Thursday, June 18, 2020

I'd Like to Tell You Jesus is Coming Soon, but...

Perhaps within every generation of Christians, at least some are imbued with an expectancy that the return of Christ could be imminent. The hope did not die with the earliest believers, but was passed down through the teaching of scriptures, and the pondering of anxious saints. 

Today, some understand the future event one way, while others find the comfort expressed in certain Bible passages to mean something else. But most, if not all, within the denominations and dogmatic currents of Christianity still believe that the Son of God who said He would return, will indeed, return.

Many of us have found recent events rousing the anticipation to a level not experienced for a while. But we have felt it before. Then things settle down and we find ourselves in wait mode once again, considering our Redeemer must be tarrying a little longer. 

Earlier this year, I stated in a blog post entitled The Art of Crying Holy, that I feel like my Deliver is coming. I made that proclamation pre-COVID-19, pre-protests and riots (no, they are not the same thing) and I stand by it. But maybe I’ve always felt it. Maybe I’m simply one of those who carry that burden of imminency. So, no, I don’t know when. Nobody does.

Surely, past disasters left many hoping and praying for the Rescue. In ancient times an earthquake, like the one in Ephesus in 262AD, might have left the early Christians considering the end was near. They were cut off from the rest of the world and didn’t know, at least for a while, that it wasn’t the entire planet that was shaken. 

In modern times, disasters, and social atrocities committed by one group against another, have been broadcast to the entire world. I can only imagine how observers in the Christian community must have watched and waited expectantly for their Messiah during WWI and WWII, during pandemics much more deadly than this present one, or during times of social upheaval that left so many homeless and hungry.

But a world at war is not the end. It may happen again. In fact, it may have already begun. A plague is not the end. Nor is an economic downturn. Nor is widespread social unrest. People have always found a reason to believe it was time for Christ to return. Our current confounding predicament has caused some of us to consider the lateness of the hour. In a series of blog posts from the latter part of 2019, I wrote about the potential of another civil war in America, including a post entitled Racism: The Church, the Media, and the New Definition of Racist. Some of what I wrote about has ramped up. I didn’t think the devolution would come on this quickly. It’s almost like it was orchestrated.

I’ve read so many conspiracy theories that I believe I’m now suffering from what’s been tagged Crisis Fatigue. I don’t know if the coronavirus was engineered. I don’t know if there are people in high places who want us to hate each other and fight in the streets. I don’t know what the future of the U.S.A. looks like. I don’t know if people like me might be loaded onto a train and delivered to a camp set up to retrain deplorables. I don’t know what Jesus meant when He said, “I am coming soon.”

Here’s what I do know: God is more powerful than any plague. It’s the devil who spawns hatred. The action of my faith will not be swayed by politics or public opinion. My destiny is in God’s hands. And the end times began when Jesus made the statement that He’s coming soon. What’s two thousand years to God? It’s a breath, that’s all. But the Day is closer today than yesterday. My Deliverer is coming, and so I wait expectantly, joyfully, and with certainty. I won’t rely on my own understanding. Or my own strength. Or my own righteous indignation. The battle is the Lord’s.

The end is predetermined. The enemy is not my neighbor, or any of my diverse brothers and sisters in Christ, or the angry citizens of my country who peacefully stand against injustice. Please know, justice is coming, and His name is Jesus.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

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