Summary: Christ the Lord has promised that He shall return for His people, to take them to be with Him. Perhaps today!
“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Even a cursory review of events now unfolding in our world lead the most jaded to begin looking up in anticipation of the Master’s return. Of this His child may be certain, His Return is nearer today than it was yesterday. The Master did say quite plainly, “Concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven” [MARK 13:32]. Nevertheless, though we are unable to speak with certainty of the timing of His return, we remain confident that He shall come again to gather His people to Himself. The Master spoke of His return to those who followed Him. His servants, the Apostles, likewise wrote of His coming and the necessity for His people to be ready for His return.
We are poised on the cusp of a new year; news reports bring disturbing accounts of turmoil in our world. As we read news headlines, the prophetic words of Zechariah seem stunningly current: “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples” [ZECHARIAH 12:2a]. The remainder of Zechariah’s prophecy must also be announced if we will be faithful to the Word. The prophet continued by saying, “The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it” [ZECHARIAH 12:2b, 3].
The words of the Master are certainly apropos for this time. You will recall that He said, “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains” [MARK 13:7, 8]. The Master cautioned those who would follow Him that when these things began, they must be on their guard [see MARK 13:9], for those who are called by His Name would be marked for abuse of every sort—because they are called by His Name.
I don’t know what this New Year will bring—no one knows. No doubt “Evil people and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” [see 2 TIMOTHY 2:13]. Nevertheless, I am confident of this singular truth: Christ the Lord is coming again, and His coming may be momentary. Jesus has promised to return for His people, and He has not rescinded that promise. I live in anticipation of His coming for the people of God. His return may be this year—perhaps today.
GOD’S TIMETABLE — No doubt it is an encouragement to remember that Christ has told us of what is yet to be. During His final days in the flesh He invested a great deal of time informing disciples of future events. Then, based upon what He had taught them He warned disciples, “Be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand” [MARK 13:23]. Knowing what is about to occur gives the child of God great comfort and enables that child to stand firm in this most holy Faith.