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The Return of Jesus (Episode VI)

April 16, 2008

I Thessalonians 4:18 “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

In ponderings of the moment when Jesus returns, each of us probably have in our minds, somewhat differing pictures of exactly what this is going to look like.  Every saint should be watching for this event with both joyful anticipation and urgency.  Joyful anticipation in knowing that we shall forever be with the Lord and urgency in knowing that we must reach the lost before the door closes.  When the saints have been gathered are putting on immortality, countless souls will, at the same time, be slipping into an eternity without Christ.  I imagine that none of us fully comprehend just what the Lords return entails.  Nonetheless, it’s imperative that we grasp the seriousness of reaching the lost, and ensure that our lamps are filled with oil in these turbulant times.  As the journey through Matthew chapter 24 continues, it becomes clear that, prior to the return of Christ, few things will line up with their outward appearance. 

Matthew 24:23 “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, of there; believe it not.”

We can expect, as the time draws ever closer, to be inundated with calls to follow many who are proclaiming to be Christ but are not.  These false Christs will not simply be eccentric characters wandering around making grandiose statements.  They will offer up supernatural signs and wonders, designed to create an appearance of validity to their claims and develop a following.  The accompanying fireworks will be so compelling that anyone who isn’t firmly grounded will forgo the warning that Jesus gave us in verse 23.  Ahthough not readily verifiable, the account mentioned in the link to “Another Rapture” (here)  highlights one notable danger.  When people are at their wits end, they will be tempted to believe anything that offers an escape from an ambience void of fleshly stability.  This next verse has been mentioned often, but it outlines how imperative it is for all of us to try the spirits; to see if they be of God.

Matthew 24:24-26 “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chamber, believe it not.”

In verse 5, Jesus warns us of those who will come in his name, but will present another gospel.  In verse 24 he begins to tell of those who will come claiming to be Christ and attempting to offer up that which appears as evidence of this claim.  Yet they will have to “lure” people into following them.  When Jesus appears; we won’t have to go looking for him.  As we watch the ease in which people are led into the ways of error, this seemingly obvious truth becomes even more profound.  In a way, chapter 24 is a continuation of chapter 23 where Jesus exposes the blatant hypocrisy of the religious elite.  In Matthew 24:1, the disciples appear to be changing the topic with causal commenting on the temple when Jesus replies “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”  In a moment, the conversation was restored to issues of eternal significance, prompting the disciples to inquire “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

Matthew 24:27-28 “For as the lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”

Despite all of the deceptions preceeding the return of our Lord and Savior, when he appears, it will be obvious and every eye shall behold him.  The angels will be sent into the four corners of the earth to gather up those in Christ and we shall forever be with the Lord.  When we get this truth into our heart; that we will be with the Lord Jesus “forever” the daily banterings of life seem so irrelevant.  What could possibly be more exciting than being with the Lord Jesus who paid for our sins with his own blood?  We shall be forever in his presence along with the saints from every tribe and every generation. Throughout the eons to come we shall stay forever this way.  No more dying, no more tears, no more broken hearts, no more anguish of spirit, no more wondering what tomorrow may bring, no more lonely nights, no more campaigns, and no more perplexities. Whatever we may be going through curently; it’s just a season. A VERY SHORT season that’s soon to pass. 

When we are focused on the age to come, we’ll not only have the peace of God that passes all understanding, we’ll not become overcharged by the neverending dramas of this life.  Instead we’ll be focused on those things which have eternal significance; reaching those outside the ark of safety, visiting the fatherless, offering a glass of water in Jesus name and serving in whatever capacity the Lord would have us serve in. (Matthew 23:11) These are the things which will remain when our works are tried by fire and this is one of the reasons for chapter 23 being so profound.  If we truly love the Lord wholeheartedly, we’ll so desire for others to know Jesus that we’ll be about our Fathers business with a pure heart; not just to put on a show and make a name for ourselves.  Our fervent desire will be to be with the Lord Jesus and to compel everyone around us to “know the Lord.”

Verses 29-32 tell about the time “immediately after the tribulation” and this will be the focus of episode VII.  For now, I have to take care of things around here.  Praise God for a deliverance in the realm of “blogger addiction.  With the AAM labor dispute now in its eighth week, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands, and yet it hasn’t resulted in spending much additonal time here.  This is a very transitional season and, at some point, blogging will cease.  Whether external forces bring it about, the Lord lets me know that it’s time to depart this venue, or I simply run out of things to write about, this is a very short season.  When compared to the timeless age to come, our days under the sun seem as nothing.  Yet our eternal abode is determined by whether or not we accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord during our brief encampment in the valley of decisions.  I wish to all, a blessed day in Jesus.

I John 3:2-3 “Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purefieth himself, even as he is pure.”

 

 

 

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2 comments

  1. It is exciting to read this post, timbob. These things are happening now. Time must be so near.

    I used to think that when Jesus said that many will come saying “I am Christ”, I thought they would be claiming to be Jesus. But it looks to me now, like that claim is to be “christ”, as in “christ consciousness” or the “diving within”. They will be claiming to be gods or deities unto themselves in their own right. This is happening now with the New Spirituality. They deny Jesus Christ, but declare themselves a new age “christ”.


  2. Greetings Loretta. Sorry for taking so long to get back. There’s so much deception in the land today with many preaching an admixture of truth, mingled with just enough error to lead multitudes into the ways of error. May we all be atuned to the Spirit as these are strange times.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.



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