by Diane Virginia
Get ready, Bride of Christ, for the shofar will be sounding soon. Prepare to meet your Soon-Coming King. Recently a lady from our church shared a dream she’d had about sounding the shofar to announce the returning of our King Jesus. The dream was riveting; I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Jesus’ appearing will occur soon. Although we cannot know the day or the hour, we do know we are in the season of Christ’s return. Jesus tells us to consider the parable of the fig tree: “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” [Mt 24:32]
The end-times occurrences Jesus refers to are “wars and rumors of wars,” nations rising against each, conflicts with political foes that cause kings to be at odds with each other. Further, He speaks of the the Earth’s natural order being in disarray through various natural disasters. He also speaks about Christians being persecuted even by their own families for their steadfast Christian values and unwavering belief in Him [see Matthew 24:6-14].
These events are happening in increasing degrees. Wars are on the rise; nations are bickering fiercely with threatening displays of power; natural disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity; Christians all over the world are being persecuted for their faith, and many are being martyred.
Christ’s return is imminent. The signs of the times are obvious. Jesus says,”And they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and with great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” [Mt 24:30b-31] How do we to prepare for our Soon-Coming King?
First, make sure you’ve accepted Jesus as your personal Savior. This is essential if you want to go to Heaven.
Next, watch for Him, and as you are doing so, share the LORD with others. Jesus tells us to be busy advancing His kingdom.
How do we share our faith in Jesus successfully? In Matthew 24:42-25:46, Jesus instructs us by the use of four parables:
The first parable is of two business managers. One manager is a slothful, self-serving individual; the other manager applies Christian leadership principles to his business. This man cares for his employees as much as his profitability. Jesus points to the latter as a wise business manager who is prepared for the end-time scenario.
In the next parable, ten virgins are waiting for their groom’s return. Five are lacking oil; five have an abundant supply. The first five depart from their homes to buy oil because they learn their groom is on the way. The groom returns before they come back home, and they are left behind. The other five brides trim their lamps regularly and keep them filled with oil. These five are raptured when their groom returns.
In this parable, Jesus equates Himself as the Groom, and His Brides as the five prepared virgins. The oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, and the lamps are symbolic of His Brides. The Brides who prepare for the Lord’s return by maintaining relationship through Spirit communion are ready for His coming.
Next, Jesus tells the parable of the stock broker who hires people to invest his money. One person hides the broker’s money; others invest in varying degrees. Those who profit are rewarded when the broker returns. This indicates that investing in the kingdom produces a spiritual return. Our investment can be anything of value; whether it is a financial investment, or something else. It may be an investment of time, service, or a number of things that work to advance the Kingdom.
Finally, Jesus tells us that everyday acts of kindness can be a way of serving Him. For instance, the act of sharing a cup of cold water with someone who is thirsty, equates to serving the LORD Himself. When we visit an incarcerated person, or a shut-in, we are serving Jesus, my friend, and He is pleased. Jesus, speaking the parable of Himself, says, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” [Mt 25:40] Why does Christ count small acts of kindness in this high regard? Our motive for doing these acts is love. Out of the overflow of Christ within us, we will naturally do these things.
All four parables have acts of service motivated by love as the subject. Jesus fulfilled the ultimate act of service when He gave up His life on Calvary’s cross, dying to pay the penalty for our sins, and then rising again, victorious over death, Hell, and the grave. He did this out of love. In His own words, Jesus says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” [Jn 15:13] The direction He gives to us parallels this action, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [Jn 13:34-35]
Love in action is the way we successfully prepare for Christ’s return. But it’s not natural love that we offer–it is God’s love that we must share. Only from the overflow of a fervent love for Jesus, will be be able to give God-love to those around us.
The best gift we offer Jesus is to be a harvester of souls. He rejoices when we win and disciple people into His Kingdom.
Each of the four Gospels concludes with the imperative to win souls by our actions and our words. Christ is waiting to empower us with His Spirit to successfully carry out this mission. The question remains, are we willing?
Everyone will see Christ’s return. The sky will split, and the East will meet the West, as our LORD Jesus Christ appears in His glorious array, for He says, “For as lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall the Son of man be.” [Mt 24:27] I’m anticipating my Groom’s return; are you? Look up, my friend, and stay ready, for the shofar is about to sound…[Top]