“Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.”—Revelation 1:7
“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!”—2 Peter 3:11,12
The purpose of prophecy is not to satisfy our curiosity but rather to change our attitudes about this life and the next. The return of Christ is always presented in Scripture as a motivation for holy living, and to remind us that it’s not necessary for us to win in this life in order to win in the life to come. In other words, the return of Jesus assures us that (1) we will be reunited with our loved ones, (2) the injustices done on Earth will finally be answered and resolved and most importantly, (3) we shall all be in the presence of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit forever.
On July 4, 1952, thirty-four-year-old Florence Chadwick waded into the water at Catalina Island hoping to be the first woman to swim the twenty-one mile strait to California. The water was numbing cold, and the fog was so thick that she couldn’t even see the boats in her own party. As the hours ticked by she swam on, but fifteen hours later, numbed by the cold, she asked to be taken out of the water. Within a few minutes, the small party realized that they were within a half-mile from the shore. She regretted giving up by saying, “If only I would have been able to see the shore, I could have made it.”
However, two years later, although the weather was the same, she did succeed in swimming the strait; the reason, she said, was that “I always kept the image of the shoreline in my mind.”
We can endure a great deal when we keep the image of the shoreline in our minds and hearts. The certainty of the return of Jesus motivates us to endure, whether the water is smooth or rough. Eternity will rectify what time seemed to ruin; it is the sure knowledge that we shall land safely on the shore that matters. We have read the last chapter; the story will end well!
Let Us Pray
Father, I pray that You will help me to be motivated by the sure knowledge that Jesus will return again; cause me to live a pure life of holiness and anticipate Your coming. I pray that I will live this week as if I know for sure that You are coming by next weekend. Let me be a witness to Your saving grace in the lives of those who are not ready for Your return.
And now, Father, I pray for _______ that they might also be aware that life is short, and they will either meet You in death or perhaps, live to see Your return. I pray that they might love Jesus so much that they would actually look forward to seeing Him return. If they do not know You as Savior, turn their hearts in Your direction; give them a sense of their own personal need and capture their hearts for Your glory and honor. Help us to develop a passion for You that is greater than our passion to sin.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.