Come, Lord Jesus
The term 9-11 is something we have all come to recognize as a sad remembrance in the USA’s history. It’s a reminder of how quickly our lives can be here today, and then gone tomorrow.
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of people watching. I guess you could call me a connoisseur of the human race! And it’s not because I’m particularly nosey, or don’t have anything else better to do. I just find myself intrigued by the interactions of my fellow man.
As a result, I’ve made some rather interesting conclusions of everyday Joes like you and me. I’ve noticed how preoccupied many of us seem to be, everyone so deeply immersed in his or her own little world.
Let’s face it, you don’t have to go very far before you see someone’s head bent sideways against the earpiece of a cell phone totally captivated by the conversation, seemingly unaware of who or what’s going on around them.
Or, if you happen to travel the local freeway, it’s not long before you feel the up-close-and-personal bumper of the guy behind you, and in your rear-view mirror, you might interpret the heated message of, “Ok mister, either lead, follow, or get out of the way!”
And, if we become the least bit sluggish in shifting our foot from the brake to the accelerator when a traffic light turns green, we hear a loud honk! I have heard some rather colorful words through my driver-side window when my pedal-timing was less than perfect.
Now please don’t misunderstand me. I know we live in a modern world where life moves at a rapid pace. Even the multi-million dollar advertising media does a swell job in giving us the impression that if we dare blink our eyes (even for just a moment) we might miss the opportunity of a lifetime!
The high cost of modern living and the demands of keeping pace with social status have pushed many of us to the brink of sanity. I often hear the repeated explanations of, “Oh, it’s no big deal, it’s simply the sign of our times” or, “There’s no need to worry, just chill… everything is cool!”
Well maybe that’s all true, but perhaps it’s time for some of us to take a good, hard look at ourselves and ask some very important questions, like three simple words:
Where’s – the – love?
I can tell you where the Bible says the love is. Our brother Timothy communicates it very well in the Scripture when he says,
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV)
Now before you start throwing rotten tomatoes at me, I realize these passages are anything but a “feel good,” upbeat, positive message. In fact, they bring attention to the possibility we’re heading down the long, slippery slope of self-absorption!
But, as the famous saying goes, first the bad news, now … the good news.
In the book of Revelation, the Bible reveals a message of both warning and hope for all men and women of every generation. It concludes with the promise of Jesus Christ’s soon return, and offers a beautiful invitation to drink now of the water of life.
Christ’s second coming will be swift and sudden. Jesus’s purpose in telling us about His return was not in order that we might become caught up in predictions, or calculations about the date or the time, but to warn us to be prepared! Spiritual readiness cannot be bought or borrowed at the last minute. We are not to live irresponsibly by self-serving pleasure, but rather to use our time, talents, and treasures in order to serve God whole-heartedly in everything that we do. God, Himself has written the final chapter, and it culminates into true fulfillment and everlasting joy for those who love Him. The Book of Revelation beautifully concludes with the invitation of, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
Even in a modern world filled with anxiety, despair, selfishness, and immorality, Christ calls us to endure in our faith. Our own efforts to bring about a better world are important, but those results can never compare with the transformation that Christ will bring about when He returns. He alone controls human history, forgives sin, and will re-create the earth and bring lasting peace.
Eternal life is available to us today, only because of what Jesus, the Lamb has done. Will you trust Him today to secure your citizenship in the New Jerusalem that is soon to come?
He longs to bring this message to everyday “Joes” like you and me, and is waiting even now … and all you need to do is say, “Come Lord Jesus!”
Are You Curious About Advent?
Depending on your church background, you might participate in Advent every year, or you might stay away from it because it seems like a mysterious, age-old tradition that’s reserved for only certain denominations. You might even associate Advent with a candy calendar you see displayed in stores close to the holiday season.
At Proverbs 31 Ministries, our goal is to help you know the Truth of God’s Word by shedding light on things that might be a little unclear … even things like the Advent season. While Advent is not a biblical command, it is an activity we can choose to participate in to turn our hearts from the hustle and bustle as we focus on biblical truths.
In this episode, you’ll hear from Proverbs 31 Ministries’ director of theology, Joel Muddamalle. You will…
- Discover what Advent is, what it isn’t and how it can help align your heart with God’s Word as we celebrate Christmas and Jesus’ second coming.
- Stop rushing through the holiday season and refocus your mind on adoration for Jesus through patience, expectations for what He’s doing and contemplation on His goodness.
- Understand the importance of setting aside time to share with your family about who Jesus is and what He has done, and what He has promised to come back and do.
No matter your views on Advent, we pray this episode will serve as a resource and a reason to slow down and focus on Jesus this season.
