19th September 2013

 Are You Ready for Jesus? 

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.”
Matthew 25:31 (NIV 2011)

During December 2012, I watched news footage of a man in the Netherlands building an ‘ark’ to ride out the end of the world. He felt that the Mayan Calendar was predicting that Armageddon was near. I guess he is still in his ark, awaiting the end of the world. I could mock, but he is not the first – and probably not the last – to hunt out a place of safety to ride out the ‘end of days’.

This behaviour is caused by the tendency in some quarters to narrowly focus on Christ’s return. They seem to cut straight from the Cross to the Second Coming. Scary scenarios depicting the end of the world are presented, worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. Full of horror, violence and destruction, these scenarios have only one aim: to make me fear. This then risks becoming an obsession and making it through the ‘Day of Judgement’ takes priority over everything else. 

Don’t get me wrong—I believe that Jesus will return. But this obsession forgets that Jesus, our Lord, is alive and active in the world today. Consider the story of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31-46. The goats are rebuked for ignoring the work of Jesus in the here and now as we read in verses 42-43, “For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was ill and in prison and you did not look after me.”  Today, Jesus is changing lives, transforming attitudes and bringing good news to a desperate world. And he wants us to be part of that. 

I would be challenged to build an ‘ark’ – you should see my DIY! But to be honest, I find working with those who are sick, in need, or trapped in life’s circumstances, even more challenging. So, given a choice, I’d pick building an ark! But that would mean missing out on the wonderful work Jesus is doing through people today. 

The return of Christ will be an amazing and spectacular event. But let’s not get distracted from our Lord’s will for today, for he is at work in the lives of his people. 

Prayer
Father, open our eyes to see the work that your Son is carrying out in the world today. Also, help us not to fear the return of Jesus. We know that this present age must one day end, but it will be replaced with a world of peace and love. Fill us with your vision to live tomorrow’s world today. In our Lord’s name.
Amen

Study by Ian Woodley

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About the Author:
Ian Woodley pastors the Nottingham Grace Communion, a congregation of the Worldwide Church of God, UK, that meets at 2pm Saturday, as below.  Ian also facilitates a monthly Bible Study in Lincoln, which generally meets on a Saturday at 1:30pm.  They welcome visitors to join them—for more details contact Ian Woodley as below.

Local Congregation: 
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane
Beeston
NOTTINGHAM
NG9 5HZ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley
Email:  icgwoodley@gmail.com

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