Jesus is coming.
Yes, this message has been shared for a couple thousand years. And this has left some skeptical. These are the scoffers that Peter referred to in his second letter. This Apostle comforted those having doubts and feeling somewhat insecure with these words:
“…Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8-9).
The timing of His return has been a constant question on the minds of His followers. In the book of Matthew, the disciples seemed in awe of the magnificent Temple. Its size and splendor captivated them. Jesus cautioned them not to get too attached to the place. “One day,” the Lord said, “this will be a pile of rubble.”
This statement prompted the question: “What day? When will this happen?”
Jesus then spoke to them of things to come as He sat with them on the Mount of Olives. He first gave warnings about deceivers who would present themselves as false messiahs. Wars and disputes, famines and earthquakes, troubles, trials, tests, heartaches, persecutions, and martyrdom – all of these things would go on as history unfolds.
Christ said the time of His arrival would find the world as it was in the days of Noah. This means that things could get a whole lot worse, since the Genesis record says that in those days “ the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
Mystery and Power
After His resurrection, Jesus commissioned His disciples to take the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the world. At that moment – just before Jesus soared away to Heaven – these followers asked Him: “Is it Kingdom time?”
His answer: “That time is not for you to know.” Information was what they wanted. God had something so much better in store. Power was to come to them and to all who would believe. The promise He made to them at the Last Supper would be fulfilled. Wait for this, Jesus told them. This was and is the secret to Christ’s mission in the world.
Everything changed as we read in Acts 2. The presence of the Holy Spirit rushed into a room full of praying people. He rushed into the room and into their hearts. Each one there became a torch, a light to the world with tongues that spoke the Message so all could hear it. Thousands listened and turned to Jesus, and so the Church of Jesus was born.
Now, here we are. Waiting and watching, witnessing and warring with the light of the Spirit in us and the Truth on our lips.
Mind the Word
Peter wrote something very important for us: “be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior” (2 Peter 2:2). The apostolic doctrine, the teaching of the Lord, must guide us and be treated with great awe. We should not try to alter and misrepresent the Word. There are many things that God spoke that shall remain beyond human understanding. We must purpose to rest in those things, in promises so big and so wonderful that we can hardly believe them. But believe them we must.
Arguments and debates and disputes about His coming and how it will happen can become serious and sinful wastes of time. Endless analyses about the way of His salvation make people ill with questions and confusion.
At times, we may only be able to bow our heads, lift our hands, and open our mouths to say, “Jesus said it, I believe it – that’s good enough for me.”
Simple trust in the Father’s faithfulness, the Son’s righteousness, and the Spirit’s guidance is really all that we need. Let’s take comfort in what He said about our hope and destiny.
Also, let’s wake up to what He called us to do.
Love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Love you neighbor as you love yourself.
Love one another.
Love your enemies and pray for those who despitefully use you.
Pray without ceasing.
Wow! There’s a lot to keep us busy while we wait for Him.
Want something more to move you about these days and our purpose? Check out “Diligent in Vision,” a message preached by Thomas Schaller, Pastor of Greater Grace of Baltimore.