The Way in Which Jesus Christ Returns
After the Lord Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven, all Christians who sincerely believed in Him began to look forward to His. In particular, we who have been born into the last days even more so look forward to His second coming when He shall raise us up into the heavenly kingdom. While we hold onto this hope, are we aware of the way in which the second coming of the Lord will appear to us? This question relates to the important matter of whether or not we are able to welcome the Lord’s coming, so it is essential that we discuss it in earnest.
Someone says that when the second coming of the Lord arrives, He will definitely come with clouds in great power and glory, for there are many such prophecies within the Bible. For example, “Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him” (Revelation 1:7). “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). Also, when the Lord Jesus was resurrected and He ascended to heaven, an angel said, “You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). In light of these prophecies, some brothers and sisters believe that the second coming of the Lord in the last days will definitely be Him coming with clouds.
In fact, besides the many verses in the Bible that prophesy the Lord coming openly with clouds, there are also the prophecies that say the Lord will come in secret as a thief. For instance, “Behold, I come as a thief” (Revelation 16:15). “If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief” (Revelation 3:3). And in Matthew 25:6, the Lord, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him.” These verses say very clearly that, when the Lord returns, not everyone will be able to see Him, but that He will come without our knowing about it at all. Instead, His arrival will be announced by a cry, that is, by someone testifying to us of the gospel of the Lord’s return. After we hear this testimony, we must open our doors and receive Him, and only then can we welcome the Lord. We can therefore confirm that the Bible prophesies two ways in which the Lord shall return: One being that the Lord shall come in the Spirit, riding openly on clouds, and one being that the Son of man shall come in secret.
We know the Lord is faithful, and whether He is prophesied to come in secret or openly with clouds, all shall be accomplished and fulfilled. So how exactly are these two totally different prophecies to be fulfilled? Let’s look at several verses of Scripture to find the answer.
In Luke 12:40, the Lord Jesus said, “Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not.” Also, in Luke 17:24–25 He said, “For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in His day. But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.” These verses prophesy that the Lord shall return as the Son of man. As we all know, “the Son of man” means someone who is born of man and who possesses normal humanity. The spiritual body of God cannot be called the Son of man—only God incarnate can be called thus. Like the Lord Jesus, for example. In essence, He was the Spirit of God clothed in an ordinary body, and no one could tell just by looking at Him that He was any different from a normal person. Therefore, the time of the work of God incarnate was the stage in which He came and worked in secret. To say it another way, when the Lord comes again in the last days, He first appears and performs His work in the flesh as the Son of man, and those who are able to hear the voice of God, through God’s words, will be able to recognize that He is God. Like Peter and John in those olden days, for example, who were able to recognize from within the words Jesus spoke that He was the Messiah, and so they kept pace with the footsteps of the Lamb, and they attained God’s salvation. Those who are unable to hear the voice of God, however, certainly judge the incarnate God by what He looks like on the outside, they treat Christ as though He were just an ordinary person, and they even reject, condemn and blaspheme against Christ of the last days, thus exposing them as the foolish virgins. When the great disasters come, the Lord shall begin rewarding the good and punishing the wicked, and then He shall come with clouds and appear openly to all peoples. When that time comes, all who resist God shall be caught in the disasters and there shall be much weeping and gnashing of teeth. Just as Revelation 1:7 says, “Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.”
Streams in the Desert – February 7
Times have changed, but life’s hard times haven’t
Why art thou cast down, O my soul (Ps. 43:5).
Is there ever any ground to be cast down? There are two reasons, but only two. If we are as yet unconverted, we have ground to be cast down; or if we have been converted and live in sin, then we are rightly cast down.
But except for these two things there is no ground to be cast down, for all else may be brought before God in prayer with supplication and thanksgiving. And regarding all our necessities, all our difficulties, all our trials, we may exercise faith in the power of God, and in the love of God.
“Hope thou in God.” Oh, remember this: There is never a time when we may not hope in God. Whatever our necessities, however great our difficulties, and though to all appearance help is impossible, yet our business is to hope in God, and it will be found that it is not in vain. In the Lord’s own time help will come.
Oh, the hundreds, yea, the thousands of times that I have found it thus within the past seventy years and four months! When it seemed impossible that help could come, help did come; for God has His own resources. He is not confined. In ten thousand different ways, and at ten thousand different times God may help us.
Our business is to spread our cases before the Lord, in childlike simplicity to pour out all our heart before God, saying, “I do not deserve that Thou shouldst hear me and answer my requests, but for the sake of my precious Lord Jesus; for His sake answer my prayer, and give me grace quietly to wait till it please Thee to answer my prayer. For I believe Thou wilt do it in Thine own time and way.”
“For I shall yet praise him.” More prayer, more exercise of faith, more patient waiting, and the result will be blessing, abundant blessing. Thus I have found it many hundreds of times, and therefore I continually say to myself, “Hope thou in God.”