Discerning the Signs
Predictions about the future return of Jesus have spawned so many bizarre distortions of religion that we have witnessed a severe overreaction among many Christians to our future hope. Some of us live as if Jesus Christ is not coming back. We gild the past and try to freeze the present. But the present is made crucial because of the future. It is because Jesus is coming back that we know that what we are doing in the present counts.
Martin Luther thought Jesus was coming back in his day. Jonathan Edwards thought He was near in the eighteenth century. Both of these titans were wrong. Yet the time of His return is years closer than it was in Luther’s day. Each day that passes makes the return of Jesus closer. It may well be very soon.
When Jesus comes, I want to be ready. I want to be like Elizabeth and Mary, like Simeon and Anna, people who were ready and watching for the appearance of Christ, people who are vigilant, people who watch for the signs of the times and have a hope that will not embarrass them. They long for the vindication of Christ. They yearn for the triumph of His kingdom. They labor with the certain knowledge that their labor is not in vain.
As you labor today in behalf of the kingdom, remember that your work is not in vain.
Passages for Further Study
1 Thessalonians 4:16–18
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