Where are we on God's calendar?
If man's stay on earth from the time of Adam and Eve could be placed into a clock with twelve hours, I believe we would be right at the end of the eleventh hour, ready for the clock to strike twelve! There are many indications that we are rapidly moving close to the end of time as we know it!
Jesus is coming! He didn't say when, but he did tell us we can know the times and the seasons. We can know the seasons because each one has individual indications of when it is coming. Then spring comes, the grass starts turning green and the little roots start putting out their shoots. When summer comes, the flowers bloom. When fall arrives, everything turns orange and brown. Winter brings the cold and snow. You can see the evidence and know what season it is.
How much time is left, we don't know, but we do know this, that God has permitted each of us to live in the greatest and most exciting days of all history ... days when people around the world are responding to God and to what he is doing. People from all faiths, from all walks of life and from all nationalities are hearing the call and they are waking up!
People are discovering that the most important thing we can stand on is the eternal, everlasting Word of God! A growing hunger is being created in hearts all over the world for a greater understanding of God's promises. People are learning that God will never violate his character and he will never violate his Word!
"I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:2,3). JESUS SAID HE WAS COMING AGAIN!
"And there will be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And they will they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:25-28).
"And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:10,11).
Angelic beings visited the earth when Jesus was here. They are visiting the earth today!
Did you notice that the angels said, "This same Jesus?" Angels are talking today, just as they did then, and are bringing the good news that he is coming! This same Jesus is coming back to earth! I certainly don't know how or when, but I definitely know that he IS! God has an eternity full of secrets he hasn't told us anything about, but one thing he has made clear is that Jesus is coming!
The disciples felt a genuine urgency about preparing for the second coming of the Lord. They looked forward to the time when "... the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a mighty shout and with the soul-stirring cry of the archangel and the great trumpet-call of God" (1 Thessalonians 4:16 TLB).
Paul told us that if you believe Jesus died, and arose from the dead, you also have to believe that he is coming again! He encouraged us to "comfort one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:18). We have something exciting to talk about to other people! When you see them looking down, say, "Cheer up, Jesus is coming!"
We find this positive belief many places in Paul's writings. He said part of the Good News is that God is taking care of things so you won't have to worry and be in a constant frenzy, wondering whether or not you are going to be ready when Jesus comes. There may be a lot of ups and downs on the path, but if you have linked arms with Jesus and are serving him, you are in God's family, and he will keep "your spirit and soul and body strong and blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes back again. God, who called you to become his child, will do all this for you, just as he promised" (1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24 TLB).
One of the most beautiful things about these messages the angels are bringing from God's heart is that they are making it possible for people to find new victories. They can relax, stop struggling and let his life flow through them. That flow-through of his life will take care of all the problems and situations that are troubling you. When we keep our eyes on the answer, which is Jesus, instead of the problem, we will find it easy to let his life flow through us.
James talked about it in the fifth chapter, verses seven and eight, "Be patient therefore, brothers, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receives the early and latter rain. Be also patient; establish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draws near." He may not come when you think he is going to, because there are some things he must still accomplish, but be patient, HE IS COMING!
Peter talked about it and spoke of the time when Jesus would be revealed from heaven. In 1 Peter 1:13 he says that you can stop worrying now and rest secure in the knowledge that Jesus is bringing with him a special load of grace when he comes. We don't need to look at the weaknesses, the hurts and the hard times around, we need to start looking for that special grace which is going to be brought to us at the appearing of Jesus Christ when he is revealed from heaven. "And this is the secret; that Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27 TLB).
John spoke of the return of Jesus in 1 John 3:2, where he said it doesn't yet appear what we will be, but we know that when he appears, something is going to happen! "... We will be like him; for we will see him as he is!"
Jude spoke of his coming back to earth in the 24th verse where he said, "Now to him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy." Jude believed it, and he was encouraging people to quit worrying about falling. God is big enough to call you, to help you, and to deliver you of your sins.
All of the markers of history tell us that he is coming! Social standard, indicating the increased activity of Satan, the physical signs upon this earth, and the great spiritual moves that we are seeing, all point to the return of Jesus! There is no question about it. Something is happening today in the spiritual realm of the world, and we are a living part of it!
As I think of the return of Jesus, I vividly remember those soul-stirring words that Gabriel said, "There has never been such excitement and activity in the courts of heaven since Jesus came the first time, as there is right now!"
MARANATHA, COME LORD JESUS SOON!
Next: In Closing ... Charles & Frances Hunter