“Looking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
I find myself earnestly yearning that this will be the year that will initiate the end time events that will lead to the Lord’s return to this old earth. The first of those events will be the rapture of the Church. That will be followed by the Great Tribulation of seven years, a period of unparalleled horror that will culminate the return of Jesus Who will reign over all the world.
The writings of the early Church Fathers reveal that one of the earliest prayers of the Church was “Anathema Maran-atha.” 1 Corinthians 16:24, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maran-atha.” These words intimate two things concerning the punishment.
1.Its Nature. “Let him be Anathema.” These word expresses some terrible amount of suffering. It is one of Paul’s strong words to express a terrible evil. Excommunication from all that is pure and good and happy is undoubtedly involved. The soul is cut off from Christ, and the fountain of life, is utterly destroyed.
2. Its Certainty. “Maran-atha,” which means “The Lord will Come.” This word is probably introduced by Paul in to order convey the certainty of the destruction of those who “love not the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul had written the other part of this letter by an amanuensis, but to write these terrible words he takes up the pen himself” The salutation of me, Paul felt the utmost recoil of heart for those who “ love not the Lord Jesus Christ,” and had the most overwhelming idea of the misery to which such will be exposed. Men are accursed, not merely because they do not love him.
This prayer expresses a fact that is confirmed by many other scriptures; namely, the First Century Church had an ardent desire for the soon return of Jesus.
The Churches seems to have lost that desire. Most professing Christians today do to not pray “Maran-atha!” They do not yearn for the return of the Lord. Instead of yearning, they are yawning.
Christendom at large is caught up in apathy regarding the return of Jesus. And that is sad, for the Word says that the return of the Lord is a “Blessed Hope.”
The attitude of the true believer in relation to the future glory is “Looking for the blessed hope and manifestation of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” This attitude of blessed expectation tells powerfully upon the life of grace. The believer’s position is that of waiting for and looking unto the coming of the Lord. The patriarchs waited for his first coming; we wait for his second coming.
The believes waiting attitude is lit up by a blessed hope. This is “the hope of glory” that is laid up in heaven for us, which is associated with the Son of God, when we shall see Him as He is. It is a blessed hope, because of all the blessing it brings to the believer. The believer’s waiting attitude has respect to the manifestation of the Lord’s glory, which is connected with His Coming. Also, we are constantly admonished in Scripture to watch for the Lord’s coming and to be ready. “Let your loins be girded about, and your light burning. Be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:35,40).
How about you, are you ready for His (the Lord ) Coming, or are ye yawning?