Estelle Smith - The Return of Christ

I have thought quite a lot about the return of Christ, these last few days and reading those few parables that Jesus told in Matthew 22 and 25, about the wedding garment and also about the virgins that were waiting for the return, or the coming of the bridegroom.

I have also been reading in Revelation. It is something that I like to do. I cannot expound on it, in fact I don’t like to, but my thoughts stood still at the 16th of Revelation. It says there, "Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame." Jesus spoke often about His return and He issued warnings constantly. He kept on saying, “You must be ready and you must be watching and you must have on the garment of salvation” because it is very possible that we could be caught unawares and as He put it, “We could be found naked.”

Also, He spoke about His return and He said, “I don’t know when it will be, nor do the angels in heaven know when it will be, but you must just be ready.” As I say, I was reading in Matthew, and just going back a little bit, in the 24th of Matthew, Jesus spoke a few times about His return and one of the things He mentioned was, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” He spoke about how people were so relaxed and going on, as we say now, “Business as usual.” Everything was just Normal. Marrying and giving in marriage; eating and drinking and knew not, until the flood came and took them all away. And so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be.

He said, “Watch therefore for you know not what hour the Lord doth come.” His coming was also likened to a lightning flash. When Jesus returns, He said, “Don’t listen to these people that say ‘Lo here He is’ or ‘There He is.’" He said, “Don’t believe them because nobody will know and when I return it is going to be something that will be universally visible.” Right across the globe, everybody will immediately know that Christ has returned.

Something just passed through my mind that I heard when I was a child and my mom and I have often discussed this. My granny, my mother’s mother, and her sister met the Truth in 1926, not too far from here, down on the south coast in Winkelspruit, Warner beach area.  The workers came there and two women, my granny and her sister, had become very worried about their salvation. Anyway, the mission was worked and they professed and my grandfather professed later and my mother professed as a little girl of eight years old. She was the one that triggered my granny’s thoughts about salvation because  she had said that if God had never brought her to her knees she would NEVER have served Him. I quite believe that too because I know what lies inside me.

Well, my granny had two brothers and these two met another faith, I don’t need to mention what it is. They believed in it with all their heart and many of their descendants are serving God in this particular way of serving Him. One day, my great uncle John was visiting my mother. He was very, very deeply involved in his church and they believe a lot in the prophecies but he just said to my mother, “Where is your radio?” She said, “I don’t have one uncle John.” He said to her, “My dear girl, how will you ever know when Christ has returned?” Well, my mother said that she doesn’t know where she got the answer but she answered him, “Uncle John, if it is announced over the radio, it is already too late.”

Well, this just got my thoughts as to this instantaneous and instant revelation. This instant perception of the fact that Jesus has returned and if we are not ready, we are going to be left out of it. This has been a very serious thought to me because it is very possible that we can be professing to serve God. (I am talking about myself and I am just sharing it with you.) We believe that we are serving God and we are seeking to do our best but it is very possible also that we can, like the virgins, start nodding off till we fall asleep. This is what’s been on my mind.

Another thing was, about this man with the wedding garment. I have thought a lot about him and is it just possible, just a thought, that he was provided with that garment by the king? A privilege. A wonderful thing to have the access because he had the garment given to him as a gift from the king. Like we do today too, they did also in those days. When you go to sleep, you don’t go to sleep in your special garment. You put on a nightgown or whatever, your pyjamas, or you take off your outer covering so that you don’t spoil it, and you lay it aside. So you turn over and you go to sleep. This was just in my mind. Did this man have the garment of salvation? Did he have the wedding garment?

With the passing of time, as the one parable says, "The lord delayeth his coming." It says that he started beating his fellow servants and things were getting a bit out of hand. So we could reach a point where things are just ticking over as usual. Day after day after day and our Lord is delaying His coming. We’ve been given this garment of salvation but are we spiritually nodding off to sleep and reached the point where we have laid aside our garment of salvation? Okay, we know the Lord is coming and we know there is going to be a sudden cry, “Here He is!” Like the bridegroom, and in the pandemonium and in that midnight hour, we don’t have on this garment that we should. It just passed my mind.

Did that man, in that hurry and flurry when they were called to that wedding feast, did he leave that garment behind and there he stood naked before his Lord? What a terrible thought. I just felt for myself that I need to be desperate about this thing. Jesus said, “Be alert, be awake, be clothed because you don’t know when the cry is going to come. He has arrived and are you ready?” I am asking myself this question all the time because it is so easy to get lethargic, spiritually. It is so easy to say, “I know the truth, I know what’s right. I have the garment of salvation,” but slowly, it is slipping away from us and slowly, we are going to sleep spiritually and we might just miss it all. That, to me, is a terrible, terrible thing. 

Just thinking about that midnight cry. It wasn’t a soft gentle voice, it was a loud yell! A loud cry that could not be mistaken. We know what happens when we have been asleep and been fast asleep and somebody shouts at you, you are, as they say in Afrikaans ’deurmekaar!’ You just can’t understand, everything is not just as it should be and you don’t know what you ought to be doing. Our God in heaven hears the cry of our hearts. I just looked quickly in Exodus where it says that the cry of the children of Israel came up to God by the reason of the bondage. God heard their groaning and God remembered His covenant and God looked on them and God had respect to them. God hears the cry of our hearts. It can be a gentle cry. It can be a soft cry. It can be a cry for help, and urgent shout to God for help and He will hear it because we are His and He will respect it.

I thought of another cry and that was when Jesus was hanging on the cross. There is a wonderful little poem. I am so stupid about quoting but I have got it written in my Bible and I am going to read it to you.

 

Yet once Immanuel’s orphaned cry

This universe hath shaken

It went up single, echoless

My God, I am forsaken

 

It went up from His holy lips

Amidst His lost creation

Why?

That no man else would ever cry

That cry of desolation.

 

That was the cry that went up from Calvary.


Then, there is going to be another cry when the bridegroom returns. A cry of warning. A cry that He is coming. That He has arrived. He is here and are you ready?

 

I just pray that God may help us that because He knows us and He has kept us and He will keep us. He hears the cry of our hearts. He heard the cry of His Son who was dying for the salvation of all mankind. The day is coming when there is going to be a cry that will rend the skies and reveal the coming of His Son again. May He help us that we may be endued with that which will attract us to Christ at His return.