Thursday, January 5, 2023

            On Sunday mornings, we are working our way through the last book of the Bible—the book of Revelation.  Broadly speaking, Revelation shows us how God will restore what was lost in Genesis when the fall of Adam and Eve took place.  As God makes all things new (Revelation 21:5), He sets right every wrong and puts an end to the sin, rebellion and defiance that have characterized history from the moment of the first sin all the way to now.  At the end of Revelation, John wrote, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen” (Revelation 22:20-21).  The Bible makes it clear that Christ is coming again.  The Lord Himself made that promise at the end of Revelation.  The last thing the Lord Jesus left for His people in His Word was His unchanging promise to come again.  He left us with this amazing assurance. 
            When will the Lord return?  We do not know the specific day and time.  Have people made attempts to know?  Yes, most certainly.  Some have engaged in assigning dates to the Lord’s return.  I used to have a book in my office entitled 101 Reasons Why Christ Returns by 1988.  The book clearly did not age well.  And frankly, it was wrong and deceived people badly.  The same author later corrected himself and stated that Christ would return on October 28, 1992.  Yet, here we are still. There is almost nothing to be gained by projecting a day, date or time for the Lord to return.  Jesus said in Mark 13 that only the Father knows such things.  Jesus even issued this warning, “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:21-22). 
            Knowing that the Lord is coming again should offer us at least three practical blessings.  First, we can be comforted by this certainty.  The Lord keeps His promises and remembers His people.  The battles we face today are temporary in nature and short-lived in comparison to eternity.  The Lord will make right every wrong and bring justice to every injustice.  Second, we should be compelled to serve the Lord.  Knowing that Christ is returning should motivate us to live every day for Him and to serve Him fully with all that He has provided to us.  Share your faith.  Pray for others.  Serve Him with joy and gladness.  Whenever the Lord does return, may He find us doing what He has given us to do and being faithful with the gifts and blessings He has provided to us.  Third, we should be convinced that God’s Word is true and His ways are right.  We should not worry much about those who make end-time forecasts and predictions like a weatherman may do.  Frankly, a lot of people just want to sell books or make a name for themselves and they take advantage of others in doing so.  Hold on to what God says He wants us to know.  His Son is coming again.  And just as Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the fullness of time, He will return in the fullness of time when the Father says it is right.  If we are ready to meet Him every day or any day, then we have nothing to do to get ready.  We can simply say, as Revelation says, “Come Lord Jesus.”
            Do not be fearful; rather be faithful.  Do not be anxious; rather be at peace.  Do not be doubtful; rather be confident.  Place your hopes in the Lord who has kept every promise and does everything just as it should be done.  Be joyful with each passing day because we are one day closer to beholding the most beautiful sight we could ever see—the face of our Lord coming triumph and glory!  Great things await us.  A great moment is on the way.  Live each day in anticipation of this moment.  Have a terrific Thursday!

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