“He is coming in the clouds with the sound of the trumpet,” it says in a Christian song about the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Does this mean that the Lord can only come for the rapture when the sky is cloudy, as a Brazilian pastor once suggested? Of course not! The reference to the clouds in connection with the return of the Lord Jesus, is ultimately about the greatness and glory of our incomparable God.
Yes, our Lord is coming soon. He can come at any time, independent of the sky over the respective continents. This should be clear, but we need to be reminded of it continually. Our Lord could come today, now, at this moment, while you are reading this. This expectation in our daily lives does not paralyze us, as some critics accuse those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus. On the contrary.
An American historian, for instance, has examined the evangelical scene in the USA and written a book about it: American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism. In it he proves that the strong expectation of Jesus’ return and related activity of American evangelicals, has significantly influenced and thoroughly revolutionized politics and social activity in the USA. The author does not necessarily see this as a positive thing, but he emphasizes that the accusation is absurd that believing in the imminent return of the Lord Jesus makes people lethargic. It is rather the case that those who really believe that Jesus Christ is coming soon, are torn out of their lethargy and become active.
This expectation also encouraged Wim Malgo to found the Midnight Call Ministry and to evangelize wherever he could. Over 61 years later, among evangelicals this expectation has lost some of its fervor. Some people are disillusioned because the Lord still has not come. Others ridicule those who had or have such a burning longing for the Lord. Yet, it is this very longing that encourages us!
It is not in the first place about certain dates, complicated end-times schemata, or elaborate time calculations; it is about a person: Jesus Christ. Paul uses the Rapture as a chance to say to us, “So shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).
We will see our wonderful Lord Jesus. Perhaps today. It could happen. Nothing stands in the way of His return. As Hebrews 9 says, “once in the end of the world” He has “put away sin” through His precious blood. Now we can await His appearing “unto salvation” of our mortal body, from the constraints of a sinful world, from the limitations of our mortal life (verses 23-28).
So many of our fathers in the faith have longingly waited for this and were encouraged to live an uncompromising life for the Lord Jesus. Should we not also do so? Should we not be like the five wise virgins in Matthew 25? Should we not become true messengers, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him”?
Perhaps today; either in that we die unexpectedly, or that the Lord returns unexpectedly. Both are 100% possible at any moment of our lives.
It is worth living for the Lord, as our Lord Himself said, “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12). “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (verse 20). Maranatha!
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