymbals, harps and lyres in the way prescribed by David and Gad the king’s seer and Nathan the prophet; this was commanded by the LORD through his prophets (2 Chronicles 29:25).”
Daniel’s Wise Ones
These are the wise ones that the Prophet Daniel spoke of, those who would have clarity to instruct many in the midst of the difficult day.
“Those who are wise will instruct many…be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time (Daniel 12:33-35).”
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge (Da. 12:3-4).”
Peter’s Self-Controlled Intercessors
Peter exhorted us to be people who were aware of the End Times and to prepare accordingly. This, at it’s core, must be lifestyles of prayer.
“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray (1 Peter 4:7).”
The Joel 2 Assembly
The sins of our nation (abortions, sexual immorality, greed, etc.) warrant God’s judgments, but, when we pray and fast, God relents from sending calamity when His people gather and pray.
“The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart…Return to the LORD your God… he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing— (Joel 2:11-14).”
Those Found Praying When He Comes
We seek to position ourselves as a community to be the faithful ones found praying when Jesus returns.
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up…And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth (Luke 18:1, 7-8)?”
The Forerunner Lifestyle: Sermon on the Mount Christianity
The core values of the Kingdom
The Sermon on the Mount has been called the “constitution of God’s Kingdom.” Forerunners measure their ministry impact not by attendance or bank accounts but by how much people seek to walk out the Sermon on the Mount values. These values must become the themes that we emphasize most in our ministries. We must embrace God’s standards for evaluating our success.
The Call and Process
They define love, godliness and spiritual maturity that pleases God and describe the core reality of God’s Kingdom.
Matthew 5-7 describes the process of maturity that leads to freedom for the heart. He did not intend to give a comprehensive teaching on the path to freedom. Instead, He focused on the need to make quality decisions to nurture our heart. He ends this section by telling us that a wise man builds his life and ministry on His teachings.
“Whoever hears these sayings of Mine (Sermon on the Mount), and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall (Matthew 7:24-27).”
Lifestyle of obedience
Jesus’ called us to pursue a lifestyle of obedience that seeks to be perfect and to become mature in obedience. We are to walk in the fullness of the light that we receive from the Spirit. This includes declaring war on all our lust that the Spirit reveals.
“You shall be perfect (walk in all the light you receive) as your Father…is perfect. (Matthew 5:48).”
Before You Go
I don’t usually leave you with a challenge, but I want this topic to grab you! So, my challenge is for you to go and spend some time reading the scriptures above and pray and/or journal about them. Then come back here and leave a thought or 2 in the comments below. And, as always, thanks for stopping by and sharing!