The Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ: How Shall We Prepare? – Pr George Dass

2 Jan 2014 by Jason Law CM –

 

Last Sunday, the 29th of December 2013, Pr George Dass, the Senior Associate Pastor of Kajang Assembly of God, shared an encouraging message about the Second Coming of Christ. He did not just share about the redemptive plan God has for His people, but also how we should prepare for it as Christians. Four main attitudes were shared.

 

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Pr George Dass, Senior Associate Pastor of Kajang Assembly of God

 

One of the key attitudes Christians need to have is the desire to grow daily in godliness, and the best way to do is to strengthen our devotional life. As Christians, we are called children of God (2 Corinthians 6:17-18, 1 John 3:1) and if we are so-called, the best example for us to emulate is Jesus Christ, the Son of God Himself. Jesus’ is the best example of a devotional life. His whole life on Earth was a ministry carrying out God’s purpose on Earth, even unto Calvary itself. The problem is, as Jesus has said in Matthew 26:41, for many of us, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."    

 

jesus-in-the-desert

 

2 Corinthians 6:17-18, NIV

"'I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty."

1 John 3:1, NIV

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"

 

prayer-bible

 

We need to strengthen our spiritual lives and the way to do is by knowing the Character and desire of God for this world. We learn this through prayer, and by reading, studying, and obeying the Word of God, handed down to us so that we have daily guidance in our Christian life. We may not be perfect, but we need to strive for moral excellence, and to the best of our abilities as guided by God, live lives of purity, holiness, and righteousness. We need to live life in the light of eternity. When we are walking within the will of God, there will be the peace of God in our lives.

 

2 Peter 1:5-8

New International Version (NIV)

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:11-12

New International Version (NIV)

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

 

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Pr George shared that sometimes because of delays, Christians grow weary, but the Bible has encouraged us in James 5:7-11, to be patient and persevere until the coming of the Lord. Many great men of God had to go through the testing of delay. Abraham had to wait 25 years before God’s promise of a son, Isaac, to him and his wife, Sarah was fulfilled. Joseph had to languish in prison for many years before he was called to his appointed role. Moses had to live in the desert for 40 years before he was called to deliver the Israelites out from Egypt. David had to struggle and wait for many years for the throne after he was anointed. The key is that these men of God never gave up on their trust in God.

 

James 5:7-8

New International Version (NIV)

Patience in Suffering

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

2 Corinthians 4:17

New International Version (NIV)

17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

 

The second attitude we need to have is vigilance and being watchful at all times (Matthew 24:42,44; 1 Thess 5:4-8). Warnings abound in the Bible about this aspect of our Christian life. One of the best-known parables of Jesus is the Parable of the Ten Virgins, also known as the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, found in Matthew 25:1-13. In the beginning, every one of the Virgins had lamps burning. By the time of the arrival of the Bridegroom, however, the lamps carried by five of the Virgins had sadly already gone out. Five of the Virgins were taken up to celebrate with the Bridegroom, while the other five were left behind. The message is clear.

 

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The day of the Lord will be completely unexpected. Pr George’s challenge to us is to reflect on a central question: If God chose to return today, on a scale of 1-10, how ready are we mentally and spiritually? Are we too comfortable? What can we do to be more prepared?

 

Matthew 24:42-44

New International Version (NIV)

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-8

New International Version (NIV)

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

 

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The third attitude we need to have is to stand in Christ’s victory (Colossians 2:15; Revelations 12:11). The thing we need to remind ourselves constantly as Christians is that Jesus has won the victory over sin at Calvary around 2000 years ago. The devil, the chief enemy of the Christians, will continuously try to pour doubt about this in our hearts. The fact is the devil can’t stand up or compare to God; God is in full control of everything that happens in our life, and He works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). In our moments of weakness, Christ must be the centerpoint of our lives, and our strength and victory will come though Him. Yield ourselves to God at all times.

 

Colossians 2:15

New International Version (NIV)

15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Revelation 12:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 They triumphed over him [satan]
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.

Romans 8:28

New International Version (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

Ultimately, there is also a fourth attitude we need to develop, and that is to be Kingdom-minded ( Acts 1:7-8; 2 Cor 5:11). There are still plenty of work to be done; many of us still have unsaved loved ones who will be left behind if the Rapture were to come in the near future. How will the knowledge of the coming judgement affect our attitude towards the unsaved? How much do we love them, and how much do they and their eternal hope matter to us? As Christians, we need to ask God to give us opportunities to witness to an unsaved friend or loved one. Learn to connect with people. God’s Word will not return void.

 

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Pr George shared that it is not our place to speculate about the specifics of the Last Days; only God has full knowledge. Our role as children of God is to extend His Kingdom. Let this be translated into action, changing self-centered schedules, until it becomes a norm in our lifestyles. The Spirit-filled followers of Jesus should be so busy with witnessing for Jesus Christ that they have no time for speculation about the exact day of Jesus’ return.

 

 Acts 1:7-8

New International Version (NIV)

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

2 Cor 5:11

Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.

 

jesuscoming

 

Everything boils down to how much our relationship with God and for our loved ones matter to us. If the Rapture were to happen tomorrow, or within the next few hours, is our greatest hope to be caught up to be with Him forever, or do we have other things in this world that we love more? The four main attitudes of growing daily in Godliness, being watchful at all times, standing in Christ’s victory, and being Kingdom-minded, are all important ones that every Christian should have.   

 

Isaiah 55:11

so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

 

 

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References for pictures

http://kingjamesbible101.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/190559_392015810912155_2070639796_n.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MWKG9BKKY3g/USB9MTgroLI/AAAAAAAAA84/9RTHwjgNF0M/s1600/jesus-in-the-desert.jpg

http://www.catholicismusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/burning-bush2.jpg

http://willcookson.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/prayer-bible.jpg

http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/images/paintings/fall/large/nts_fall_52_214_large.jpg

http://www.astrogems.com/graphics/crosses/crossy58.jpg

http://www.harvestchapelpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/splitting_the_red_sea2-1024×677.jpg

http://www.freecdtracts.com/images/jesuscoming.jpg

 

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