Most of us can relate to the sense of anticipation we got as kids growing up waiting for our mom or dad to get home from work. My dad had a long commute, and I can remember sitting by the window wondering when he was going to get home. Our little brains began to wonder how much longer it was going to be, or if they really would come home to us at all.
We are promised that Jesus will return for us. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God.” Hebrews 9:28 says that Christ “will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those that are eagerly waiting for Him.” Jesus himself declares in Matthew 24:30 “and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.” There can be no doubt that Jesus will return like He said that He would.
It's easy for us to believe and know in our minds that Jesus is coming back, but completely miss the fullness of what that means and the anticipation that should well up in our hearts at the mere thought of it. Our savior - the same one that reigns in the heaven that He created and saves us from an eternity in hell is coming back for us to take us to be with Him! Do you see just how wonderful and incredible and every other adjective in the world that is? There are four beautiful things I like to focus on when I think about Jesus returning for us, His people:
We suffer from disease, war, persecution, and a whole list of evil things that plague us day in and day out. It’s easy to sit and wonder when we’ll see and experience relief. As foreigners in this world (1 Peter 2:11), we are constantly at war with our flesh and our enemy, who “prowls around like a lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5: 8). We need to be rescued, and Christ’s glorious return for us accomplishes just that. We are promised in Revelation 19: 19-21 that Jesus will triumph over Satan and his followers, and Zechariah 14:9 declares that “the Lord will be King over all the earth,” There will be no more persecution for us, no more struggle or affliction. We will be rescued in the arms of our savior.
When Jesus came to earth through human form, He began the process of our Redemption that will culminate in His return. There will be a final judgement of all people, alive and dead (Matthew 25-31-34). We as believers will receive our new spiritual bodies (1 Corinthians 15:44). Satan, evil, and all of his followers will be utterly defeated once and for all (Revelation 19:19-21). The wicked will be cast to hell (Revelation 20:15). All of these things are part of the plan of Redemption that Jesus set out to accomplish for us so that we could spend eternity with Him, which He so beautifully sums up in John 14: 1-3: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” His return for us is the culmination of all of salvation history, and the final step of our redemption from the original sin in the Garden of Eden.
Fulfillment of Prophecy
Every word and phrase of every prophecy uttered about the future is completely fulfilled at the return of Jesus. This means that all of the stories and songs that God started playing at the beginning of time crescendos and climaxes at this moment (2 Peter 3:1-13)! What began in Daniel chapter 7 (an incredible vision of the future, thousands of years ahead of the time Daniel had it) finds its completion when Jesus comes again. Jesus already fulfilled the prophecies of Isaiah and others who spoke of the coming of the Messiah, and now Jesus will take His dominion over everything, just as everything should be (Daniel 7: 13-14).
In light of all of these things, think about the pure joy that should erupt in our hearts at such an incredible moment. Scripture describes Jesus returning in an awesome display of His glory (Matthew 24:30) and that we get to go meet Him in the air, with great shouts and a trumpet blast (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). We get to share that glory with Him as His bride (Colossians 3:4) and experience eternity with Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9, Revelation 19:16), where He will wipe every tear from our eye, and we no longer have to experience anything like suffering ever again (Revelation 21:4). It is easy for us to get caught up in the terrifying imagery of what the end times will look like, but our heart’s focus should be on the intensity of Jesus’ love for us and the pure joy we will experience as we get to meet Him face to face.
As we get ready to listen to Pastor Marshall speak on the glory of our coming King this week, think about these things that set our eyes to what an incredible, indescribable moment this will be, and how we should be yearning for it to come. I pray that it spurs our desire to share the gospel so that all those who are yet to know Jesus get to share that with us.