During the late forties to the sixties it was not uncommon to hear teaching on the Second Coming of Christ. There had been the trauma of the Second World War and a time of re-building. Eminent preachers and teachers seemed to be constantly reminding us of the manner of people we Christians should be, so that when the Lord returns, ‘we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming’ (1 John 2:28).
As we have witnessed the rescue mission of the Chilean miners, we rejoiced that not one of them died in that awful pit of darkness and desolation. As each one emerged from the capsule, there was such jubilation.
I am reminded that what Jesus has done for us, and what His Second Coming will do for us, is even more wonderful than the Chilean rescue mission. In time every one of those miners will die, and unless they too have trusted in the saving work of Christ His coming again will not mean the rescue of eternal salvation for them.
There was a sense of urgency in the minds of the preachers years ago as they sensed that events in those days were pointing to the imminence of the Second Coming. It was a very challenging period for many of us as we were encouraged to search our hearts’ motives, attitudes and behaviour, in the light of standing before the Lord, when it would be too late to make the necessary confessions, repentance and corrections.
This was where these words of the Apostle John struck home for me, ‘confident and unashamed before Him at His coming’. Would I stand before the Lord ashamed, with my head hung low because of the consciousness of some unconfessed sin?
During those days we would regularly sing the Chorus based upon the words of Psalm 139:23-24;
‘Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O lord, and know my thoughts I pray:
See if there be some wicked way in me,
Cleanse me from ev’ry sin and set me free.’
If, today, I were to live my daily life with such a thought uppermost, I wonder what would happen. Would my attitude toward others become different, and would the kind of love Jesus commanded me to display to others be more evident (John 15:12)? What changes would I make if I really thought that Jesus might return today?
Prayer: O Lord God, I thank You that You have done everything necessary to save me eternally, and that Jesus is going to come again and bring me before Your holy throne. Please forgive me for those times I have not behaved as You desire, and help me to live in the light of Jesus’ return, so that nothing will spoil the joy of that day, and I can stand before You as one who is not ashamed, Amen.
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