Prepare for the end – Part 1
Most people live on a day-to-day basis. They do not seriously think about the past, nor do they spare a somber thought for the future. Worse still, they do not take time to contemplate what would happen to them, when life on earth ends. It is, therefore, appropriate that as the year draws to a close, we should examine a subject, which many people, including those who go to church, neglect to ponder over: preparation for the end, or more appropriately, the day of the Lord.
The day of the Lord is different from the Lord’s Day. The Lord’s Day is a day of worship where believers remind themselves of the divine provisions and benefits through Christ’s death; it is a day the Holy Spirit reveals deep truths of the Lord to enable believers move on in their Christian lives and get ready for the return of the Lord. On the other hand, the day of the Lord comes after the rapture of the saints, and precedes the establishment of the divine Kingdom on the earth. The Old Testament on several instances, uses the expression, the day of the Lord.
It will be a time of punishment, devastation and destruction of people who reject God’s offer of salvation; it will be “a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon mountains: … there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.” It’s a day of incomparable and unparalleled troubles, tribulations, persecution, punishment, devastation and destruction on the world. It is a day that has never been and will never be after it. The New Testament reveals that that day refers to the period of the great tribulation.
Therefore, all believers need to be ready so that day doesn’t come upon them unaware. “For when they (unbelievers) shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But let us (believers), who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” The believer must be different from the unbeliever. Whereas sinners are dead in sins and trespasses, believers must be awake. When the believer sleeps, the enemy sows tares of corruption, sickness and other challenges among the wheat, the blessings he had received. Seeing he is waiting for the coming of the Lord, he must be alert lest the enemy brings corruption and carelessness, carnality and frivolity into his life. And as he prepares for the soon return of the Lord, the three companions – hope, faith and love – should be part of his constitution.
People who are not born again but shrug off the conviction of the Holy Spirit to change their ways, not just turning a new leaf, are in darkness and cannot see the great danger that lurks around them. As a result, they are relaxed and unperturbed as if there are no dangers. If a sinner does not repent of his sins, whatever peace he has or has been assured of is deceptive. Thus, some sinners and backsliders have allowed some people, usually through smooth words and sweet nothings, to neutralise the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon their hearts, to make right their lives. Rather than confess their sins and repent of them, they continue in their evildoing and rush to their destruction and perdition.
It is scriptural for believers, as watchmen, to warn people of the imminent danger of such deceptive peace. The prophets saw the pang and pain of the day of the Lord. In describing it they likened it to the labour pains of a pregnant woman. On that day, all men who spurned Jesus Christ “shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth” to “destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” Mighty men that are trained to endure pains, problems and difficulties will not be able to endure the kind of difficulties that shall be witnessed during the great tribulation. Those who are so busy that they don’t have time for God and the truth shall be disappointed because “their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath.” It is a time of terrible trouble.
Further Reading (King James Version): 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8; Acts 1:6-8; Ezekiel 30:1-3; Joel 1:15; 2:1,2,11,31; Acts 2:19,20; 1 Thessalonians 5:3; Jeremiah 8:11,14,15; 30:4-7; Isaiah 13:6-9; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Zechariah 14:1-4; 2 Peter 3:10-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:4,5; Ephesians 5:8-12; John 8:12; 12:35,36,46; Philippians 2:12-16; 1 Peter 2:9-12; 1 John 2:8; 1:5-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:6,8; Romans 13:12,13: 14:13,19; 1 Corinthians 5:8; 10:8-12; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 5:25,26; Philippians 3:15-19; 1 Timothy 6:8-12; Hebrews 4:1,16; 10:22-24; 12:1,28,29; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6.