Preparing for the Lord's Return
Accept Christ Now
Jesus has died for our salvation
and has been raised to life. He now calls everyone to repent and believe in
him. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever
believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son
into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved
through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe
is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son
of God" (John -18).
The door of grace is now wide
open. As we draw close to the coming of the Lord, enter the door of salvation
while there is still a chance. "The Lord is not slow about his promise as
some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should
perish, but that all should reach repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). He is the
only one who can save you from the coming judgment. Your choice to accept him
now will mean eternal blessings when he comes again.
Obey the True Gospel
"Not every one who says to
me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will
of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord,
did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many
mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to
them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'" (Matthew
Open confession of Christ alone
will not get us into the gates of heaven. We must obey the words of our Lord
and the gospel preached by the church, the body of Christ. Only in the church
that God has established may we find the gospel of salvation. "It shall
come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall
be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the
hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and
say: 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God
of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.' For
out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:2-3).
When Christ comes, he will take
the church as his bride (Revelation 19:7). Those who have obeyed the true gospel
of salvation and who abide daily by God's word through faith will be saved.
They will participate in the final and greatest wedding banquet.
Watch and Pray
Since we do not know when our
Master will return, we need to be spiritually watchful at all times (Matthew
24:42; Luke ).
"But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with
dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you
suddenly like a snare; for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the
whole earth. But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to
escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of
man." (Luke 21:34-36). Devotion to daily prayer also helps us examine our
ways and enables us to be spiritually strong.
It is essential to constantly live
a life pleasing to the Lord and wait soberly for the Lord's coming. "The
night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of
darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as
in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and
licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires"
Be faithful in Service
"Who then is the faithful and
wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their
food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes
will find so doing. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his
possessions. (Matthew 24:45-47). We need to be diligent and persistent as we
serve the spiritual needs of others through preaching, encouragement, and
intercession. By regularly meeting with fellow believers, we can "stir up
one another to love and good works" (Hebrews -25).
When our master comes, he will
require from us what each of us has received and reward us for our labor
(Matthew 25:14-30). Therefore, we must put our time, possessions, and talents
to use for the Lord's work. Let us always give ourselves fully to the work of
the Lord, because we know that our labor in him is not in vain.
Love One Another
"The end of all things is at
hand; therefore keep sane and sober for your prayers. Above all hold unfailing
your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Practice
hospitality ungrudgingly to one another" (1 Peter 4:7-9). Love will be a
standard of divine judgment on the last day. In the parable of Jesus, it was
those who showed deeds of kindness and concern that received eternal life. So
let us learn to give to the needy and pray for the spiritually weak.
In addition to helping others, we
need to be patient with one another, because love is patient, and love endures
all things. "Do not grumble, brethren, against one another, that you may
not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the doors" (James 5:9). It
would surely please the Lord if we forgive others just as he forgave us. True
love bears the burden of another and "covers a multitude of sins."