Our Lord’s Return is much closer than we realize. And we should do all we can to warn the world of what lies ahead and to urge readiness for that all-glorious event of His Second Coming. In view of Christ’s Return there are at least ten admonitions we’d like to leave with you today. Listen carefully.
1. WATCHFULNESS (Matt 24:40-41)
Matthew reminds us – “Two shall be in the field; the one taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. WATCH therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” The word ‘watch’ means to be alert, be on your guard, and be found ready for Christ’s coming.
2. PRAYERFULNESS (Luke 21:36)
Luke tells us: “Watch ye, therefore, and PRAY always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Do you pray that you will be ready when Christ appears?
3. FAITHFULNESS (Matthew 25:14-23)
It is in view of our Lord’s coming that He relates the story of a man going into a far country and giving various talents to his servants. Talents, in this case, means money. So, depending on the wise use of these talents, whether invested and producing more talents, or whether neglected, these servants are rewarded. For instance, we read of the servant who ‘hid his lord’s money’ instead of investing it who is severely punished. To him our Lord says: “Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.”
Indeed, how sad for many to have money hoarded away when it could be used to send the glorious gospel around the world.
Those servants who were faithful in the use of their talents were rewarded with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
4. WARNING AGAINST CARELESS LIVING (Lu.21:34-35)
we read, “Take heed to yourselves lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and CARES OF THIS LIFE, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell upon the face of the whole earth.”
Did you hear it? As the flood in Noah’s day affected the entire earth, so we read Christ’s Coming will be as a snare or trap that will affect the whole world. When our Lord appears the saints will be caught away, and those living carelessly will be left behind to go through the awful great tribulation.
Like a trap springing shut, there will be no exit from this earth. That’s why it pays to be ready, living lives of purity and service, witnessing, and winning the lost.
5. WARNING AGAINST BEING LEFT BEHIND WITH UNBELIEVERS. (Luke 12:45-46)
We read: “But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming: and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and WILL APPOINT HIM HIS PORTION WITH THE UNBELIEVERS.”
Did you hear it? I know some doubt there is such a scripture in the Bible. For they don’t believe it is possible for a person who is a professing believer to be left behind with unbelievers at the rapture. But this seems to be what this verse is saying. For here pictured is one who is a servant looking for his lord’s coming. But he is living carelessly, eating and drinking as in Noah’s day, enjoying the pleasures of life without regard to the soon-approaching rapture. He is also found mistreating his fellowman. What happens?
The Bible says of this servant that he is cut in sunder, or cut off. This man does not lose his salvation for that is a gift to all who truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, but he loses his reward. For this Scripture would indicate again that Rapture is the reward of readiness.
So, concerning this servant – the privilege that is rightfully his is denied him. For we read his portion is with the unbelievers. Instead of escaping the tribulation the indication is that he must go through it and prove his loyalty to Christ amidst the purifying and chastening fires of judgment.
6. WARNING CONCERNING INIQUITY. (Matt 7:22-23)
We read, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Notice, there were those representing our Lord, performing mighty works, doing miracles. Yet, our Lord at His coming says to them – “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
I think we’re going to be in for some surprises when Christ comes. People we expected to see in the front row, or on the platform won’t even be there.
If this Scripture tells us anything it is this – we must repent of sin if we would be ready for rapture, not persist in it, not excuse it, but forsake it!
7. GUARDING AGAINST LUKEWARMNESS (Rev. 3:16)
Concerning the Laodicean Church, which constitutes the professing body of believers in the last Church Age of which we are a part, we read: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou weft cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Did you hear it?
If we’re going to call ourselves Christians, then let’s be real, genuine followers of Christ. Let’s stop playing church and begin serving God with purity of heart, Let’s be on fire for God!
8. BE LOVING–NOT GRUDGING (James 5:8-9)
James writes: “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. GRUDGE NOT one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned; behold the judge standeth before the door.”
Has someone spoken ill of you, lied about you, mistreated you? Don’t worry about it, and most of all don’t hate that person but pray for that one instead. The Lord, the righteous judge, will solve all problems when He comes. Just be ready, yourself, by having a right heart attitude toward your brother and your neighbor.
9. BE CAREFUL FOR NOTHING (Phil. 4:5-6)
Don’t WORRY but rather commit yourself wholly to God believing He will keep you ready for our Lord’s Coming.
Paul writes: “Let your moderation be known unto all men, the Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing…”
Again we read: “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not.” 1 Cor 7: 29-30.
How I wish I had the time to comment on that passage. But the message is simply this – live for Christ and not this world. Look for Christ and concentrate on the next world.
And we have the assurance that we can be ready. In 1 Thess. 5:23 we read: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless UNTO THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
That’s quite an assignment, isn’t it? Can you be kept blameless until the coming of Jesus? The next verse says: “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it!” Hallelujah.
10. BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT (Matt. 25:1-13 )
In Matthew 25 our Lord gave a parable of ten virgins. All were looking forward to a wedding, and made the necessary preparation for the marriage. But when the bridegroom came only five were ready.
If our Lord were to come today and only half of those who were looking for Him were ready to go back with Him, HOW SAD! And yet, this seems to be the indication of Holy Scripture.
What was the secret of those who were ready? It was simply this. We read concerning the ‘wise virgins’ that they had oil in their vessels, with their lamps. That is they had the Holy Spirit filling their lives, as well as bearing testimony to being Christians.
On the other hand, the foolish virgins had a testimony at one time. They once were active in witnessing and serving, and attending church. But they gradually lost interest because they never sought the infilling of the Holy Spirit who comes to give power and victory over sin.
Be filled with the Spirit is a command of God. And, in particular, in view of Christ’s Coming, we need to allow Him to take over completely in our lives in order to be ready for His return.
This is the message we would leave with you today right from the Word of God showing us the necessity of living for Christ if we are going to be ready for the Rapture.
Indeed be ye therefore ready for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.