Ready For His Coming

Ready For His Coming
Randall Caselman
11/5/97

Ready For His Coming


Therefore, you must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. The second coming of Jesus is taught in all but four books of the New Testament. Jesus constantly referred to His return. There are 318 references to His return in the 216 chapters of the New Testament. This means over one-half of the New Testament deals with the second coming. Sheer numbers alone point out the importance of the subject.
Jesus gives the parable of the wedding feast saying, Behold the bridegroom cometh! There should be nothing frightening about this announcement. After all it was the message they all were waiting to hear. This was the reason they came.
Why should the coming of Jesus surprise us? Most of the New Testament was written to prepare us for His return. The Greek used to speak of His return is parousia. It speaks to us of the surety of the event, we can count on it. Parousia says Jesusí coming is a guaranteed event. We in the church today have lost sight of this fact.
The primitive church anticipated His return. They wanted, waited and prayed for the event. In Aramaic, the word is marana tha meaning, Lord come quickly or Come O Lord. Their anticipation of His coming impacted their lives: It changed their thinking. It changed what they talked about, it changed their daily walk. It changed their priorities. The early church stayed prepared, properly dressed, with lamps trimmed and ready. Are we ready? Do we understand that He could come this year, this month, this week, today, before you finish this article?
The five foolish virgins were not ready for the bridegroomís coming for several reasons. Let's notice some possibilities.

Perhaps the lack of foresight. They may not have counted the cost of discipleship. Christianity is a religion of perseverance. We must keep on keeping on. Paul, nearing the end of his life wrote, I have fought the fight, run the race, finished the course, kept the faith. It is foolish to think that one can clothe himself with Christ in the act of New Testament baptism and then sit down to do nothing. The Seven churches of Asia were reminded that heavenís reward was for those who overcame.

Perhaps they were indifferent. They seemed to take the importance and significance of the occasion for granted. Ho hum another Sunday, another Bible class, another sermon. How many of us are indifferent toward spiritual matters... Taking our religion for granted?
Scripture is filled with warnings about being indifferent in religious matters. From Mount Sinai, the first commandment was, Thou shall have no other gods before me. Joshua challenged, Chose today whom you will serve, the gods of your forefathers and Egypt or Jehovah. Solomon wrote, Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Jesus said, the first and greatest commandment is love God with all your heart, mind body and soul. The church at Laodicea was chided because they were lukewarm, indifferent. They had taken their religion for granted.

Perhaps because of their lack of attention to detail
. In spiritual matters, small things make a difference, small foxes spoil the wine... Not one jot or tittle will pass from the law until all is fulfilled... You have been faithful in the little things, I will make you ruler over many. Regardless of how we may deal with the big aspects of our religion, it can still be the little things that keep us from being prepared for His coming. Know this, little things can keep us out of heaven.

Perhaps they were presumptuous. They presumed that they could borrow oil from others... Not so. Judgment will be one-on-one. Jesus, in the sheep and goat judgement pictured us as being judged on our own actions and reactions to others about us. In the great white throne judgement scene of Revelation twenty, John said, And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books... And each person was judged according to what he had done. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. We are not saved as a family, as a church, or a nation, but by our individual response to Jesus.
Some were there in truth, but not in spirit. All guests were present for his coming. They had their lamps and oil. But their heart was not really in it. They were correct in form, but only going through the motions. These would correspond to the pseudo-religious of today. They are in the church, they are careful to attend all the worship services, even become involved in a ministry system. They verbally contend for the faith, but their heart is not really in it. They are practicing right religion with wrong motive. The foolish virgins looked good, they were in the right place, doing the right things, but their heart was not really in it.
The saddest words in Jesusí parable are, and the door was shut. There will be no second chance. There is an awesome finality to His coming. The opportunity for our response to Godís amazing grace is passed, forgiveness is impossible. Today is the day of salvation, now is the accepted time... The Spirit and the Bride say come... The last words spoken by our Lord in the Bible were, behold I come quickly. Are we ready?

óRandall Caselman




Written By

Bella Vista Church of Christ

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