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The primary thing is that each watcher for Christ should eagerly aim at being prepared for sudden translation, more than at great and successful service in the sight of men. Personal holiness of character is of more importance in God¬ís sight than clear understanding of prophecy, or of the various signs in the world which indicate the breakup of the existing order of things until He, whose right it is to reign, will come. It is sadly possible to be absorbed in all this, and at the same time to fail sorely in personal preparation of heart and life for the upward call. It is sadly possible to have the mind so occupied with prophetical truth as to prevent its being awake to the inconsistencies and superfluities in the personal character.
May "the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men ¬Ö to the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness ¬Ö at the coming of our Lord Jesus" (1 Thes. 3:12-13).
To have a heart "unblameable in holiness" is here said to mean its being filled with love, not only to the saints, but to all. This love can only be the love of God "poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 5:5). What fervent love should burn in our hearts toward all the members of Christ as, in the light of His coming, with the eye of faith we see each one as he will be ¬Ė a "son of God," made like unto Him who is the "firstborn of many brethren" (Rom. 8:29).
All the veils of the present time will be swept away! All the misunderstandings and misjudgments of each other ¬Ė born of restricted knowledge ¬Ė will be removed. With the love of God shed abroad within us, how our hearts leap toward each child of God even now, in foretaste of the joy of that hour when we shall be known of one another as we are now known by our risen Head.
Let us open our hearts to the love of God which the Holy Spirit desires to pour into them. Let us fear "atrophy of the heart," that is, a drying up of its sympathies and the outflow of love. It is possible to quench the heart movements of the Holy Spirit in us through fear of being "emotional" or "fleshly." There is a pure love of God free from all these elements, and free from any self-bias, (which is a love which only loves those who love you). This pure love of God is the love with which God loved the world; Christ loved His Church; and the Holy Spirit loves those in whom He condescends to dwell, notwithstanding their dullness and ignorance.
The "Blessed Hope" of the Lord¬ís soon return should have a most powerful effect on the personal life of the believer. Seeing that all things shall be dissolved, "what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conduct and godliness?" writes the Apostle in 2 Peter 3:11. Again, "Since ye are looking for these things, give diligence that ye may be found in peace, without spot and blameless in His sight" (2 Pet. 3:14).