I am continually reminded how I am controlled by my watch, the clock and the calendar! I can remember traveling overseas to places were people do not own any of these. Now, they may have a paper calendar, but a watch or clock is out of the question. It is interesting that they do just fine without items that we would consider a requirement. One of the great Bible truths reminds us that we do not need a watch, a clock or even a calendar to be ready for Jesus’ next visit to us.
I touched on this last week, but I am referring to the “imminent” return of Jesus in the Rapture of the church. My question to myself and you is this: “Do I live expecting Jesus to drop in?” Our adult kids share times when they left cleaning the house to the last minute with Mom and Dad were away. This can also be true of husbands or wives when their spouse is gone. Our family relives those times and the youngest being given the chore to call Mom and Dad to find out where they were on the route home and, more importantly, when they would be arriving.
Now, why did they do that? Because they did not want to be caught un-prepared for their parents return. It is amazing our attention to detail when it comes to appointments and events but we often fail to be prepared for the most important visit of our lives. It is the return of Jesus at the Rapture of the believers. Please refer to last week’s newsletter for the specifics on this Bible truth. This week I want to challenge you to be ready for the Lord’s imminent return. What is amazing about the Rapture is that there are no Biblical markers for this next prophetic event. We are reminded that it will just happen. Jesus reminded us that, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3) The Apostle Paul, speaking to the Corinthian followers of Jesus, taught, “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,” (1 Corinthians 15:51) This great truth that is often hung in the church nursery really reminds us of a great truth. The Lord is coming to visit unexpectedly. We are reminded with the metaphor “sleep” that not all of us will die. There will be a portion of believers that will bypass death itself! It is in this glimpse of the Rapture that we also learn, ““in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:52) We are reminded that it will happen in the time that it takes for an eye to twinkle or blink. Did you know that your blink is that fastest physical movement of your body? We are reminded that Jesus’ return will happen in an instant!
I encourage you to join us on Sunday as we take some time to explore the Biblical teaching on the imminent return of Jesus and the Rapture and also as we dive into the main portion of Revelation in our Celebrate Summer Series. But I do want to leave you with a word of encouragement. This return of Jesus is to take you and I that know Him to be with Him forever. “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17–18) Paul reminds us that this event is our graduation to be with the Lord. It is incredible to ponder this great truth in light of all that stuff happening in our lives and in our world. This often-overlooked reality is one of our greatest sources of encouragement! Let’s make sure that Jesus’ return is on our calendar. It is something worth looking forward too!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson