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Gospel Music Times Feature Article
by Melissa Ladd

I love the Christmas season. A LOT. Truly. Don’t put it past me to be breaking out some Nat King Cole and “The Christmas Song” in mid-July. My husband can testify that every year we put our tree earlier and earlier, and guess what? It’s rubbing off on my kiddos! Violet turned 2 on October 27, and guess what she wanted for her birthday? A Christmas tree. And because she has her daddy wrapped around her little finger, guess what we did? Not only did we put up a tree, but we decked the halls in the entire house for her birthday. No, we don’t live in an insane asylum, we just have children who we love very much and would do anything for.

Trimming the tree during the last week of October got me thinking, what if we as Christians had this much anticipation for Christ’s return as we do for other things we love to celebrate?

My grandfather and I shared the same birthday and every year up until he passed away, we would have a big family celebration at his house. I remember the weeks leading up to our birthdays were always filled with such buzz in our home. “What do you want for your birthday?” “What type of food do you two want at your party?” It was such a big event that brought so much joy to our family. I knew when I saw certain things happening that the time was drawing closer for the time of the party. Streamers up? Check. Balloons up? Check. Family coming down the driveway? Check. That means it’s time to head to grandpa’s house because it’s party time!

Christ gave us a guideline of things to look for before He returns. In Luke 21: 8-18 Jesus says, “Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish.”

Wake up, Christians! We are living the last day! Take a look at verse 8; how many self-righteous hypocritical “preachers” are there now a days? Putting on an appearance of holiness but not truly living it.

How about verse 9? “Wars and rumors of wars” is the mindset of the world today. For the last 20-30 years it seems as if one country is on the brink of attacking another country. I am not quite sure how much more obvious it can be!

Here’s the thing with the end of time- most folks are scared of it, including believers, but if you are a follower of Christ, your spirit should be filled with excitement. Titus 2:13 says that we should be “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Christ’s return does not mark the age of despair for believers, but it marks a time of rejoicing. We will finally be 100% free from Satan and all of His snares! John 14:3 is one of the most promising and hopeful verses in the entirety of the Bible. Christ had recently been crucified and had risen again. His asension was at hand, but the believers did not want Him to go. Jesus provided them, and us, with hope by saying, “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.” What an awesome promise!

Here’s the sad thing with the rapture and the second coming of Christ- the world, and honestly, a lot of believers, treat it as “the boy who cried wolf” scenario. We have been hearing it for years and years, “Get ready, He’s coming back,” and yet, He has not returned. So what in the world is the hold up? It’s you. It’s me. It’s the little boy down the street who hasn’t had the chance to hear the gospel. It’s the woman who wonders if anyone loves her. It’s the man who is struggling to make ends meet. It is that one soul that hasn’t been changed, that one heart that hasn’t been touched yet. God knows exactly who will be the last person to be saved under the unction of the Holy Spirit before the trumpet sounds the final blast. He knows who the last person to have a supernatural healing will be. He knows who will receive the final financial miracle that He will ever perform. He knows it ALL, and once the final amen is said on the last prayer that will ever be prayed while the Holy Ghost is still on this earth, that’s it. Game over. We are outta here!

God has allowed us to live in the day and age where He will pour His spirit out on all flesh (Acts 2:17). We are on the precipice of a great escape from this world, and God expects us to do our part to continually warn the world. Revelation 6:15 says, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”

So keep your eyes on the sky. You never know, this may be the very day…

In His Love,

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