Are You Longing For Christ’s Appearing?
By Derek Prince
"Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing" (2 Tim. 4:8).
Within the body of Christ, God recognizes a special group of people: those who are longing for Christ’s appearing. For these people God has a special reward prepared: the crown of righteousness. Am I one of those people? Do I fulfill the requirement of longing for His appearing?
Four Biblical Reasons
The Holy Spirit showed me four biblical reasons why all Christians should be longing for Christ’s appearing:
It will consummate our personal salvation by equipping us with our resurrection body. We eagerly await the coming of Jesus to transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory (Phil. 3:20-21).
It will consummate our eternal union with Jesus and our fellow Christians (1 Thes. 4:16-17).
It will end the intolerable and ever-increasing suffering of humanity. Nothing but Messiah’s reign can abolish oppression, injustice, sickness, poverty and war (Psa. 72:1-14).
It will end the groaning of creation and bring universal release from the bondage of corruption (Rom. 8:19-23).
Five Distinguishing Marks
The Holy Spirit went on to show me five marks that distinguish all Christians who are truly longing for Christ’s appearing:
We will make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy (Heb. 12:14). Knowing that when He appears we shall be like Him, we shall purify ourselves just as He is pure (1 John 3:2-3).
We will be diligent to complete our earthly task. Each righteous act that we perform constitutes a thread in the fine linen garment in which Christ’s Bride is to be arrayed (Rev. 19:8).
We will be continually watchful and prayerful that we may have strength to escape all the things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36).
We will look forward to the day of God and speed its coming (2 Pet. 3:12). To this end, we will be committed to proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom to all nations (Matt. 24:14).
We will prepare the way of the Lord by comforting the Jewish people, making them ready to receive their Messiah (Isa. 40:1-3; Rom. 11:25-26).
The Holy Spirit left me with one key word: DILIGENCE.
– Reprinted from November 1986 Herald of His Coming. Used by permission.