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Many of us, I'm sure, remember hearing the words "Coming soon to a (fill in the blank) near you . . ."m intended to grab your attention. Well, sometimes that did indeed happen, as a lot of us want to find something new, maybe the latest and greatest thing to come our way.

There are a number of ways people use that phrase, namely, "Coming soon . . ." or similar words. First, they could be used in a sense of stalling or delaying something. Someone might say, "It's coming soon!", whether it's a newsletter, a report, an evaluation--any number of things. Perhaps it's an attempt to say "we need more time" or maybe it's a soft-soap way to say "No" without hurting your feelings. Maybe it's just a way to not give an answer. None of those are really acceptable, but I don't see that aspect going away anytime in the near future (whoops, almost said, "soon"!)

Sometimes it really does mean an event is just moments away from happening! For example, we've probably heard any number of speakers telling us at a parade, "Here comes the Governor (or the mayor, or the star of the parade)" when that individual is about ready to make a particular leg of the parade route. This is legitimate, because it speaks the truth and also speaks to the "not-very-long-ness" of the event. Yeah, I almost said "soon" again.

There is another way to understand this phrase. A pastor friend told me of a church that has for lack of a better term closed, and was sold back to the local association. He wasn't told any of the plans for the future, the timeline of closing/re-opening or whatever the "powers that be" had in store. But, as he related, the church sign was boarded over and the words "Coming Soon!" were painted on the boards. For those of us affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, this does happen: a church will close or cease to function, but can be "re-born" or somehow become part of something else. I hope the church can be resurrected to share the Good News of Jesus with many people. Where this church was located, the Good News is needed desperately.

And there's yet another way of looking at this. Several preachers, myself included, have declared, "Jesus is coming soon!" and even though that doctrine has been preached for many years, and although the Lord hasn't come back as of yet, we can still believe it's going to happen. He promised and He has always kept His promises! See Acts 1:8, John 14:1-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, and there are other Scriptures which tell is that Jesus will return someday.

Now, Christ may not return today or tomorrow, but He's coming. And soon? I don't read of anything to keep Him from returning before I finish this sentence! Keep the faith, my friends: good things are coming, and they're coming soon!

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