Submitted by Richard Stickfort
MARANATHA is an untranslated Syriac word found in 1 Corinthians 16:22. It means "The Lord Cometh." It was a word of greeting in the early church. When believers met they said "Maranatha." It was a constant reminder of the Lords return.
The time has come to revive the use of this word among believers. It should be our word of greeting when we meet and when we part. It should be used in writing letters to fellow believers. Use it at the beginning or at the end of a letter. When you are asked for your autograph write "Maranatha" before your name. A revival of the use of this word will bring awakening and blessing to many.
The use of the word "Maranatha" is an expression of faith in the promises of our Lord regarding His return and in all the more than three hundred references to the second coming of Christ found in the New Testament. All the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ Jesus. He is looking for our faith and rejoices when He finds faith in our hearts. Let us dare to believe the promises of God regarding the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and to declare that faith to all that we meet.
The use of the word "Maranatha" is an expression of hope. Titus 2:13, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." The return of the Lord is the blessed hope of the Church. Believers are not admonished to look for death. Death is not the "blessed hope." Death is a foe even though it be a defeated foe, as far as the believer is concerned. We may die but we are not looking forward to death. We are looking for the Lord. A whole generation of believers will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and consequently will not go through the process called death. Enoch is a type of the believers who are to be translated. When we use the word "Maranatha" we are reminding ourselves and others that we have a hope that is indeed "that blessed hope." When our loved ones are taken from us "we sorrow not as others who have no hope."
The use of the word "Maranatha" is an expression of love. The Lord desires not only our faith, but our love. When Peter was restored to fellowship, our Lord asked him, three times, "Lovest thou me?" He wanted above everything else, Peters love. If you love the Lord you will of necessity love His appearing. The bride longs for the coming of the Bridegroom. In 2 Timothy 4:8 we read: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." There is a special crown for those who love His appearing. You dont want to miss that crown, do you?
The use of the word Maranatha is the expression of joy. It is your privilege and your duty to rejoice. Phil. 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, rejoice." This is an apostolic command. If you rejoice in the Lord you will rejoice in His return. You are looking to the day when you will see Him as He is. You have never seen Him with your mortal eyes. I Peter 1:8 - "Whom having not seen, ye love." What a day it will be when with rapture you behold Him! Then you will also have the joy of being like Him. There will be no more failures and no more disappointments. You will have the joy of receiving a new body of flesh and bone, like unto His glorious body. You will never suffer pain again. You will also have the joy of receiving your reward at the judgment seat of Christ. Every service you have rendered, because of your love for Him, it matters not how humble and insignificant it may be, is recorded in the books of heaven and will be rewarded when the Lord comes! Rejoice in what is in store for you when Christ returns.
The use of the word "Maranatha" is an expression of your concern for others. When you use that word you are reminding them of the imminent return of Christ and the importance of being ready to meet Him. It is an admonition to watch and pray and to win souls and live for eternity. To the unsaved, it is a message of warning. You dont want your loved ones to be left behind when He comes.
So let this word Maranatha be burned into your consciousness and use it to the glory of God and the salvation of souls.