Are You Ready?

“And now, little children, abide in him;
that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence,
and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”
1 John 2: 28

There is no doubt about it; the Lord Jesus is coming again one of these days! There are differences of opinions as to where and when the wonderful event will actually take place. Is He going to come to the earth or to the air? Will it be sooner rather than later? And why hasn’t He come already? We could get all caught up in the arguments going back and forth but it doesn’t detract from the great truth and blessed reality –

The Lord Jesus Christ is coming again!

Long ago when He was taken by wicked hands and crucified, they thought that they had done away with Him for good but the world hasn’t seen the last of the Lord Jesus at all. The promise of His coming again affects everyone who has ever lived right up to this day and beyond and that includes you!

Now, this may bring comfort, joyful anticipation or even fear to your heart depending on what type of person you are, whether or not you are a believer and what you are going through. Knowledge of this great event is expected to create a reaction for a specific purpose. Ultimately it ought to sober up our minds and make sure we are ready and not taken by surprise.

The promise of His coming brings - COMFORT to the broken hearted

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”   1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18

Countless mourners have been comforted by these precious words when standing over the grave of a dearly departed loved one. The promise of His coming whispers into the heart: “This is not the end. Farewell is not forever. ‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.’ Psalm 30: 5.”

The Bible refers to His coming as ‘the blessed hope’, and who is more in need of comfort and hope than those who are mourning the loss of a loved one?

The promise of His coming brings - JOYFUL ANTICIPATION to the weary hearted

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."   John 14: 1-3

We don’t have to go too far to see troubled Christians ready to faint along the way. There are of course countless people going through unimaginable suffering for the name and cause of Christ. We hear of people being shunned, ex-communicated because of their faith in the Son of God. Then there are those who are tortured in an attempt to make them renounce their faith, while others are silenced through martyrdom.

Most people reading this will know nothing of these dreadful things happen to us but still we suffer in another way. Some of the Lord’s dear people are faithful ‘plodders.’ Day in and day out they live out their life in faithful service with little or no evidence of fruit for their labours. Words like those above spoken by the Lord Jesus Himself bring hope, comfort and cheer to the long and dreary pathway.

And perhaps because we are Christians we do not feel that we are at liberty to work all hours under the sun for bricks and mortar or for a promotion. We do not appear to progress like others do and are left behind while our colleagues, neighbours, family or church family members forge ahead in this roller coaster thing called life! The Bible tells us: "... This is not your rest ..." Micah 2: 10. "... Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come." Hebrews 13: 14. So His coming lets us know that ‘were just passing through’.

The promise of His coming brings – A WARNING to those who are living carelessly

“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”
1 John 2: 28
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2: 11-14

Where did the joy go that filled the soul when first we trusted the Lord Jesus? What happened to our first love? How did we ever let anything else grab our attention and heart’s devotion when it should have been wholly given to the One who loved us and gave Himself for us?

So many things have got in the way, demanding our time and our valuable resources and somehow the days have turned into weeks or months or maybe even years and we have forgotten who we really are! Judging by our walk and our talk we are hardly distinguishable as members of God’s family, and if the Lord Jesus was to come today, I know many of us would hang our heads in shame because of the careless way we have been living. The promise of His coming regulates the way we live our lives and gives to us a desire to be occupied with that which is pleasing to Him. Remember, other people are watching and their lives are affected by what they see in ours.

What is our attitude towards fellow believers? Has something been left undone? Have we left a problem to fester in the hope that the passing of time will erase it? How do we feel about the Lord’s coming? How dreadful it would be at that time for both the Lord and His people to suddenly be in His presence with unresolved issues with those whom He has commanded us to love! The promise of His coming sobers our thoughts and produces faithful and positive actions. Who in all honesty in that soon coming day wouldn't prefer to hear our beloved Lord saying to us: "well done, thou good and faithful servant ..."?

The promise of His coming brings – FEAR to those who are not prepared!

“Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”   Matthew 24: 40-44

The Bible tells us clearly “that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3: 3-4. Knowledge of the imminent coming of the Lord Jesus is ludicrous to people who have no fear of God. However among the vast majority of unbelievers there will be a soul here and a soul there that will feel uneasy about the reality of the coming of the Lord Jesus. Perhaps you are one of them.

Indeed this news is meant to make an unprepared person not only feel uneasy but fearful! If the Lord Jesus was to come today and you are still in your sins, in an unforgiven state, would you be ready or would you would be among those poor folks who would be ‘left behind’ for the judgement of God.

Many people have come to a realization of their need as a lost sinner and sought earnestly after the Saviour for forgiveness and cleansing as a result of hearing about the fact that He is coming again.

He who came the first time to die as a substitute for sinners is very much alive today and waits patiently for people like you to repent and trust Him fully. The most important thing is not to delay.

The Bible doesn’t tell us when this event is going to happen. Nobody knows, not even the Lord Jesus Himself! But when the time comes, at the command of God the Father, He will come and without delay to take all those who have trusted in Him to be with Himself forever. This remarkable and much longed for event could take place perhaps today and your time may be running out.

Make sure you are not left behind.

Jesus is coming! Sing the glad word!
Coming for those He redeem'd by His blood,
Coming to reign as the glorified Lord!
Jesus is coming again!

Jesus is coming! The dead shall arise,
Loved ones shall meet in a joyful surprise,
Caught up together to Him in the skies
Jesus is coming again!

Jesus is coming! His saints to release;
Coming to give to the warring earth peace:
Sinning and sighing, and sorrow shall cease.
Jesus is coming again!

Jesus is coming! The promise is true;
Who are the chosen, the faithful, the few,
Waiting and watching, prepared for review?
Jesus is coming again!

Jesus is coming, is coming again!
Jesus is coming again!
Shout the glad tidings o'er mountain and plain!
Jesus is coming again!
Daniel W. Whittle