Matthew 24:42 “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”
The Lord Jesus Christ calls the disciples to be ready for His second coming. The second coming of the Lord will take place in two separate phases. The first phase is what is called the Rapture. The trumpet will soon sound and Christians will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:52.
In the second phase of the coming of Christ, the Lord will return physically to earth with an army of Christians. Jude 1:14, Revelation 19:13-14, Zechariah 14:1-4
No one will know when the rapture will take place, but we do know that it is going to catch everyone by surprise. It will take place in a twinkling of an eye, and be like a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:2 “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”
We must make sure that we are ready for the rapture, so that we won’t stand ashamed at the coming of Christ, but rather be confident at His appearing. 1 John 2:28
How is a person able to stand with confidence at the appearing of Jesus Christ and not be ashamed?
1. Make sure you are truly saved
The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 makes reference to the return of Christ.
Matthew 25:1-2 “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. Vs 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.”
The ten virgins represent ten professing people. The bridegroom represents the coming King.
Even though the five foolish virgins were waiting for the bridegroom, they were lacking and certainly not ready. They had no oil in their lamps. The oil represents the Holy Spirit. They were not true believers; they were professing Christians. They claimed to know the Christ and even called Him Lord, but Christ didn’t know them. 1 John 2:2-4
Matthew 25:11-12 “Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. Vs 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”
What a tragedy it is for those that thought they were believers, and realized they weren’t. I believe the Lord Jesus Christ allowed this parable to be in the Gospels because He didn’t want people to be deceived, and He desired to warn them to be watchful and ready. How is a person able to make sure they are ready?
Be sure you are born again from the Holy Spirit of God and you are a Child of God. Romans 8:16, John 3:3
2. Make sure you abide in Christ
1 John 2:28 “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”
As Christians our relationship and walk with God must be abiding. When we live our lives obeying and loving the Lord by His Spirit, then we will be a good servant for Christ. We will be good husbands, wives, parents, children, and Christians. We can be sure that the will of God is able to be fulfilled in our lives. John 15:1-17
1 Thessalonians 4:13 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”
Paul wanted the Church to be aware and understand a few things concerning the Christian’s relationship with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is probable that the Church was discouraged regarding this matter especially with those that were Christians and had already died. Paul wanted to encourage them.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
I would like to comfort your hearts with these following Words:
1 Thessalonians 4:14 “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
Faith in the Gospel brings about Comfort
1. Victory over death
Jesus’ death signifies that the believer’s sins have been paid for and the atonement has been made.
Jesus’ resurrection proves that He conquered the death that sin brings. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
When a believer in Christ dies, their life does not end!
1Thessalonians 4:13 “…that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”
2. A new body
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, vs 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
A body like the Lord’s – Philippians 3:20-21 No more tears, death, sorrow, and pain – Rev 21:4
3. The Lord will come again
1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven…”
God’s promises can be trusted. He is not a man that he should lie nor is there any darkness in Him.
John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
4. Reunite with saved loved ones
“…even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
What a wonderful thought it is to see our saved family and friends for all eternity. If you know someone that might not be a believer, I encourage you to pray for them and to share the gospel with them.
5. Forever be with the Lord
Having faith in Christ’s death and resurrection brings about full assurance of being with the Lord in Heaven.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 5:8 “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
Heaven wont be Heaven without the Lord Jesus Christ AMEN!