Prepare for Christ’s coming
There is no better time to contemplate the eternal future of man than at this time when we are coming to the close of an epochal year. It is most appropriate in particular to examine the prophecies concerning the Second Coming of Christ, which feature in many parts of the scriptures. In the New Testament, it is mentioned 318 times; it occurs once in every 25 verses. The Lord Himself talked about it. The angels confirmed it, and the apostles and disciples also did. It is the greatest event the church is, at the moment, waiting to occur. The First and Second Coming of Christ were prophesied in the scriptures. As regards His first coming, the Jews heard it clearly predicted in the scriptures that Christ was coming. Their prophets, priests and kings wrote and talked about it. Yet, it took them unawares. They were unprepared for His first coming. How unprepared? The wise men from the East saw the sign and significance in the Star and came to Jerusalem to pay homage to Christ the child King. Yet the people of Jerusalem were in the dark as to the fact that Saviour had been born. Even so, when they eventually got to know, rather than rejoice, they were troubled and incensed at the news.
The Lord does not want His Second Coming to take the Church unawares as did the first to the Jews. True believers are looking for the blessed hope of the coming of Christ again to the earth, “for our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” This being so, our speech, conduct and lifestyle should reflect our anxious wait for the imminent return of our Saviour and Lord. There is the assurance and proof in the Word of God, that Christ, according to prophecies, is coming again. As the prophecies concerning His first coming were fulfilled, so will the prophecies concerning His Second Coming. The Lord’s assurance to His disciples on His second coming carries far greater weight and conviction than any other word, dream or revelation to the contrary. For 40 days after His resurrection, He was with His disciples, showing them infallible proofs that it was He who died, was buried, that had risen and is alive and will come again. It is interesting to note that many years after most of the apostles had died, the Lord appeared to John the Beloved on the Island of Patmos to re-iterate the fact that He will come again. There was no doubt in the disciples’ minds as to the certainty of the Lord’s coming. All they wanted to know from the Lord was what signs to look for as the days drew near. If you are a true believer, there should be no doubt in your mind as to the certainty of the Lord’s coming.
The signs are already there. (1) Many churches are rising and preaching false doctrines. (2) Many believers are departing from the faith. (3) The love of many is waxing cold. (4) Deceptive miracles are taking place in many religious circles. (5) Many false prophets are rising in many places. (6) There are wars and rumours of war. (7) Famine, diseases, sicknesses and earthquakes have become frequent in diverse places. All these are nothing but the fulfillment of the Lord’s predictions on His second coming. He is coming again and He is coming soon. Knowing about the Second Coming, believing the prophecy and even being expectant and waiting for the coming of the Lord are not enough. Without preparation, all the knowledge is vain. The parable of the 10 virgins underscores the need to be prepared and ready at all times. For the sinner, the preparation starts with his/her repentance from sin and total surrender to the Lord. You cannot be prepared if you are not born again. The people who will go with the Lord in the rapture are people who have been reconciled with God through repentance and faith in the vicarious death of Christ on the cross at Calvary, and have been sanctified. Sanctification is the second, definitive work of grace that enables us to be free from all internal struggles with sinful inclinations, tendencies, disposition and natural depravity. It fills us with supreme love for God and for our fellow men. It makes us pure in heart. Besides being born again, to prepare for the coming of the Lord takes: being watchful in prayer, living a consistent and consecrated Christian life, living up to one’s responsibilities in the house of God, living in absolute obedience to every Word of God, and staying at our duty post and holding unto the Lord till the end.
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