Mumbai Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) | JESUS IS COMING AGAIN - ARE WE READY?

JESUS IS COMING AGAIN - ARE WE READY?

JESUS IS COMING AGAIN - ARE WE READY?
8th January, 2016
Mr. Francis D'souza (Courtesy Charisindia Magazine) JESUS IS COMING AGAIN - ARE WE READY?
JESUS IS COMING AGAIN - ARE WE READY?
 
Making resolutions and planning are considered as one of the important activities especially before the beginning of a New Year. They help us lead a meaningful life. In planning we set the goals and resolutions are the paths to achieve them.
 
An article on the above subject would have been apt. But a New Year is also a time for new expectations. Hence we face questions such as, “What will 2016 be like? What will it bring forth? May I propose one more question?  A question that concerns eternity - Will Jesus Christ return to earth during this year? If so, are we ready to meet Him?
 
The topic of the Second coming of Jesus is evoking great interest because of the prevailing situation of the world. There is turmoil everywhere, increasing violence, killing of the innocent, global terror, prospects of the third world war looming large, barbaric sufferings, inhumanity, catastrophes, natural disasters, famines, brutal persecutions, economic instability and many more.
 
In Mark 13:5-11, while talking about the end times Jesus states that such things will happen in the last days.
 
“Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 6Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,' and will deceive many. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
9"You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”
 
Considering the things that are happening in the world today and in light of the above Scripture (Mark 13:5-11) one may go around claiming that Christ is coming today or try to do date-setting. All calculations are bound to be wrong because no one knows the hour of Jesus’ return neither the angels not even Jesus Himself, only the Father who has set it knows. To avoid any embarrassment which could be caused by the false alarm, we must have a proper perspective on the return of Christ. A closer look at the following Scriptures would help in this regard:
 
When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. (Mark 13:7)
 
…These are the beginning of birth pains (Mark 13:8)
 
Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. (Mark 13:29)
 
And the gospel must first be preached to all nations (Mark 13:10)
 
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9)
 
The second coming of Jesus need not happen only because of the signs we are seeing as Jesus himself said in Mark 13:7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
Further, as Jesus says in Mark 13:29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. In other words for Jesus to return that door has to be opened and the key to the door is found in Mark 13:10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. We know that thousands upon thousands have still not heard the Good News. Paul tells us in Romans 10 that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how will they call on the Lord if they have not even heard about Him? Therefore until they hear the good news the time is never going to be right for the Second coming of Jesus. Some of them may be living amongst us. What are we doing to bring the good news to them?
 
The doctrine of the Lord's second coming, as it appears in the New Testament, is like a lofty mountain that dominates the entire landscape. No matter what road you take, no matter what pass you tread, you will find the mountain bursting on your vision at every turn of the way, and at every parting of the hills. But one fact is clear from the three hundred or more references to Christ’s return in the New Testament -Jesus is coming back and each day we are getting closer to that climactic moment.
 
Though, the fact that Jesus will return to earth is an absolute certainty it is also unique because it will happen unannounced. This we know from Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:36 No one knows about that hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Peter too says the same thing in different words –“the day of the Lord will come like a thief” (2 Pet 3:10). Due to this sudden return of the Lord, it is absolutely necessary for us to be prepared at all times. The following anecdote serves to illustrate this point:  
 
A teacher told his class that he would be going away for several weeks, and he offered to give a prize to the student whose desk he found in the best order when he came back. But he didn't tell them what day he would return.
Each child was determined to get it, including a little girl whose desk was normally quite messy. Her classmates jeered, "Mary, you'll never win. Your desk is never neat."
"Oh, I plan to clean it the first of every week from now on."
"But," someone said, "suppose, he comes at the end of the week?"
"Then I'll clean it every morning."
"But," another classmate persisted, "He may come at the end of the day."
For a moment the child was silent in thought. Then she said decidedly, "I know what I'll do. I'll just keep it clean!"
 
Hence if we want to receive our Lord's approval at His return, we must be ready at all times. That is why Jesus did not tell us to "GET READY," but rather to "BE READY" (Mt. 24:44). We are to live constantly in a state of spiritual preparedness, anticipating the moment when He will appear and ask us to give account of our stewardship.
 
We know from Scriptures that God wants all men to be saved. We also know that in the first coming Jesus came as Saviour but now He will come as Judge. It appears from the state of the world that it is far from ready for the final judgment and so many are in danger of being lost eternally. Hence the delay in Jesus’ return must be seen as God’s patience with us, for He is waiting for all men to come in repentance so that they may be saved. Let us then, instead of being cynical, be grateful for His kindness and mercy.
 
Other endtimes scriptures advise us to become men and women of prayer, and also make every effort to live holy and godly lives. This will ensure our preparedness for the second coming of the Lord.
 
“Live as if Jesus died yesterday, rose this morning, and is coming back at any moment.”
 
Expecting Jesus’ soon return
Will help us live a life that’s pure;
For if we’re ready when He comes,
We will not be ashamed but sure.