By Rev. Ron Brown
When was your first realization of the truth, and expectation, of the coming of the Lord?
I was sitting in the living room of a small living quarters attached to the Home Missions church in Kenora, Ontario. The living room was our Sunday School class, and the teacher was my aunt, Sis. W V Cooling, (the pastor’s wife). She began to tell us about the coming of the Lord, when His church would be called home to heaven. Her point was illustrated by being `ready’ to meet Jesus, with the example of packing your suitcase to prepare for a trip. You had to be ready when it was time to leave! At that tender age of six, I began to understand the need to be ready, and I have never forgotten it to this day.
Christians live in the attitude of expectation! Our theme of life can be capsulated in the wonderful verse of Titus 2:13: “Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” The writer of Hebrews calls this hope, “an anchor of the soul,” in Hebrews 6:19. Hope can be defined as `the desire of good,’ or ‘expecting it to happen.’ It’s simple; we get ready for something because we are convinced in our mind that it is going to happen! Man is a spiritual creature, and down through the ages, every culture, from ancient Egypt and Babylonia to the American Indian, has taught about a journey beyond the grave. Much speculation has been proposed about the hereafter, but Christianity, through the teachings of Jesus, began to raise and lift the fog of uncertainty, and the Apostle Paul infused Christianity with the `hope’ of everlasting life to a born-again child of God.
The ancient writings of Job declared, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold.”
Enoch and Elijah were translated to heaven before they saw death. This wonderful ‘type’ in scripture foreshadowed the catching away of the bride at a later date. Jesus spoke of Lazarus in Luke 16:19 as being in a comforting place called `Abraham’s bosom’ after his death, and Jesus also told us that “I go to prepare a place for you.” All these clues, and many others in scripture, let us know that there is a place of destiny for every human being after this life. It really is ‘heaven or hell,’ and the power of choice is in your hands! Peter used the keys given to him by Jesus and opened the door to the Kingdom of God by preaching to us emphatically on the day of Pentecost to “repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remissions of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” This is the ‘get ready’ part that introduces us into a new way of living and prepares us for His coming. We then live with ‘a blessed hope,’ and expectation of His soon coming should captivate our thoughts each day!
Time and space does not permit me to speak of the signs of Jesus’ coming all around us, but suffice it to say-He is coming soon! That’s why I want to be ready! Ready for the catching away; ready for God to speak; ready for a move of the Holy Ghost; ready for a soul to be saved; ready for a miracle from God! My hope is not in this world; it is not in successful peace negotiations; it is not in economic recovery; it is not in a New World Order—but my hope is in Jesus Christ! Live every day in hope and expectation of what Jesus is doing and will do, and let that hope guide your steps, thoughts and lifestyle! He’s coming soon!
The above article, “Ready,” is written by Rev. Ron Brown.
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