January 16, 2009

Second Coming

I came across a really great article recently in the World Magazine. Below is a quick part of the editorial that gives a great picture of the importance of waiting patiently but actively for His coming.

Are you eager for the Second Coming of Christ? Too often people go to extremes. Some people end up overexcited about the Second Coming, others forget about it.

You know something about the overexcited ones, because they draw attention to themselves. A group gets worked up by its leader, who claims he can predict when Christ is coming. They sell their property, dress in white robes, and go out to a mountain on the appointed day.

It is not always so extreme. But William Miller, the founder of the Adventist movement, predicted the Second Coming of Christ in 1843-44, and gained many followers. He narrowed down the time to a cut-off date of March 21, 1844. When that passed, it was reset to April 18, 1844. One of his followers reset it again to Oct. 22, 1844. Charles T. Russell, the original figure behind the Jehovah's Witnesses, predicted the Second Coming would occur in April 1978. One book gave 88 reasons why Jesus Christ would come in 1988.

The Bible gives us simple answers for all these speculations:
"It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority..." Acts 1:7

Among Christians today the prevailing mood threatens to go to the opposite extreme. We forget about the Second Coming and then become immersed in worldliness. In practice we have the attitude that this world is all there is, little better than what the skeptics said in 2 Peter 3, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning."

God has promised that Christ will return and this present world will be dissolved (2 peter 3:10-11). Jesus tells us that until then, we need to 'watch and make the best use of your time.' (Ephesians 5:16)

However long you live on earth, it is only a short span in comparison with eternity (Psalm 90:1-4). And your sufferings in this life will be far outweighed by "an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" (2 Corinthians 4:17).

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