Yes. I am ready for Him to come tonight, tomorrow, any time.
I look forward to it with all my heart.
The more relevant question is, what if He does NOT come soon ?
Christians generally believe, as do I, that when Christ returns He will rule the earth for a thousand years.
During His reign all who are alive will perhaps have opportunity to realize who He is and how to have eternal life.
But what about those who die before Christ returns ?
They will be among the dead somewhere.
According to scripture, what will happen after the thousand year reign is this:
"And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened.
And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.
And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.
And they were judged, each one according to his works.
Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."
[ Revelation 20:12-15 ]
"He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him ...
the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day."
[ John 12:48 ]
Pretty grim outlook. But please note that it is the "dead" who are judged by their works.
Dead does not mean simply all who ever died. Dead refers to those who failed the test of John 5:24.
If you believe while alive, you have already passed from death to life and will not be judged.
How to get your name written in the Book of Life
and avoid the judgment.
I can tell you what I did. You can do the same or seek out others to help you find the small gate which leads to life.
Without using several pages I cannot describe the details of how I arrived at the point of conversion. I was in my thirty ninth
year at the time, more than three decades ago. I heard an invitation to say a short prayer that would change my life. It went
something like the following. The exact words are not important. The meaning and their truth matters greatly. I prayed,
Lord Jesus, I cannot manage my life.
It is filled with sin.
I ask you to come into my heart and change me.
I spoke that prayer with sincerity. Immediately, I was changed and made a "new creation" and "old things had passed away".
It was not thunder and lightning. There were no bells. The earth did not shake.
It was a remarkable experience which occurred somewhere deep in my psyche.
I KNEW, without doubt, I was instantly changed. I was not certain what to do next so I asked God to lead me. That is the task of the
Holy Spirit; to guide and inform believers. Have no fear, He will do the same for you when you sincerely surrender your being to
salvation in Christ.
My only regret is that I lived the first thirty nine years of my life in spiritual darkness. I had no idea how wonderful it is
to be born again and alive in Christ.
What if I am wrong ?
Although I am fully convicted, let us suppose I am wrong; that it is all a fantasy. What then ?
I submit to you that I am happier and more fulfilled in life having Jesus as my Lord and Savior than I was, or would be,
without Him. In other words, I cannot lose.
I reap the rewards of believing here and now. After my body dies I will reap the rewards awaiting me. And if it should
turn out to be a hoax and dead is simply dead with no eternal spirit, what have I lost ? Nothing. And I won't even know it.
On the other hand, if it turns out as I expect and believe, I will continue life in another form and be with my Savior.
Why any person does not see this and accept the gift of eternal life from God is unfathomable to me, now that I know.
But for many years I denied and resisted. I thank God and people who prayed for me that He persisted until I was ready.
Eternal salvation is so easy to get. He gives it freely to any who will believe and ask.
There is a caveat. You can not generate faith on your own strength. FAITH is a GIFT from God as all who have
received it will testify. You have to ask Him for it when you invite Jesus into your heart. He will not disappoint you.
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
[ Luke 11:13 NIV ]
After you have done so, you likely will feel a powerful urge to discover more and to read the Bible.
When you do, choose a translation in a language and style that is comfortable for you. Do not be led
astray by men claiming only a certain translation or version is the true one. You can find Bibles in
libraries and booksellers. You can also read it online at biblegateway.com in your own language with a
choice of versions.
When you read the Bible, PLEASE do not begin at Genesis. If you do, you will become bogged down in ancient history,
genealogies, and wars. None of that will feed the spirit of a new believer.
Rather, FIRST read the Gospel according to John to gain spiritual insight. Next read the Gospel according to Matthew
to get historical perspective. Follow with the Gospels of Mark and Luke. After the Gospels read the Epistles.
When you have finished reading the New Testament you can begin reading the Old Testament, if you are so inclined,
to see how the relationship between humans and God progressed.
If you feel drawn to, or are invited to, a church, follow what the Spirit tells you. If any human tells you that a certain church
or religious movement is the one true religion, do not believe him. Believe God instead. All the churches on earth were
made by men.
No doubt the Lord will send into your life people who can help you in your walk. When they come, listen to the
Holy Spirit lest you be led astray. Your spiritual enemy will also send people your way. If you do not believe Satan
is a real being, he already has an advantage over you. His helpers will attempt to discourage you before you become firmly
attached to the family of God. Heed this advice. I know whereof I speak. [Read Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23].
Finally, beware the modern Pharisees ... the rule makers.
They will tell you that you must do one thing or another to be saved. Believe God, not them.
They will tell you that you must not do one thing or another if you would be saved. Believe God, not them.
They will tell you what you must say or not say; what you may wear or not wear; what you may eat or drink or not.
They will tell you all manner of rules to be obeyed. Believe God, not them.
They will tell you this or that or another thing is a sin. Trust God, not them. The Holy Spirit will tell you when you
have sinned and help you avoid sin in the future.
Trust God. If God is not trustworthy then nothing matters. Believe God, not men.
To end my letter, I thank you for visiting this web site and viewing the Jesus Gallery pages. If you are a saved believer, I
trust you have enjoyed your visit and should you have encountered any errors you will communicate them to me. If you
are not yet a believer but have come all the way through the pages to this letter, I pray the Lord will use what you have
seen to open your spiritual eyes and draw you to Himself and save you. If you are feeling a tug to pray the prayer of repentance
and acceptance of God's marvelous gift, do it now. If you delay, your ardor may cool.
Humans have a tendency to postpone important decisions, sometimes until it is too late. Not making a decision
IS a decision. Do it now.
May God richly bless you and lead you safely home.
Wayne Hepburn, February 2009