WEDENSDAY — Are You Ready for Jesus to Return?
Big Point: The only way to be prepared for the Rapture is by believing in Him and accepting His free gift of salvation.
The following is an excerpt from Dr. Marc Axelrod’s www.sermoncentral.com sermon entitled “Being Prepared for Christ’s Return”:
“There are two misguided attitudes that people today have about the [Rapture]. The first attitude is fanaticism. These are the people who think that every single thing that happens in the Middle East must be a sign of the end of the world. ‘Oh, no! There was a suicide bombing in Israel today. We’re one step closer to the great and terrible day of the Lord prophesied by Malachi! And I’m not ready yet! (sob, sob, sob)’ And I feel like saying, ‘Calm down. Have some milk and cookies. Take a deep breath.’
And then the other extreme is indifference. ‘People have been saying for 2000 years that Jesus is coming back. Blah, Blah, Blah… After all this time, I’m starting to wonder. And even if He is coming back, I seriously doubt He would come back during football season. I think I have a little time to work with here. So I’m going to go out this weekend and do whatever I feel like doing. It’s my life! I’m not going to let a few ancient Bible prophecies affect the way I life MY life!’
Somewhere in between the fanaticism of the first guy, and the faithless indifference of the second guy, I think we can figure out how Jesus wants us to live in the light of his return.”
READ and THINK…Find the answers
How is our world today like that in Noah’s time? Are you more like Noah or his neighbors? Why?
Matthew 24:36-39 (New Living Translation)
36“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” 37When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 38In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and wedding right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.
How does Romans 6:23 say we get to Heaven?
Romans 6:23 (New Living Translation)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus our Lord.
The final destination of the believers is Heaven. Heaven is simply defined as where God is. It is a place of rest, of glory, of purity, of worship, of fellowship with others, and of being with God. Read Revelation 21:4—which of these descriptions of Heaven are you most looking forward to? (We’ll discuss heaven more on Friday.)
Revelation 21:4 (New Living Translation)
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
In a recent leftbehind.com poll, the question was asked “Are you ready for Jesus to return?” Website polls are not statistically valid surveys, but they can be illuminating. Here’s how the responses broke down:
- I’m anxiously expecting his return = 3812
- I hope he comes during my lifetime, but not yet = 2023
- I need to get ready = 565
- I’m afraid I’ll be left behind = 639
- I know I’ll be left behind, but I don’t know what to do = 193
More than 50 percent of respondents said “I’m anxiously expecting his return.” Nearly three in ten either had unfinished business or didn’t want to end their earthly good time just yet. Two out of one said either “I need to get ready” or “I’m afraid I’ll be left behind.” Another small group, about three in 100, said “I know I’ll be left behind, but I don’t know what to do.”
LIVE…What will you do now?
How would you respond to the poll above? Why?
Has that answer changed after listening to the weekend message and going through the LivingItOut? If so, how?
Christ promised in His word that He’s coming back. If you don’t know what to do to avoid being left behind, there’s hope. Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ to save your soul? Have you repented of your sin and called on Jesus to save you? Or will you gamble with time and run the risk of getting caught in the flood of His vengeance?
Has learning about the “end times” changed the way you plan to live today? How?
PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
For the 50 percent that are “anxiously expecting” Jesus’ return; thank God for this reassurance and gift of eternal life with him. For the other 50 percent, talk to God about your fears, your questions, your concerns. Ask Him for guidance and a mentor to help you work through these issues. If you’re ready to accept Jesus as your personal Savior, ask forgiveness for your sins and invite him into your heart.