Ready, Set, Go!
“So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matthew 24:44)
Timetables can be strange things: sometimes incomprehensible; often unreliable; frequently ignored. But unlike such timetables, God has a timetable that is extremely accurate: the timetable for the return of Jesus; a timetable known only to Himself. Indeed, Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36).
It shouldn’t surprise us therefore to discover that whenever Christians have tried to work out this timetable, they have always gotten it wrong. All we get in the Bible are general indicators - and even some of these will probably happen in ways that will surprise us. But the Bible’s emphasis is not theoretical or speculative, but practical. Teaching on Christ’s return is always designed to provoke us to ask: Are we ready? Are we living daily in the light of His return, “making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16)?
And when He returns, what a glorious event that will be! “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord for ever” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). What a message of hope this is! God says: the world is going somewhere, and it’s going somewhere purposeful. History will come to a close; the problem of evil will be resolved; and, as the final curtain falls at the end of time, the Author of the drama of life will walk on to the world’s stage and everyone will see Him, whether in judgment or in joy.
While His coming may seem slow, it isn’t late. Don’t give up believing in it simply because our Father is more patient than we are! Rather, keep alert and be ready!
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24:42)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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