In part 4A I mentioned that the final word in the “Rapture Ready” message was “two in one”. The Lord said His bride must desire His return which is the subject we discoursed in the previous post. But there is the other half to His message and it is this: Fear His coming.
A lot of people these days (godly, for that matter) do not anticipate His return, much less fear it. Such folks believe that Jesus isn’t coming back soon like He promised and while they argue correctly that it hasn’t happened for centuries, they wrongfully assume that it can’t happen in their day and age.
This is a mighty problem for when we assume that Jesus isn’t returning soon, our heart opens the door to all kinds of spiritual laziness, lukewarm corruptness, sinfulness, and slumber, which will ultimately hinder us from being the ready (and spotless) bride of Christ. Let me just say it now, we would not be going when He comes because we were unaware.
After explaining the end times, the destruction of Jerusalem, and His coming, Jesus gave this warning to His disciples:
But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. Luke 21:34-36 NKJV
The moment we discount the imminent return of Jesus is the moment we tie ourselves to this world. Jesus said specifically said our heart would be weighed down; when we don’t believe in His anytime return, we’ll be overtaken with strong care for the enjoyments and ambitions of this life. There is no good in doing this for “he who loves his life will lose it” (Jn. 12:25).
If don’t take heed and watch, we’ll stop being centered on Christ and will become earthly minded; we’ll grow spiritually lazy and get drunk in fleshly thrills; we’ll grow completely cold in love for Jesus and won’t want to depart from this earth. Then we’ll fall into the snare meant for the world and we won’t be found worthy to escape the judgment of God and stand before Jesus Christ!
This is why the Lord warns us to not only desire, but fear His return.
He Comes Quickly
If there is just one verse in the Bible that unceasingly stirs and breaks my heart for Jesus Christ, then it is Revelations 22:20. It is the last chapter of the Bible, almost the last verse of Bible, and the very last word that Jesus delivered to His body of believers:
“Surely, I come quickly.”
These words hold the greatest joy for all believers and the worst danger for non-believers (and I specifically speak about those who deny the Lord’s coming). The people who have given and made themselves ready for Him have quite the celebration waiting for them, but to those who haven’t there remains nothing but sorrow and woe for them.
We as the bride better believe that our Love is on His way for us! We must keep watch for Him and not be turned to other lovers (love for this life and world). We need to have a faithful heart for our Groom and trust in His last word to us.
The True Bride
The anthem of the “Rapture Ready” message is that He’s coming soon. We now know according to Jesus what it means to be a ready for when He comes. Only the Spirit of Christ can determine who belongs to Him and who doesn’t; He knows who He’s looking for, He knows who He wants to come for. He gave us His word, so what will we do with it?
The response from a true bride of Christ is, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:21).
Such were the words of the man who was entrusted with the last words of the Lord. This was the apostle John, the beloved disciple. He believed in His Lord; he closely knew His Lord; the life of His Lord lived in and through him. No doubt, he desired and watched for His return.
We should note that as a man, John could have loved his life to the end. He could have tried to experience something more in this world, wanted something better to do, something else to look forward to. At any point, he could have stopped watching for the Lord and turned to “carousing and drunkenness”. But he didn’t.
No, John (the true bride) desired his Lord’s return so much because he loved Jesus that much. And his response is one which we, as the bride of Christ, should declare about our King.
And the Spirit and the bride says, “Come!” Rev.22:17 NKJV
The ultimate test of who the true (and ready) bride of Christ is: do we want our Lord and Love to return for us? Will we faithfully watch and wait for Him?
If you knew that Christ would come tomorrow, would you waste time as you have been wasting it this last week? He may come tomorrow. Yes, He will come tomorrow–some tomorrow. – RA Torrey