Summary: I want to share on how to be ready for the Rapture, or the training for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Christians, I believe, need to be awakened to the urgency and emergency of the soon coming of Jesus Christ.
James O. Davis is the founder and president of Second Billion (TM). You are invited to learn more about Second Billion by visiting www.billion.tv.
I want to share on how to be ready for the Rapture, or the training for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Christians, I believe, need to be awakened to the urgency and emergency of the soon coming of Jesus Christ. One verse out of four in the Word of God points to the Second Coming. As a matter of fact, the Word of God had a lot to say concerning the Second Coming. Every chapter in the book of 1 Thessalonians ends with thoughts on the Second Coming.
This is a theme that is interwoven throughout the entire book of 1 Thessalonians. This message is designed to teach us how to be ready. I believe Jesus is getting ready to come back for His Church. He is coming back for His bride, for those who really love Him and are looking forward to seeing Him. The Second Coming is not a theory to be propagated, but a truth to be practiced.
First Thessalonians is an example of how the New Testament believers were preparing for the imminent return of Jesus. Indeed, it has been nearly 2,000 years since this epistle was written. If they believed in His soon coming then, surely that great event is about to happen now. In 1 Thessalonians, there are some principles we need to apply and follow if we are going to be ready when Jesus Christ comes again.
FIRST, WE NEED TO BE SERVING
A) The practice of faith -- Notice how the Thessalonians were serving and their practice of faith. The Word of God says, “the work of faith”. We are not saved by works and faith—that’s heresy. But we are saved by faith that works. Paul said show me your faith without your works. James said I will show you my faith by my works. We are saved by faith that works. You and I need to be serving if we’re going to be ready when Jesus returns again.
B) The price of faith -- The Bible says, “labor of love”. You see a slave works because he has to. An employee works because he needs to, but a Christian works because he loves to.
Someone asked me recently, “Do you get tired preaching every night and sharing the Word of God?” I answered that I get tired of traveling sometimes, but I don’t think I have ever gotten tired of preaching the Word of God. I love what I do. I love preaching the Word. I love serving Jesus Christ. A lot of people gripe and complain about serving the Lord. We ought to count it a privilege. We ought to count it a joy that we have the opportunity to serve the Lord. We need to love serving the Lord Jesus.
C) The patience of faith -- The Bible speaks of the “patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ”. We all need to realize the importance and need for patience in the Lord.
You have heard about the young man who prayed, “Lord, give me patience, and give it to me quick.” Serving the Lord in patience is to realize that He has a plan for our life and that everything is in control. He is going to bring it all about. Those who are ready for the soon return of Jesus Christ are those who are serving the Lord.
SECOND, WE NEED TO BE STEDFAST
There is a mentality among some Christians that you should never have to face affliction because you are serving the Lord. In Thessalonica, the believers knew affliction. When we live in the Spirit, we will have joy in the midst of afflictions. We must keep our eyes on God in the midst of difficulties and problems that confront our faith.
Occasionally, I have asked people, “How are you?” Often I hear them say, “Well, I’m doing pretty well under the circumstances.” What are we doing beneath the circumstances? Circumstances are like mattresses; you are bound to suffocate under them. We need to get on top of our circumstances and get our eyes back on Jesus. He is able to take care of us and bring us through all afflictions and problems that come our way.
Bob Leland is a man who really encouraged me several years ago. You may have seen him on television. He has a healthy dose of enthusiasm for life. You may remember, he ran the New York marathon in 98 hours, 47 minutes, and 17 seconds. That’s not bad for someone who has no legs. Bob went to Vietnam as a strapping 6 foot, 200 pounder. He returned weighing only 87 pounds and was two and a half feet shorter. He had every reason to give up. Instead, his testimony is, “I felt blessed, and I am just happy being alive.”