SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2012.
CHRIST IS COMING AGAIN
‘And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be,’ Rev. 22v12.
Once again the Christendom is being ushered in to another season of advent. Advent is a Latin Derivative (adventus) meaning ‘arrival’. In Christian theology, advent is the coming or second coming of Christ. Also, it is the first season of the church year leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.
At this time, believers are called upon not to be careless but to prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord of the Church. It is not to be taken for granted the humane side of God. He is merciful, yet at the same He will punish any and every wrong. If people live anyhow as if He is no longer in control of their bodies and lives, they are simply courting His wrath.
The writer of the letter of Jude saw this danger and quickly drew attention of believers to earnestly contend for their faith. He was convinced that a day comes when evil will be rewarded and good also will be rewarded. Implying, those who live shameful lives will face judgement. Yes, if you shed innocent blood, indulge in prostitution, involve yourself in election rigging and malpractices and then callously nibble public fund, of course the impending judgement of God, one will not likely escape. God is merciful but at the same time He is a righteous judge. Ezekiel clearly brought to the front-burner, the position of God: ‘Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die,’ Ezek. 18v4.
The mercy of God therefore should not give room for shameful living especially for persons who wish to spend eternity in heaven. Christ is coming and He says: ‘… behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be,’ Rev. 22v12. Nobody compromises Christ, for each will receive as he merits.
This time of advent places a burden on the believer for soul-searching. Christ must certainly return to do the harvest. Many Bible commentators are vehement on His return, but the greatest danger is that no one knows the exact time and day when He will suddenly come. No star gazer can hazard the time. Is it not the scripture that says: ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh,’ Matt. 25v13.
Of course, heaven is for the prepared. Therefore those in good standing with the Lord of the Church, washed in the blood of the lamb and have totally accepted Him as the Lord and personal Saviour will meet with Him on return. As brides without spots and wrinkles, they are to wait for the heavenly groom. Distractions are to be avoided at all cost. I think the story of the five foolish virgins is highly instructive here. C.f Matt. 25v1-12.
The believer is encouraged to be prepared for this second coming of Christ and not to busy oneself with time and day when this will take place. The great question remains: How ready are we now? If He comes in the morning, in the afternoon or in the evening, are we prepared to meet with Him?
This occasion of advent affords us another opportunity to re-examine our lives. Truly, the time is short and the end is near. People of God, we must get ready for the return of Saviour of mankind. Surely, He is coming again and those who are ready will go with Him.
Will you be ready when thy Lord shall come: DC
Refrain: oh yes, I will be ready: DC
Oh yes, I will be ready when thy Lord shall come!
People of God, we pray that the second coming will not take us unawares. This is the time to prepare, tomorrow may be too late.Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.