Expecting the Coming of the Lord

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

— Hebrews 12:25-29 (NKJV)

In the midst of the storms in the last days, God desires that His people be firmly established on the Rock and be a shining witness to the world. The need to prepare is urgent.


Expecting the Coming of the Lord

We’ve mentioned the occult is one important form of filthiness of the spirit. I’m not going to go into a list of occult things. But I discovered in my own life that it took quite a lot of work on my part to eliminate the occult. For instance, at Cambridge my main subject of study on which I wrote my fellowship dissertation was the philosophy of Plato. And many, many people admire Plato. In fact, there’s a form of Christianity called Neo-Platonism.

"Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Corinthians 7:1)

So that’s a responsibility placed on us. I could spend hours talking about how to do that, but I’m not going to go into details here. The main thing for now is that we know we are responsible to do it. This is not something God will do for us, this is something He tells us to do for ourselves.

Then we’ll go back to 2 Peter 3 and look at the second requirement (in verse 12), looking for the coming of the day of God. I just want to turn to two Scriptures. The first is Titus 2:11,12 and 13.

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ."

And notice that Paul calls Jesus God. The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. And the motivation for holy living is primarily looking for the coming of our Lord. If you analyse the teaching of the New Testament on holiness, you’ll see that in almost every case it’s linked up with the expectation of the Lord’s return. I believe that where the Church loses the sense of expectation of the Lord’s return, New Testament standards of holiness are impossible. Because I believe that is the key motivation.

And then likewise in 1 John 3:1, 2 and 3:

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God, and we are. Therefore, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God. And it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."

You may tell me that you believe in the doctrine of the return of the Lord but I want to look for the evidence in your life. Because it says "everyone who has this hope in Him," that’s the hope of His coming, "purifies himself just as He is pure." Again, the Scripture puts the responsibility on us. There are ways in which God purifies us, there are ways in which we have to purify ourselves. And God has only got one standard of purity, that’s Jesus. "Just as He is pure."


PRAYER

Father, as the day of Your Son's return comes nearer, I pray that You’ll help me to give myself more fully to You, to live soberly, righteously and godly, eagerly awaiting His return. Please show me Your plans for my life to participate in the advancement of Your Kingdom, and help me to purify myself, just as He is pure. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


These messages are taken from Derek Prince's teaching on the theme, I Will Shake All Things, available in our webshop here.