The return of Christ is imminent. Tell me you haven’t had a thought about that lately with all the earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, wars and rumors of war going on. These are the signs of the times and they mean something. Jesus told us to pay attention to the signs and purify ourselves in the hope of Christ’s return. The first Christians were anticipating this event probably even more than we are despite the fact that they were a long ways away from its fulfillment. That’s because they had seen Him go, and the angels said He would return in the same way. It was real; they had seen Him, heard Him, touched Him. And He’s coming back.
Why do you suppose He wants us to remind each other of His return? I’m going to throw down a few ideas I’ve been thinking about, but I’d really love to share some of yours as well.
Perspective. Being aware that this world will end gives you a fresh perspective upon life here and now. This is not all that there is. As Larry Norman wrote, “We’re only visiting this planet.”
Hope. Knowing that whatever happens, Christ is at the end of it, gives us a positive expectation of eternal life with Him no matter how difficult this life is here.
Interpretation of events. Because we know about some of the prophetic events in the future, we can read the signs and not be depressed or frightened. God is in control. He has a timeline and everything is right on time with His will.
An alternative reality. There is more than what we see. There is an unseen world where spiritual things are solid and permanent. When Christ returns He will pull back the curtain and we will realize we’ve been looking through dark glasses all along.
Growing old is outdated. As we approach the end, we are really growing younger, spiritually, and that’s all that will matter in the end.
Anticipation. The end will come with labor pains, but it will herald the birth of a new heaven and a new earth and new bodies with which we will love and serve God forever. Sin will no longer have any power over us. No more sickness; no more death.
Intensity. Not that we should live any differently should we know Christ is returning tomorrow versus a hundred years from now, but I still believe it effects the intensity with which we live. The expectation of Christ’s imminent return should infuse every moment we live right now with greater significance and meaning. These are not just endless days stretching into nowhere; these days are limited and purposeful. Use them well, especially when it comes to telling people about Jesus, His resurrection, the forgiveness of sin and His soon return.
The pie in the sky is not by and by. It is soon. It is coming, and it is real.
My son, Chandler, believes the end is coming soon — in his lifetime. If I were you, I would listen to Him. He has an uncanny sense of spiritual realities that I have come to trust. We talked about this last night and he started mentioning dates, like the recent September 23rd prediction. He said there’s another one in October now. When I pointed out that Jesus said no one would know the time or the day of His return and how that kind of rules out any day anyone has actually claimed, he got a sly smile on his face as if he knew when it was and wasn’t telling.
Chandler has always carried himself with a certain heaviness about what he knows, and I can’t change that, nor would I want to. I think it’s because he knows too much for his eighteen years. But he also believes God is using him to save many people, and for that we can all be grateful.
Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)