WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 29, 2021
TOPIC: WARNING: OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR
BY T. O. BANSO
“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” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 New King James Version).
Students should study hard whether they are preparing for examinations or not. But, sometimes, even when school authorities give students a long notice when examinations will start, some students don’t prepare well because they believe the date is still far.
However, when the timetable is released a week to the exams, that’s when the reality dawns on such students. The exams that seemed far away were closer than they had thought. Poor preparation precedes poor performance. Many students fail in their exams because they fail to realize that the objects that they see in the mirror are not as far as they appear.
Warning: Objects in (the) mirror are closer than they appear. This is a familiar safety warning engraved on the passenger-side mirrors of vehicles in some countries. The inscription is to warn car owners or drivers that the far distance that the small size of the objects in the mirror shows is not the actual distance. The objects are closer than the mirror shows. Therefore, the driver should be careful.
Many people live their lives making the mistake of thinking that the objects they see in the mirror are father than they are. Therefore, they cause accidents with their lives, injuring not only themselves but others.
Many people assume in life, though wrongly, that some things they see happening around them are far away from them. Some live in denial; they’re not really living by faith. They fail to anticipate and take necessary precautions. Therefore, they pay dearly for their follies.
Similarly, many Christians see the rapture as an event that is far away. The English word “rapture” is not used in the Bible but the term is used in Christianity to describe the event mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The word “rapture” comes from the Latin word for the phrase “caught up” (Greek: harpazo) used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. In Latin, “harpazo” (caught up) is translated as “rapturo”.
If one looks at the mirror of God’s plan for the world, one may see an image that shows that the rapture, which is the next item on the agenda of God for man, is far. But be warned; the object in that mirror is closer than it appears. The rapture is closer than the time it was first written in the Bible. Be prepared.
Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, said, “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” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 New King James Version).
Also, writing to the Corinthians, Paul said, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 New King James Version).
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul said, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21 New King James Version).
At the rapture, as you read earlier, our perishable earthly bodies will be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. Nobody knows the exact date the rapture will take place. Jesus only told us that He would go and prepare a place for us. He would come again and receive us to Himself that where He is, there we may be also (John 14:3).
Anyone predicting a certain date is wasting his time or is a false prophet. All we can do is to live ready. Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32 New King James Version).
You may have been hearing for years that the rapture will soon take place and you’re wondering whether it would ever come. It will. Jesus warned that many would actually sleep off because of the long expectation of His return.
In the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus said, “But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’” (Matthew 25:5-6 New King James Version). Everybody must do his own preparation. You can’t depend on or borrow another’s preparation, as the five foolish virgins tried to do!
Also, in the parable of the talents, Jesus said, “After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them” (Matthew 25:19 New King James Version). It’s been a long time now since Jesus ascended to heaven after His resurrection, but He is coming back to take the saints home.
Live ready. When Jesus comes, preparation will be too late. And may I say this: you have nothing to lose if He doesn’t come before you go to glory – before you die. But you will lose everything if He shows up in the sky, but you’re not ready.
It will happen in the twinkle of an eye. Hear Jesus: “I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left” (Luke 17:34-36 New King James Version).
There should be no difficulty understanding who is taken and who is left in this scripture when we read the same scripture in Matthew 24:40-41, which immediately follows the story of the flood in the time of Noah. Noah, his family, and some animals were “taken” into the ark and saved. But everyone else on earth and the other animals were “left” and destroyed by the flood. Be prepared.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:30-31, “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). If you’ve not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour today, do so now before it’s too late. If you have, live a holy life. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
The objects you’re seeing in the mirror are closer than they appear. The rapture is closer than it appears. “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11-12 New King James Version).
The apostle Paul continued: “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (verses 13-14 New King James Version).
The rapture can take place any time. Be on your guard; avoid spiritual slumber. Occupy, do business, trade, make a profit on the resources you have been entrusted with, or make the most of them till Jesus comes (Luke 19:13). Stay saved!
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 resurrected 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 the palm tree and grow like the 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 worthy of the rapture. I shall not miss the rapture in Jesus’ name. Help the church, Holy Spirit, not to sleep off because of the long expectation of the Lord’s return. Keep the church awake and expectant; help the church to be alive, preaching the gospel.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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