Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ Isaiah 46:9-11
In a moment, a flash of time, we will be changed from death to life; believers in Jesus Christ will put on immortality (1 Cor. 15:52). As most early Christians did, the church at Thessalonica greatly anticipated the return of the Lord and were warned by Paul “in regard to the coming of our Lord” not to be deceived or shaken by some false teaching about the timing of the rapture (2 Thess. 2:1-3). This was the fifth mention of the day of the Lord’s return in the two letters to the Thessalonians. It is an epic event every true Christian should be eagerly awaiting. (See 1 Thess. 4:13-18)
The Apostle John also recorded Jesus saying to the disciples “I will come again and receive you to Myself (John 14:3)” just a few moments before proclaiming He is the Way, Truth, and Life. Waiting has always been a challenge for impatient human beings. There are many details we won’t know until we’re in Heaven, and one of them is ‘when?’ It’s no surprise many through the years including the Jehovah’s Witnesses have failed at attempts to predict the end of the world or the return of Jesus Christ. God’s timing has always been somewhat of a mystery.
From Bible prophecy, the gospels, and history, we know who, what, where, why, and how. Christ the soon coming King will fulfill the promises of God including the completion of our salvation (relief), and will deal out judgment on those who denied Him (retribution). According to the Scriptures, He will descend on a massive flaming cloud along with angels and a loud trumpet blast, His feet will touch down on the Mount of Olives to the east of Jerusalem, and He make all things new when He returns to rule and reign for all eternity.
We just don’t know when, and this is where faith comes in.
…We have an idea of what is coming but we will still marvel at the glorified, risen Lord upon His return. It is nearly impossible for us to grasp the majesty and greatness of a God who has always existed and who lives in eternity while we are limited by time and space; a God that is not only aware of, but intervenes in the lives of those of us who live in time. When the exact right moment arrives, God moves. Just as it will happen when Christ returns, God set things up from the start.
According to His plan and timetable, when the perfect religious, cultural, and political conditions were in place, Jesus Christ left the Father’s presence in eternity and entered the atmosphere of our world. The proper setting for the Son of God to appear was “when the fullness of time had come,” about which Paul further explains, “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)”
When everything was in alignment after a determined portion of history had already played out, Jesus arrived at the precise moment. Jesus Christ’s return will be another event God will bring to pass at the “fullness of time.”
…Jesus stepped down and set aside His crown of gold to temporarily wear a crown of thorns that we one day may wear the crown of life. These verses remind us to leave our cares and excess baggage from the past behind and overcome every obstacle that may be hindering us from really knowing God and experiencing His forgiveness. This race during our lifetimes is not a quick sprint, but one for which we need training & endurance.
It is like a marathon relay race in which those who have gone before us ran with endurance, handed us the baton, and either we will see Christ return in our day or you and I will spiritually hand off the baton to believers who come after us. Teach us to number our days (Ps. 90:12), Lord God! May Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven! Guard our hearts and minds, steady our feet, strengthen our arms for battle, and help us fight the good fight of faith – until that Day.