By William Sowder]
Some people scoff today at the idea that Christ is to return for his people. And many others (brethren included) can only think of his coming as being sometime in the very distant future. Peter warned of just such an attitude when he wrote: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying where is the promise of his coming? For since the Fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pet. 3:34).
While it is true that no one knows when Christ will come again, except the Father (Mk. 13:32), there is the very real possibility that he could come soon. If you knew that Christ was coming today would you not want the following things to be true?
For You To Be A Zealous Christian
Those who are Christians at Christ’s coming are the ones on whom blessings will be pronounced. Jesus shall say unto them: “come ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). Those who are not Christians have no hope and will hear those terrible words: “depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:23). Yes, many today laugh at the idea of being a Christian as being something for women, children and those who need a psychological crutch. But there is not a person will stand in judgment that will not wish that they were a Christian if they are not one now.
For Our Loved Ones To Be Christian
If Christ were to come today we would want our loved ones to be Christians. We would want our children, parents, and other loved ones to be sharers of the “peace that passeth understanding (Phil. 4:7), so that they might also receive the “better and enduring substance” (Heb. 10:34) that “inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away” (1 Pet. 1:4). We would be more aware of the danger that our loved ones are in who are not Christians.
No Strife and Trouble In the Church
We would want to make sure that we had every little petty difference and disagreement among brethren taken care of in the manner that Jesus taught in Matt. 18:1-47. We would not be sitting around brooding and pouting over the injuries we had received in the past. Neither would we be constantly picking at old wounds and never letting them heal through prayer and forgiveness. We would want to make sure that the church was without spot or blemish on our part. We would subdue the spirit within us that brings about wars and fightings among us” so that we might have the same care one for another.
Sure to Have Scriptural Authority
We would want to be sure that we had scriptural authority for all that we w , ere engaged in. We would not be satisfied to blindly follow Brother So-and-So, but would search the scriptures to see if what was taught and practiced were so. We would demand book, chapter and verse (something that is being practiced less and less) for all that the church is engaged in.
We would want many of the so-called good works that are being directed toward the social gospel (which has taken precedent over the gospel of Christ) to be discontinued. Those who sponsor them would quickly be able to see that they are without scriptural foundation. Many would have no, trouble seeing that there must be a “thus saith the Lord” for all such programs. None will be willing to say: “I will take my chances on what I am now doing,”
If we would want all these things to be true if Christ were to come today, why would we not want them to be true if his coming is later? All will have to face him in judgment whether we are alive at his coming or if we have been dead for years. Why not prepare your life as if Jesus were coming today and in that way you need not fear if he should come tomorrow?
Truth Magazine XX: 37, p. 582
September 16, 1976