Do you truly believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ? Do you practice what he taught us to do? If you answer to either one of these questions then reflect upon this these two questions:
Are you a Christian?
Do you follow the teachings of Christ?
These are questions that you should be asking yourself. Instead we worry about other questions including when Jesus is coming back.
Look at the words of Jesus as written in Matthew 10: 1-7
Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
The key here is what did Jesus mean when he said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand?”
Was he talking about his coming back to the earth or our going to heaven?
This has caused people to question when Jesus would come again. Have you ever wondered when the end would come? Have you ever wondered what will happen near the end of the world? Much has been written on this subject. The amount of words devoted to this subject are astronomical and could literally fill an entire library.
Many of the Protestant look for a rapture- or an escape of the believers from the trials and tribulations that are about to happen. However, go back to the words of Jesus in Matthew. The kingdom of heaven is at hand. How can the Kingdom of heaven be at hand?
The answer is simply- the kingdom of heaven is obtained by the atonement that Jesus did for us, and by us actively putting into our daily lives the practices that he preached in his ministry. The process of salvation is completed through our putting into practice the message that Jesus gave us. We actively have to live our life by His principles. This is not to say that we might not suffer in this life- because we surely will. It is to say that we will be rewarded for following his principles and commandments in both this world and the next. Jesus brought us a way of life so that we could find our way back to Him.
There will be perilous times ahead just like there were perilous times in the past. You may be called upon to take action so that you can practice your religion. It would not be the first time. Cross apply:
1 Maccabees 2:27
And Mattathias cried out in the city with a loud voice, saying, Whosoever is zealous for the law, and maintains the covenant, let him come forth after me.
Here, Mattathias called out for help so that he and his group could practice their religion in peace. Without this simple clarion call- the Jewish religion could have been easily wiped out before Christ ever had come to earth.
St. Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians to a group of Church members who were experiencing a great amount of persecution. They were looking for the end of times and the end to this persecution. Paul tried to encourage them to be patient.
2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 1-10
1 About the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, brothers, and our being gathered to him: 2 please do not be too easily thrown into confusion or alarmed by any manifestation of the Spirit or any statement or any letter claiming to come from us, suggesting that the Day of the Lord has already arrived. 3 Never let anyone deceive you in any way. It cannot happen until the Great Revolt has taken place and there has appeared the wicked One, the lost One. 4 the Enemy, who raises himself above every so-called God or object of worship to enthrone himself in God's sanctuary and flaunts the claim that he is God. 5 Surely you remember my telling you about this when I was with you? 6 And you know, too, what is still holding him back from appearing before his appointed time. 7 The mystery of wickedness is already at work, but let him who is restraining it once be removed. 8 and the wicked One will appear openly. The Lord will destroy him with the breath of his mouth and will annihilate him with his glorious appearance at his coming. 9 But the coming of the wicked One will be marked by Satan being at work in all kinds of counterfeit miracles and signs and wonders, 10 and every wicked deception aimed at those who are on the way to destruction because they would not accept the love of the truth and so be saved.
Brothers and sisters, this is the time and this is the place. If you are not happy with the way you are living- change it. If you are not happy with your prayers- change it. We do not need to worry so much about the things of this world- we have the power to change right here and right now. The best way to remember this is that The Kingdom of heaven is at hand. This means your hands and you have the power to change the way you live today so that you can have a better future.
The American Football Coach George Allen put it this way, “ Success is what you do with your ability. It’s how you use your talent.”
Brothers and sisters let us begin to use our talent for the Lord now so we can live with Him forever and ever later. Amen