Are You Ready for Christ’s Return!!
aymon de albatrus
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Mat 24:30-31 AV)
“Because the Lord Himself shall come down from Heaven with a commanding shout of an archangel’s voice, and with God’s trumpet. And the dead in Christ will rise again first.” (1Th 4:16 LIT)“
“Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.” (1Pe 4:5 AV)
The Lord’s return (second coming) will NOT be secret or silent, and from that we know for sure that Jesus Christ has not returned as yet, for the “day of the Lord” will be heralded with a great shout to be heard all over the earth by the powerful voice of the archangel together with the great sound of a trumpet and His overpowering effulgence seen by all. “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him …...” (Rev 1:7 AV) It will be a visible public happening leaving no one in doubt that the Lord of lords has arrived, leaving no one with any excuses that they will have to render an account to Him of their lives.
That day of the Lord; of the Lord Jesus Christ, when He will show Himself to be King of kings, and Lord of lords and the Judge of the whole earth; the day of the Son of man, and the day of Yahweh, for Christ will appear then most gloriously, both in His divine and human nature. The day of redemption, that is, of the body from the grave, and from corruption and mortality; and the last day in which will be the resurrection of the dead and the day of judgment in which Christ will come to judge the quick and the dead. Amen
The day of His return is not known and will not be known till it comes, for He will come suddenly like a thief in the night (1Th 5:2). Many have predicted that day, but all of them have been wrong. Some have taken this verse to mean that the Lord will come when Jerusalem if freed from the Gentiles “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luk 21:24 AV) And to give a date they have coupled it with: “Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.” (Mar 13:30 AV) and by taking that generation to be 40 years they calculated that as Jerusalem was taken by the Israeli during the 1967 war, adding 40 years to it, they guessed that the Lord would return in 2007, which of course He did not.
But there is another factor to consider and that is when the Israeli soldiers captured Jerusalem (to their surprise) incredibly the most important part of Jerusalem, the Temple Mound, was promptly returned to the Islamic (gentiles) and thus we can infer that in effect Jerusalem is still under the gentiles. Therefore the count is still out of synch. Indeed Scripture clearly state that the day of the Lord’s return, no one knows, but Yahweh: “But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mar 13:32 AV)
Clearly no one knows, or will ever know before hand the day of the Lord’s second coming, which implies that every day is a good day for His return and consequently we ought to be ready for Him EVERY day.
Of course there are various prophecies that still need to be fulfilled before His coming such as those our Lord enunciated in Matthew’s twenty-fourth chapter in responding the Disciples’ question: "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" :
"Take heed that no man lead you astray. For many shall come in My name saying, 'I am Christ'; and shall lead man astray." That is, many false Christs will come. This we've already seen throughout the history of the Church: those who have risen up against the Church, those who have pretended to be God, even pretending to be Christ.
"Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled, for these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." Of course, from the very beginning of the Christian era there have been wars and rumours of wars, and even more so in our time but even more before His coming for He says, "All these things are the beginning of tribulation."
Then comes the next sign, which are persecutions. "Then shall they deliver you up unto tribulation, and shall kill you, and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name's sake." So, first we have false Christs, then wars, rumours of wars, famines, earthquakes, persecutions which will bring about a very important sign for our times concerning the growing cold of love: "Because iniquity shall be multiplied, the love of many shall wax cold." This is the most deadly of all the signs, because the distinctive sign of Christians is that they have love for each other. When this love grows cold, this means that even the Christians are beginning to lose Christianity.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come… For men shall be lovers of their own selves, … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God”. Nearing the time of the “day of the Lord” there will be a great fall away of people from religion reversing themselves in the pleasures of the flesh, as we see so plainly even in our own times. Indeed the love for Yahweh is also fast dwindling even in our time as people leave the western church in droves for the distractions of the world.
"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nation, and then shall the end come." This sign of the Gospel being preached unto all the nations we see about us now. The Gospel itself is produced in hundreds of languages now to almost all the tribes of the earth.
Then we have the manifestation of that man of perdition, the anti-Christ. Our Lord speaks concerning the abomination of desolation which is spoken of by Daniel the prophet. "When you see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place " . It is concerned, presumedly, with the Temple in Jerusalem and some kind of desecration of it. The manifestation of this last antichrist will be a very clear sign of the end (1Jo 2:18).
