The Lord is near. (Php. 4:5)
Have you ever noticed how throughout the gospels and into the rest of the New Testament there seems to be a constant reminder of the nearness of the Lord’s second coming?
Jesus said, ‘Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, ‘May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ’ and to Titus he said, ‘while we wait for the blessed hope– the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.’ John the Apostle wrote, ‘And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.’ And Peter said, ‘Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.’
Two things seemed to be very prevalent in the minds of the apostles: (1) Jesus could return at any moment, (2) therefore we need to be ready so that we will not be ashamed.
By saying that ‘the Lord is near’ Paul was reminding Euodia and Synthche that Jesus could return at any moment and therefore they needed to consider how they would feel when they faced Him. What a tragedy it wouild be if these two ladies who had been such notable workers in the church, brought displeasure to the Lord and shame to themselves over a silly dispute that they had let get out of hand.
Peter says in 2 Peter 3 that in the last days there will be scoffers saying, ‘Where is this coming He has promised?’ Even as believers many of us have heard so many messages down through the years concerning the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ, that we also have the tendency to become numb to its reality. We begin to develop an attitude that says, “Jesus will come someday – but not today. Tomorrow I will get certain things straightened out in my spiritual walk. But not today.” But one day, perhaps even today, Jesus will return and according to scripture His sudden appearance will catch many off guard, even as a thief would if he broke into our house in the middle of the night.
What if Jesus had returned – yesterday? Would there have been any unconfessed sins in your life that He would have found displeasing and that you would have found embarrassing?
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Rev 22:20)