There is one thing we can all agree on, and that is; we are living in the last days and that the coming of Jesus is very soon. Although there are differences of opinions of what will happen in the last days, but there is however one thing that we can all agree on, that we must be prepared and ready for the return of Jesus. Jesus taught a lot about the end times in the Gospels and the importance of being ready.
Before we discuss on how to be ready for the coming of Jesus, let us look at some encouraging truths
First of all, Jesus is coming back for a glorious and victorious church:
In Ephesians 5:27 we read, “… that He (Jesus) might present her (the Church) to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she (The Church) should be holy and without blemish.” Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Therefore, no matter what happens in the last days, we will be part of this glorious and victorious church. The devil and his demons will not be able to defeat us.
In 2 Corinthians 2:14 it says, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” If we allow God to lead us, we will always have the victory. God will never lead us into defeat and despair! He is much stronger than the devil and the antichrist! Therefore, we must have a victory mentality, if we are going to stand strong in the end times.
Secondly: The will be a great harvest of souls in the last days:
Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” This must happen before the return of Jesus. In Revelations 7:9 we read, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” In verse 14 it says that, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation.”
Jesus also said in Matthew 28:19: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” Jesus would not have given us this command if it was not possible to fulfill. The church will make disciples of all the nations. There have been a number of prophets who have said who have said that there will be a billion new souls for Jesus before His coming. Therefore, as a church we are not going to focus on what the devil and the antichrist wants to do, but we will focus on what God wants to do.
Thirdly: The will be the manifestation of God’s glory all over the earth:
Jesus prayed in John 17:22, “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” Before the return of Jesus, there is going to be the manifestation of God’s glory all over the world. We will see the greatest manifestation of healings and miracles. There will be an increase of angelic activity.
In Habakkuk 2:14 we read, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” We are living in a wonderful time of history, where will see God do wonderful things before the return of Jesus. In Daniel chapter 11, we read about the reign of the antichrist on the Earth during the last part of the Tribulation. In Daniel 11:32 we read, “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he (the antichrist) shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”
Fourthly: We can expect God’s divine protection and provision:
We read in Revelations 3:10: “Because you have kept [My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” If we walk in obedience, God will keep us and provide for us. In Revelations we read about the dragon or the devil that tries to persecute the church, the woman. In Revelations 12:6 we read, “Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” Even in the midst of persecution, Jesus will look after His church.
Now that we have read some of the wonderful promises God has given to us through His word, we also have a number of warnings and instructions. We must be ready and prepared for the return of Jesus.
Let us look at some important warnings and instructions in the Bible
Firstly: We must become free from being entangled with the affairs of this world:
We read in Luke 21:34-36: “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing (careless living), 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.”
In other words, we must not let anything quench our spiritual fire. We are warned about the pleasures of this world. This could apply to the things we watch and read, the Internet, TV etc. It is important that we simplify our lifestyles and we get out of debt as soon as possible and not be controlled by the cares of this life. It is important that we depend more and more on the Lord through prayer and our relationship with Him.
Secondly: The importance of prayer and our personal relationship with God:
We already read in Luke 21:36, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you maybe counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” We read in 1 Peter 4:7-10: “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. It is important, have a strong personal prayer relationship with the Lord. No matter how difficult it may seem to stand strong in the end times, we can always turn to God in prayer
Thirdly: The importance of our relationship with the church and other Christians:
We read in 1 Peter 4:10: “But the end of all things is at hand…” In verse 11 we read, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.” In Hebrews 10:25 we have a very important warning, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” As we approach the coming of the Lord, the attacks against believers will be more severe. That is why we are going to need the support, encouragement and the protection of our brothers and sisters in Christ all the more.
Fourthly: The importance of focusing on the harvest and what God has called us to do:
If we continue to read in 1 Peter 4:8,10: “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers … As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” If we become too focused on what the devil is doing, we may miss the wonderful opportunities that God wants to give us during this time. If it is true, that the greatest harvest of souls will take place just before the return of Jesus, then being involved in bringing in this harvest should be one of our greatest priorities in the end time.
Therefore, it is now not the time for us to withdraw, do nothing and wait for the rapture. Now is the time to rise up, preach the Gospel and disciple the nations. Jesus said in Luke 19:13, “Occupy till I come!” Now is the time to share our faith and lead people to Christ. Jesus gave us a parable about the talents in context of the end times, warning us to use the talents and the gifts that God has given us.
Fifthly: The importance of our relationship with the Holy Spirit:
Jesus gave us the parable of the Ten Virgins. The wise virgins had extra oil and were ready for the return of the Bridegroom. Oil is a type of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is so important that we are continually filled with the Holy Spirit as we wait for the return of Jesus. We read in Matthew 25:10: “ .” In verse 13 we read, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” It is not only important to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but to be led by the Holy Spirit. He will tell us what to do, where to live, where to hide if necessary and how to prepare for the end times.
Sixthly: The importance of holiness and purity:
2 Peter 3:11-12: “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” As we approach the “day of God” or the Great Tribulation, we should be growing in holiness and godly character.
We read in Daniel 12:3, “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Just as stars shine brighter when the sky gets darker, so we as Christians will shine brighter as the events in the world will get darker and more evil. As we shine bright for Jesus, we will have great opportunities to “turn many to righteousness.”
Finally: We must never lose our hope:
We read in Titus 2:13: “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Our blessed hope is the return of Jesus and the rapture of the church. The Tribulation period will only be for a short time. When we see the events unfolding in the end time, we need to rejoice, because it is a sign that Jesus is coming back and we will soon be with Him forever and ever in eternity. Jesus said in Luke 21:28: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
We should see the end times as a wonderful time to be alive. It is a great privilege to be alive at this time and possibly witness the return of Jesus. We must not lose our joy but put out trust in God and follow Jesus with all our hearts. Let us therefore prepare ourselves for the one of the greatest events in the history of the world, the second coming of Jesus. Amen