By Larry ShortGlobal Media Outreach (GMO) missionary, I get asked some great questions by new believers or by those who are in crisis and seeking God, all over the world. (To date, in my four years of working as a volunteer with GMO, I've had the immense privilege of connecting with nearly a thousand seekers from most of the nations on our planet.)
I put a great deal of time, energy, and prayer into responding to these wonderful questions, so it occurred to me recently that I should share some of the better questions (and my responses) with you, here in my blog.
Therefore I am going to interrupt my current series on answers to prayer to profile a recent question which came from a brand-new believer in Nepal named Susan. (And please know that I am actually changing the names in order to protect confidentiality/identity.) She asked: "Will Jesus come again in this world? If so, when and how?"
I thought this was a particularly a propos question to address, seeing how yesterday was October 21, the day that nutcase fundamentalist radio preacher/false prophet, Harold Camping, falsely predicted (for what ... the third or fourth time?) the Rapture would occur. (Spawning, of course, thousands of scornful mockers who take advantage of the opportunity to make fun of the very idea that Christ is coming back at all.)
Here is my response to Susan:
I'm so thankful for the great news that you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior! Please visit http://m.godlife.com/look-to-Jesus for your next steps.
And I love the question that you asked: Will Jesus return? When and how?
The answer to the first question is a very definite YES! Read Matthew 24:30 (Jesus speaking) -- "Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory."
This verse (and many others -- see also Matt. 26:64, Mark 13:26, Mark 14:62, Acts 1:11, 1 Thess. 4:17, and Rev. 1:7) also reveals HOW He will return ... descending from Heaven, "on the clouds" and in great power and glory!
But, nowhere in the Bible does it specify precisely WHEN Christ will return. To the contrary, Matt. 24:36 (among other verses) teaches us: "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
The teaching of the Bible is therefore that the return of Christ is "imminent" -- it could happen at any time! Our job as Christ-followers then is to "always be ready" for His imminent return. Which is the entire point of Christ's teaching in Matt. 25:1-13, "The parable of the ten virgins." In this parable, Christ is the bridegroom and we, His Church, are those awaiting His coming. We are to keep our wicks trimmed and lamps ready, full of oil (speaking of the Holy Spirit, always empowering our witness).
As a new Christian, the Holy Spirit is available to empower you to help you live the abundant Christian life, in purity and boldness of witness. (See Luke 11:13.) But you need to "fill your lamp with oil" every day. So don't neglect to pray every day and ask to be filled anew with the Holy Spirit!
How can I pray for you? Do you have any questions? Please write back.
Please check back Monday for the third installment in the "miraculous answers to prayer" series.