Derek Prince - Are You Ready To Meet The Lord?
The next thing I want to say about the resurrection is it’s the consummation of our union with Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says this: Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them... (the dead who have been raised) in clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Very interesting, because there are two Greek words for air. One describes the higher rarefied air, the other the air nearer... the earth’s surface. The word that’s used here is the lower air. So we won’t go very far above the earth to meet the Lord. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them... in clouds to meet the Lord in the air... and thus we shall always be with the Lord. After that, no more partings. We shall always be with the Lord... and we shall always be with one another.
Now, I have a wife whom I love dearly who’s gone ahead of me. But one day we’ll be together forever. Dear brothers and sisters... don’t miss this. It’s the greatest tragedy of your life if you miss this. It’s earnest, it’s serious. Finally, and I have to say this rapidly, the resurrection will be in three phases. 1 Corinthians 15:22: For as in Adam all died, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one of us in his own order. And here’s the order... three separate phases. First, Christ the firstfruits... then those who are Christ’s at His coming, and finally the end... the final resurrection of all the remaining dead. Whom is Jesus coming back? Those that are Christ’s. He’s not a thief. He’s not going to take anything... or anybody that doesn’t belong to Him. Do you really belong to Him? It’s an important question. Those are the ones He’s coming back for. He’s called the firstfruits. And here’s one final passage from the Bible... that is really exciting.
Leviticus 9, I think it is. Just one quick, brief ceremony. Wait till I write that down in my outline. Leviticus 23, sorry, bear with me. This is a ceremony under the Law of Moses. The Lord spoke to Moses: Speak to the children of Israel: When you come into the land... and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf... of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priests. He shall wave the sheaf... before the Lord to be accepted on your behalf. On the day after the Sabbath... the priest shall wave it. What day is the Sabbath, what day of the week? Saturday. What’s the day after the Sabbath? Sunday. What day did Jesus rise? Sunday, that’s right. He was the sheaf... and He was waved on our behalf that we might be accepted because of Him. But He wasn’t just one stalk, He was a sheaf. And if you read in Matthew 27 when Jesus died... there was an earthquake, the tombs were opened... and many of the righteous dead came out. I don’t believe... they went back into the tombs. I believe they went up with Jesus. They became the sheaf that was waived before the Lord, saying: There’s a great multitude to follow. Here we are, we’re the sheaf... we’re the firstfruits.
Now, I really can’t go any further. I am absolutely pressed in my spirit to challenge you... as to whether you really are pressing toward the mark... whether you have got the right priorities in your life. In 1977, I think, I was at some meeting in the North Island somewhere here... on intercession. I was teaching about the fact that there’s a strong man... over every nation. They said to me: What’s the strong man over New Sealand? I said it’s not my job to tell you, you’re the New Zealand Christians. You’ve got to find out. But at that moment I felt the Lord said: I’ll tell you the strong man. So I came back and I told them... but at that time Bill Subritzsky who is a close friend of ours was sitting... way back with one of his daughters. He told me afterwards... at the moment that I said this God said the same to him. What I said was this and it will surprise you, it’s a kind of anticlimax. The strongman over New Zealand is indifference.
Now, I can’t talk like a Kiwi but Kiwis have said to me the typical statement... of a New Zealander is, She’ll be right, Jack. In other words... it’ll take care of itself. If we leave it it’ll get all right. That is your number one problem in New Zealand... and it’s the problem of some of you. If you don’t deal with that problem, you won’t be ready, because Jesus is not coming back for the indifferent. He’s coming back for those who are eagerly waiting for Him. I want to give you an opportunity, I wouldn’t be fair to you if I didn’t. If you really are aware, in the light of what I’ve been saying... that you are not living the way you should be living to wait for Jesus... it’s time for you to change. Remember what I said about repentance? It’s a decision followed by an action. If you need to repent... and I’m talking to each one of you individually. I don’t know most of you personally, but if you need to repent... this is the time to do it. You remember what I said? You can’t repent... just when you want to, you can only repent when the Holy Spirit prompts you.
If there are those here this morning, you know the Holy Spirit is telling you... you’re not living right, you’re not in the attitude that you should be... if you’re expecting my return, but you want to put it right... I want to challenge you, I want to give you an opportunity. I want to invite you to get out of your seat and come here to the front... and pray. To do that you’ll have to humble yourself. If you don’t do it it’s not my responsibility. But if you know that you’re not ready to meet the Lord, you’re not living... in a way that indicates you’re eagerly waiting His return and you want... to put things right with God, now and here is the best time to do it. I give you an opportunity, I’m not going to prolong this appeal. If you want to get right with God today, I’m inviting you to come forward... and kneel.