Cautiously Preparing, Enduring to the End
Translated by Allan Liang
Lately there has been too much unrest: the US demonstrations involving much violence and looting; the Covid-19 pandemic spreading across the globe; the death of the free Hong Kong. If we count carefully, the disasters are uncountable. Does this mean that Jesus is really about to come again? How should Christians stand firm in a world of unrest? Although there is such a great number of disasters, this does not indicate that Jesus is coming very soon. The coming of Jesus is an instantaneous event, as lightning flashes from the east to the west in an instant (Mathew 24:27), and no one knows the day when Jesus will come, not even the angels (Mathew 24:36). So, the emphasis of this passage of Scripture is not at verse 24, and we do not need to spent too much energy to study what type of natural phenomena the sun darkening and the moon not giving light is like, as if seeing these natural phenomena is enough to indicate that Jesus is coming the next moment, and that I must quickly become prepared. Actually, these signs of the skies occur simultaneously with Jesus’ second coming, and are both instantaneous events. So, first of all, do not think you will see in the future, some wondrous signs and then begin to make preparations to meet Jesus, but you must now be vigilant and always on guard, as if Jesus the next second, was just about to come again. Because the day of Jesus’ second coming is like a robber, and at a time no one expects, Jesus will come instantly (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6). Second of all, no matter what strange things we hear on this earth, do not be alarmed, and patiently prepare - Jesus has not yet come. For each day that Jesus has not yet come, we must endure for that day, for if we endure to the very end, we will be saved (Matthew 24:13). Furthermore, we will surely endure to the end; this is not due to the greatness of our strength, or the greatness of our patience, but is because the God who loves us shows everlasting patience to us, and he will protect us so that we endure to the end (John 10:28). Then how are we supposed to stand firm? Today, too many people only care about what they eat, what they drink, good health, and having peaceful lives. Why bother about other things? But man does not live on bread alone (Deuteronomy 8:3); we must rely on God to live. Let us think about this, if all that we care about is what we eat and drink - this material life, and consider God to be boring, if Jesus were to come the next second and we were immediately in heaven, we would experience heaven to be painfully boring, because the core of heavenly life is knowing God more (John 17:3). So, God has a good purpose in having us endure on this earth even today. God will train us and prepare us, letting us discover in enduring, that in the end, only God is trustworthy (1 Corinthians 1:9), and to have us in the process of relying on God, more greatly understand him, depend on him and love him. One important reason we only focus on this life is because we think that man must live realistically. We persist in living frugally so that we may buy houses, save money for retirement, send our kids to top schools, graduate from medical school, or graduate from law school. What is there that is more important than a good life in reality? But do not forget, once we enter the kingdom of heaven in the future, and be with Jesus forever, our “real”, “true” lives have only just begun. At that time, when we look back to see our former lives in this world, it will be as in a dream (Psalm 73:20). Today, when parents try all their best to send their kids to Harvard so that they may make a lot of money in the future, have we wondered if in the future, our kids or ourselves can in the kingdom of heaven, attend “Harvard” and receive great rewards? That is what is most realistic. Please pray and meditate: How are you to face a world plagued by disaster? Are you prepared for Jesus to come the next second? Can you guarantee that when you give an account before Jesus, you will be the servant who is greatly rewarded?