Are We Ready for His Return? :: by Lynette Schaefer

Jesus told us that we need to be ready for Him to call for us (Matt. 24:44). How well are we prepared for the Lord’s return to call us to Him? I see several different mindsets among Christians based on many observations. These are characterized by the following, from the weakest to the strongest:

The state of sleepwalking. This group is “asleep”, unconscious about the days we are living in, and don’t seem to care a whit about Jesus’ soon return. They are the kind of people who only live day to day, are caught up only in today’s business of survival, their families, their personal concerns, their busy schedules, etc. The thought of Jesus’ return is the last thing they want to think about. Frankly, it is an inconvenience because it interferes with their own plans for them and their families. They also tend to compromise and to be cozy with the world by seeking entertainment or “seeker sensitive”, consumer theologies and watered-down gospels. They tend to regard the church they attend as a social club. Instead of being “salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13), there is not much difference between them and the world. Consequently, Christians in this group generally don’t have much interest in the things of God or in developing a full relationship with Him. They also do not really see Jesus, their Lord, as the Bridegroom and are not at all excited about being with Him. They also spend little or no time in their Bibles on a daily basis because they view that as an inconvenience or too tiring to fit into their crowded schedules.

Semi-consciousness. These people are kind of awake, but not fully. They seek to be godly and to live godly lives; they are probably active in service work for their church; many probably go on mission trips or do other things to reach the lost. They also spend some time reading their Bibles and believe the Bible is inerrant, but some parts of the Bible they avoid or don’t think is important to study, so they tend to be spotty in their understanding. They can’t pronounce some of the words and sometimes don’t know the location of the books contained in the Bible. All the above-mentioned activities are important for the cause of Christ. They are “treasures in heaven” that Christians lay up for eternal rewards. But the folks in this group don’t seem to have a well-rounded spiritual diet; that is they exclude prophetic studies of the Bible as being as important as other parts. Maybe not 100%, but mostly. People of this group attend churches that emphasize evangelism and de-emphasize prophecy. So, even though prophecy is contained in 30% of the Bible and God intended for us to know and to be encouraged by it, it is largely not preached from the pulpit or taught in Sunday School classes. Consequently, the congregations of these churches do not have an excitement about the Return of Christ. Most of them, therefore, live day to day with the thought that the Rapture could take place whenever – now or 500 years from now. They quote Matthew 24:36 which says no one knows the day nor hour of His coming, using this verse as an excuse to not pay attention or bolster their own faulty logic. They live their lives like this world and life on this planet as we know it is just going to continue on and on. It doesn’t even phase these people when they see what is actually happening in the world we’re living in today; i.e., Israel, the Middle East, the European Union, RFID, the US. They completely disregard what is obvious to many – the reality it is all going to come crashing down very soon. They see little or no connection between what is going on in the world today as it potentially relates to the spectacular event which may well take place in our generation – the Rapture of the Church. Oh, yes, Christians in this group seek to evangelize the lost, and all over the world, but what do they tell them? I wonder how often the Rapture is even mentioned. My guess is it’s spoken of rarely if at all, primarily because it is so seldom mentioned in these kinds of Christian circles. And then, when it is, people are sometimes uncomfortable and don’t want to talk about it.

Fully awake. The Christians in this group are awake, alive, on fire for Christ, and actively looking for His return. They attend a church which emphasizes prophecy and the Rapture as much as everything else. They don’t treat their church like a social club or entertainment center but the Lord’s House where they worship, glorify God, fulfill the Great Commission and teach the Full Counsel of God. People of this group are therefore very alert and discerning – seekers who study the Word regularly with vigor, treating it with the respect it deserves (2 Tim. 2:15). Many of them are in the habit of studying the classical preachers’ works such as Spurgeon, Pink, Edwards, Whitefield, et al. They are not deceived by false teachers, gospels, programs or agendas. They don’t care what the current, popular worldly trends are so they can join in. In fact, they usually mark these trends as evidence of apostasy in the last days and avoid them (Rom. 16:17). They do the same with those who preach falsehood, ecumenism, compromise, and post-modern philosophy. They actively warn others who are in the dark, both Christians and non-Christians alike (Eze. 3:18). They don’t compromise and preach a watered-down gospel, but preach the full counsel of God without wavering. They seek to obey God rather than men and to be faithful to the Lord (Acts 5:29). They see Jesus as their Faithful and True Bridegroom and themselves as the Bride looking with eager anticipation for her Bridegroom to arrive (Matt. 25:6,10). These people seek to be like Jesus and to be regarded as “salt and light” by others. They have a definite Biblical worldview and not a secular one.

In light of the above, what category do you fit in as a Christian? Can you truly say that you are ready for the Lord to call you to Him, or are you in the middle of doing your own thing? Maybe you are still living for Christ and living a godly life, but yet you’re still not looking for Him fully because you think life is just going to continue on until whenever. Is there a chance you are going to actually be shocked to find yourself called to His abode and His judgment seat suddenly with no warning, BECAUSE YOU FAILED TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE WARNING SIGNS ALL AROUND US IN THE WORLD TODAY? If so, what are you going to tell Him?

Can you imagine any bridegroom whose bride simply doesn’t care when or even if he returns? How sad it must make Jesus feel that so many of us who profess to be the Body of Christ are just that way! Yet, as our Bridegroom, Jesus is very eager and looking forward to calling us to be with Him (John 14:3).

People, if you are not looking for Him, you are not ready to meet Him! Wake up and pay attention!