For many years, our church hosted watch night services and the question was always raised: “Will Christ return this year?”
If his advent was near when John the Beloved set down his pen after writing the final book in the Bible, it can only be 2,000 years closer these days.
And because we’ve heard that his coming is nigh, we don’t really hear the words anymore.
It’s something the Bible says. It’s a phrase preachers like to use to enjoy a rallying round of “amens” from the congregation. People have been saying the return of Christ was imminent for my entire life.
And that’s a half-century these days.
“Where is the promise of his coming?” 2 Peter 3:4
Don’t forget that God dwells outside of time. What appears to us as centuries, is the same moment in His heavenly realm.
“Be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” 2 Peter 3:8
It boggles our mind to consider this verse because we can hardly imagine a thousand years. It’s ten times longer than any of us will live in our physical bodies.
But it is nothing to an eternal King.
Don’t let the passage of time lull you to sleep like the people who received this letter from Peter. Thinking you have all the time in the world is one of Satan’s favorite tactics to keep you procrastinating.
Surely, the return of Christ will happen in 2017.
How can the Father hold off when He sees the mess humanity has made of everything?
And I do mean everything. We’ve messed up His Word (how many versions are there these days?). We’ve watered down His message. We’ve made a cursed planet more of a god than the One who created it.
Humanity is a hot mess.
So why won’t the Father turn to his right and say, “Go bring my children home, Son”?
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise…but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9)
Every moment God tarries is a moment of patience to sinners. Unbelieving and believing sinners alike need those extra breaths.
Are you really prepared to meet Jesus in the air? Stand before his throne and give account of your life?
Is every person you know going to meet you in Heaven? Or maybe you need those extra days and hours to urge them to accept the free gift of salvation.
Whatever else happens in 2017, remember that every tick of the clock is God’s merciful kindness to humanity.
He’s giving us another opportunity to believe, to pray, to witness, to use our gifts, and to promote His Kingdom.
Because when He comes, the time for mercy will be over. His judgment will rain on the cursed Earth during the tribulation. Then he will bring the armies of Heaven and set up his eternal kingdom on the new Earth he’ll create just for that purpose.
Are you ready for Jesus to return?