I John 2:28, “… abide in Him, what when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed”
Revelation 22:20, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
Donald Grey Barnhouse told of a story he read in a London newspaper about a divorce case heard in the courts of that city. A wealthy young man had gone away to war soon after he was married. His new bride wrote him of the demanding schedule she had to keep as a nurse in a certain hospital. Apologizing for her infrequent writing, she explained that she was spending a great deal of time with the wounded. Several months later when the man was scheduled for leave, a friend suggested, “Don’t announce your coming. Slip in quietly.” Arriving in London, the young man went directly to the hospital, but his wife was not there. He then went to their house, where he was told by the servants, “Oh, she will probably be at the tea dance at the Ritz.” Going there, he found her in the company of another man. How shocked and ashamed she was at her husband’s appearing! In the above text Jesus said, “I am coming quickly.” My brethren, when our Lord returns, we don’t want to be found flirting and preoccupied with the things of this world. Jesus told His disciples that God had not given them specific information about “times or seasons” (Acts 1:7). He wanted them, as He wants us, to live in an attitude of expectation. The apostle Paul echoed this when he spoke of Christ’s return as “the blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).
How do we live expectantly for His return? Jesus instructed the disciples to be witnesses to all the world (Acts 1:8). The Apostle Paul said, “Watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6) and love other believers (vv. 12-15). John urged us to walk in close fellowship with Jesus (1 John 2:28-3:3), and to purify ourselves so that we will “not be ashamed before Him at His coming” 1 John 2:28. The Lord’s any-moment return is no cause for date-setting but for watchful expectation. Down through history, people have predicted specific days, months, and years for Christ’s return. I submit to you if we want to receive our Lord’s approval at His return, we must always be ready. Jesus didn’t tell us to “get ready,” but rather to “be ready” (Matthew 24:44). We are to live constantly in a state of spiritual preparedness, anticipating the moment when He will appear and ask us to give an account of our stewardship of what He entrusted into our care. What if He came for us today? Would you be ready for His return?”
May I live so that I shall be ready
With joy my Savior to meet,
And feel no alarm at His coming,
But hasten His heralds to greet – Anon
Jesus could come at any time – so be ready all the time!