Looking unto Jesus — chapter by chapter

Never closer than now!

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.

You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 4:7-8

The “coming of the Lord”—how great this fact we look forward to! None on this earth have been so close to His second-coming as we this very day. What a privilege we have. Yet we do not know the exact time… hidden from even Jesus Himself… this time is only known to the Father (Matt. 24:36 & Mark 13:32). His coming will be as sudden as lightning and as unexpected as a thief in the night (Matt. 24: 27, 37m 39; I Thess. 5:2; II Pet. 3:10). It is not something one can get ready for when He comes; but rather one ought to be ready for His coming.

The New Testament speaks much about His coming again and our readiness for Him. A couple of insights we would be wise to consider and respond towards–

1. We are to be serious about His coming and watchful in prayer (I Pet. 4:7). Some will even scoff and will to forget the truth of God’s word. (II Pet. 3:3-6).

2. His delay, from our frame of reference, must not lead to forgetfulness or apathy. God does not measure time as man does. To Him, a thousand of our years is as a day (II Pet.3:8). Even though a few “days” have passed, God has not changed nor abandoned His time or plan.

3. The believer is to use his very precious and little time to prepare for the coming King. We are to be clear thinking, watching and praying without choosing distraction (I Pet. 4:7). We are to be living in daily holiness (I Thess. 3:13; 5:23). Realizing the day is far spent, His appearance sooner than ever, we are to put off darkness and put on the armor of light, making no provision for the flesh and living to fulfill our lusts (Rom.13:11-14). We are to use our vapor of time in preparation for meeting Him.

4. As the return of the Lord has never been so near, the believer is to be found in consistent fellowship. This to be an example and for the activity of the ministry of love and encouragement to other believers (Heb. 10: 24-25). Our gentleness, which carries the idea of forgiveness is to be evidenced because of the Lord’s return (Phil. 4:5). Because of the coming of the Lord, our relationships are to be right, full of grace and mercy with our fellow-man.

5. Finally, John uses the Second Coming as a reason for man to abide in Christ
(I Jn.2:28). Without a doubt, the best preparation for meeting Christ is to live close to Christ every day of life. Paul tells us (II Tim. 4:8), that the believer will receive the “crown of righteousness” for “loving His appearing.” Why the crown of righteousness for the love of His appearing? I suggest it is because of the great effect such a choice produces. The love of His appearing contributes greatly to right-living… holiness. The last words of Jesus in Scripture–
“Surely, I am coming quickly.”