(Bible Lessons, Vol 17 No. 4, 1985)
Leslie C. Busbee
From Peter and Paul, and James we have the prophecies concerning Jesus coming again. The days are hastening on their way toward that great and final day when these things will be fulfilled….Let us be assured that He will keep His promise and come again just like it has been foretold. It may be nearer than we might think. “When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them.” The pulse of the world today is the striving for peace and safety. It matters not how secure man makes himself in this present evil world, and how prosperous they become in the material things of life; it will all be dashed from them in a moment. The world will be destroyed at Christ’s coming. There will be no intervening rapture and tribulation to give people another chance to be prepared to meet Him. When Jesus comes, the dead will be resurrected, both saint and sinner, both evil and good, both just and unjust. It will all take place at the same time. He will come to take vengeance on them that know not God, and to be glorified in His saints. There will be no interlude of a thousand years between the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked. If we are going to be ready and accepted of Him, we will have to be in that condition when He comes. All grudging, malice, strife, and bitterness must be out of our hearts. It will mean so much for us to be accounted worthy to stand before the Son of Man in that day.
To be ready to meet the Lord is the highest resolve and desire of the child of God. It should be on our minds every day. Today might be the day. How our hearts and minds should be away from this present evil world and fixed on those treasures which are above where Christ is now seated on the right hand of God “expecting” until that day comes when He can come again. “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). Paul said that a crown of life will be given to all of those “who love His appearing.” ….Oh, if we will live faithfully to Him and keep Him uppermost in our hearts and minds, we will welcome the glorious sight of Christ coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory! We are exhorted to be persons in all holy conversation and godliness, and be found in him in peace, without spot, and blameless. These are solemn charges and challenges to us. Jesus told us in Luke 21:36: “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.” Won’t it be worthwhile to suffer as a Christian and be rewarded over there! Just think of the saints who have gone on before us being raised back to life and vitality and awareness again! This coming year could very well be the last of this old planet Earth. If the Lord’s coming is twenty years away, then we could count it very close, could we not? If it is ten years away, that would be closer still. Or if it is five years off, see how close it is! For these are but little wisps of time, so soon to pass by. May the Lord direct our hearts into His love and patient waiting for Christ. ■