If Jesus chooses to come back today, I wonder how the world will react. I bet netizens will be so active in flooding their social media feeds. I’m thinking of hashtags like #TouchdownJesus or #WelcomeBackJC will trend with number of posts and tweets unimaginable. Acts of compassion and kindness will be most evident during these times. But these events are just pigments of my imagination. In no way these are biblical, purely speculative.
If Jesus comes back today, what would really happen? We have accounts on the Bible that says His coming will be like a thief in the night – no one knows when. Yet with certainty He will soon come and take with Him all those who are His.
We are living on the last days where all major signs of His return happens right before our very eyes – wars and rumors of war, pestilences, drought, unexplainable weather disturbances, uncanny sightings of celestial bodies and rampant evil. If Jesus will ask us for reasons why He ought to return now in our generation, I believe we can raise enough justifications. But the prerogative is not in our hands. Only the Father knows when.
But more than the manner and the specifics of His return, have you ever thought about how you will choose to welcome Him?
I have heard of a story of a good lady who patiently waits for Jesus’ return that she refuses to go on a bath thinking she might get caught naked and unprepared. I just don’t know if she’s still holding on to this resolve.
Yet the lady is preparing herself. No matter how silly it may sound to us, no matter how extreme her view is, the bottom line is she wants to be prepared. Because who knows, the Big Day might come tonight or tomorrow?
The prophet Joel has this to say: “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil.”
Joel 2:12-13 NASB.
Preparation for the Lord’s coming is not about keeping your hairs and your nails trimmed, nor making yourself presentable. Our earthly appointments calls for that kind of preparation, but our preparation for His coming needs the rending of the heart. To rend ones heart is to make it open, available for the mighty works of God.
Are we prepared for His return? Have we forgiven those who trespassed against us? How about leaving our sinful lifestyle behind and clothe ourselves instead with humility, kindness and love? Have we opened our hearts to the Lord? And most importantly, have we accepted Jesus’ offer of salvation and full life?
The day of the Lord is not just another day in the calendar or a significant news-worthy, trend-worthy event. It is a dreadful day to reckon with, knowing that He will come both in judgment and in love. In judgment for those who rejected Him, refusing to apportion His grace for the wages of sin; in love for those who long for His return, patiently waiting in faith for the consummation of His promised redemption.
Jesus is coming back. Rend your heart, not just your garments.