Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Listening for the Lord's Return

We all have things that we listen for in our lives. For example, mother’s listen for their baby’s cry or for their toddler’s quietness. For, a toddler who isn’t making any noise will undoubtedly be getting into something that she shouldn’t, and a baby’s cry can mean many different things that the mother needs to address including hunger or wet diapers. Perhaps the baby just needs reassurance by being held in the mother’s arms, but whatever her cry, a mother knows each and every different type of cry and listens closely for the baby’s cry. However, there are many other things that we listen for besides our children. Those of us who have a garage door often listen for the garage door to go up in anticipation of our loved one coming home from work or from running errands. We even listen for our puppies when we let them outside to play for a little while. And, we listen for our teenagers to come home when they are out on a date. But all of the things that we listen for are important to us or designate certain events around us. Moreover, listening for all these sounds in life also keeps us focused on the important things in our lives. But there is another sound that we should all be listening for and that is the sound of the Lord’s return.

Jesus told His disciples that He would return to take home those who have believed in Him. Jesus said, “… And they will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with the sound of a mighty trumpet blast, and they will gather together His chosen ones from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.”  -- (Matthew 24: 30-31. NLT). So, we who are anticipating Christ’s return are to be listening for the trumpet blast which will tell us that Christ is coming. I don’t know about you, but I often pray for Christ to come quickly, especially when I see our culture disintegrating around us. My heart longs to be with the Lord and I listen for His trumpet call. Yet, there are so many things in this world that distract us from listening for the Lord’s return. Daily life interrupts our listening. Problems that we think are so important disrupt our listening. Can you imagine, though, not listening for your baby to cry or not listening for your teenager to come through the door at curfew time? I can't. So, why do we often fail to listen for Christ’s return? And, what does it mean when we say that we are listening for Christ’s return?

Listening for Christ’s return means that we are living in preparation for His return. Obviously, we are waiting to meet Him face-to-face, but in the meantime, we need to prepare for His return. This means that we should be focused on doing for others, on praying, and on reading His Word, which teaches us how to be true followers of Christ and teaches us how to engage in a Christian lifestyle for others to see and want. Part of our preparation for Christ's return and going to Heaven means that we are sharing the Gospel message and lending a hand to those who need our help. And of course, listening for Christ’s return encourages us to tell others of Christ’s impending return that is getting closer all the time, so they too will be prepared when He returns.

It is good, though, that we don’t know the exact moment when Christ will return, because we could become lackadaisical, i.e., lazy, in our work for the Lord. Some people might even take advantage of the time factor if they knew the exact moment Christ was to return. For, they might continue to sin until the last moment and then only repent at the trumpet sound, so they could get into Heaven, while having done nothing for the Kingdom of God and having not grown in spiritual maturity. But Heaven is only one benefit of the born-again Christian’s Salvation and belief in Christ. For the born-again Christian will receive blessings here on earth as well as crowns in Heaven for her work here on earth that she does to help others come to know Christ, or to help those who are less fortunate than she is. As a follower of Christ’s, we have much work to do here while we are waiting and listening for the final trumpet call. In fact, the best way to prepare for Christ’s return is to spend time taking care of Christ’s people, as we do the work of Christ here on earth. That means we are to take care of people who are both within our church family and those that are still on the outside. We are to be God’s voice and hands to share the love of God and His message.

Everyone on earth will hear the trumpet call of Christ’s when He returns. But that doesn’t mean that everyone will get to go home with Christ. For only those who have believed in Christ and those who have repented of their sins will go home with Christ. The Apostle Paul explained this wonderful event this way: “But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.”  -- (I Corinthians 15: 51-53. NLT). What a glorious day that will be. This is why we all need to be living our lives in such a way that we can say that we have truly worked for the Lord and have focused on being a true follower of Christ’s. Then, even as we live out our daily lives in this fallen world, we can rest assured that we are preparing for the glorious event of being called home to Heaven. And, if we focus on living for Christ, our heart and our ears will constantly be listening for the Lord’s trumpet call home. Yes, you can do it!  You can mentor other women for the Lord. You can be there to share the Gospel message and to tell others of the coming trumpet call, so they can also listen for the Lord. Are you listening for the Lord’s return and are you doing everything you can to make sure that others are able to go home with Christ too? You can do it! You can engage in Active Relational Christian Mentoring to help others come to know the love of God and His free gift of grace and mercy through His Son, Jesus Christ.   

No comments:

Post a Comment