In the Midst of the Last Days Crazy

sunset-482155_1280The four Blood Moons. The Shemitah. The Stock Market Crash. All kinds of things are being trumpeted as heralds of the end of life as we know it and the coming of the Lord. Some people are responding with fear and anxiety. Others are shaking their heads and shrugging it off. Many don’t know what to think about it all. Even though I have addressed it before, I thought that in the midst of all the last days crazy, I should remind us of three very important things regarding the return of the King.

He Will Return

If there is one thing that is firmly established in the New Testament, it is that Jesus Christ will one day return to our planet.  Let’s look at four voices that proclaim this fact with great clarity.

  1. Jesus

He spoke of His return as He sat with His disciples on the Mount of Olives outside of Jerusalem.

“For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.

“Immediately after the anguish of those days,

the sun will be darkened,
    the moon will give no light,
the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

“And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”  Matthew 24:27 – 30

He even declared it in the presence of the Sanhedrin during His trial.

But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

Jesus said, “I Am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”  Mark 14:61 – 62

It is also one of the final assurances He gives in the Book of The Revelation.

“Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.”  Revelation 22:12

  1. Peter

Peter exhorted His readers to look forward to the salvation that would come at the King’s return.

So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.  1st Peter 1:13

  1. John

John encouraged his readers to remain in fellowship with the King because he was convinced He would come back again.

And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.  1st John 2:28

  1. James

James was the half brother of King Jesus.  He urged his readers to have patience in light of the Lord’s return.

Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.  James 5:7 – 8

We Don’t Know When

As surely as the Scriptures proclaim the return of the King, they also clearly proclaim the fact that no one knows when He will return. King Jesus was very clearly on this matter.

36 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.

37 “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 38 In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39 People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.” Matthew 24:36 – 39

Because of this uncertainty, life will continue on as it always has.  In fact, Jesus says He will return when He is least expected.

“You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”  Luke 12:40

The apostle Paul echoes the words of the Master when he writes to the Thessalonians,

1 Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. 2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. 3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labour pains begin. And there will be no escape.  1st Thessalonians 5:1 – 3

Be Ready

The final thing we need to take note of concerning the return of the King is that we need to be ready.  Regardless of when He comes, we do not want Him to find us unprepared.  To that end, we are exhorted to be doing the following as we anticipate His second coming.

Watching

32 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will    happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33 And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!      

34 “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. 35 You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. 36 Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. 37 I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!”  Mark 13:32 – 37

Waiting

8 And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, 9 for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. 10 And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.  1st Thessalonians 1:8 – 10

Praying

34 “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, 35 like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. 36 Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”  Luke 21:34 – 36

Purifying

3 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.  1st John 3:1 – 3

If we will occupy ourselves with these things, there will be no need for us to be embarrassed when the King returns.

Here are the Facts

In the midst of all the last days craziness, here are the facts:

Fact:  Jesus will return!

Fact:  We do not know when He will return.

Fact:  We need to be ready for His return.

If we will keep these things in mind, they will help us stay grounded in the midst of all the ideas that are being promoted in the moment. And remember, the best preparation for the Coming of the Lord is daily occupy ourselves with Living in the Reign.

M

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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