Thursday, May 3, 2007

Even so, come, Lord Jesus

The world is not a peaceful place these days. Christians wonder if the “wars and rumors of wars” and the destruction of many animal and plant species signal the beginning of the end. While scoffers mock our belief in the return of Jesus Christ, we watch with interest and sometimes dismay. Will it be soon?

Christians throughout the past 2000 years have hoped that Jesus Christ would return during their generation. Last night before I fell asleep, I was emotionally overcome with an intense longing to see Him, so see His face, to enjoy His smile. This great desire came upon me without warning and lingers this morning. I am emotionally ‘looking up’ for my final redemption.

We are told in the Bible to be ready. That means several things. As my husband continually says, we are all terminal, so we must be ready to meet God when death takes us from this world. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except by me.” Faith in Jesus is the only way to be ready.

We are also told to watch and wait for His return. It will come at a day and hour when most people do not expect it. However, we are told that because we are His people, if we walk in His light that day will not catch us off guard. Christians need to pay attention, not only to the news and to God’s commands in Scripture, but also to the voice of the Holy Spirit who speaks to our hearts. We need to keep our lives clean, obey God, and anticipate His coming.

Few of us agree on when or how the return will happen, or whether or not we will experience the “great tribulation” predicted in the Bible. We do agree that Jesus is coming, and that before He comes, there will be great and horrible events in the world. One of them is the fall of Babylon. This could mean the literal place, but in Revelation particularly, Babylon is a symbol or image for false religions. Nevertheless, the destruction and fall will be devastating to the witnessing world. During this final tribulation, many will die and for several years the world will undergo drastic calamities.

Revelation 19:1 tells what comes next. “After these things I (John, who wrote this book) heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven saying, ‘Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God.”

However it works out, when those last events are finished the Lord Jesus Christ will receive the honor and glory due Him. All mockers and blasphemers will be silenced, and those of us who long to see His face will at last be totally satisfied.

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