A Vital Question – Are You Ready For The Coming Of The Lord?
By Sarah Foulkes Moore
Very soon the Lord is coming. He is coming as a Bridegroom. He is coming for a Bride. He leaves Ivory Palaces to come for her because He greatly desires her beauty.
The beauty of the Bride of Christ is portrayed in the Bridal Psalm (45) as "all glorious within." The glory of the Lord is mentioned many times in Scripture. One translation of the word "glory" is beauty, meaning the beauty of the Lord. Hence we worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness (1 Chr. 16:29). So likewise His Bride, whom He comes from Heaven to receive, is portrayed in prophetic type and antitype as adorned in the beauty of holiness.
Her clothing is of wrought gold (Psa. 45). Christ espouses to Himself a Bride who is glorious within and without. By revelation, Paul sees Christ presenting to Himself this Bride, "glorious...not having spot or wrinkle" (Eph. 5:27).
John, the seer, envisions the Bride in Heaven. The one thing he emphasizes is the fact she had made herself ready! (Rev. 19:7).
Our Responsibility Is to Be Ready!
The church of the Firstborn (Heb. 12:23), is spoken of as a virgin, meaning a people separated from the world unto God. Paul wrote to the Christians under his ministry, "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2).
Christian, are you all glorious within? Are your spiritual robes without spot or wrinkle? God abhors garments spotted by the flesh! He wants us to abhor them! (Jude, v. 23).
Enoch is a type of the translation saints. He had the testimony that he pleased God (Heb. 11:5). Christian, is your life chaste and pure? Is your walk with the Lord so attractive that He will greatly desire your beauty?
His Word Is His Plumbline on Our Life
Now, in this hour of His appearing, the matter of making ourselves ready is the most important thing that concerns us! Many are taking for granted they are ready. We need to go to the Word of God and see for ourselves what conditions He imposes for readiness for His return.
"Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged...." The original Greek renders "yourselves" and "your" with peculiar emphasis. "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape" (Luke 21:34, 36). "Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments" (Rev. 16:15).
In the Lord’s emphatic admonitions to His disciples to be wary and watchful, He does not encourage them to rest in any past blessing nor does He tell them that because of previous spiritual experience they can drift along. The Lord’s emphasis is laid on watching, heeding, praying! The escape, according to Christ’s Own words, is a reward of the effort to be ready!
"I Say . . . unto All, Watch" (Mark 13:37)
What Christ, the Head of the church (Eph. 5:23-24), says should mean everything to us! His oft repeated command is to "watch." To watch means, in the original, "to be alert"; "to be aroused"; "to be awake." In this hour of His Coming He has shown us in pointed warnings that the only way to escape the trouble coming upon the whole earth – is to "watch and pray always" (Matt. 24:42; 25:13; Mark 13:35; Luke 21:34-36; 1 Thes. 5:6; 1 Pet. 4:7; Rev. 3:2; 16:15).
Again the Lord says, "Strive to enter in...for many...will seek to enter in, and shall not be able" (Luke 13:24). The Greek rendering of "strive" is "agonize" – agonize to enter in. Paul, seeking to win Christ as the Bridegroom said, "I press" toward the mark (Phil. 3:7-14).
"One Taken . . . One Left" (Matt. 24:32-42)
How great will be the disappointment of the careless, lukewarm, unready ones in the hour of the escape! (Luke 21:34-36). Now, before it is too late, is the time for us to awake out of sleep and stir ourselves to watching and prayer, for the signs of His appearing are everywhere around us. The tares are ripening. So is the wheat. The ingathering is near!
The Lord, rebuking the worldly Laodicean Christians, said, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot...so then because thou art lukewarm... I will spue thee out of My mouth" (Rev. 3:15-16).
Christian, is your service for the Master, your praying, your Bible reading, the testimony of your life in private and public, cold or hot, or is it lukewarm? Ask yourself this question, "Am I a wise virgin, trimming my life by the Word of God, or am I a foolish one, looking for His Coming – but not preparing for it?"
In contrast to the ease-loving, pleasure-loving Christian of today, how different was Paul’s pressing toward the goal! He put forth desperate effort to win Christ as the Bridegroom. He stripped himself of every weight; suffered the loss of all things – that He might, in the fervor of his efforts, attain to the first resurrection out from among the dead! (Marginal rendering of Philippians 3:7-21).
"Woe unto Them That Are at Ease in Zion" (Amos 6:1-7)
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord" (Luke 12:35-36).
There is a wall of worldly separation between most Christians and Christ today which renders impossible watchfulness and prayerfulness! Our churches are full of men and women living in slothful ease and selfish indulgence, unwatchfully gliding, drifting with the world, careless of the commands set forth by the Lord upon all accounted worthy to escape the things overtaking the world, and to stand before the Son of Man! (Luke 21:34-36).
Watchers for His Return
"When He shall appear, we shall be like Him...and every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (1 John 3:2-3).
"The imminent return of our Lord," declares Dr. Torrey, "is the great Bible argument for a pure, unselfish, devoted, unworldly, active Christian life."
According to John the Apostle, everyone who hath the hope of Christ’s return, purifies himself. Beloved, the vital question is not, is the church ready? But are YOU ready?
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (Rev. 3:19-20).
Beloved, in this end-of-the-age hour, do not let one thing stand between you and your Lord, or between you and one living creature! In the hour of His appearing there is not one of us but who, by His infinite grace, can stand before Him "more than conqueror" (Rom. 8:35-39).
He is coming as a Bridegroom. He is coming for a Bride. Beloved, are you so spiritually beautiful that He will desire to return with you to His Throne, and to His Father and to His angels?
"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments" (Rev. 16:15).