A Crown of Righteousness for Those Who Love His Appearing.
“In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” -2 Tim 4:8 (NASB)
Hre’s a big statement and if you disagree with me then please search the scriptures to prove me wrong. Here it is: If you are not longing for the return of the Lord, eagerly waiting for His arrival, then are you a real born-again, saved by His blood, Christian?
We as Christians
should be, must be longing for the appearing again of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our entire being must be pining for the return of the Lord to be with Him forever. Our daily focus must be on Him; our thoughts, motives, thinking and actions. We must live a life of purity (1 John 3:3), a life of our affections set on things above and not on things here on earth – Col 3:2. You see most Christians – at least the ones in Western Christianity – believe that His coming will disrupt their worldly lives and so don’t want Him to return now. They want to be around their families and see their kids and grand-kids grow up (nothing wrong with this other than the Lord must number One in your life, with family second). Most, can I say, think that if Christ were to arrive now or soon it would mess up their regular life. So they don’t look for His appearing and want His arrival. How sad.
We must be living our lives each and every day with the expectation and realization of His return or our personal rapture (death) unto Him and therefore be ready to meet Him at any time.
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” -Heb 9:28 (KJV)
But do we…? That’s the big question.
So many are in a Christianity routine of ceremony, ritual with no purpose. Going to church for social or ritualistic reasons with little thought as to why we came and what to do. Oh yeah, the actions are there – singing songs, raising hands, bowing heads but what about our hearts. When they are measured or weighed what will they indicate? Jer 17:10. A heart dedicated and surrendered to God full of sincere praise and thanksgiving or one empty and void of spiritual substance?
There’s a parable in Luke 12:35-40 that may shed some light on our readiness for the Master’s return.
“Be ready for service and have your lamps lit. 36- You must be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once. 37- Those slaves the master will find alert when he comes will be blessed.” -Luke 12:35-37 (HCSB)
We must be (not should, possibly, or maybe) without question ready for His arrival with our lamps lit and prepared for our Master’s return. Are we prepared and ready to meet Him and welcome Him into our lives? Or … are our Christian activities, actions, and thoughts just for show and insincere at best? You know God measures our hearts, He looks down from His throne and sees right through our actions and put-ons looking at the real intents of our hearts and where we are at with Him. This should be a sobering and awakening thought for all of us, every day.
“I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.” – Jer 17:10 (NASB)
Friends, if you are not looking for His appearing might I suggest that your walk with Christ needs are hard introspective examination. Are you a Christian in name only or one in word, deed, thought and expectation of His return? Remember … the middle-of-the-road people – the lukewarm bunch – will be spit, spewed and vomited out of His mouth – Rev 3:16. If you are a member of the lukewarm club … you may dread going to church, dread reading your Bible, rarely make time to pray or seek the Lord just you and Him. A lukewarm Christian will talk a big talk but deep inside they are dead spiritually. Lights are out and no one is at home. And most of all a member of the lukewarm club will not look forward to the Lord’s return.
So, therefore, in sincerity, we must be eagerly awaiting His return and anticipating it at the appointed time. We must be ready at the door waiting for His knock to open and allow Him in. The days we live in are dangerous, treacherous, evil and wicked. Our lives are in peril wherever we are so we must be ready to meet Him either here, there, or in the air at the catching away or rapture. You ready?
The time is now to prepare and get ready. The time is now to stop playing church and/or playing Christian. The time is now to get right with God, reading our Bibles, seeking Him every day, confessing, and repenting of our sin. And we must avoid evil and live in holiness. These things are daily requirements for any professing, heaven-bound Christian. But do we practice them with a sincere heart? Friend, where are you at today in your walk with Christ – are you just playing a role or are you sincere and serious in your heart, soul and mind?
Soli Deo gloria
-BPWatcher, Internet Preacher and Bible Prophecy Watchman
SEEK THE LORD, BE READY FOR HIS RETURN!