Hello and welcome to Episode 21 in our series, “In the Heart of God.” Today Apostle Charles and I have a question for you: Will you be ready when Jesus comes like a thief in the night for you? If not, why not? Do you believe He will return for you, or do you believe in Him at all? Let’s explore these questions as we go into the Heart of God and prepare for the “Thief in the Night.”
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Hello and welcome to Episode 21 in our series, “In the Heart of God.” Today Apostle Charles and I have a question for you: Will you be ready when Jesus comes like a thief in the night for you? If not, why not? Do you believe He will return for you, or do you believe in Him at all? Let’s explore these questions as we go into the Heart of God and prepare for the parable of the “Thief in the Night.”
Okay, Stephanie; “What is one of the fastest things you have ever seen or heard of? For example, “Superman, who is faster than a speeding bullet,” or the sound of a jet aircraft breaking the sound barrier, or maybe you have seen the speed of light as in lightning strikes while in dark thunderstorms?
How about when you were a youngster running from a gang of other young men who were trying to catch you to harm you? Or maybe you, our listeners, or I never experienced running as fast as we could from our moms because we were going to get some corrective whippings?
Well, I suppose that in each of those cases none of those events compared to how fast and unexpectantly Jesus will return for us one day. In 1 Thessalonians 5:2, the Bible states that Jesus will come like a thief in the night. And in 1 Corinthians 15: 54, it is stated that Jesus will return in the twinkling of the eye. But Stephanie, would you later explain how fast, quick, or short in time a “twinkling” is?
Certainly, I will Charles but let’s first explain the meaning of Jesus’ First Coming and Second Coming or His return. Briefly, Jesus’ First Coming was as a Babe, born as the Son of Man, the Seed of a Woman, and the Son of God in a manger in Bethlehem. He was sent to Earth by our Father-God, through the Holy Spirit. Jesus arrived as completely Man, and as entirely but perfectly God in the flesh. Jesus first arrived on Earth to be God’s own sacrificial Lamb for the sins of all mankind. Jesus shed His Blood and died on the cross. He was buried, resurrected, and ascended into Heaven to return to His Father God. Jesus’ sacrifice of His life on the cross, reconciled us to the Father to live with Him in heaven for eternity. Sin is against God’s nature, thus, He had to renounce Adam’s and Eve’s sin of disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice was always in the Heart of God because mankind was created out of love, so we have the ultimate purpose for Jesus’ First Coming. Then His shed Blood, as the Second or Last Adam, washed away all the sins of mankind caused by the first Adam.
1 Corinthians 15:45-57. Now, we look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus.
Yes, Stephanie. According to the Bible’s 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17, when Jesus arrives at His Second Coming, we are encouraged to be ready. We who have died with Faith in what is in God’s Heart, expect to be “caught-up,” resurrected, and raised from our "dead graves" as “incorruptible.” We expect to be Ready to ascend like Jesus and return to God’s Heaven for eternity. This is our Hope that originated from the Heart of our God.
So, now Stephanie, how do you define the word ‘twinkling” from 1 Corinthinans 15:52?
When Jesus returns, there will not be enough time “to be getting ready.” A variation of 1 Corinthians 15:52 tells us that, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the LAST trumpet will sound, possibly in the night like a thunder with quicker lightning, and we all shall be changed.”
How do you define “twinkling”? 1 Corinthians 15:52. “The ‘twinkling of the eye’ is the time it takes for light to enter the eye, reach the back of the eye, and be reflected back out [through the eye, of course, with the help of the brain]. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, so the Twinkle is about one billionth of a second.” It is not like a “blink” of the eye. “The ‘Blinking’ is a bit slower. But still too fast to recognize. A blink lasts somewhere between 300 and 400 milliseconds, or considerably less than half a second.” (Cite in the transcript: https://fotet.org/in-the-twinkling-of-an-eye/) So, Charles, there will not be enough time “to be getting ready” for Jesus’ return.
Yes, Stephanie. Jesus’ will return with a speed that will be “quicker than quick and faster than already.” An expression used by one of our favorite pastors. Our purpose is to emphasize Jesus' “quick” return to our listeners because we all must anticipate His return and “Be Ready.”
I wonder if Jesus’ return is even quicker than lightning. I remember Jesus said that He saw Satan kicked out of Heaven like lightning. So, I believe our return with Jesus will be as quick or quicker. But how quick is quicker to be caught up or raptured to meet the Lord when He returns like a “stealthy thief” in the night? One will be so quickly taken and the other so quickly will be left. We should start practicing our “stealing away” with Jesus now so that we are already ready when Jesus comes a second time. So, Stephanie, what could we do to encourage each other with such an expectation?
Well, Apostle Charles, you first have to be “signed up” before anyone can be “caught up.” In other words, we “sign up” by receiving Jesus into our hearts as our Savior and Lord; and living a life that pleases God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Then the same chapter that speaks about His return tells us how to live before He returns. 1 Thessalonians 5:11‑22. The list is extensive: We are to comfort one another, build each other up (not tear each other down), respect one another, be at peace, admonish them who are not living godly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men, not render evil for evil to anyone but follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. We are to rejoice in the Lord, and most importantly we are to pray. We are to give thanks in everything; not ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit; don’t despise the true gospel, put everything to test that appears contrary to the Word of God while holding fast to the good, and finally, abstain from all appearance of evil.
There is no exclusive list of how to be “caught up” to be with Jesus. We all have to do a personal examination of our relationship with the Lord. We all have to search our hearts. However, we can be assured that when we live a life that reflects the Heart of God which is found in the Word of God, we will meet God’s standards or qualifications. This includes, but again is not exclusive, to what we find in Galatians 5:19‑26. It includes a list of the works of the flesh which clearly excludes one from the “caught up” flight. But God precedes those admonitions with “walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16). He then tells us how to walk in the spirit. We who are Christ’s have crucified our flesh and we live in the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22‑25: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
CHARLES: Our closing prayer is that if you have not already done so, you will “sign up” and receive Jesus into your heart as your Savior and Lord and that you will with the help of the Holy Spirit live a life that is pleasing to God. Finally, we close with a variation of 1 Thessalonians 5:23‑28: And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and we pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it. 25 [Brothers and Sisters], pray for us. 26 Greet one another with the love of Christ. 27 Share this message with one another and those who do not know the Lord. 28 And the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
STEPHANIE: Thank you for joining us today. Now, let’s return to Apostle Charles as he closes us out and gives us contact information.