Jesus will Return: A friendly reminder, in case nobody mentioned it recently

Do me a favor, and think really hard about the sermons you have heard preached in the last year or two.

Now, let me ask you a question:  How many of those sermons had the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as one of their primary topics?

Mmmm... not too many.  Oh wait... none at all?

But you've heard quite a few sermons about living your best life now, financial stewardship, finding joy, overcoming adversity, handling stress and depression, becoming a better you, discovering God's purpose for your life, and daring to dream big.  Right?

Oh dear.

There is this tendency in Christianity today to downplay the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  It's the position of "mature" Christians and serious thinkers after all.  Because if you've lived long enough as a Christian, you've heard just about every goofy thing there is to hear about the return of Jesus Christ.  And realizing that there are a lot of bizarre teachings on the matter, and realizing how bent out of shape people can get about their end-time theological systems, many have taken the position that the return of Jesus is just one of those things we shouldn't really talk a lot about.

Indeed, there has been some serious harm done in the name of Jesus over theologies centering around the end-times.   Every year there is some goofball that sensationalizes some sort of omen in the news that they claim points to the imminent return of Jesus Christ.  And of course, every year for the past 2,000 years, such persons have been proven wrong time and time again.  And of course, the media is always more than willing to run such headlines, which end up bringing a bit of shame on the church when such predictions prove to be false.

So, we have a tendency to respond to such things in one of two ways:  We passively downplay the topic of the return of Jesus Christ altogether, and try never to bring it up;  Or, we join the world in their scoffing.

But the more I've thought about it in recent years, the more I've become convinced that I would rather identify with those saints who are actively looking for the possible return of Jesus Christ in their lifetimes, than I would identify with more "enlightened" believers who shy away or scoff at the idea of Christ returning altogether.  I don't care how funky and misguided the theology of these saints might be.  I would rather be found looking for the second coming of Christ and Him not return, than to not be looking for Him and find out the hard way that He decided to return anyway.

Will Jesus return in our lifetime?  Well, He's not come back in the last 2,000 years, so there stands a pretty good chance that He won't return this year or in our lifetime.


Be that as it may, the faith we have received, that has been once and for all handed down to the saints, teaches us that as Christians that we are to be actively looking for the return of Jesus Christ, and His return to this world.  And not to look for Him to return in some far off distant future, but to think it a real possibility that He may return before we have the chance to die.

To not actively anticipate the return of Jesus Christ in our own lives is nothing short of apostasy-- a falling away from the faith.

And this is an apostasy that has overtaken "progressive" and "evangelical" Christians alike.

As a result, this has caused Christians of both stripes to become ever consumed with the ever present "now" of the kingdom.  Progressives get obsessed in social justice issues.  And, evangelicals get wrapped up in having their best life now schemes.

And why not?  Jesus isn't returning anytime soon after all.

So we might as well avoid preaching about those topics that talk about the return of Jesus Christ and the ages of come.  It's better to focus on the "already" than "not yet" aspect of the kingdom of God.   It's better to focus on the breaking of the kingdom into present than to take much time to think about things that are yet future.  We want to talk about practical matters.

At least, so we say.

Yet, as much emphasis as the Bible places on the "already" aspect of the kingdom of God, I can't help but notice the focus on Biblical teaching is still hung on the hope that Jesus Christ will indeed come again, and that once He comes again, all the things that the kingdom ushered into the world are nothing in comparison to the things His kingdom will yet bring.

The present aspect and reality of the kingdom is but an appetizer for the Supper that is still to come.

And knowing such things about the future, what manner of men ought we to be in the present?  Knowing this world is passing away, and that we've received a kingdom that shall not perish, how ought we to live our lives in this generation?  How much different ought our lives look, knowing that one day, everything we see will be tried by Divine judgment, and will be consumed by fire?

My guess is we would live our lives a bit differently than we live now, for when we realize that everything we hold near and dear to us will one day vanish, the things we truly learn to value in this world will change.  And if our values change, our present actions must change too.

Jesus Christ is coming again, and He's coming again soon.

This is a friendly reminder, in case nobody mentioned it recently.

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