Evangelist Billy Graham urges readers to be sure that they will not be left behind when Christ returns.
DON’T BE LEFT BEHIND!
Jesus is coming back! God’s Book, the Bible, promises that Jesus will return to take His faithful followers to live with Him in His glorious presence forever (John 14:3). Everyone else will be left behind to face the most difficult times mankind has known.
When will that happen? The Bible made clear predictions about the times leading up to Christ’s coming for his own. It says that in those days people will be lovers of pleasure instead of God, truce breakers, blasphemers, unthankful. heartless, without self-control (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Clearly the evidence of those predictions being fulfilled is all around us. The news is filled with reports of greed, murders, robberies, immorality as well as a worldwide convulsion of violence and terrorism. All the signs seem to indicate that something will happen soon.
After Jesus comes for his own “there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations” (Luke 21:25-26). Everything will be in upheaval, and there will be earthquakes, wars, violence, and people betraying one another. It all leads up to the ultimate rebellion against God—Armageddon.
Some things that won’t change
Despite the coming chaos on earth, some things will remain the same. What are they?
The nature of God never changes. He is unchanging in His holiness and His righteousness. God said, “I am the Lord [God], I change not” (Malachi 3:6). Don’t let the nightly news frighten you. God knows what’s going on down here and he will step in when the limit has been reached. Only he knows what that limit is.
God’s judgment is coming; that hasn’t changed. The Bible says that the Lord will one day judge all the nations of the world. But also God is unchanging in His love. He loves you and he has a plan for your life. Jesus said, “I have come that they [who believe in me] might have life and they might have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Something else that hasn’t changed is the Word of God, the Bible. “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the Word of our God shall stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8). What God says is unchanging.
Human nature doesn’t change. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). We’re all sinners—sinners by birth and by practice. We cannot be reconciled to God and go to heaven unless our sins are forgiven by God. That’s why Christ came to earth the first time 2000 years ago to die on a cross.
And the promise of His return to earth to rule the nations hasn’t changed. Christ said before He left, “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory” (Matthew 25:31-32).
Something that will change
Since Jesus made that promise long ago, people have always asked, “Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Peter 3:4). Has something gone wrong? No, everything is going according to God’s timetable. God will come to bring peace and justice to earth, but until then he is giving people time to change their minds about who he is and what he has done for them. “The Lord…is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Do you doubt that Jesus will ever return to earth to set things right? Are you living like you’ll never face God as your judge? Then you’re in danger of being left behind!
The Bible says there’s only one way not to be left behind…
· Admit that you’re a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness. We “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
· Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross, came back to life from the grave, and is your only way to heaven. “God [shows] his love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
· Turn from trusting in anything or anyone else for eternal life and trust only in Christ. “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
· Accept Jesus’ offer to forgive your sins and become your Savior. In Christ we have “the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).
If that’s your heart’s true desire, you can tell Jesus in words like these:
Dear Jesus, I agree with you that I’m a sinner in need of your salvation. I also believe that you died in my place, taking the punishment I deserved for my sins. I accept your offer of forgiveness and eternal life. I now receive you as my Savior. Help me to live from now on to please you. I look forward to meeting you in person!
If Jesus were to come today to take those who believe in him to heaven, would you be included? I hope you’ll accept God’s offer of salvation and make your future secure. Don’t be left behind!