Jesus says: I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
He also says: Behold I come quickly.
The story is told of a fresh college graduate who was preaching on the second coming of Christ. Suddenly, his mind went blank, and he forgot what follows. He was taught that if he had a memory lapse, whilst preaching, he should repeat his last sentence and that would jolt his memory. His last sentence was, “Behold I come quickly.”
So, he repeated this sentence loudly twice and nothing happened. He then banged the pulpit with all his might and shouted “Behold I come quickly” the third time. Unfortunately, the old pulpit gave way and he fell on to the lap of an old lady, seated in the front row. He was so embarrassed and apologised profusely to the old lady. The lady said, “Its not your fault pastor, I should have moved away because you warned me three times that you were coming,”
The second coming of Christ is mentioned close to 2,000 times in the Bible. One in every 30 verses in the New Testament teach us that Christ is coming back to earth. Jesus himself refers to His return at least 21 times and in Revelation 22:12, He says, Behold I come quickly. The references to the second coming outnumber the references to the first coming by a factor of 8 to 1.
When Jesus returns, the dead in Christ will be raised to newness of life and those that know Christ as their personal Saviour, will be caught up with Him forever.
In view of the impending return of our Saviour, how then should we live?
1. Watch for Him.
Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find them watching.
When we look at the apostle Paul’s references to the second coming, we notice that Paul gives special emphasis not only to Jesus’ return, but to the church’s posture as the bride-in-waiting -- longing for the bridegroom to return. In 1 Thes:5:5, in the light of Jesus’ return, Paul calls the church to live as “sons of light and sons of the day, not as of the night or of darkness.”
If our longing is not right, our living would not be right either. We shouldn’t get caught up in the things that dominate the minds and hearts of non-believers, such as what we will eat, drink and wear. Instead, we should seek, above all, the rule and reign of Jesus Christ in our lives.
2. Be ready to go.
Let’s ask ourselves this question. If Christ should come back today, would we be ready to go with Him?
If Christ were to come back this moment, would the place you are about to go to or the thing you are about to do, cause you to be ashamed or embarrassed in any way? If so, you need to change what you are doing. If you are not living in a way that is pleasing to him right now, then His return will come as a great shock and surprise to you.
3. Become more like Christ daily.
According to 2 Peter, You ought to live holy and godly lives…….So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him.
(2 Peter 3: 11-14)
If you have a real sense of His imminent return, then it will impact the way you live and will cause you to purify yourself, even as He is pure.
4. Anxiously await His return.
Have you been awaiting and looking forward to the return of a family member or a long-lost friend? Everything is prepared and you are looking at the clock ticking and waiting and before you hear the knock on the door, you open the door. That’s what it means to “anxiously await” someone’s arrival. If there is any hesitancy in us saying, “Even so come Lord Jesus,” then we need to carefully examine our lives.
5. Be working.
We should not only be waiting, but we should also be working. Watching is the evidence of faith and working is the evidence of faith in action.
Watching for the Lord’s return will help us prepare our own lives but working will ensure that we will take others with us to heaven.
As Christians, we need to realise two truths:
All men are without hope until they receive Christ (Eph: 2:1-6).
Believers are commanded to evangelise (Matt:28: 18-20).
Christ commands us to make disciples by proclaiming the Gospel and calling the lost to trust the crucified and risen Saviour for salvation. This is the great commission which is the mission of the church -- it is also the mission of every Christian.
Are you ready for His return?