Summary: Are you ready to meet Jesus? Are you confident that He will accept you? Will you meet Him in those clouds without any shame because all your sins have been confessed and cleansed?
BEING READY TO MEET JESUS
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
Ever since Jesus Christ ascended to the heavens to prepare a place for His own we as Christians have been waiting for His return. For over 2,000 years we have been eating the bread and drinking the cup in remembrance of Christ sacrifice and his promise to return one day and take us home to be with Him. What a glorious day it will be when the dead in Christ raise with those alive to see the mansions the Alpha and Omega has prepared for those He calls His own. To have the sorrow, crying, hunger, and death of the curse lifted will be a relief to humanity beyond words or emotions. To walk in a restored Garden of Eden, one in which Christ is the center, light and sustenance of all life; truly will be a time in which one will declare “I now know what it is like to feel unspeakable joy.”
While Jesus’ return will be glorious, it will not be a source of joy for all people! He who is the judge of the living and the dead promises to bring to light what is hidden in darkness, exposing the motives of all people’s hearts. How will He who is sinless and holy find you in that moment? Will you be able to confidently approach His throne of grace or will He tell you that He never knew you? When He judges you for the things done while in the body whether good or bad, how much shame will you truly feel? After all, unlike people you certainly cannot fool Jesus by claiming you did not do the sin or that you had good intents but failed, can you? Given the talent of life that you were given, how will Jesus find you used your time: to promote His kingdom or that of your own? For many people Jesus’ return will not be a time to celebrate in joy but to be judged and eternally separated from Him. If you don’t make it to heaven, how will you feel burning in that lake of fire knowing you had millions of chances to go to heaven but refused because giving up “self” was … well just too inconvenient?
Goal of Christian Living
Since we do not know the day or hour of Christ’s return we are told by John to always be ready:
And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at his coming.
When Jesus returns will you be confident that He will recognize you as His own? I have heard Christians give two distinctly different responses to this question. The first boldly and confidently say that since they are saved and sealed by the Spirit, they have no doubt at all that they are going to heaven. The second kind of response is one of doubt. I certainly hope I have made a genuine decision for Christ but am not sure and therefore am uncertain if will go to heaven or not. Before we think this person lacks any faith at all let’s see what God has to say:
Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name drive out demons and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.
Matthew 7:22-23, NIV
Those who use the title “Christian” but have never given their allegiance to Christ, will not make it to heaven! The people of John’s day knew that the Devil had deceived many people into thinking the “Sinners Prayer” was all it took to get them to heaven. Allegiance to Christ that is merely spoken and not internal to one’s heart, simply will not save a person! Many in John’s day were gravely concerned that they spoke the words only and therefore would not make it into heaven. If people of John’s day who were taught by Jesus and the disciples had doubts, then don’t be surprised if you too have doubts as well!
The second part of 1 John 2:28 deals with shame. I don’t know about you but I certainly do not want to be caught sinning when Jesus comes in those clouds, nor do I want to stand (most likely fall) before the Judgement Seat of Christ with unrepentant sin to be ashamed of! Scripture states Christ will judge not just the non-Christians but the Christians as well:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:10, NIV