“I Am sending my Son soon.” These are the words I heard while sitting in the Detroit airport waiting for my flight back to Florida where the next day we would be having our very first service for Ponce Church (January 5, 2003), the first church in the history of our town. When I heard Him speak these words (not audible) I sat there very still and thought: “Lord, why are you telling me? I am not a big shot preacher (meaning I am not known all over the world).” It was not just a fleeting thought, it was powered by the Holy Spirit of God. There was what I would describe as a thick presence of God and I knew without a doubt that He was speaking to me. How do I know? Well, when you hear the Lord speak to you in this manner, you know it. Even though I was taken by surprise at what He said to me, I believed it with my whole heart.
Some years later I was watching Christian TV and the guest on the show was Oral Roberts. He shared about his recent experience at the time of the Lord speaking to him regarding Jesus return, and if I’m not mistaken, he heard the same words I heard that evening in the airport. I remember him saying (paraphrase) that he had heard the Lord speak to him many times, but that this time was different. I knew what he meant.
As a church, the body of Christ, we talk/share about the first coming of Jesus and how, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son (Jesus) that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3;16, and rightly so! Thank God for His rich love and mercy for mankind. He came to earth as a man, God in the flesh, loving people and doing good, “And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” Acts 10:38 NLT. But what we do not hear enough of is Jesus second coming.
John the Baptist was the one the prophet Isaiah spoke about who would cry out to the people on preparing for Jesus’ first and second coming: “3Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. 4 Isaiah had spoken of John when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!
5 The valleys will be filled,
and the mountains and hills made level.
The curves will be straightened,
and the rough places made smooth.
6 And then all people will see
the salvation sent from God.’”
7 When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 9 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.” (Here John speaks of Judgement Day)
10 The crowds asked, “What should we do?”
11 John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” Luke 3:3-11 NLT.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself teaches and prepares us for His second coming and what He will say to us on Judgement Day (He will address the sheep, the follower of Jesus and Goats) in Matthew 25:31-46 and confirms what John spoke of in Luke 3:
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
You may be thinking, “I thought that all I had to do was believe on Jesus and that’s it?” That is partly true: There is no Grace without first believing in Jesus Christ and nothing we could ever do without that Grace can ever save us. But just like many verses, we’ve been taught only part of it and not in their entirty. For example, Ephesians 2:8 & 9 says, ” 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast…” and the emphasis has always been that we are not saved by works and I have to agree, BUT, and there is a big BUT! The Apostle Paul was NOT finished with that verse/thought. Let’s look at what verse 10 says, “10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Paul explains that we are not saved by works, but he goes on to say that once we receive God’s grace, we are then “created in Christ Jesus unto GOOD WORKS that we should WALK in them.” James says it perfectly in James chapter 2. He teaches us what Paul is saying here about good works and that our “Faith” is “Dead” without doing good works and goes on to show us what those Good Works are:
“My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. 3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, 4 doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?
5 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? 6 But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? 7 Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?
8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law…
12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.
Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.” James 2:1-25
So how do we prepare for Jesus coming again? Get busy or keep busy doing good for others. If they are hungry and you have some to share, share. If they don’t have clothing and you have 2 of anything, give one to the person who has none. If someone is thirsty, give them something to drink. If they are sick or in prison, visit them. There is a verse that says, “He that knows to do GOOD and does not do it, to him/her it is sin” (emphasis mine) James 4:17.
Even though we may not know the exact day or hour, we are instructed to always be ready:
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Jesus. Matthew 25:37-40 NLT.