“…so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28 ESV).
It is true! Jesus Is coming again!
Jesus came the first time to bring salvation– the grace that delivered us from the penalty of sin. He left nothing undone. He has provided for our salvation. He has provided for the sins we commit moving forward (when we repent, of course! (Hebrews 10:26)). Bless His holy name!
When I was maybe six years old, my father was stationed in South Korea with the Army. It was an unaccompanied short tour of 18 months, so he had missed Christmas with his family. He made his return the next July. We were well prepared for his return, with a Christmas tree and presents, and of course an eager anticipation. The local newspaper even did a story on our “Christmas in July”. The excitement that welled up in our hearts as the day drew near seemed to know no boundaries.
While he was away, he had already made provision for us. We were well cared for and surrounded by extended family. We were happy, but there was just something missing without his presence.
That, my friends, is a picture of how we should be living our lives. Everything has been taken care of; we are surrounded by our Christian family! But something is missing. We should long for His presence as if our lives depend on it. “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God” (Psalms 42:1 ESV).
Of course, while Jesus has done all that He needed to do to address the sin problem, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to deal with the sin problem. I’m assuming that you are all like me and commit the occasional sin (I may be understating this slightly!).
Just as preparations had to be made for our Christmas in July (not so much by me, but you get the idea!), if we are looking forward to Jesus’ return, then we will be about the preparation of ourselves to see Him!
Hebrews 12 talks about those preparations. Among other things, the author said, “‘Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:14-15 ESV).
We don’t get our lives in order so that we can be saved; we do it because we are saved. More than half of my lifetime ago I got all excited and gussied myself up to impress a girl. Now I do it because she’s mine. Can you see it?
It is true! Jesus Is coming again! It’s time to get excited and prepare our hearts and lives for that day.
“He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20 ESV)!