A merry Christmas to all our friends,
Who think of Jesus in a manger.
Let us therefore make amends,
Prepare for him to come again.
Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny
Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing. 1 Thessalonians 5.11
How do you live your life? Do you ever look to the sky and ask if Christ will return today? Or do you get so caught up in the daily tasks that you have, that the thought never crosses your mind?
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians to be alert and sober. The Christian is to be watchful and clear-headed, able to see the dangers that are put in your path. Peter likens the devil to a roaring lion who seeks to devour those who are weak, 1 Peter 5.8. God will provide a way out when you are tempted, 1 Corinthians 10.13.
It is not known when Christ will return to welcome Christians home. Only the Father has that information. Therefore, it is important that Christians make the time to encourage one another. You are not alone. You have to finish the race to be able to receive the reward. Let’s all finish together!
Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4.16-18
It sounds like a scene from a science fiction movie. But, rest assured, this is not fiction. The Lord Jesus will return to claim and gather his own church.
It is an event where all will be present. But for the unprepared, it will not be pleasant. Preparation has to be made ahead of time. We cannot wait until the day and expect to be accepted by the Lord. Jesus will come like a thief in the night, 1 Thessalonians 5.2. Sudden destruction will come on the disobedient who have denied the Lord.
However, Christians are sons of the light and day. The Lord’s coming should not take us by surprise. We must stay alert and be ready for his coming. As a soldier dressed for battle, Paul tells the Thessalonians to put on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet, our hope for salvation, 1 Thessalonians 5.8. The Christian is destined for gaining salvation through Jesus Christ. As that day approaches, we need to encourage one another to remain faithful. There is a crown waiting. Will you be ready?
What does it mean to receive Christ? It means to receive his messengers who bring his Good News. The real ones, as distinguished from false teachers, bring a vigorous message of conversion. It means (1) hearing; (2) turning; (3) changing; (4) serving; and (5) waiting: Continue reading
“Therefore stay alert, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
Jesus warned about the destruction of Jerusalem and also saw beyond it to his second coming. No one knows when Jesus will come, but when he does, all will appear before God in judgment.
What does it mean to be alert? What does the alert Christian look like? What will keep a disciple from being approved on the last day?
“The one who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.”
The very last words of the Bible include a promise from the Lord Jesus, a prayer and a blessing. Jesus promises to return. This is the desire of his people. In the meantime, they live in his grace and work for it to reach everyone.
In Christ suffering makes sense. His death means victory now. His coming means eternal bliss. What does it mean to live in the Lord’s grace now?
“so also, after Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, to those who eagerly await him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation.”
Christ is a once-for-all Savior. His sacrifice was sufficient for all, for all time. Now he will come again, but not to suffer again. The next time he will bring eternal salvation to those who are awaiting him.
Christ’s two comings are related. Those who receive his sacrifice made in his first coming will eagerly receive him in his second. Have you received him through faith and obedience?
“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth.”
Luke 21.34 NLT
Jesus foretold the end of Jerusalem and moved to speak of the most cataclysmic event of all—the end of the world. The world dulls watchfulness. Pleasures and worries weigh down the mind that would watch and be prepared.
Jesus describes the people who are concerned with the affairs of this life. How would you describe the person who is aware of the end?
Some people are constantly looking for signs of the spiritual sort. They even do so when it comes to the return of Christ and the judgment that he will bring. But is looking for such signs worth our time?
Listen to this warning given by Jesus: Continue reading
No matter how the plain the Bible is (Mark 13:32), there are some who still try to predict the day of Jesus’ return. If they would only treat the day like they do the way!
What do I mean by such? Well, have you ever heard anyone try to teach that Jesus Continue reading
To believe in the rapture (per premillennial doctrine) you have to leave the scriptures behind.
Premillennialism teaches that Jesus’ rapturous return will be “silent”, but the scriptures teach that Jesus’ return will be anything but quiet: Continue reading
By J. Randal Matheny © 2015
Grateful are we to live in the last days,
In the fullness of time, when Jesus Christ was born
Of a virgin, God in the flesh, when humble praise
Broke out among shepherds, the holy kingdom torn
From Israel, and given to those who’ll bear
The fruit of God. The days of mystery
Have ended. Now’s the reign of the true Heir,
The Seed of the Gospel. The kingdom’s key
Is offered to all. The call of the Lamb is strong,
He chimes the hour to watch. He bids take sides.
No neutral ground can be held—’tis right or wrong—
He brings a sword, the faith a house divides.
The lines are clear, shall we draw back and blur
The truth? Or speak because we love our Lord?
The priceless pearl is ours — shall we prefer
The home’s comforts, or the eternal reward?
The King returns! The Sovereign seeks his own!
The morning dawns, angelic trumpets ring!
We greet his appearing, in clouds, on cherub’s wing!
What glory to rise with him and see his throne!
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
The second coming of Christ is an often discussed Bible subject. In spite of this, there is much misunderstanding and speculation about that glorious event. Following are some clear Bible facts about Christ’s second coming.
1. Christ, indeed, will come again. To His apostles He said, Continue reading
The Bible ends with Jesus promising, “Surely I am coming quickly!” and John added, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” I must chime in with the apostle, “Lord, come, come now; the sooner, the better!” Surely, these are days like the days of Noah. No one can dispute that these are times like the times of Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah. So what did Jesus mean, “Surely, I am coming quickly!” Of course, it might mean soon. But it has been nearly two thousand years since he spoke, so that isn’t it. It can also mean, suddenly and unexpected. I believe that is what Jesus meant. When people are distracted with temptation and involved in sin, Jesus will come as a thief in the night. If Jesus wants all saved, then why come without warning? The answer is simple; to get a genuine reading of what we care about. The faithful steward is always prepared, day or night. This is Just-A-Minute.