FEATURE ARTICLE

Thursday, November 1, 2018
[email protected]
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
MY MONTH OF PREPARING FOR THE COMING OF THE LORD

t is with delight and great joy that I welcome you to the month of November, our month of Preparing for the coming of the Lord. Are you ready for the coming of the Lord? "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Isaiah 40:3. There is a voice crying from the heavenlies saying 'prepare for the coming of the Lord.' The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is in two phases, he first came as a lamb to save mankind (fulfilled), the second phase, he will come as a lion to harvest souls and give rewards. This month the Spirit of the Lord is periscoping Christendom and beyond to see how ready we are if Jesus should appear today. The scriptures are full of how he will come. At the tail end of his exit from this world, they asked Jesus, "When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, it is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power." Act 1:6 "For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.3 While people are saying, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape."1 Thes 5:1-2.

The unfortunate thing about this subject is that, some people argue, these words are written some 2000 years ago, and yet Jesus is yet to come. The bible warns God does not count time the way we count time -"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.2 Pet 3:8" For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night" Psalm 90:4 People trivialize, jovialize, simplify, derogate, ignore, argue and make jest, about the coming of the Lord. One thing those people with that school of thought forget is that delay is not denial, also that those who share those thoughts like them of old are no more on planet earth, meaning he will either come while you are alive or when you are dead. Whichever one comes first, terminates the period of preparation. So, the issue is not when He will come, the issue is the period of preparation. The issue is more personal than corporate.

What is delaying Jesus second coming?

I am amused when individuals, families, groups of people or nations are going through rough and difficult times and they blurt out, 'Let Jesus come now, so that the world will just end and everybody will just go to where they wish to spend eternity!' Really! Maybe such a person is in Etobicoke like me, forgetting there are some people in Beijing, Columbus, Ibadan, El-Salvador who are having the best of times and wishing that the world should not end! That is why the coming of the Lord is not narrowed down to individual whims and caprices. Jesus is focussed and strategic. He gave two reasons why he is delaying and once we are through with those he will show up. The first reason is given as: "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Matt 24:14

Secondly, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promises, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.'" 2 Pet 3:8-9.

What is the assurance that he is coming back?

I guess this is the second most difficult part for many people. The first being how are we sure Jesus is the only way? Some people just cannot deal with that powerful declaration: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" John 14:6. Are there not many roads to the market, to a school, to a city, to this and to that, what happens to all the religions? Nobody can answer these questions for you, you have to search them out. The vehicle plate number in Ontario is designated 'yours to discover'! I discovered both myself. Let me share my personal experience, that buttresses my conviction that he is the only way and he is coming back; you may need to get yours.

Personal Encounters.

I had an encounter about the coming of the Lord that never left me. In 1981, I was posted to Lagos for my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC). I served at Lever Brothers, located at Apapa Wharf sub area of Lagos State. I was living with a friend at Oko-Oba in Agege Area where I joined the Christ Apostolic Church choir and the church leadership, to rebuild the church where the last resident pastor had removed all removables in the church as a protest because he was posted to another church not as 'convenient' as this where he was living in a two bedroom vestry of the church. There used to be a Gospel Artist group called "The Light Bearers." It was led by late Bro Emma as we used to call him. Interestingly one of the top on the chart songs of the group in those days was "Are you ready for the coming of the Lord" I was drawn to this group because one of their lady vocalists was a Chemical Engineer who finished ahead of me at Obafemi Awolowo University in the same Department one Sister Christie. Unfortunately when we joined that year there was no more vacancy in the singing group. But borrowing the words of Jeremiah, the zeal of the Lord was upon some of us and the fire was in our bones. We just wanted to serve God with our energy, time, passion, and youthfulness. I have always loved drama and writing and by the grace of God I had written some plays in my university days that we acted as Members of CAC Student Association. Titles like "The Tout", "The Gate" were part of my plays, which was acted on the campus and taken to some universities like Ogun State University, there was no Nollywood then, how I wish!

So some other brethren like me decided to form the drama wing of Light Bearers. The leaders chose for us a play called The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe, based on German stories about the title character Faustus that was written sometime between 1589 and 1592, and might have been performed between 1592 and Marlowe's death in 1593.

We traveled the length and breadth of Nigeria with this play, University of Ife, Ilorin, Nsukka, Lagos, and Church of God Mission in Benin with Late Arch. Bishop Benson Idahosa. We used to rehearse the play either in Festac Village in Brother Emma's house or one of the auditoria at Yaba Tech.

It was on one of those occasions when we were having rehearsal that triggered this encounter. We finished the rehearsal at about 1 am. Then one brother came to me and asked this question without blinking an eye- "Dele Dada what exactly is your problem, why are you so restless about this gospel. Always running around. Today you are in Agege, from there to Apapa, to Festac what exactly is driving you? Honestly this question jolted me. When I took the mass transport, called Molue and I left from Yaba to Agege, it was in that bus I cried to God "God why indeed am I restless?" And it was as if God 'sat' beside me discussing with me. He shared with me two areas of the scripture to show how authentic, truthful and faithful He is to his promises and Word and to the fact that He is coming back again. First, he sent me to read Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." He made me to realize that although we are reading it now because it happened 2000 years ago, but that to the people of that generation, it was the way we are expecting the coming the Lord now, some were sceptical, some were expectant, but He, God fulfilled that promise in Acts 2:1-4.

