The Soon Return of Christ
I was once talking to a close family member on the phone and I told this person that I believed that Christ was coming soon. This person swiftly reminded me that my Grandmother believed that Christ was coming soon too during World War I and World War II and that Christ did not come then and He was not coming now.
I was crushed to hear this considering the many ways Christ was showing me He is coming soon. Now I know that many Christians believe this way. I thought about these words and how my Grandmother faithfully followed and watched for Christ. My earthly Father, who has since passed away, also watched for Christ ardently during his lifetime.
I thought about the very first Christians from the New Testament and how they too watched for Christ’s return. What did my dear Grandmother…my Dad…and the early New Testament Christians all have in common? Well apart from the fact that they have all since passed away—they all watched and longed for the promised return of Jesus and the catching away of the saints to the New Jerusalem as outlined in the Bible.
It does not matter that none of them lived during the time of the generation that would actually see the return of Christ and the rapture, they all would still earn the Crown of Righteousness as promised to them in the Bible. Did you catch that? God accounts that watching for the return of Christ as being so significant that He awards a crown to the watcher in the next life. This is the mandate of God for the follower of Christ to watch for His return to take home His Bride.
Here is the verse regarding the Crown of Righteousness:
2 Timothy 4:8: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
So many Christians are caught up in the things of the world and when you even suggest watching for the soon coming of Jesus, I hear so frequently their response from the verse Matthew 24:36: But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
So they excuse themselves by saying that since only the Father knows the day and time of these things, then let’s not worry or talk about it.
Only, here is the actual section in the Bible with this verse:
Matthew 24:36-44: But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
This verse essentially says that BECAUSE no one knows about that day or hour, therefore keep watch. BECAUSE you do not know on what day or hour your Lord will come you need to watch. This verse is frequently misquoted and misused to say because no one knows about the day or hour but only the Father, so then just put it out of your mind.
Now let us read further into this section of the Bible:
Matthew 24:45-51: Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Here then are some sobering words from the Bible that the master will come on a day when He is not expected and an hour He is not looked for and the servant not looking for the Master will be assigned to a place with the hypocrites.
Now when the signs of the soon return of Christ start to happen, and they are now, then how much more important is it for this generation to be watching for Christ? Therefore, God says that He will reward those who diligently watch for and long for the return of Christ. God will punish those who do not watch for Christ and occupy themselves with other pursuits. Now with the events foretold to happen at the soon coming of Christ for His Bride taking place now, it is shameful for Christians not to be looking for Christ’s soon return.
In addition, it is shameful for Christians to persecute and condemn those who are faithfully looking and watching especially since this is what the Bible specifically prescribes for all true followers of Christ. The Crown of Righteousness (awarded for those who long for His appearing) is called this for two main reasons.
One reason is that it is the hope and inspiration of the Christians’ during a time of great darkness and life’s struggles to watch for Christ’s return.
The other reason is that when Christians watch and anticipate Christ’s return to retrieve His Church they are more inclined to pursue holiness and
“righteousness” in anticipation of the near coming of the Lord.
When people believe that Jesus’ coming is close, they tend to surrender their lives to Christ and to turn from evil in the only way it is possible to pursue holiness—through Christ.
Hebrews 9:27-28: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.