The day began as usual – nothing out of the ordinary. Our morning prayer was made in the normal manner with thanks for the night’s rest and for the speedy return of our Lord from heaven. The world was in a real mess, with wars and fighting, bombings and terrorism in a myriad of countries, cities and towns in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. To date, some countries had been spared such traumas – but for how much longer?

A brother was driving to work and had stopped at an intersection, when a striking figure of a man caught his attention at the bus stop. It looked like the individual was signalling for a lift into town and, after pulling over, the brother was all the more impressed with the countenance of this stranger. He had never seen anyone like this before – and his heart rate increased dramatically! The man opened the passenger door and whispered, “Brother, the Lord has come and has sent me to call you!!” Flabbergasted and with tears running down his face, the brother was about to open his mouth when he heard the comforting words: “Don’t worry, brother, your wife and children are being invited to come, as we speak.”

A sister had just returned home from dropping off her children to school, when she saw a most gracious woman waiting for her at the front door. There was somewhat of a breathtaking glow about her features, something the sister had never seen before. So, understandably, she was rather anxious about getting out of the car to speak with her – but was assured that nothing was wrong. In a most assuring voice the woman spoke to her. “My dear, the Lord has come and calls for you!” At precisely the same time, the children arrived home by taxi, accompanied by another striking woman, who also confirmed the exciting news. They all hugged and wept for joy and relief that their morning prayer over breakfast had finally been answered.

Back in the unit, the elderly couple went about their daily routine, and having completed the morn­ing dishes, sat down to commence their daily Bible readings. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door, and the elderly brother got up to open the door to see who had called. He gave a gasp, then burst out weeping. “Mark, what are you doing here? Yesterday mum and I put more flowers on your grave, as we always do on your birthday.” “Who is it?” mum called from the kitchen table. Dad could not say a word for the hugs and tears, so mum walked out to find both of them embracing and weeping uncon­trollably. “Mum”, called Mark, “I’ve seen the Angel of the Resurrection and he has sent me here to call you to meet our Lord Jesus Christ … so let’s go!”

Sitting in her car after visiting her terminally ill husband, Martha was in deep thought as this would probably be the last time she would see her dear Tommy alive. He had been in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital since his accident, and the doctors gave him little hope of any meaningful recovery. She offered a tearful, heartfelt prayer to God that He would care for Tommy, or allow him to peacefully pass away if that was His will and purpose. After wiping her eyes, Martha started the engine and looked in the rear-view mirror to see that the roadway was clear to pull out from the kerb. She struggled to see a man hurriedly walking down the road towards her car. As he approached, to her utter amazement, it was her dear husband, Tommy! Breathlessly, and with tears streaming down his pale face, Tommy announced that an immaculately dressed man had come into the hospital and asked for him at Reception, and then had been directed to his bedside – to whisper in his ear, “The Lord has come and has asked after you. Arise and go tell Martha. She is in the car preparing to go back home.” Martha and Tommy wept and embraced like never before. He was alive and well and thanks to the goodness of God, they would now be together forever.

A brother was with his sons at a sports venue loudly voicing support for their favourite team – especially when they were on a winning move! The crowd was quite boisterous and at times raucous, depending on the fortunes of whoever they were supporting. A stranger came to sit by this family of believers and after a short time a conversation began on the state of play. It struck our brother that this stranger was quite unfamiliar with the sport and the rules of engagement – he seemed more intent on discuss­ing current world events, particularly the influ­ence of Russia in Syria and the Middle East, to­gether with the continuing unrest in Europe. He made reference to certain Bible prophecies, with which our brother was somewhat familiar, though he had not refreshed his mind on them for quite some time, as he likewise had not been a regular attender at the ecclesial meetings and activities, nor kept up with regular Bible readings with his family. He always seemed to have an excuse.

Suddenly a cold shiver went down his spine, and the surrounding activities and noise seemed far away as he looked into the clear eyes of the man talking with him. As he began to feel somewhat uncomfortable, the man whispered that he had been sent by Christ to call him and his family to meet him to give account.

The little rural ecclesial group nestled amongst the tropical forest jungle in a developing country were engaged in a Song and Praise afternoon. Though no musical instruments were evident, the audience sang their beloved hymns with harmoni­ous melody – firstly in their native language, then in English as taught them by brethren and sisters from the Bible Mission. The atmosphere was electric with emotion and in full anticipation of the com­ing Kingdom. As the brethren and sisters settled into meditative silence awaiting the presider to open with prayer, there was an unusual pause. The presider had observed two very striking individu­als making their way into the mud brick and straw house of worship.

With the audience still standing, awaiting the opening prayer, these two men addressed them, “Beloved of the Lord, he has called you to be with him. Come with us now so that we can go and meet him!” Some sat down weep­ing with tears of relief and joy; an elderly brother called out in praise and thanks, as he now knew he would see the Lord before his death – something for which he had prayed since be­ing baptised a couple of years earlier. Overall the audience was somewhat stunned, but once the enormity of the occasion sank in, there was a wave of immense joy which swept over them all. Shortly thereafter the small, rusted, iron-roofed hall lay empty and quiet.

We may not know the exact way in which we will be called. These are just a few examples of what it may be like when our Lord comes to claim his own. It will be a day which will change the world for ever and especially the lives of those called of God, whether faithful or wayward.

Let us all, brethren and sisters, be aware of the days in which we are privileged to live, and make every opportunity to encourage and strengthen each other as we see the day approaching.

Are we ready for our Lord’s imminent return? We make the answer now! “Even so come Lord Jesus.”