What does it actually mean to be ready for the 2nd coming of Jesus and why does it matter?
Many people don’t know this about me, but back when I was in my early 20’s I was a heavy drug user – and on occasion I would use not just one but a cocktail that included psychedelic drugs such as Ecstasy and LSD mixed with inhalants such as Nitrous Oxide. These cocktails more often than not resulted in me entering into a semiconscious, dream-like state when I was under their influence. I can’t remember most the visions (if you want to call them that) when I was in that state of mind but the ones I do remember all had spiritual themes.
Sometimes I felt like I was floating in heaven. Other times I felt like I was being pulled into deep darkness and had to fight to stay in the light. Strangely enough, although I felt I was far from God, in those moments I can still vividly remember always choosing the light just as a deep darkness tried to sweep me away… and then “waking up” fearful of my death that seemed right around the corner and hoping there had to be more to life than the way I was living.
Have you ever felt that way in your own life? As if the curtain is opened to your inner consciousness and you can see the battle between good and evil being waged in your own mind from the point of view of a spectator? If change is going to happen – those are the moments you have to take advantage of because truth be told we never know how many of those we are going to get.
So, it was after one of those moments that I was particularly shaken that I called the only Christian friend I could think of – poured out my heart – and then picked up the very journal she had given me a year earlier, and began to write. I had never written in a journal before, but something beyond myself compelled me to pick up a pen and start to write. And write I did. Nothing that I would classify as religious – but the writing became spiritual nonetheless because I was journaling my pain, loneliness, and longing for love in a way I never had before.
Maybe you have never journaled before or have only used journals to record historical events in your own life, but there is something cathartic about writing feeling and emotion, and while it is not the true solution to malady of our heart – it does release the pressure, and allows us to think and reflect on what is really going on inside us.
This proved to be true for me. For nearly a year I wrote faithfully in that journal: The good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of who I was as person were on full display until once again I found myself at a party under the influence of psychedelics and once again I had a revelation – except this time the revelation was different. This time it wasn’t just me but everyone in the room was a part of it. They all fell down and it was as if I alone was left standing – and as I looked up – it was as if I were experiencing the 2nd coming of Jesus in that moment. And somehow intuitively I knew right then and there what it meant. I had read it before in the Bible
“Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?””
(Revelation 6:14–17 NKJV)
Who will be able to stand?
Can there be a more important question asked by those living on the edge of time?
Do you know the answer?
One thing I knew in the moment of that revelation was that I was not ready to stand and yet somehow, I did?
Somehow, I did not fall with those around me. Somehow it was like it was just me and Jesus in the room together and he was looking at me with outstretched arms saying to me, “this doesn’t have to be your future. If you follow me you will see me come again… and on that day you will be able to stand, but in order for that to happen you have to turn away from this life that you are living.”
I had to make a choice.
We all have to make a choice.
If we want to be ready for Jesus we have to be made ready for Jesus – and ironically it is only Jesus that can make us ready to meet him face to face one day.
The psalmist said it this way,
“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.”
(Psalm 24:3–4 NKJV)
Clean hands and pure heart?
What does that mean?
Could the scriptures really be saying that only those who have been fully cleansed and purified will be able to stand before the glorified Son when he comes again?
Maybe you have heard it said that if God knows your heart that is all the matters in the end – but the scriptures don’t seem to support that commonly held belief.
Intentions are not the same as actions and over and over we find that God not only looks at our hearts but also our hands.
What are our hands doing? Where are our feet headed?
Jesus said it best.
““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
(Matthew 7:21 NKJV)
Profession is not a substitute for obedience.
And it just makes sense if you think about it. One of the metaphors used consistently throughout the Bible to describe God is fire.
For our God is a consuming fire.”
(Hebrews 12:29 NKJV)
How can the creator of all life also at the same time be a consuming fire?
Clearly God doesn’t consume everything he touches.
Clearly the God who holds all things in the universe together by the power of his Word does not also have a split personality that delights in watching it burn.
So there must be something specific that is consumed in the presence of God.
So what is it?
It is only because of sin that we can no longer stand in the presence of God like we once did in the innocence of our Eden home.
And what is sin?
The transgression of the law
It is both a condition and an action.
It dirties both the heart and the hands.
We are sinners because we sin and we sin because we are sinners.
It is a vicious cycle that can only be broken when both our heart and hands are cleansed by God.
This polluted state of being even prevented Moses himself from Seeing God when he asked, “Show me your glory!”
“But he said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.””
(Exodus 33:20–23 NKJV)
So, what will be different about the people who are able to stand before Jesus when he come in the clouds with the glory of the father and with ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands and thousands of angels with him?
Remember God is an all-consuming fire.
We already know when the wicked see him they turn and run to the rocks and the hills to hide themselves from the face of the Lamb.
But what about the living righteous?
If God is an all-consuming fire – why doesn’t he consume them too?
The prophet Malachi gives us some insight after he asks the same question we have been trying to answer:
““But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap.
(Malachi 3:2 NKJV)
Can you see it now?
Can you begin to see the fundamental difference between the two groups of on the earth on the day of Christ’s 2nd coming?
The righteous allowed God to consume their sin when they invited him into their heart – and his presence living in them refined them in the fire of affection here on earth so they were purified when he came for them.
Revelation describes them as the bride of Christ.
“And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
(Revelation 19:6–8 NKJV)
Do you see it?
How has she made herself ready?
She has clean hands and a pure heart.
She has allowed God into her heart and allowed him to live his life through her own. And now she is ready to live in his presence throughout eternity.
The wicked on the other hand did were not ready for Jesus because they had not allowed him into their heart – they still clung to their sin and sin still clung to them.
And so since they wouldn’t allow Jesus to consume the sin from within them while they had the chance now they are consumed with their sin in his presence.
Picture the scene now in your own mind.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
(Revelation 19:11–16 NKJV)
One day soon, Jesus is going to come again.
What side will you be on?
I know for me I made my choice right then and there that I wanted to be ready for Jesus and I couldn’t stop asking myself the question.
Why would you go through all this trouble of trying to reach out to college dropout drug addict who was doing nothing with his life other than living for himself?
And the only answer that kept coming back to me was love.
So even through it was the revelation that got my attention it was love that got my heart.
Finally, I began to realize the answer to all the questions I had been asking in my journal for the entire year since I had started writing was God all along.
My longing that I could not fill with all the pleasure seeking the world could offer was filled in a moment with God
And I truly went to bed that night with a peace in my heart I had never experienced before.
In an instant I was a new creation.
The old had gone and the new had come.
And the cool thing was the journal became a written testament of the change with in me.
In the middle of the book I wrote out my revelation so I would never forget and then kept writing until the journal was full.
The first half – my life before
The second half – my life after
Friend that is all it ever takes for any of us – in the moment – in the twinkling of an eye – when you surrender you heart to God he will come in and consume all the sin out of your life.
The things you once hated you now love and the things you once loved you now hate.
It’s truly a miracle of God
So, who will be able to stand?
Only those who have been consumed by the fire of the love of God.
Know this my friend that you are loved.
This podcast is here for you.
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Reach out to me – Travis@Adventology.com
I am so excited to get started with this new season