The news media frequently reports stories of people and things that have disappeared or gone missing. Often these stories run for a while as explanations are sought or the lost is found. We can think of children who have inexplicably disappeared; in Northern Ireland some, who seemingly have been abducted by terrorists, are termed ‘the disappeared’; recently an aircraft left Malaysia to go to China and it mysteriously disappeared. Some of these stories, while unexplainable, hold a certain fascination as we try to understand the whys and wherefores.
For a Christian believer the greatest disappearance of all is that of sins. The Word of God, the Holy Bible, states, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” John 1.29. Undoubtedly, the greatest problem the world ever faced was that of sin. All other problems, whether family, financial, physical, may affect some people, but sin affects us all. Every other difficulty is the result of sin and none can escape its consequences. This is what the Bible declares, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” Romans 5.12. Notice the word ‘all’ is mentioned twice. We cannot escape this truth.
It may be reasoned that if we are all in the same situation, why worry? That kind of reasoning would hardly have been a comfort to those who were on the aircraft that disappeared! It would not have helped those who were drowned when the famous ship ‘Titanic’ went below the icy waters!
The reason why you need to worry is this: “Because He [God] hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead” Acts 17.31. If we are to escape the judgment of God against our sins, then our sins have to disappear. This can only happen on one basis: “… the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” 1John 1.7. It was wonderful of God to send His own Son into this world to die on the cross of Calvary for sinners: “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5.8. When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour, God has promised, “… their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” Hebrews 10.17.
For all whose sins have been banished, there is another disappearance that to them is delightful. The Saviour has promised, “… I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” John 14.3. The apostle Paul records in his letter to the young church in Thessalonica, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” 1Thessalonians 4.16,17.
National and international events, natural and physical calamities, increasing immorality and vice, cruelty and violence all point to the fact that Jesus Christ is coming again. We do not know when, but we believe it will be soon and then all those whose sins have been cleansed, will be snatched away to heaven to be forever with the Lord. What a glorious prospect! Unfortunately, it is not shared by all. Those whose sins are not forgiven will be left for the judicial dealings of God. Little wonder we are instructed, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” Matthew 24.44.
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