By Nathan Jones
What should Christians be doing while waiting for the return of Jesus?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will evaluate 2015 so far and discuss what the Bible says we must do to make it right.
Doing While Waiting
Vic Batista: The Bible tells us over and over to watch and be ready.
Nathan Jones: Luke 21:36 gives three things Jesus said that we need to do while we wait for His return.
First, we need to be familiar with the signs that He warns us about in order to be aware of what's going around in the world. I'm reminded of when relatives come over. When you're expecting someone, you flip the lightswitch on and you look out the window. You wait and you watch, for you know they might come at a certain time, but you are not always quite sure when.
Likewise, we need to watch for the King of Kings to return. We don't know when, but Jesus did provide us with some signs to be looking out for. I believe today that we are living in those signs, and that means we especially need to watch.
Second, Jesus also told us to pray. It is very important that we continue our relationship with Jesus Christ and stay close to Him. He is our great Protector and our Provider. As the world gets worse and worse, we even more and more need Jesus Christ as our rescue and salvation.
Third, verse 36 tells us to be counted worthy. In other words, we are to live a holy and pure life. Get rid of the sin in your life. Get rid of the things that cause you to stumble. Stop the acts you know you are doing that are wrong. Ask Christ for forgiveness and return to Jesus Christ and make Him the Lord of your life. Watch and pray that you may be counted worthy.
The Lord says, "Then you will be able to escape all of the things that will come to pass." In other words, the Tribulation. It'll be the worse time in all of human history. These signs are leading up to this terrible time, but those saved can escape it by the Rapture. Afterwards, we will stand before the Son of Man, and finally we will stand before our Father in Heaven.
Vic Batista: Wow, what a wonderful way for Jesus to put it!
Vic Batista: We Christians are called by Jesus in Luke 21:36 to keep watching because we really don't know when the Rapture is going to occur. It is an event that can happen at any moment. Nathan, tell a little bit about what the Rapture is so that we can know what we are suppose to be watching out and getting prepared for.
Nathan Jones: One of the most prolific promises that Jesus makes, even ending Revelation 22 three times with this statement, is that Jesus will return. He said, "Surely I am coming quickly." That is why we are watching and we are waiting and we are praying, because even though Jesus came in His First Coming and defeated sin by dying on the cross and providing salvation for us, He still has prophecies to fulfill about returning to the earth, defeating evil, getting rid of human government, and setting up His thousand year kingdom on earth.
The Millennial Kingdom is a subject that I get so excited about. I can't wait for it to come! Finally there will be peace, justice, righteousness and prosperity. There will be no war until the very end or major sicknesses. It's going to be awesome!
But, until that kingdom comes, we as the Church have a job. We have to live by Acts 1:8, which is called the Great Commission, to be witnesses for Jesus across the world. Even though the world is getting worse and worse, Christians are to be the light that pushes back the growing darkness.
When it comes to the darkest time period descending upon the earth, Jesus gives us this hope. It's the hope that the Church will not have to endure the wrath of God in the Tribulation time period. We will be raptured, we will be caught up, as 1 Thessalonian 4:17 reads "Then we who are alive and remaining shall be caught up," — raptured, caught up — "together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and thus we shall always be with the Lord. And therefore comfort one another with these words."
We are looking at 2015 and it's just been filled with a lot of danger and problems, but we are to take comfort in the fact that as bad as it's gotten now, it is going to get far worse. But, we as believers in Christ are never destined to endure the wrath of God, either in the Tribulation or the Lake of Fire.
Vic Batista: The work of Jesus at the Rapture is absolutely our Christian hope. That is one of the reasons why we love the Bible, because it offers hope to the believer. I believe the best preparation that anyone can really have in preparing for the tough times ahead is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. No matter what happens, if God called you home today, you would know without a shadow of a doubt where you will spend eternity.
In the third part of this discussion on how to live as a Christian during this troubling 2015, we'll share how one can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.