If you somehow knew that the Lord Jesus was coming back tomorrow, as predicted by the angels at the very moment of His ascension, how would you change your life? Keep in mind that His arrival will cause you to have a radical change of address. Remember you are going to be spending a lot of time with Jesus Himself in Heaven in a new home, which He has prepared for you! Realize that He is omnipresent, so He is able to be with everyone individually all at the same time. Hopefully you know Him well already! Hopefully you spend a lot of time with Him now! You do realize that when you said yes to Jesus you put his engagement ring on your finger? You agreed to eventually become His Bride. Has anybody ever taught you that? Well, read on and let me explain the delightful plans He has for you!
While there is a lot we do not know about the specifics, there are some very common analogies that our Lord has given to help us to understand. He uses the whole framework of the family to describe both the hierarchy of Heaven and His celestial family. He also uses the marriage to describe our potential relationship with Himself, including romance. Then He uses children to describe who we are as brand new Christians, and childhood growth to explain how we grow up and mature in Him.
Ironically, my calling as a revivalist has everything to do with rekindling love between a somewhat estranged couple; the person or church I am ministering to, and the brokenhearted Lord Jesus, who longs for us to be drawn back to Him. The wonder of the scripture from Genesis to Revelation is that over and over again the Lord’s children, roam away in childlike rebellion to serve their minds and their bodies, leaving of little priority their spirit man. Every time this happens, the Father reminds them that the spiritual part of them, the part that will live with Him in Heaven forever, must be prioritized. Over and over again, He cries out through His prophets; “Seek Me”, “Draw nigh to me”, “Seek my face”, “find My heart”, “return to Me”, “turn away from your earthly idols”, “turn away from your other lovers, and you will find Me, and then I will return to you, says the Lord.” He does this because according to the teaching of Christ in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.”(KJV)
Contrary to what we see portrayed in most drama productions and movies, after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He did not ascend into Heaven five minutes later. According to Acts 1:3 He remained here for forty more days, speaking of things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. First Corinthians 15:6 further tells us that He was seen during that time by over five hundred brothers at once, many of whom Paul tells us were still alive at the time of His writing to the Corinthian church!
In Acts 1:11 we find the story of the disciples watching as Christ ascended into Heaven. The angels asked those temporarily confused onlookers, “Why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into Heaven.”(KJV) One day Jesus is coming back again. The Bible teaches in 1st Thessalonians 5:2-6 that the first time He returns will be like a “thief in the night”. Why he is coming secretly without any pre-warning? It is because as a heavenly romantic lover, He wants to surprise his Bride, testing to see who truly loves Him!
Jesus taught about His first return using a parable about ten virgin’s holding lamps as they awaited their coming royal bridegroom. Christ taught that five were wise and five were foolish. Five wise virgin’s kept their lamps full of oil, but the lamps of the five foolish virgin’s were empty. Christ explained that because the bridegroom was a long time coming, they all fell asleep. At midnight when a cry rang out that the bridegroom was coming, all of the virgin’s hurried to trim their lamps. However since the five foolish virgin’s lamps were burning out, they hurried off to buy oil. While they were gone, the bridegroom arrived, the five wise virgins whose lamps were burning brightly were welcomed in and the door was shut. To help us better understand the meaning of this parable, we need to recognize that throughout the Bible oil is frequently used as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. The timing of Jesus’ return, during what is called the rapture is a secret because He is coming for a bride who has kept her lamp full of the Holy Spirit! (Matthew 25:1)
Several years ago I had a dream. In the dream I was standing in a jungle. There was a big barn to my left and another person on my right. For some reason I also knew that my hair was white, although in actuality at the time of the dream, my hair was still brown. Noticing movement to my left, I looked up to see Jesus ascending almost out of nowhere until He stood on the top of that barn. I could not see his distinct features but His smile was gloriously heavenly. He was clothed in pure glowing white, and I will never forget the love that radiated from Him! In the very moment the connection of love was made, we began to gently ascend upwards towards His outstretched arms. I will never forget that dream as long as I live. Did God for some reason give me a dream foretelling Jesus return? I believe He did! Since that day more than ever I long for the coming of Jesus, and I continually pray that my lamp stays full of the oil of the Holy Spirit!