LOVING HIS APPEARING
My burden is this: when the apostles wrote the New Testament, to them the Lord was coming soon. Hence, the teaching of the New Testament shows us that their living was in preparation for the Lord’s return. This is like the situation in which some long-separated relatives are soon to return. The entire family is prepared to welcome them. It is also like a girl waiting to be married, who knows of the wedding day and who is waiting wholeheartedly for that day to arrive. Paul was one who had such an attitude. The life he lived was a life of waiting for the Lord’s return. We can see this by reading 1 Thessalonians. That book has five chapters. Each chapter concludes with the Lord’s coming back. From this we can see that Paul was one who loved the Lord’s appearing (2 Tim. 4:8). We also should be this way.
EARNESTLY AWAITING HIS RETURN
Since we love the Lord’s appearing, we should earnestly wait for His coming (Phil. 3:20; 1 Thes. 1:10). Hence, our future is with Him. Our living should indicate that we have no other hope on this earth. Our hope is in the coming Lord. He is our eternal destiny. In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul says, "But this I say, brothers, the time is shortened, that henceforth both those that have wives may be as though they had none, and those who weep as not weeping, and those who rejoice as not rejoicing, and those who buy as not possessing, and those who use the world as not using it to the full; for the fashion of this world is passing away" (vv. 29-31). Christ is our real hope.
CALLING FOR HIS COMING
We may express our desire for the Lord’s return in the way of a prayer to Him, calling, "Come, Lord Jesus!" (Rev. 22:20). We should always call for His coming. This becomes our response to His return.
GIVING HEED TO THE PROPHETIC WORD
UNTIL THE DAY DAWNS
Second Peter 1:19 says, "And we have the prophetic word made more firm, to which you do well to give heed as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." The prophetic words in the Scriptures are like a lamp to the believers, transmitting spiritual light to shine in our darkness, guiding us into the bright day and leading us even through the dark night to the day of the Lord’s appearing, that is, the time of the dawning of the day. Before the Lord as the shining of the sun appears, we need the light of His word to enlighten our footsteps.
GIVING HEED TO THE FIG TREE
THAT TYPIFIES THE NATION OF ISRAEL
The Lord’s coming has much to do with the nation of Israel. Matthew 24:32 tells us that when we see the branch of the fig tree becoming tender and putting forth its leaves, we know that the summer is near. The fig tree signifies the nation of Israel. After being cursed (Matt. 21:19), it was reestablished in 1948. Later, the capital was recovered. That was the branch becoming tender and putting forth leaves. Therefore, the summer, signifying the restoration of the nation of Israel, is already near. When we see the temple rebuilt and Antichrist appearing, we will know more assuredly that the nation of Israel will quickly be restored (Matt. 24:33).
BEING WATCHFUL AND BEING READY
Matthew 24:42 says, "Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord comes." When the Lord comes, He will come secretly as a thief to those who love Him, and will take them away as a treasure (Matt. 24:43). Therefore, we must be watchful (Matt. 25:13) and must be ready (Matt. 24:44).
(The Vision of the Divine Dispensing and Guidelines for the Practice of the New Way, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)