Brethren and Sisters in Christ are baptised into his saving name, “neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”.

Are we prepared for his promised coming to fulfil his Father’s purpose and will:  “if ye then be risen with Christ, are we seeking those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God: are we setting our affection on things above, not on things on the earth”?
The events currently troubling the world and its inhabitants are as prophesied in the Scriptures, most are frightening to contemplate, but God’s judgments will be exacted upon the earth, because as we are all aware, the world is in such a state of corruption like it was in the days of Noah, now perhaps, even to a far greater extent; “so shall the coming of the Son of Man be”; “for which things sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.”

Jesus exhorted and warned his disciples in his day and to every generation since the scriptures were written and published; “watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

So much has happened before in the past as a warning illustration will be re-enacted in the future in a more destructive force to cleanse the earth ready for the reign of Christ Jesus to offer up to God after his 1000 year reign, a kingdom and people cleansed and purified for God to dwell in and among.  This is the message of the Scriptures; the promise, the hope set before us: read 1 Corinthians 15:21-28.

Watching is not just a stationary situation: in Christ we are to be active in “serving the Lord”: Jesus says he came to do the will of his Father; also, as an example: “I am among you as he that serveth.”

If we are wise, we take our instruction from the Word of God through the exhortation of the apostle Paul: “therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.”  Faithful service in the work of the Lord will be rewarded at the Judgment with immortality.

Our Lord Jesus says: “if any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”  “We cannot serve two masters: if we serve the flesh, we dishonour God.

Being in Christ we are warned by him to be ready to experience trial and tribulation, “these things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

We are exhorted to keep ourselves unspotted, or undefiled by the world, being in the world but not of it: a special people, separated to God through our baptism into Christ (read 1 John 2:15-17).  The experience of trial is to prove whether we are in Christ and place our belief, faith and trust in God.  Being baptised into Christ: “we have to put off the old man with his deeds and put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”

Considering the current world situation, the gross evil which abounds, the wars and sufferings, fears and uncertainties in every country; we are surely entering that period as prophesied in Daniel chapter 12 (read verses 1-3).  Obviously, this must relate to the time of our Lord’s return, a time which must be very near now.

We know not the day or the hour, but we are being warned by the scriptures and the current events as described in Luke’s gospel (chapter 21:25-26, 28): do we realise how close we are to this world changing, life changing event, which, God willing we shall witness and receive  by His grace, the gift of eternal life and dwell in His kingdom for ever.  That glorious hope which has been set before us, we have nurtured in our hearts and minds, fulfilled at last: in reality.

The apostle Peter exhorts us to prepare ourselves (read 2 Peter 3:10-14).  The apostle Paul exhorts in Romans chapter 13:11-12 (read).  We have put on the Lord Jesus Christ, not only in name, but to do the will and work of God faithfully and obediently; for that joy of the hope that was set before him; we should live unto him and not make provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof: Christ crucified the lusts of the flesh.

Our natural flesh ways have to wrestle continuously with the Godly ways of the Spirit, the apostle Paul exhorts in the wisdom of the Scriptures: “walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”

“the Mosaic Law was not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly, for unholy and profane.”

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”.

In Christ, we are free and not bound by the chains of darkness.  “we are the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness”.  Jesus Christ is our light, understanding and confidence.

Christ is “the way, the truth and the life”: the way, the truth and the life we need to live now to prepare for the promise of the glorious gift of immortality fulfilled to us.

The constitution of flesh is to be consumed and dissolve in the dust of the earth, in the darkness of the grave;  the Spirit is the foundation and substance of power and immortal life upon the earth, in the glorious light.

Now is the time of our proving.  The Scriptures are our guidance to make us wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus; that as he obeyed and overcame the lure of the flesh, as touched with the feeling of our infirmities, in all points, being tried and tempted like as we are; yet resisting the fall to the power of sin: we are exhorted to follow him and gain the victory over sin and death.

God, our Heavenly Father has appointed only one way, one truth, one faith, one baptism, to bring us to the knowledge of His Son, for salvation; unto a perfect man, unto the stature of the fulness of Christ.  Our Lord confirms: “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”.

So we are brought to the remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ, the immense pressure placed upon him to overcome the weakness and imperfection of the flesh nature; he had to uphold the one truth, and the one faith through obeying his Father’s will and purpose to attain to the reward of righteousness which we pursue in being baptised into his saving name, associating ourselves with him, in symbol; dying with him and living, as resurrected with him in newness of life, living and serving with faith and obedience to the righteous commandments of God for his and our salvation and all those who believed and served God from the beginning.

His body and blood, even though he was the Son of God, could not inherit the perfection of the kingdom of God: they had to be broken off, poured out, separated, put away from the natural for the Spiritual to prevail and be purified, victorious, that he might be our Saviour, as God appointed him for us to follow, in patient waiting and watching, in readiness and prepared for his coming.  This current world crisis is our wake up call, the sound of the trumpet, the complacent times are over “for now is our Salvation nearer than when we believed”.

Gordon Royal