"MARANATHA" is a 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 fact of the Lord's return.
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 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.
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. We 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, it is true, but we are looking for the Lord. When we use the word "Maranatha" we are reminding ourselves and others that we have a hope that is indeed "that blessed 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, Peter's 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.
The use of the word "Maranatha" is an expression of joy. It is your privilege to rejoice. Philippians 4:4 - "rejoice in the Lord always, 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 you love." What a day it will be when you behold Him face to face! 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 judgement 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, oh faithful followers of the Lord, 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.
So let us use this word "Maranatha" to the glory of God and the salvation of souls.