A great disaster has been raging the world since the beginning of 2020. Some people are filled with gratitude that the disaster did not befall them; some people are worried: The news constantly reports that the second wave of the pandemic may break out at any time. Will they still be safe once it happens?
In the face of the disaster, we all may be worried and afraid. But we need to know that only God can save us from disasters! Now the Lord has come secretly before the disaster, expressing words and doing a step of work of judging and purifying people. Only when we welcome the Lord and follow God’s footsteps closely can we have the chance to be protected by God amid disasters.
Now the disasters are getting greater and there have been frequent earthquakes, famines and wars. In addition, from the end of 2019 to 2020, the new coronavirus emerging in Wuhan, China, has spread to over 20 countries. Now Wuhan coronavirus is still spreading and the death toll is rising. Besides, from September 2019 to January 2020, the Australian bushfires destroyed thousands of buildings. In addition, dozens of people died and billions of animals are reported to have been killed. On January 18, 2020, a 100-year heavy rain lashed Australia, causing flooding, power failures in some districts, and the death of large amounts of aquatic life. In January 2020, torrential rains swept across Indonesia, so that tens of thousands of people became homeless. Furthermore, the four blood moons have appeared, and disasters have frequently occurred worldwide. These fulfill the prophecies of the return of the Lord Jesus, “And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, see, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood” (Revelation 6:12). “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows”(Matthew 24:7–8). Seeing the fulfillment of these prophecies, many brothers and sisters in the Lord raise such questions: Since the prophecies of the second coming of Christ have been basically fulfilled, has the Lord come back? If so, why haven’t we welcomed the Lord? Where can we find the Lord’s footprints?
On a new day, sitting at her desk, Zhang Qing began her daily spiritual devotions, opening up the Bible and reading Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour knows no man, not the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but My Father only.” She thought to herself: “If no one knows the day of the Lord’s return, then how should we welcome Him? Now is the end of the last day. The disasters are getting greater. The omens of the Lord’s return have basically all been fulfilled. Maybe one day the Lord will come back, but so far I still haven’t known how to welcome His return.” Thinking of this, Zhang Qing couldn’t help standing up and then paced back and forth in her room. At that point, she thought of how, when visiting her the other day, her sister-in-law said that she went out to listen to a few sermons about the Lord’s coming and that there was light in them. So Zhang Qing decided to seek from her.
It was a summer afternoon, the blazing sun was beating down. Li Jiayin and several co-workers were sitting in the shadow of an old locust tree. Looking at the old tree, she recollected her childhood, in which she used to sit under the tree with her uncle, hearing him tell Bible stories and the testimonies of experiences of the spiritual seniors. A few years ago, her uncle once reminded her to be watchful. Now, disasters are getting worse and worse, and the four blood moons have appeared. From various signs it can be said with some certainty: The day of the Lord has come; the Lord will come to reap and rapture Christians at any minute. But how to be watchful and wait for the Lord’s return? How to wait to conform to the Lord’s will? What does it mean to be watchful? Jiayin sensed that she was not clear about these questions, and then commenced a discussion with her co-workers.
Beneath the tree in the courtyard, I was talking with my uncle and elder cousin amid a pleasant atmosphere …
My uncle said cheerfully, “In a twinkling, you’ve grown up. I’m so delighted to see you working for the Lord and shepherding the church. Um, Xiaojing, what have you been preaching recently?”
I quickly answered, “About watching and waiting, for the Lord is coming soon.”
Uncle nodded and said, “Yep, watching and waiting is so important. The gospel of the Lord Jesus has spread to the ends of the earth. The various signs show that the day of the Lord’s return has come. We should watch and wait all the time, and the Lord will come back and take us to the heavenly home at any time. It seems that we can welcome the Lord’s return during our lifetimes. We truly should hold watchful prayer and wait for the Lord! I’m old. How I wish I could welcome the appearance of the Lord!”
I said, “That’s right. It’s a pity that many people know the Lord is coming soon, but they aren’t watchful in preparing and awaiting His return.”
Then, my elder cousin thoughtfully said, “We should truly watch and wait for the Lord’s return. I’ve been thinking recently that how we should ‘wait’ to be in accordance with the Lord’s will. And what does ‘watching’ refer to?”
Nowadays, the last days have arrived. I believe that the brothers and sisters from different denominations are all paying close attention to the return of the Lord Jesus. The Lord once promised us: “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3). For this reason, we are all eagerly expecting that the Lord will come again to bring us into the kingdom of heaven. However, with regard to the means of the Lord’s return, each denomination has a different understanding of it. There are mainly two points of view. Some denominations believe that as the Lord left in a spiritual body, then when coming to rapture us, He will certainly appear to us in a spiritual body. But, others hold a different idea. They believe that the Lord will reveal Himself to us in the form of flesh when coming back. Anyway, in what form the Lord will return is related to whether each of us Christians can be raptured. Therefore, we must make it clear, so as not to be abandoned by the Lord.
The Prophecies of the Lord’s Return Have All Been Fulfilled
The Lord Jesus said: “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Truly I say to you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:32-34). We Christians all know that these are some scriptures prophesying about the return of the Lord. Here, that the fig tree’s branch is tender and puts forth leaves refers to the return of Israel, which is to say, when it returns, we will know that the Lord will come back soon. Now, the Israel has been recovered for decades, so this prophecy has already been fulfilled.
Facing the day when the Lord appears, every brother and sister, who have true faith in the Lord, will hope that we can be the wise virgins, and that we can welcome the bridegroom and have supper with the Lord. Some of us often read the Bible and pray, watching and preparing; some choose to work tirelessly, sacrificing and expending themselves; others regularly attend meetings, attentively waiting for the arrival of the Lord. … Everyone is spending for the Lord, preparing for and awaiting the Lord’s second coming in our own ways and is firmly convinced that we are the wise virgins and that, in this way, we can certainly welcome the return of the Lord. But is our preparing oil like this after the Lord’s heart? What are the wise virgins after all? How should the wise virgins prepare oil to welcome the Lord?