It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. – Titus 2: 12-14 NIV
On a rock island prison called Patmos, an aged preacher struggles through each day. He is surrounded by salt water and criminals. His hair and beard are white from his age, but probably just as much from his many trials and hardships. He has faithfully preached the Good News of Jesus for many years. He led a large church in Ephesus and experienced the death of all his colleagues. He is weary and weak, but he has hope! What hope you ask? He is expectantly looking for the return of the Savior he so deeply loved and worshiped!
Of course, this is a description of the Apostle John, the only original disciple of Christ to not die a martyrs’ death. At around 90 years of age, he was a prisoner on the isle of Patmos for preaching the Gospel of Jesus. In Revelation 22:7, the Lord Jesus appears to John and says, “Behold, I am coming quickly!” John was so moved by this message that he falls to the earth in a spirit of worship. I imagine he clasped his hands, let out an exhale of relief and then proclaimed, “Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20).
The return of Christ is a popular subject these days. For some, it is met with skepticism, but not for those of us who are followers of Christ. His return is our blessed hope. This is a message of victory, deliverance, and joy for those who have labored in service for our Lord, fought through the trials and tribulations that this life brings, and have longed for His peace. The Lord Jesus assures us that this great day will usher in a time when God will wipe away all tears, pain and sorrow.
One great preacher said, “This world is on a collision course with destiny.” The return of Christ is not a fiction fairy tale; it is a realty. The word “hope” doesn’t mean something we long to happen but don’t know if it will. The word hope in this Biblical passage is defined as a certainty. You can be as certain that Jesus is coming again as you are that the world is round, that the sun gives light, and that water is wet. It is a sure and certain hope!
The Big Take-Away
How does the knowledge of this great truth impact us here and now? Simple, it gives a fresh focus to life. When believers get up each morning knowing that Christ could come that very day, it ushers in a sense of accountability. For example, our priorities, the decisions we make and how we treat others all take on a greater weight of value when we acknowledge that Jesus could appear at any moment.
We don’t know when that day will come, but we can be sure that it will come! Don’t get caught up in the false teachers who set dates, or the mockers who long to ridicule. Receive the Lord Jesus. Accept Him into your heart. Love Him, serve Him, look for Him and allow Him to transform you into His image. Three times in Revelation 22, Jesus says, “…I’m coming quickly.” Don’t spend your life looking around…look up. It will transform your life!