Are you READY for the RETURN of JESUS CHRIST?
October 15 Bible Reading: Matthew Chapters 22-24
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." (Matt. 24:36, 42, 44)
There is no doctrine in the entire Bible that is more closely linked to practical daily living, in holiness and in conformity with God’s commandments, than the doctrine of the return of Jesus Christ. In the infinite wisdom of God, the actual time of Christ’s return has not been revealed to us. Only God the Father knows when His Son Jesus Christ will return to this earth!
In order to understand this matter from a doctrinal standpoint, we should visualize Christ as the bridegroom having gone to heaven to prepare a place for His bride, the Church (see John 14:1-3). He has promised to come back one day to take His bride to heaven to celebrate the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:7-9). However, in the Jewish tradition, it is the bridegroom’s father who gives the go-ahead for the bridegroom to go and bring his bride. Similar to this, God the Father of the divine bridegroom Jesus Christ, alone will decide when His Son will return to the earth to bring His bride, the Church.
So, we should not be concerned or anxious to know the exact time of Christ’s return, nor should we be tempted to set any dates for His return (see Acts 1:6–8). However, we are given a pretty good indication regarding the world conditions during the time of Christ’s return as it will be exactly like the days of Noah (and the Flood) when the people would be pleasure-oriented and hedonistic. Noah’s day was characterized by preoccupation with self-gratification (eating and drinking) and a total neglect of spiritual matters. Oblivious to the judgment of God, the inhabitants of the earth were caught unprepared by the Flood during Noah’s time. Such a state of unpreparedness will exist when Jesus returns, and only those who are in Christ, the ark of safety, will be delivered!
Are you ready for the return of Jesus Christ? To be ready and well-prepared is important in generally every area of life. We must be prepared spiritually for Christ is returning at a time that we least expect Him. Some of the ways that we can prepare ourselves spiritually are by putting on our spiritual armor always (Eph. 6:10-20), and by preparing our minds for holy living so that we can defend our blessed hope before others (1 Pet. 3:15). Spiritual victory will be the reward of only those people who are already prepared for battle!
In view of the uncertainty as to the day and the hour that Christ will return, we ought to watch and be ready every moment. The word ‘watch’ (Greek: grēgoreo) is a present imperative in its original language, meaning ‘be continuously on guard’. Because the event of the return of Jesus Christ is certain and yet the time is unknown, we should live faithfully every moment of our lives. We “watch” when we stay alert and remind ourselves that our Lord Jesus may come at any moment. The ‘any-moment’ aspect of Christ’s return will help us remain motivated in our Christian service and focusing on our personal spiritual growth all the time (1 John 3:2-3). Let our lives be marked by holy conduct and godliness at all times for Jesus is coming soon!
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Pet. 1:13-16)