How could I say it better than this, by J.C. Ryle? So very relevant for today is this extract that I thought I would use it to keep the “blessed hope” before our eyes in these very uncertain, yet certain, days. Uncertain because of the world and apostate Church situation, yet certain because of the Lord’s soon coming (in both the Rapture and the Return to set up His kingdom).
My thanks to Eric Kowalker at http://jcryle.net/
“What are the practical duties of all true believers in the prospect of the second coming of Jesus Christ? Our Lord mentions three things, to which His people should attend. He tells them plainly that He is coming again one day, in power and great glory. He tells them at the same time, that the precise hour and date of that coming are not known. What then are His people to do? In what position of mind are they to live? They are to watch. They are to pray. They are to work.
We are to WATCH. We are to live always on our guard. We are to keep our souls in a wakeful, lively state, prepared at any time to meet our Master. We are to beware of anything like spiritual lethargy, dulness, deadness, and torpor. The company, the employment of time, the society which induces us to forget Christ and His second advent, should be marked, noted, and avoided. “Let us not sleep as do others,” says the apostle, “but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thess 5:6)
We are to PRAY. We are to keep up habits of regular communion and communion with God. We are to allow no coldness to come in between us and our Father in heaven, but to speak with Him daily; that so we may be ready at any moment to see Him face to face. Moreover, we are to make special prayer about the Lord’s coming, that we may be “found in peace, without spot and blameless,” and that our hearts may at no time be “overcharged” with the cares of this life, and so the day come upon us unawares. (2 Peter 3:14; Luke 21:34)
We are to WORK. We are to realize that we are all servants of a great Master, who has given to every man his work, and expects that work to be done. We are to labor to glorify God, each in our particular sphere and relation. There is always something for every one to do. We are to strive each of us to shine as a light–to be the salt of our own times–to be faithful witnesses for our Master, and to honor Him by conscientiousness and consistency in our daily lives. Our great desire must be to be found not idle and sleeping, but working and doing.
Summary: Such are the simple injunctions to which our Lord would have us attend. They ought to stir up in the hearts of all professing Christians great self-examination. Are we looking for our Savior’s return? Do we long for His appearing? Can we say with sincerity, Come, Lord Jesus? Do we live as if we expected Christ to come again? These are questions which demand serious consideration. May we give them the attention which they deserve!