Before The Trumpet Sounds
By Peter Scothern
We are living in days of violence, murder and bloodshed. There is a rapid acceleration in wars, famines and earthquakes. Some men’s hearts are failing them for fear. The days grow darker and more evil.
Should the Christian be depressed and disturbed by these events? No! Concerned? Yes! But depressed? No!
Jesus instructed that when these things would occur during the end-times, Christians were to lift up their heads: "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).
This is the time to turn the heart and mind from the chaotic world situation and, while continuing to work to bring souls to redemption, to concentrate upon the glory soon to be revealed. We must not focus on the depressed state of affairs around us but set our hearts and affections upon the coming Bridegroom from heaven.
We are instructed to love His appearing. Paul testified, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing" (2 Tim. 4:8).
Some people are well versed in the doctrines of the Second Coming but are they loving His appearing? Jesus judged the church at Ephesus unfaithful in respect of losing their first love (Rev. 2:4). May our hearts be perpetually overflowing with that pure, unadulterated "first love" for Christ, our returning Bridegroom.
The beloved apostle John wrote: "But we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him: for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (1 John 3:2-3).
Christians living in constant readiness for their returning Lord examine their hearts regularly to make certain they are purified, white and clean. We must constantly resort to the fountain of Christ’s blood. Nothing must be permitted to stain our garments or spot our spiritual robes.
Jesus also indicated in His parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1-12), that we are to trim our lamps. The pathetic testimony of the foolish virgins was, "Our lamps are gone out." The foolish virgins had no oil in their vessels with their lamps, and when the bridegroom appeared they were left outside the door in the darkness.
This is lamp trimming time! This is the hour to examine our hearts and to pray and to be filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit. Reader, have you been "born…of the Spirit?" (John 3:5). Have you been sanctified by the Spirit? (1 Thess. 4:3). Have you been "filled with the Holy Spirit" (Eph. 5:18)?
The great need of the hour is for all Christians to trim their lamps and diligently prepare for the certain and imminent return of Jesus. It is not too late to get right with God.