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Maranatha is an Aramaic word that means "the Lord is coming" or "come, O Lord." The early church faced much persecution, and life for a Christian under Roman rule was not easy. The Romans required ...
"The Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world; and then the end will come" (Mt 24:14) The last recorded message of Christ in the Bible is the conclusive answer to all the questions regarding the "time" of His Return. "Surely I am coming quickly" (Rev 22:20). The word "surely" is to encourage us, and the word "quickly" must challenge us. The Lord frequently used the word "quickly" in His messages to the Churches (Rev 2:5,16; 3:11; 22:7,12). This was literally believed by the Christians of the first century. That was one reason why they had been greeting one another with the word "Maranatha," an Aramaic term meaning, "O Lord, come!" (1 Cor 16:22). If the first century Christians had lived with the every-moment-expectation of the return of Christ, how much anxious our expectation today should be! However, the Bible consistently discourages us from any date-setting. In His parting words Christ told His disciples, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority" (Acts 1:7). He had earlier told them repeatedly, "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming" (Mt 24:42; 25:13). But man is always curious to know what he need not know! When Christ says that He Himself does not know when He would return, why should we be curious about it? (Mk 13:32). One thing we can be sure of. That is, we in this generation are much nearer to the Second Coming of Christ than the earlier generations. As Revivalist Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994) used to say, "We are not living in the last days but in the last minutes!" Most of what was predicted to happen before the Return of Christ has been fulfilled. One of the most important signs namely worldwide evangelisation is in its final phase, and the work goes on much faster than anytime in Church history (Mt 24:14). Sin is rampant and the "cup of iniquity" is overflowing (Mt 24:12). The Judge is standing "at the door!" (Js 5:9). Instead of date-setting, let's set goals for the total evangelisation of the whole world! (Acts 1:7,8). Don't go after signs, visions and voices which claim to give new revelations about the second advent of Christ (Mt 24:23-26). Be satisfied with the vivid Biblical revelations and don't explore mysteries of which the Bible is silent (Dt 29:29).
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