Last night had some of the most impressive lightning I’ve seen in awhile.
When I was a kid, storms like that scared me, especially when there was a particularly loud clap of thunder. I’d often think that maybe this was the trumpet that signaled the Lord’s return and the end of the world, though I doubt thunder and God’s trumpet sound much like each other.
I’d wonder: Am I ready? Am I going to heaven? What if I’m not?
The Bible has a much different emphasis, though, at least for believers.
Notice the thread running through these verses:
And be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks (Luke 12:36).
So that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:7).
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God . . . (2 Peter 3:11-12)
Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
Did you notice how often the word “wait” appears in connection with the Lord’s final return?
It’s about anticipation, not dread.
Excitement, not fear.
Hopefulness, not apprehension.
Jesus will come back to make everything right again, to fix a world gone wrong.
He’ll come to give us our final home, to create his new “heaven and earth.”
He’ll change this getting-older body into one that doesn’t creak, moan, or break.
He’ll rid the world of sin, throw out the old enemy call “death,” and usher us into the presence of Perfection, Holiness, Righteousness.
Because of the cross.
Because he wiped out our sins there, gave us his righteousness, and promised us eternity.
We certainly need to make sure unbelievers know that one day Jesus will come to bring “vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
But for those of us who follow Christ, there’s a more appropriate verse.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20).
That’s a prayer you and I can pray today with confidence.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!