I remember one day when I was a teenager, my mother asked me, "Are you ready if Jesus comes back today?" My response,"What about the animals?" I was, and still am an animal lover. My mother reassured me that God would watch over the animals. I can't remember what lead up to this short conversation: I don't remember if I said or did something which caused her to worry. I have however, remembered her question all these years later. And I am asking myself this very question lately.
I turn on my TV and watch the news and the weather, and I can't help but shake my head in dismay. This past winter alone,has caused me to think. Snow storms, ice storms, gale force winds, sub-zero temperatures, snow measured by the foot, not inches. What's the big deal you may ask, this is after all winter in Western NY - and this is the norm. I however, wasn't referring to Western NY. I was referring to Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, California - you get the picture. I cannot remember a time when our entire country, including those states which attract the "Snow Birds," have dealt with these conditions. And that is just the weather.
Now for the news. Wars, rumors of wars, rebellions, terrorism, hate, violence beyond comprehension - praying for peace, yet seeing more hate. Yes, there are positive points. But even the countries which we once thought of as safe. Now aren't. So, where am I going with all this doom and gloom? Straight to my mother's question. Am I ready?
Barely a day goes by, when my mind does not go to the thought of Jesus, our Bridegroom coming to claim his Bride - we the church. And with these thoughts, comes great anticipation. Jesus' disciples believed that He would return during their lifetime, and I believe, lived in a constant state of anticipation. Each new day, brought with it the knowledge that, "this may be the day when I see His glorious face once again." Can you imagine?
As His followers watched, as Jesus was taken up into the clouds, two men dressed in white, stood beside them and asked,"why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven." Acts 1: 9-11.
I believe that His followers likely looked to the clouds daily. Waiting. Anticipating. Desiring-to see their best friend, their Savior, once again. And I know, they spent the rest of their lives spreading Christ's love, and teachings to "every corner of the world," as they knew it. They knew the urgency, of preparing those who did not know the Lord, for His ultimate return to claim his Bride.
Fast forward, over two thousand years. Do our eyes still search the clouds? Do our days begin and end with a sense of anticipation? Do we watch the happenings of the world, and remember His prophecies as to the Last Days - as to the time when Jesus will come to claim his church? Do we as his Disciples, feel an urgency to spread His word?
I sadly, am not up to date as to political events across the globe, and how they pertain to prophecy. I do however have enough teachings to recognize that things are happening. I do believe that we could be living in the Last Days. (Just my belief, I'm not claiming to have any inside information)
I choose to believe, with a sense of anticipation, that our Bridegroom could come at any moment - even while I am typing these words. Or while you are reading them. I choose to believe, that He could come for us during my lifetime. I choose to watch the clouds.
However, over the centuries and millenniums, this sense of anticipation, has been replaced by a ho-hum, blah-say, lack of wonder. Many say that it won't happen during their life time, so it's no big deal. They will be exempt from the rapture and all that it entails, not only for His church, but also for the unbelievers. Here's the thing - no one is exempt. Whether we are alive and kicking, or merely dust in the graves - when Jesus comes to claim his Bride - we are all going to be involved.
Scripture says that this time, will be as in the time of Noah. People will marry, work, give birth. We will be living, and sadly also, many will not be believing. Just as in the time of Noah. .
God's word is filled with prophecy. Prophecies concerning the birth, life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ - those prophesies have all been fulfilled. He has also given prophecies to us, to those living in our day and time, and for future generations. Prophecies concerning Christ's second coming. The book of Revelation, as many of you know is the only book in the Bible which carries a blessing for those who read it. Rev. 1:3 - "Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near."
As I said earlier, with all the changes in our world - both climate wise and politically - my mind can't help but wonder. How long oh Lord? And with this question and the glorious anticipation, is also the question my mother asked me so many years ago. Am I ready? I know for myself, I would stand on the roof-top and shout to the clouds - "Come Lord Jesus! Come!"
But I need to be honest. There are also questions I need to ask, not just myself, but also my Lord. I can't fool him. He knows my all. Where does my heart lie? Am I - as the church of Laodicea - merely lukewarm in my faith - neither hot nor cold? Do I, when tested, stand through the refiner's fire, being made more pure? Or do I cave under the pressure? Do I have any "gods" which I have put before Him? What walls have I built, which come between myself and my Christ? Am I hanging on to anger? Refusing forgiveness? Am I holding onto false teachings from the past, unwilling to let them go? Have I committed my life entirely, without question, to Jesus the Christ? Have I allowed Him to be my Boss? Do I believe His word to be gospel, or have I twisted His word to fit my circumstance?
My faith and confidence comes in knowing that I have asked Jesus to be my Savior, my Christ, my Boss. I love Him with my entire heart. He is my best friend, my confidant, my everything. I know that my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Not because of anything great that I have done. Not because I am a wonderful person. Not even because I try to do right. My name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, because of Grace. His Grace. My life has been saved, because He wore my crown of thorns. Because He bore my sins. Because the nails they pounded into his body, were meant for me. My name is written in His book because, I asked him to live in my heart.
When I say that I need to ask myself questions, I do not mean that I need to be perfect before, He will claim me as His Bride. If that were so, I'd be lost for eternity. No, I need to ask these questions, as a way of seeking a new heart through Him. I need to ask these questions, as a way of knocking down any walls which I may have built, between myself and my Christ. I need to ask these questions so I continue to grow closer to God.
I could write ten, twenty, a hundred pages, and barely touch on the subject, of His second coming. The more I think the more I receive, and the more I receive, the more questions I have. One thing however, stands constant . Christ Is Coming Again. Will it be in a thousand years, a hundred years, fifty years, or in five minutes? I do not know.
I do know, that we are to continue to look to the clouds. That we are not to be afraid. Because as chaotic as the world appears to be at this given time, God is still in control. I know that one day, God the Father, will announce to, Jesus, His Son - "The time is here, go and bring my children to me." And on that day, Jesus, the Bridegroom, will come for His Bride. What a day that will be!
I pray that each of us, as we shake our heads in bewilderment, as we watch the news, and all the hate and destruction: as we continue to witness the deterioration of our planet earth - that we also stop and look to the clouds, in anticipation.
I pray that each of us, will search our hearts. I pray that each of us will stand strong in faith, while being tested by the refiners fire. I pray that we all be courageous enough to spread God's word, to all who will hear. I pray that as we are watching with anticipation, we will also be asking our Lord, "What will You have me do, while I am waiting for you? Use me." I pray, everyday - "Come Lord Jesus. Come."
"Behold I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book."
Rev. 22:7 He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come Lord Jesus. Rev. 22:20
Let us always watch the clouds,