Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord us near…
To first century Christians “the Lord is near” served both as a reminder of His expected soon return, and also as a warning to conduct their lives accordingly.
In his letters the apostle Paul wrote* of this future event, making numerous references to the Lord’s return.
Jesus provided clear instruction that no one knows the day or the hour He will return, including the Lord himself.
Yet throughout history there have been those who have predicted His return with a 100% failure rate.
Possibly the disappointment this provides for some, along with the ridicule that follows each ‘prediction’, has created a attitude of apathy and disillusionment.
And in our present day the reality that the Lord is near, could return any minute has been all but forgotten.
Along with the incentive to live our lives accordingly.
In Matthew 24 Jesus says
“Therefore keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
And in vs. 44 “So you also must be ready.”
Would I be ready if He came today?
And what does being ready look like?
Jesus provides insight into these questions in Matthew 24.
First He is clear that even though the exact date is not available to us, there will be signs that He is near.
“Even so when you see all these things, you know it is near, right at the door”
Being ready I believe involves two things.
One- Keep watch because you don’t know.
History records Julius Caesar’s policy to never reveal to his soldiers the day they would engage or withdraw from battle. By doing this he would have them in constant readiness.
In the same way if He might return at any time, we should be expectant that it could be today.
Two- Be about what He has placed you in charge of.
If the coming of the Lord only speaks to us about escape from the evil that will come upon the world then we miss the the whole point.
In Matthew 24:45 Jesus is clear we are to be about His business until the day He appears, or until our time here is done.
The Lord is near. One day nearer to His return today than yesterday.
But He is also alongside of us helping us carry out the mission He has given us.
In the end two things are certain.
He will return.
He will hold us responsible for how we have lived our lives.
That is enough for us to know.
*Let me be clear when I say “Paul wrote” I mean Paul served as a scribe for the ultimate author, God. I believe all Scripture is divinely inspired and there is no private interpretation, by Paul or any of the other writers.