"Then shall be great tribulation such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall be." That is, it will be the worst and most difficult time of suffering in the whole history of the world. If you read about what happened to the Jews when Jerusalem was taken after the death of Christ, you will find that such suffering as went on then was unparalleled and terrible cruel. In other places there has been almost as much suffering. And yet the great tribulation at the very end will be much worse. Of course, it will be worldwide involving everyone, not just one people, and will be "such tribulation that the world has never seen."
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." Such an event, of course, has never been before, and this obviously refers to the time just at the end of the world, when the whole of creation prepares to be annihilated in order to be refashioned.
Finally, the coming of the Lord: "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven," that is, we presume to be the sign of the Cross will appear in the sky. "And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." That is, the very coming of Christ shall be in the heaven full of His effulgent glory, to judge the quick and the dead. Many of these sign are already present in the world, but we cannot say that this is the sure time of the return of the Lord, for only Yahweh knows the day and hour thereof, but the time seems to be near.
Therefore let us heed to our Lord’s stern warning: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luk 21:36 AV) and fervently exhorting us to be vigilant: “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” (Luk 12:40 AV)
So, how to be ready for Christ’s return, anytime and always to be prepared?
Be in a continuous repentant state: “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Rev 3:3 AV). Repentance means to be fully aware of our constant sinning, continually asking our Lord to forgive us and to blot out our many transgressions. (Heb 7:25)
Be perfect and holy bringing glory to Yahweh: In the flesh it is impossible to live a sinless life for we sin in many ways often enough, but Yahweh has provided Christ as our marvellous propitiator (1Ti 2:5). If it were possible for us to live a sinless life, that would not bring glory to Yahweh for we would have done that in our own strength and so we can boast about that Eph 2:8. So by ‘perfect’ we understand a life totally dependent in the Grace of Yahweh under His merciful forgiveness for our sins, freely granted to His elect that are constantly repentant and much grateful in Christ Jesus.
Be living a godly life: That is, avoid living a careless disordered life but to be ready in living a life of purity and service, witnessing and winning the lost, every day. Our meat should be to live a life that brings glory only to Yahweh, in everything we do (1Co 10:31; Col 3:17,23).
Be thankful: Be exceedingly grateful to the Lord for all He has done for you, especially for dying on the cross in your stead and having saved you from the fires and pains of Hell and having made us partakers of His marvellous glory (Eph 5:20; Col 1:12).
Be witnessing Christ in season and out of season: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mar 16:15 AV). We witness (proclaim) of Christ to a dying world firstly in obedience to His command and secondly because we wish that many of our human race may receive our same Grace ad be saved.
Be generous: In giving of your possession and of yourself, for all you have you have received from the Lord (even your life) and it is not yours to glory in it 1Co 4:7. In this we demonstrate our dependence to Him and testify of His bountiful blessings we have received, besides the Lord loves a cheerful giver (2Co 9:7) but He hates a miser.
Be praying and watchful: “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” (1Ti 2:8 AV). The only channel of communication we have with the Lord is through prayer and prayer brings glory to Yahweh for it is our humble admission of total dependence on Him, recognising who He is. Prayer is also a strong injection of spiritual power for us to go on with the difficult life in this valley of tears. The more we pray the more we are ready to face this evil world and strong enough to avoid the many sins our flesh is prone to fall in it. (Heb 12:1) The word 'watch' means to be alert, be on your guard, and be found ever ready for Christ's coming, do not be found unprepared like the foolish virgins.(Mat 25:6-13).
In conclusion, since we know not that day and the hour of the Lord’s coming it behoves us to be continually in order with Him by living an orderly life according to His commands forever and being perpetually repentant unceasingly asking the Lord to forgive our many transgressions for the Lord forgives a repentant soul. This is the only way we can be perfect in front of Him, if He forgives us, and He does by putting our sins far away from us, and we are free: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psa 103:12 AV)
Let us not be so foolish to leave what we ought to do to the last day, for the Lord will come suddenly like a thief in the night, remembering that the facts are that one dies as he has lived.