Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Prophecy series #29: Ready for His Return?

Jesus is returning for those who are ready to meet Him. Are you ready? The Bible shows us how.

Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 4:16-18 that we must be IN CHRIST if we are to be caught up when He returns for us. When we cease trusting in our own works and efforts and put all our trust IN CHRIST as our Saviour from sin, we are born again into the family of God. We are given the gift of eternal life. God sees us IN CHRIST and in His righteousness. We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit and it is His Spirit who will enable us to rise from the dead, just as His Spirit caused Jesus to rise from the dead. John 1:12 II Corinthians 5:17 Romans 8:1-4; 8:9-11 I Thessalonians 4:13-18

If you are in Christ, you expect him any moment, just as Paul expected him any moment two thousand years ago. Jesus told us in Matthew 24:36 that no man knows the time of Christ’s return.

The wise men from the East were expecting the birth of Jesus because they had studied the writings of Daniel who had lived in Babylon six hundred years earlier. Matthew 2:1-2 They knew of the conversion of King Nebuchadnezzar. Read the amazing story in Daniel 4. They knew Micah’s prophecy of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2

The chief priest, scribes and Pharisees were also students of the Old Testament prophecies. They also knew of the birth of their Messiah in Bethlehem. Matthew 2:3-6. They hoped that He would one day lead an uprising and overthrow of the Roman Empire Later, after hearing Jesus’ message, and seeing that He was not going to lead the uprising against Rome; they would call for His crucifixion

Simeon, the elderly man who blessed the infant Jesus in the temple, had also read the prophecies of Jesus’ first coming and was expecting Him momentarily. Luke 2:25-26

The priest, Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, had also studied the prophecies and expected the first coming of Jesus. Luke 1:67-75.

These students of Scripture knew the prophecies of Jesus’ virgin birth, place and time of birth and lineage in King David’s line all foretold hundreds of years earlier by the prophets. Because they read and studied these prophecies, they rightfully expected the fulfillment of them and the birth of Jesus at that time.

As they expected His first coming, so we can expect His second coming at any moment. Revelations 1:3 I Peter 1:11-13 II Peter 1:19-21

In Malachi 3: 16-18 we read of those who spoke often of the Lord. He was their primary thought and topic of conversation. Read God’s wonderful promise to those whose whole life is centered in Christ.

Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, walked and talked with God. Genesis 5:21-24 As he did, God taught him many wonderful secrets that others who did not walk with Him missed. Read one of those secrets in Jude 14-15. In Psalm 25:14 we learn that “the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him. He will show them (explain to them) His Covenant.” Note in Genesis 5 that Enoch never died. One day as he walked with God, God took Him to Heaven without dying.

As we speak of Christ, let us avoid two extremes. Don’t ignore prophecy and don’t be radical and dogmatic about the details that God has not seen fit to give us.

Genuine Christians look for His return with great anticipation. Hebrews 9:28 Titus 2:13 Good wives watch eagerly each day for the return of their husbands from work. They don’t just curl up on a sofa and pine for their husbands by watching TV all day; but they are busy preparing for his return. Remember the story Jesus told in Matthew 25:1-13 of ten virgins who were waiting and watching for the return of the Bridegroom? Five were wise and five were foolish. Five were prepared and five were not prepared. Read of the loss of the unprepared.

The Thessalonian Church was a model of what every church should be. Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 1 that they joyfully received the Word of God, turned from their sinful idolatry and shared the Gospel everywhere, even as they watched for the return of Christ of Heaven.

Read Jesus’ solemn warning about watching for His return in Luke 12:35-48 In my BEMA link under this PROPHECY series, I have some further explanation on this.

In the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:2-4 Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done.” It’s not enough to mumble those words thoughtlessly as a ritual. It must be an earnest prayer from those who know God as Father, through faith in Christ as their Saviour. It must be an earnest prayer by those who hallow God’s name. It must be an earnest prayer from those who have already surrendered themselves to the Lordship of Christ. Only then can we pray from the depth’s of our hearts, “Thy Kingdom come to this sin-cursed earth, Lord Jesus. Thy will be done in my life and one day on this whole earth, even as it is done in Heaven.”

The Apostle John who wrote The Revelation, in the last chapter and the last verses prays, as we should pray. “Even so come, Lord Jesus.”

If you are a genuine Christian, you love Christ and long for His appearing. II Timothy 4:7-8 Which do you love with all of your heart?
Do you love Christ or do you love the attractions of this Satan-dominated world system? You can’t love both. Jesus said in Mathew 6:24 that you have to make a choice. If you choose the world over Jesus, the warning in I Corinthians 16:22 is that you will be Anathema (cursed) Maranatha (when Christ returns).

I John 3:1-3 instructs us as we look forward to the return of Christ, to daily purify ourselves. How do we do that? By confessing our sins to God immediately whenever we are aware of something that dishonors Him. We confess it as sin and He forgives and cleanses us from all sin. I John 1:9 We are also purified daily as we read and meditate in His Word. Ephesians 5:25-27. II Peter 3:11-14

James 5:7-8 teaches us to be patient in difficult times, knowing that one day we will be in Christ’s presence and He will make everything right. In the meantime, don’t be depressed because it seems that we live in an unfair world where the wicked get away with murder and things don’t always go well with Christians. David talks about this problem in Psalm 73. Read it and be blessed.

Don’t get hung up on all the details of Christ’s coming, especially the details that are not made clear to us in Scripture. Instead, share the Good News of Christ with others and help others get ready for Christ’s return. Acts 1:6-8

Listen to Jesus in John 14:1-3. Listen to Paul in I Thess. 4:13-18 and listen to Job in the midst of the worst of circumstances. Job 19:25-27

If the angels don’t know and if Jesus Himself does not know, who are we to think we can calculate or guess when Christ will return? Mark 13:32-37 Just be ready at all times. He is returning a second time just as surely as He came the first time 2000 years ago.


June 3, 2006 - Posted by | Prophecy Series

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