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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Eagerly Await His Return

By Justin Edwards

In this last message of the When Christ Returns series, Loran Livingston exhorts us to eagerly await the return of the Lord Jesus Christ! He is coming back any moment now and we must continue to sound the alarm that His return is imminent and we must all be ready. We must continue to pursue Him in holiness and for those who have yet to repent and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, the time to do is now! Judgment Day is coming! The great wrath of God will be the worst devastation this world has ever seen - it is unimaginable as revealed in the Book of Revelation. But there is an escape! There is a way! There is a door to run through to escape God's judgment against the earth and it comes only through the narrow way of Jesus Christ! For God has promised His Bride (the Body of Christ) will not face the wrath to come as the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 regarding those who have repented,

and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

 We also see this in 1 Thessalonians 5:9,

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

What is this wrath? It is the wrath of God that is coming against the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 2:1-3,

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

Born again believers used to be dead in their trespasses and sins and we once walked according to the flesh and according to the ways of the world. But there are many, professing Christians even, who are still slaves to sin and will yet face the wrath of a Holy God. Ephesians 5:6,

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

 What are "these things"?  They are the works of the flesh mentioned in the Ephesians 5:5,

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

And in Galatians 5:19-21,

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

We see Paul repeating this yet again in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10,

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 

However, by the saving grace of God, those who have been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ are no longer controlled by these practices for we see in 1 Corinthians 6:11,

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

So with that, born again believers can eagerly await the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 8:18-23,

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
Even creation moans and longs for it to be delivered from the curse to which it is subjected. How much more then should we eagerly await with anxious anticipation to be delivered from the captivity of our flesh and receive our glorified bodies! Where there will be no more pain, no more sorrow, no more curse, no more death, no more temptation, no more corruption, no more weakness, and no limitations!

Who is it that Jesus is coming back for? It is those who are eagerly expecting His return - that is, born again Christians who expect Him to physically return to earth. Hebrews 9:27-28,

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

 This will be the completeness of our salvation - Jesus Christ Himself! He will receive us unto Himself as promised in John 14:3. So how can we prepare ourselves for heaven? How must we prepare ourselves to meet Jesus face to face? 1 John 3:3,

And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

And in 2 Corinthians 7:1,

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

But you cannot purify yourself, which is your submission to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, unless you have first been justified by the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you profess to believe in Jesus for your salvation, can you remember a time when you were lost? Can you remember a time when you were controlled by sin and have since been delivered from it? Are you still pursuing the things of God or have you returned to the ways of the world and the desires of your flesh? This is how we can know we have fellowship with God and therefore are cleansed by His blood - 1 John 1:6-7,

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

As Paul Washer has so correctly explained, "we have assurance that we have come to know Him not just because one time we repented, but we are continuing to repent today. It is not just that at one time we believed, but that we are continuing to believe today. It is not just that one time we walked with Him; we continue to walk with Him today because He who began a good work will finish it.

Do you want this assurance that you will go to heaven? Do you want assurance that you will spend the rest of eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you want assurance that you will avoid the wrath of God to come, which culminates in the final resting place of the damned in the Lake of Fire? 

You can have this assurance today. You must repent and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation alone. Please visit this page to be sure you know how to receive this free gift from God that will break the power of sin over you. Don't hesitate to contact me if you still are unsure. Tomorrow is not promised to you - can you guarantee you will wake up in morning? Can you guarantee you will see heaven?

This has been a wonderful series and I am blessed to have been able to share it with you. Please take the time to watch the message below, and you can find all messages from the series here: When Christ Returns.

May we all be able to say from the deepest cry of our hearts, Come quickly Lord Jesus!

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