Getting Excited about Jesus Return

““Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city."  Revelation 22:12-14 NIV

There are some traditional answers we are familiar with regarding the nearness of Christ's return. Rightly understood some of these answers have considerable merit. One answer is the thought that Jesus is ever only a moment away. The uncertainty of life is something some are more familiar with than others. My work as a police chaplain for two years brought me into contact with many fatal tragedies, none of which were expected. The attitude of "I'll get serious later," is an incredibly dangerous way to live. 

Generally speaking it is evident in reading the new testament that its authors expected Jesus return in their lifetime. It is also evident that their faith was not dependent on this. Like Abraham who died in faith of a promise he never fully witnessed, so have all who have followed him. Yet at the same time, the cloud of witnesses which has gone before us experienced heaven's greatest treasure, the indwelling spirit of God. History's heroes of faith were foremost compelled by a living connection with heaven.

The promise of Jesus soon return is meant to inspire us with hope and arouse us to action. Sadly some instead have been paralyzed by fear. The narrative of scripture gives us a solemn account of the events which are to unfold between now and Jesus return in glory, yet this is not the main idea God is seeking to communicate. Ultimately the reality of Jesus return is meant to fill us with joy. The key is discovering the character of the one who is coming. The fear that has dominated a generation of Adventists regarding the last days and Jesus 2nd coming is a sad commentary revealing a feeble knowledge of Christ. It's time to set the record straight about God's love and again inspire the nations with the joyful expectation of our coming king.

Realistically speaking probation is closing for thousands of individuals every day. We need no greater stimulus to share the good news than this. The blessed hope of our Savior's soon return is a concrete hope which does indeed inspire us, but the surety of this hope lives in us through our personal connection with heaven through God's spirit. If we are going to expect Jesus' coming with joy and effectively spread the good news, we must come into an accurate knowledge of the Father's love. Perfect love casts out all fear, the fear of being lost as well as the fear of the events to transpire between now and our translation.

Still Seeking His Face,

Pastor Andrew

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