The second scripture is "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" John 14:1-2. That the way he fulfilled the promise to send the Holy Spirit as he promised and he did, that is the way he will fulfill his coming. He assured me my 'restlessness' is justified that I should keep it up because my mansion is available for me. He gave me an example of how my being born again is relevant. He asked me if I have been to the land of Israel. I said "No". He made me to realize that though the distance from Nigeria to Israel is about 5,000 miles, the same grace that was upon the disciples that made them perform miracles is what is upon me and is making me to do miracles through the name of Jesus. I wrote that experience in the Christian Youth Corper magazine under the title "Why I am born again."

What are the signs of his second coming?

Let me for brevity give you the topmost of the many.

First, one of the signs preceding Christ's return will be the ascendancy of a powerful false religion with immense influence. You can read about that system, which Revelation 17 labels as "the great harlot." The false prophet, about whom the Apostle Paul wrote, will lead that system. You can read about the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Jesus warned us that in the last days counterfeit Christs would arise who would masquerade as the Messiah and claim to be the Savior of the world. "Jesus answered and said to them: 'Take heed that no one deceives you.' For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many" (Matthew 24:4-5).

Secondly, Jesus foretold that before His return there would be "wars, and rumors of wars." Skeptics and scoffers may point out that there have always been wars. It is true. There has rarely been a time when mankind has known peace. But in our modern day, there is a difference - only in the last 70 years or so have human beings had the technology, through nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, to destroy all life on planet Earth. When you read the descriptions of end-time war in the book of Revelation, you see that in the end-times, wars are not just regional concerns; they envelop the whole globe. Our hope is in the fact that Jesus Christ will return to save humanity from self-destruction and usher a new kingdom on Earth.

Why must you get ready?

Let me give you four reasons why you must get ready for His coming

  1. You don't know the time. There are many postulators that date back to 2000 years ago about people who have predicted the exact day of his coming. They have all failed. Futures predictors are equally guaranteed failure in that respect. Many used mathematical analysis, some used philosophies, some esoteric forces, diabolical means and many used intellectual projections, but it has never come to pass because they ignore the simple words of scripture: "For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 1 Thes 5:2

    So that you will not be put to shame on that day. "And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming." 1 Jn 2:28. You can argue all you can now, philosophize as you do wish, note that the scripture did not say, if, but when. If you don't want to be embarrassed or put to shame, then apply the motto of the Boy Scouts" Be Prepared" for the coming of the Lord.

  2. Hell is not meant for you, and you are not meant for hell. Mathematically, eternity means infinity. Endless years. The argument that Jesus has delayed for 2000 years will not hold. You cannot afford to waste away in hell. Hell is a place of torment. One can be jailed for 1 or 10 years but still come out, and still live a full life, it is called a second chance. There is no second chance when He comes. There is neither purgatory or annihilation when you die. Meaning there is no restroom on the way to eternity!. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.' Heb 9:27. You are either in heaven or hell. "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Rev 21:8. I don't wish even my enemies to be in hell for a day not to talk of forever. Be wise, avoid hell at all cost.

  3. Heaven will be sweet. I have eaten with gold plated cutleries, slept in king size beds, walked on red carpets, ate the best of foods, traveled to over 60 countries, but all those things are infinitesimal compared to the glory of the mansion God has prepared for his own for eternity. There is no where on earth that the floor is gold tarred. "And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass." Rev 21: 18. How glorious, how beautiful heaven will be and to imagine you will be there forever. At times you go on vacation, all inclusive, you are just sleeping and eating the best of cuisines. Your beds are laid. The bed sheets are clean and succulent. Something tells you this is paradise on earth.

    Then you don't want the vacation to end, but you know it must end, the cloud 9 experience must end. You must work for another one year for those two weeks' vacation. But heaven's case is not like that, it is forever! Enjoyment galore in the presence of the Trinity. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful "Rev 21:4-5. May you and I make heaven in Jesus name!

How do you get ready for his coming?

Amazingly it is not as complicated as many may think. It is just doing simple things habitually and consistently.

  1. Get born again as fast as you can if you have not. "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 1 Cor 5:17, Jn 3:1-8, Rom 10:8-13,

  2. Go to God in prayer daily. "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." John 15:7, Lk 18:1, 1Thes 5:17

  3. Read God's Words daily. "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11, Joshua 1;8, @ Tim 3:16-17. Begin with the Gospel of John.

  4. Obey God moment by moment. "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:2

  5. Witness for Christ by your life and words. "Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 4:19 "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:8. "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" Mk 16:15

  6. Trust God for every detail of your life. "Cast all your anxiety on him [God] because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7) Provision, health, finances, career; trust God for them.

  7. Allow the Holy Spirit to control and empower your daily life and witness. "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." Galatians 5:16-17 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

  8. Do your daily chores diligently and faithfully. "Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone." 1Thes 5:14. Christianity is not synonymous with laziness or mediocrity. Are you a student, don't be lazy study hard. Are you a minister work hard, professor, pastor, politician, parent, professional, while waiting, do your daily responsibility to your family, church and society. The spiritual part of life is critical and essential, but life is more than spiritual.

In Conclusion, practise these steps habitually and it will be part of you. The coming of the Lord is near. Be prepared. My prayer is that when he returns whether I am dead or alive, I will be with him forever. What is your prayer? It's going to be hard work, but it is worth it, because it is for eternity.

Special Notice. The international Gathering of Eagles conference will be held in Namibia, Swaziland, Botswana Ghana and Nigeria. From November 13-Dec 5,2018 Register at www.igoeministry.com. Pray, partner with us and support us. We are committed to raising an eagle generation. People of integrity, holiness and honesty.


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