Freedom House Church and Healing Centre

The return of Jesus demands unity

“And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet blast, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (Matt. 24:31 NASB)

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23-25 NLT)


Greetings fellow travellers,

It is so good to be together, walking in unity as we wait for our Savior and King. I have been reminded of all the people in my life with whom God has called me to travel this Christian road. I praise God for every single one of them, for each provides an encouragement to persevere in their own unique way. Gathering is so good! Coming together to praise our God and Savior, worshipping together; exhorting and encouraging one another to persevere; praying for one another and carrying each other’s burdens; this is what a body of believers does…together. Let’s think about this – the believers we live life with are the very ones that would be gathered with us – all of us caught up together - when Jesus returns! Do we value the people God has put in our lives with whom we anticipate His return? The two passages above contain the same Greek word meaning “gather together”, and both are in the context of the return of Jesus. It is important to God that we be together especially as the return of Jesus is drawing near! Last week a few of us attended a gathering together of the saints in Guelph to worship our God and seek His face in intercession for our nation and leaders. It was encouraging to know that we are part of something bigger – that we are not alone as we wait for the glorious appearing of Jesus – and that there are many in the city who think like us – who love God and His people, and desire to live faithfully till He returns. Our gathering together was a great encouragement; even to reconnect with old friends on the same journey! We are more alike then we think; and we have the same heart and mind for the things of the Lord!

When I read Matthew 25, it saddens me to think of why half the virgins were not gathered with the others at the return of the bridegroom. Were the ten so divided that they could not exhort and encourage each other to “take oil with them”? To me, it is a picture of a fractured church that has formed two cliques, that don’t really live life together. Where were the pastors, prophets, and teachers telling everyone to get ready? Where were the small gatherings whereby everyone gathered to worship the Lord, and encouraged each other to faithfully serve Him? Why did the other servants in the second parable not encourage the one servant to “kick it up a notch” in his servitude to the Master. A fractured group that does not really love each other does not care what each is doing…that’s not church! Friends, we are one family, one body and one bride being made ready for our Bridegroom. If one is weak or sick, lazy or negligent, then we all are – “there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another” (1Cor. 12:24-27). When I read the last parable of Matthew 25, I say to myself, “they did not think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” How sad that we can be so disconnected from one another, or maybe so “not concerned” with the destiny of our fellow travellers. May it never be!

I was struck recently with Paul’s concluding remarks as he closes his letter to the Thessalonian church, all written with the anticipation of the return of Jesus, and the “day of the Lord”. Just take a moment to read 1Thessalonians 5:11-28 – in many translations if possible. He starts with, “encourage one another and build each other up”! Of the leaders he says they are to care for and admonish the saints, and that the church should “appreciate” them. Then to the whole church he says, “live in peace with each other; warn the idle; encourage the disheartened; help the weak, be patient with everyone… always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit." Friends, that sounds like a church that wants to gather together and be gathered together by Jesus. Indeed, they were commended for their love and good works towards one another (1Thess. 3:6-13; 4:9-12).

Brothers and sisters in the Lord, and all who read this, I praise God for each of you and the part you play in my life, whether I see you often or not nearly enough. Our gatherings together are encouraging and strengthening, and causes me to persevere. I rejoice that God has placed you in my life and am grateful that we get to travel this road together. And…I love how Holy Spirit is working in us together to prepare us for the ‘gathering together’ that may happen any day now! Let us encourage one another to keep full of oil, the Spirit of God, and be ready for the return of our Master and King.

Have a blessed week!

Psalm 133 (A song of ascents. Of David.)

1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard,

running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.

3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion.

For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore. 


"Advancing the Kingdom of God by releasing Spirit-filled followers to serve Jesus in freedom and joy."

Leave a Comment