We read in many places in the Bible that the return of Jesus Christ to Planet Earth to take His bride away is near. And they all stress that we need to be ready when He comes. We should be eagerly watching and waiting for Jesus’ soon return. What better motive could His bride have to live a busy life that is neither selfish nor worldly, but pure and devoted to Him?
It is a fact that the Lord Jesus could come back to earth at any time now. The early Church was expecting Him to come soon 2000 years ago—so how much closer must His return be now! But they did not, and we do not, know just what day or hour He will return to catch His bride away. Therefore, it could be today!
Some think Christ’s bride, the Church, will have to go through the Great Tribulation period. If that was so, Jesus cannot come for at least seven more years, because the Tribulation will last that long. But since the Bible tells us that we do not know the day and hour, we cannot calculate just when it will be, even by default.
Many pastors preach that God’s people should live holy lives and do diligent work while they can before the time of their death, which is ticking away. But the Bible does not say this. It tells God’s people to “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding; that when He cometh and knocketh, they may open unto Him immediately” (Luke 12:35-36). Some of the people alive today may die before He comes to take His bride to be with Him, but many others will be here on earth at that moment when He comes. It is not our eventual death that is to be our motivation to work now for Christ, but we are to be in constant anticipation of going to be with Him and bringing many with us. Jesus is coming soon and we need to be ready when He does come. It is clear what our responsibility must be. Our loins should be girded, our lights should be burning and we should be like the ones who wait for their Lord.
Some say that it is not right to expect Jesus at any moment now. But that is not what He told us to do. He said for His bride to be watching and waiting, and that He will come and snatch her away at just the right time! When will Jesus come? The Bible tells us “…that now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Romans 13:11). Therefore, we need to keep our faith in what He said, believing that He is coming at any time now. We need to teach this to others also, and we need to make sure that the truth shines forth in our own lives.
Jesus promised that He will come to receive the faithful ones who do not give up or give in. He will take them to live with Him forever in a world without sorrow or war or weeping or pain. Right now we should be busy carrying out His instructions to us and faithfully warning and preparing others to depart also.
Jesus said, “…because the iniquities of the world will abound, the love of many shall [become increasingly] cold” (Matthew 24:12). He was referring to the time of His coming for His bride. He also said, “…when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). He will find faith if His people walk and live by His Holy Spirit, while making no provision to fulfill the lust of the flesh. Yet today’s world wants the doors wide open to live any way man’s mind can imagine with no regard to sin or shame. Jesus warned that the days of His coming would be “…as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man” (Luke 17:26). In Noah’s time, no one restrained himself from doing anything he wanted. And we live in such a time today, once again. This is mankind living after the flesh.
Those who are now afflicted are encouraged to hold on, because “…He that shall come will come…” soon (Hebrews 10:37). It might be longer than we think and it might be sooner than we think. But the day will come when He will come. He will not wait until it is too late. Jesus proclaims to us that He will come quickly and He will bring the labor and suffering of His servants to an end. He will come and bring a reward of grace in order to repay every work of grace and labor of love with royal generosity.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). Jesus replies to this in verse 20: “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Jesus is the Coming One, Whose soon return the whole creation is waiting for!