Get ready for Christ’s return – Part 2
One of the pointers to the imminent return of Jesus Christ – and this was specifically referenced by Christ Himself – is the mass spiritual decline that will be prevalent in the age. Seeing the trends in our time, it becomes apt to appreciate Christ’s admonition as both timely and instructive.
Before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his family had the opportunity to escape for their lives with the strict instruction: “look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed”. However, Lot and his family did not fully comply. “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt”. We must not try to adjust the word of God. Delay is dangerous, lingering is costly and looking back is damnable.
A little deviation from or modification of what we have learnt brings damnation, doom and destruction. Lot’s wife looked back and missed Paradise, as well as caused problems for her daughters. The five foolish virgins mentioned in Christ’s discourse on His return, delayed action and missed heaven. Salvation is necessary; to delay to be saved is damnable and punishable. Restitution is essential; to postpone it is dangerous and damnable. Sanctification is required and holiness is indispensable.
Many people do not have time to pray for the strength and power to be spiritual and prepare their souls for heaven. They do not have time to serve the Lord in evangelism. They give all their time and strength to amassing wealth. We should be wise and not be buried in activities of the world, such that we fail to remember the coming of our Lord. To be ready for the Lord’s return, those who have gone away from God’s service should return immediately. “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”.
We are admonished to “Remember Lot’s wife,” when we are faced with the temptation to compromise our Christian stand in our celebrations, examinations, businesses and marriages. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
As we expect the coming of the Lord, we should not wait in idleness, but be devoted to His service. Our expectation is not idle nor a crowded life of earthly engagements. It is a life of daily seeking the lost and bringing sinners to repentance and faith in Christ; feeding converts and babes in Christ with the milk of the Word; strengthening weak believers to be strong in faith, grace, the word of God and in their convictions; reaching out to backsliders and helping them to get restored to their first love; exhorting Christians to holiness; spending our time, talent and treasure to build for and with Christ; and labouring to prepare as many souls as possible for Christ’s return.
As the Thessalonian believers waited for the Lord’s coming, they also worked “to seek and to save that which was lost.” Those who are involved in evangelism and any other service in the house of God should heed Christ’s instruction to “occupy” until He comes. As we go about our activities, Christ’s question is: “lovest thou me more than these?” We should show our love to God by doing the work He has committed into our hands.
The early Church understood the certainty of Christ’s return and did everything possible to reach sinners with the gospel. “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” We should give our hearts, time, talents and skill to reach out to souls, as we await the coming of the Lord.
Further Reading (King James Version): Titus 2:11-15; Matthew 24:21,22; Revelation 19:6-9; Matthew 24:29,30,42,44; 25:10-13; Mark 13:31-37; Luke 12:37,40; 21:34-36; Revelation 16:15; Titus 2:13; Philippians 3:20,21; Hebrews 9:26-28; 11:10,14-16; 2 Peter 3:11-14; Jude 21,24; Revelation 1:7,8; 2:25,26; 3:11,12; 16:15; 22:7,12,20; Genesis 19:16-18,26; Luke 17:28-30,32; 9:62; 12:45,46; Hebrews 10:38,39; 2 Peter 2:20-22; 2 John 8-11; Hebrews 12:14,15; Titus 2:13,14; 1 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Luke 19:10,13; 1 Kings 20:39,40; John 21:15-17,21; Acts 5:42; 16:4,5; 17:16,17; 19:9,10; 8:4.
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