Waiting For Jesus...
...or just passing time?
By Jon W. Quinn
There are many different attitudes
concerning the second coming of Jesus. Many people today do not expect it at
all. They believe that there will never be a time when history ends and
eternity begins. There will never be a time when the voice of the archangel
will herald the approach of Jesus to this world which was His home for 33
years. They dismiss the end of the old heavens and earth and the resurrection
and the judgment to follow. But this is nothing new. The Bible says "Know this
first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking,
following after their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His
coming?" (2 Peter 3:3,4). Not only does this passage tell what the mockers
will say, but also tells us why. They "follow after their own lusts", that is,
they are so interested in preserving their lifestyles of rebellion against
Godís moral teachings found in His word that they will mock any idea that
challenges such behavior, no matter how noble the idea.
Then there is another group which anticipates the return of God's Son. They
are so living their lives that should His coming occur this very instant they
are ready. The Bible encourages us all to be in this group. "Since all these
things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in
holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of
God...therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be
found in Him in peace, spotless and blameless..." (2 Peter 3:11-14).
They would not allow their lives to be wasted away by days of neglect!
Then there is a final group. They do not belong in the first group because
they do believe that He is coming again. But neither do they belong in the
second group because they really do not believe it could be today. They may be
religious and somewhat good folks, relatively speaking, but the kingdom of
Jesus Christ and His righteousness are not a real priority in their lives.
Their discipleship, such as it is, could not be called "diligent" and neither
do the terms "dedicated" or "zealous" really apply either. They are, more or
less, just passing time without much sense of purpose or mission in their
lives. Perhaps they have some sixth sense that assures them that Jesus may
come tomorrow, but surely it will not be today. He will probably wait until I
get ready, and I will, someday. But not today for I am too busy with other
details of life. Now honestly, is this the way to live? And how reliable is
that sixth sense? Reliable enough to jeopardize eternity? "For you yourselves
know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the
night. While they are saying 'Peace and safety!..." (1 Thessalonians 5:2,3).
Our Faith is Built on Unfading Hope
"...since we heard of your faith which is in Christ Jesus and the love which
you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of
which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel..." (Colossians
1:4,5). This passage goes on to tell of the wonderful things the disciples at
Colossae were accomplishing, motivated by the heavenly hope within them. They
are referred to as "constantly bearing fruit" and "increasing" (vs 6). God had
given them a sense of purpose and their lives had taken on new meaning. They
were not content with a lethargic, mediocre Christianity that so many seem
willing to settle for. They would not allow their lives to be wasted away by
days of neglect. They were not here just to pass the time. They were on a
mission and they would see it through as they anticipated that hour of final
release which will accompany the coming of our Lord. They were willing to
endure suffering and could do so with joy. Why? "For I consider that the
sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory
that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits
eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God...And not only this, but also we
ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons,
the redemption of our bodyÖĒ (Romans 8:18-25). If this does not describe your
life and your faith and your hope, if you have no such sense of mission and
purpose, then you are missing out on life's greatest blessing!
Eager Anticipation of the Lordís Return
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His
great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is
imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you"
(1 Peter 1:3,4).
At the consummation of this age, great and marvelous things will happen. For
those who are ready for that hour, there will be unparalleled joy.
There is something lacking in the spiritual health of one if he is so at home
in this world that the eternal promises of God hold little attraction for him.
The eternal blessings of Jesus Christ are alive and real. They are meant to
answer the deepest needs of the human soul as it longs for all that is missing
in this fallen world. But we must have faith to comprehend the answers.
"...gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely
on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ...if you
address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man's work,
conduct yourself in fear during the time of your stay upon the earth;" (1
If you recoil at the thought of the Lord's return happening today, then is
that not an indication that something is wrong? Why would the same thought
that filled the New Testament faithful with such joy bring up such uneasiness
in some folks today? The difference is whether one has made himself ready!
Faith Becomes Sight
"For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why
does one also hope for what he sees. But if we hope for what we do not see,
with perseverance we wait eagerly for it" (Romans 24,25). At the consummation
of this age, great and marvelous things will happen. For those who are ready
for that hour, there will be unparalleled excitement and joy.
"...and we shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; 49-52). These bodies
will be transformed into incorruptible, spiritual bodies. No more sickness,
disease or pain. No more wearing out, but rather perfect and beautifully
suited for eternal life in heaven. There is nothing better than heaven!
From The Bradley Banner 7/28/2013
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway