ARE YOU READY FOR CHRIST'S RETURN?
I have only the very richest and warmest memories of “home.” When I was little I knew that “home” was the place where “mommy and daddy” always were and I knew they would always take care of me. When I was a teenager I knew that “home” was a place where I was free from the pressures of my piers to drink and smoke. When I moved out I knew that “home” was a place where I would always be welcome. As I grew older, “home” slowly became more and more of an empty place, a little bit lonelier place, as one by one I have said goodbye to every member of my family. But then of course if you are like me and you have Christ living in your heart, then we know that Heaven is our one true home.
What is Heaven? Heaven is the home of God and His people. The Bible portrays Heaven in various ways: It calls Heaven a “country” (Hebrews 11:16) – which tells us of its great vastness. It calls Heaven a “City” (Hebrews 11:10)- which tells us of the great numbers of people that will be there. It calls Heaven a “Kingdom” (Matthew 7:21) – which tells us of its orderliness. It calls Heaven a “Paradise” (Luke 23:43) – which tells us of its endless delights. And it calls Heaven the “Fathers House” (John 14:2) – which tells us it is permanent. Jesus said “I go to prepare a place for you, so that where I am, there ye shall be also.” (John 14:2 & 3). Remember, God never takes His people to an unprepared place. It was God Himself Who prepared the Garden of Eden before He placed Adam and Eve in it, and we can likewise be sure that Christ Himself is preparing Heaven for us. One day when you and I least expect it Jesus is going to come in the air and take all of His people, both dead and living, with Him up to Heaven. He is going to take us - “Home.” For every person who has made Jesus Christ Lord and Master of their life His coming is going to be a great and glorious day. The greatest fact of this worlds entire history is that Jesus Christ came into the world and died for our sins. The greatest fact about this worlds future is that Jesus Christ is coming again! In fact so significant is this coming event that the Bible tells us about His second coming 318 times in the New Testament.
How often have you and your spouse visited someone and after a certain period of time one of you asks the other, “Are you ready to go home?” Well you see Jesus is calling down to you from Heaven today with that very same question....”Are you ready to go home?” The truth is that untold millions are NOT ready for Christ’s return. They are not ready because they have not taken the necessary steps to ensure that Heaven is going to be their home, and so the question upon the lips of more and more people every day is “What is the way? What must I do to have the assurance of knowing that when Christ returns I, too, will be taken “Home” to Heaven? Not only does Jesus have the answer to that question Jesus IS the answer to that question. “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jesus said). “No man cometh to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). What He is saying is that there is only one way to get to God, only one way to get to Heaven, only one way “home” and that way (Jesus says) is through Me.” No other way exists. No church, no government, no country, no political organization can say “I am the way.” Christ alone is able to span the great divide between God and man. He Alone is able to bridge that gulf of separation. But how does He accomplish this?
Jesus said “I am the way and the truth.” Christ Himself is the full and final revelation of God. Truth is not found in any philosophy. Truth is found only in the person of Jesus Christ. To know Christ, is to know the truth.
Jesus said also “I am the Life.” The unsaved person is alive only to the things of this world. They are dead to the things of God. Only Christ can make a person truly “alive.” The Bible says that those who believe in Him (Jesus) “have passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). But it is very important to understand that simple “belief in God” is not enough. The Bible says that even the devil believes. Your belief must be established and settled by coming to God through Jesus Christ. Though many have tried to find one there is no detour around the Cross of Christ. It forever stands as mans one and only hope. It makes no difference how “famous” you may be or the amount of “wealth” that you may have, every person who has ever lived must enter Heaven the same way. They must come by way of the Cross and complete faith in Jesus Christ.
The majority of people in our world today simply “brush off” the fact that Jesus is going to return. For me it is a wonderful promise that is constantly at the forefront of my mind. Not only do I think about it every day but I think about it many times every day. Those who are not excited about that day are not ready for that day and the Bible warns over and over again that we must ALWAYS be in a complete state of readiness. Why? Because Jesus said, “behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12). You see when Christ returns and judgment takes place your life is going to be “weighed in the balances” (Daniel 5:27). Scripture tells us that “God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man Whom He hath ordained” (Acts 17:31). When you and I are judged we will be judged not only by those things that we did, we will also be judged by those things that we neglected to do. In the Bible, Belshazzar neglected to heed the writing on the wall – he neglected to repent – and he paid the price. The rich young ruler refused to give up his love for money – and he paid the price. What about you? When that day comes and you are “weighed in the balances” are you going to have to “pay the price?” Or, will the record show that Christ had first place in your life? Will it show that the way you lived was a proper pattern for others to follow? No one is beyond having to answer the question “Are you ready? Are you prepared to be weighed in the balances?” The Bible states that the wise person will be prepared for that day, but the foolish will ignore it, and suffer the consequences.
The good news is that if you are someone who has not invited Jesus Christ into your heart it’s not too late, you can take that all-important step right now. It makes no difference who you are, how bad you are or how dirty your past may be, Jesus is willing to look beyond all those things as if they never existed. He is waiting and ready to give you a brand new life right now, at this very moment, if you will only ask Him into your heart as Lord and Saviour. All that you need to do is go to Him in prayer with a humble heart and in true repentance and say “Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and ask Your forgiveness. Right now I ask You to come into my heart as my Lord and Saviour and take complete control of my life. Guide me in the way of righteousness and give me the strength to follow You every day. Make me anew. Reshape and remake me into exactly what You want me to be so that I can know beyond all doubt that my eternal “home,” is with You.”
Jesus promises that absolutely anyone who comes to Him in true repentance He “will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37) - Why? Because He loves you. Let that truth sink deep into your heart. The Son of God - the Creator of all that ever was, is, or ever will be LOVES YOU! Just think of that! What a glorious thing that is! And He will not turn you away or ever leave you. He will give you a life that is filled with hope, peace, and the assurance of an eternal home in Heaven. Don’t put it off another moment. “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6). Go to Him today and make certain that you are fully prepared and ready to - Go Home!