WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 10, 2022
TOPIC: SUPPOSE JESUS COMES BACK TODAY!
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:30-31 New King James Version).
The rapture is the next major programme of God on earth. The saints (Christians) – both living and dead – shall be caught up in the clouds or raptured to be with Jesus in the air.
This is how the Apostle puts it in Paul 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (New King James Version). The only archangel mentioned in the Bible is Michael (Jude 1:9).
The living Christians will not be caught up before the dead Christians. The dead in Christ will rise first. The living Christians will then be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with Him. This doesn’t mean that we shall remain with Him in the clouds forever. Our final home is not in the clouds. While some Christians believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, others believe in a post-tribulation rapture. But God will make new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17; Revelation 21:1). Believers will live in the new earth and God will live with them (Revelation 21:3). There will be heaven on earth! Are you looking for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells? (2 Peter 3:13).
To qualify for the rapture, you must be in Christ. You must be truly born again. Colossians 3:4 says, “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (New International Version).
Nobody knows the exact time the rapture will take place. Therefore, make sure you’re in Christ. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36 New International Version). Mark 13:32 says the same thing. Jesus is God. He and His Father are one (John 10:30; 17:11). Jesus knows everything but, as man, He didn’t know when the time of His return. Probably this was what Jesus meant.
The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). He will come at an hour you do not expect; therefore, be ready (Luke 12:40). Paul also talks thus about the rapture in 1 Corinthians 15: “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” (verses 51-53 New International Version).
Non-believers may be ignorant of the rapture hence the need for them to give their lives to Jesus. But some professed Christians are very much aware of the teaching about the rapture but are not preparing for Jesus’ return. They’re living as non-believers. They are not looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ as Paul said in Titus 2:13. Are you eagerly waiting for the appearing of Christ? Paul charged Timothy to obey completely what he had been commanded until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:14).
Suppose Jesus comes back today. Are you prepared? Matthew 24:30-31 says, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (New King James Version).
Mark 13:26-27 also records the words of Jesus about His appearing in the clouds. “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens” (New International Version).
Jesus further talked about His appearing in the clouds in Matthew 26:64. He said, “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (New International Version). Mark 14:62 says a similar thing.
At the ascension of Jesus after the resurrection, two men dressed in white who stood beside His disciples said, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11 New King James Version).
Jesus will come back, appearing in the sky the same way He ascended. Also, Revelation 1:7 says He is coming with clouds. Suppose Jesus comes back today. Will you be caught up together with other saints in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air? You can’t be living in sin and hope to be raptured with Him. You can’t be entangled with the things of this world and hope to make it in the rapture. Not all who claim to be born again will be caught up to be with Jesus. Jesus said not everyone who says to Him, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of His Father in heaven (Matthew 7:21).
If you’ve not given your life to Jesus, do so now. If you’re a Christian but you’re living without any expectation of Jesus’ return, repent. Luke 17:26-27 says in the days of Noah, people were eating, drinking, and marrying before the flood washed away that generation. And in the days of Lot, the people were eating, drinking, and engaging in commerce, farming, and building but suddenly God’s rain of fire consumed Sodom and Gomorrah (verses 28-29).
Even Mrs. Lot, who was rescued from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by the mercy of God along with her family, later became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). She disobeyed and looked back probably at the family investment in Sodom and Gomorrah all going up in flames instead of focusing on the journey to escape the fire!
Beware! Don’t be entangled in the affairs of this world to the detriment of your soul. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 warns, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier” (New King James Version).
Jesus warned: “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly” (Luke 21:34 New King James Version). Take note of the phrase “that Day.” Christians must not indulge themselves in sinful pleasures and not prepare for the day of the coming of the Lord. Be prepared!
Mark 13:33 says since you don’t know the time He will come, watch and pray. Be on guard; stay alert. Jesus might come back any time. Be prepared to receive Him (Luke 12:37-40).
In the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus said when the bridegroom delayed in coming, the ten virgins slept off but eventually he came (Matthew 25:1-13). Wake up from your sleep!
Christians must not live as if Jesus is not coming back or they will not die. This present world is not our home. Your citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). The people of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 lived as pilgrims on earth looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland (verses 13-16). You, too, must live as a pilgrim (1 Peter 2:11).
Do you love the appearing of Jesus? Paul said, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8 New King James Version). Suppose Jesus comes back today. Will you be raptured?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to live, prepared for the coming back of Jesus. Help me to be a doer of the will of God and not to only call on the name of the Lord. I shall look for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. I pray that sinners will come to Jesus and be saved. Those who have given their lives to Him will eagerly wait for His appearing. They will obey completely the Word of God until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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