When I was a child, my father worked in the mines and only came home once every two weeks. Before he left, he would leave us a list of chores for each day, but my siblings and I would leave everything for the last day. On the day he would return, we would rush around to get everything done. When my father arrived, he found everything done and thought he had wonderful children. Then one day he came home early and found out the truth. That night he gathered us all together, and with tears in his eyes, he said to us, “Children, I thought you were obeying out of love, but I found out that you are only obeying out of fear, and that makes me very sad.”
The question is, should we prepare for Christ’s return because we see the signs being fulfilled, or should we live permanently prepared because we love the Lord? Preparing out of fear leads to getting ready only when we think the day is near. But then we forget about it. Anyone who loves Jesus will live a loving spiritual experience with Him daily, resulting in a life of continued preparedness.
Many centuries have passed since Jesus took leave of His disciples and ascended into heaven, and the Master has not returned. Consequently, many people believe His promise was false. Others believe that Jesus has already come and is present on Earth, but He can only be recognized through the “eyes of faith.” The apostle John wrote that Christ’s return will even be seen by “those who pierced him” at the time of His crucifixion (Revelation 1:7). They definitely lacked faith.
One day, perhaps at midnight, humanity will be sleeping peacefully. Some will be trying to fill the emptiness in their hearts in nightclubs. There will be people in the streets, on street corners, and in bars. Others will be planning crimes. Prisons will still be overcrowded. Suddenly, the earth will be shaken. The blare of thousands of trumpets will be heard, and the sun will begin to shine. The whole world will lift up its eyes to heaven, for Jesus will be coming in the clouds to put a final end to the sin that has degraded, tormented, and bloodied humankind.
The last time I said goodbye to my father, I knew I would not see him alive again on this earth before Jesus’ return. I felt like crying, but he, even though his eyes were shining with emotion, said calmly: “Go in peace, my son. If something happens to me when you are far away, don’t worry; we’ll meet again when Jesus returns.” That is why I get excited every time I think of Christ’s return. I know that human hopes will finally be fulfilled in the greatest of all hopes: the glorious coming of Jesus.
Do you want to prepare yourself to finally meet Christ?
Should we prepare for Christ’s return because
we see the signs being fulfilled, or should
we live permanently
prepared because we love the Lord?
“The grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11–13).
The author has written dozens of books and articles and presented Christian lecture series on five continents. He writes from Brasilia, Brazil.