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Introduction

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Introduction

In the future a string of events will take place that will eventually lead to the establishment of a new kingdom on this earth. At this kingdom, the Lord Jesus Christ will reign as the king of the entire world. This is all part of God’s great plan for this world. 

God’s plan for the ages 

The ages of human history have not taken place purely out by chance but have unfolded according to God’s predetermined plan. The course of history has been driven by God.

From the beginning, God had planned to send forth his son. As a result, all the ages have revolved around God’s intentions for Jesus Christ.

The table to the right shows God’s plan for this world:

God's plan for the world

Period Number of years [7]

4000 BC

Creation

0

A

N

T

E

D

I

L

U

V

I

A

N

2344 BC

The Flood

1,656

J

E

W

I

S

H

Christ born at about AD 0 (4,000 years after creation).

AD 70 4,070

G

E

N

T

I

L

E

Return of

Jesus Christ

6,000

M

I

L

L

E

N

N

I

U

M

Completion 7,000

The most important part of God’s plans is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth. This series of articles will be looking at what happens after Christ returns to the earth. For after Christ returns there are many events which will take place before the Kingdom of God is finally established on the earth (the Millennium).

Before the return of Christ the believer is told to be prepared....

Watchfulness is required

The Lord Jesus Christ warned his disciples that they must watch the signs that indicate that his coming is near. If they didn’t then they would not prepared.

Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. Revelation 16:15 NKJV 

 Part of the Temple wall

The Lord Jesus said these words based on what the Temple guard were required to do. Each night there were 240 Levites and 30 priests who were give the job of watch and guarding the 24 gates of the Temple and its courts. The duty was to stay awake and alert so as to prevent the entry of the unclean or forbidden. When these Levites and priests came on duty at sunset they were required to put on a garment of white linen so as to distinguish them from others. These men had to stand watch until dawn without any form of relief. 

At any time during the night, the Temple captain (chief of the Temple guards) could make his rounds of the Temple. As he approached the guards they had

to arise and salute him in a particular way. However, if a guard was found asleep whilst on duty, he was stood before his fellow guards at dawn and publicly stripped of his garment. The garment would be burnt and he would be dismissed from his Temple service. He departed naked and shamed before his brethren. 

It is easy to see that the current day believer is like the temple guard. He is a “temple watcher” who has been given the job of watching the doors of God’s spiritual house, to prevent the entrance of anything unclean.  

And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

 “ I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore “ Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” “ I will be Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,  Says the LORD Almighty.”

2 Corinthians 6:16 – 18 NKJV

The responsible believer wears a linen garment [1] which must be kept “unspotted from the world”, [2] It is this believers job to watch in the night “until the day dawn, and the day star arises” to dispel all darkness.[3] The responsible believer’s leader may come during any watch of the night [4] and will reject him/her if they are found asleep or unprepared [5]. The believer’s punishment and shame will be known to all the other responsible believers (brethren). [6]

How we should feel about Christ’s coming

Abraham is a example of how the believer should feel about Christ’s return. This is what Christ said about Abraham:

Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad. John 8:56 NIV

The response Abraham had when he thought about the return of Christ is the kind of vision and response which the modern day believer also must cultivate. The verse says that he rejoiced. This word “rejoice” comes from the Greek word (Agalliao) which means to jump for joy or to dance. The vision Abraham had of Christ’s day was so vivid and his faith so strong that he was emotionally and physically affected. This came out in his expression of joy and expectation. Needless to say, hopefully modern day believers experience the same joy when they consider the return of Christ. 

There is more on this thought when you look at 2 Timothy:

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8 NKJV 

This verse is encouraging the believer to set his mind on God and to love the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ. This type of love (from the Greek word Agapao) is a selfless and sacrificial love. The type of people who love Christ’s appearing are those who have lost or sacrificed their lives in this world so that they can spend more time with Christ.

He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 10:39 

If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. John 12:26

The believer must not be like the man Demas who loved not Christ but the current world he lived in.

for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. 2 Timothy 4:10

The acceptable believer is the one who has not forsaken their Lord but rather have dedicated their lives to his service.

Footnotes

1 Revelation 19:8
2

Jude 23, James 1:27

3 2 Peter 1:19, 2 Thessalonian 5:2-7
4 Matthew 24:42-44
5 Matthew 24:48-51
6 1 Cor.4:5, Luke 12:2-3, 1 Timothy 5:24-25
7 The number of years are approximate as no man knows exactly when Christ will return.

Being constantly ready

The believer will cultivate a discipline in their lives where they are always ready for the return of Christ. They will not be caught unprepared. 

Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:44 NKJV 

The believer must therefore always be prepared. There is a very real risk that Jesus returns when we do not expect it. In other word, we have lost our conception of the realities of the Kingdom and our vision of the glories which lie beyond.

 

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Last Updated: Sunday, 08 March 2015