Prophetic Witness Meeting at Heysham's Nazarene Church

Last night I attended a gathering of the Prophetic Witness Movement International at the Nazarene Church at Heysham. Naturally, I left the meeting full of excitement and anticipation that the return of the Lord Jesus is imminent and that we ought to live accordingly. This organisation celebrates its centenary this year. It struck me that people have been leaving meetings like mine feeling the same way as I did for a hundred years, yet most will have died before their expectations were fulfilled. Were they wrong?
 
Although scripture indicates the Return will be preceded by signs which the wise will observe, it also states it will take many by surprise and will be like a thief coming in the night. Previous generations were right to prepare for it in their lifetimes, even though He tarried. 
 
The death of each believer is a 'mini' return of Christ: He meets His beloved and welcomes them home, leaving behind the world of sin and corruption. We ought to prepare for this 'return' of the Lord, with all its apocalyptic features. 
 
The subject of the return of Christ is a means by which God calls His people to holy living and earnest evangelism. It provides me with a motivation that my naturally idle and selfish spirit requires. The anticipation of a school inspection drives on the teacher; looming war spurs the soldier in his training.
 
I am conscious that many Bible-based churches seem less interested in Christ's return that they were a few generations ago. Many reacted against the obsessive arguments about mid-trib and pre-trib, with their complicated charts and chronologies. Others are too absorbed with 'transforming their communities' or material prosperity to look up and see their salvation is near. May we be a people who are 'looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ' (Titus 2:13).