From Brother Bill Boldham
For most of my Christian life, I have heard it preached, and I have myself, often encouraged my brethren to get ready for the Lord Jesus’ return, because He’s coming. At God’s appointed time, Jesus will come. His coming will usher in a day of everlasting rest, peace and joy for His saints; it will bring in a day of everlasting destruction for the wicked.
An Old Testament saint, Enoch, describes His coming concerning the ungodly: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of His holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude 1:14-15
The apostle Paul describes the Lord’s coming for His church: “…The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Enoch was only one of two men who never died, the other being the prophet Elijah. Concerning Enoch, who was the seventh generation down from Adam, Scripture tells us this: “Enoch lived 65 years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah…Enoch walked with God three hundred years…and he was not, for God took him.” Genesis 5:21-24 And then this: “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, and was not found, because God had taken him; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5
In the brief history of Enoch, I don’t see a man scrambling to get ready for the Lord to take him. Rather, I see a man who was ready, who stayed ready; a man whose heart was steadfast by faith, always ready to please God. In the Bible, I see that God used people for His purposes, whose hearts were ready; they didn’t get ready, they were ready.
Some prominent characters in the Old Testament testify. Abraham was ready when the Lord called him to be the father of the lineage of His Son, Jesus Christ. Moses was eighty years old when the Lord called him to lead His people out of Egypt; he was ready. David was just a young shepherd boy when the Lord had Samuel anoint him as the next king of Israel; He was ready. Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord say, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then Isaiah said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8 He was ready.
When the Lord was ready to send His Son into the world, He found ready hearts in the parents of John the Baptist; He found a ready heart in a young virgin to bear His only begotten Son. And, when Jesus entered into His public ministry, He found ready hearts for His message of salvation; a people eager to hear and receive what he had to say. Jesus also found a people who were ready to reject His words, despise Him, and kill Him in a most cruel manner.
How can you tell if you are ready for His coming? Jesus commanded us to love one another as He loved us. He said that it would be this love that would define His disciples to the world. Do you stay ready to love God with all your heart, mind and soul? Do you stay ready to love your brother and sister, your neighbor and your enemy? Do you stay ready to help and encourage them? Your answer measures your readiness. If you are avoiding, ghosting, or have unforgiveness towards anyone, you ain’t ready.
Brother Bill is a Bible teacher and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org