Your Kingdom Come
I grew up in the era of charts and diagrams that predicted how events would unfold around Jesus’ return. While they couldn’t pinpoint the day, the preachers were pretty certain they could narrow it down to a specific time period. Our hymn book even included a hymn stating, “In ’84 the lion will roar…” Oops!
In comparison, it seems like the church today has little interest in Jesus’ return. So what happened?
I think we reacted with embarrassment to the certainty of charts and books (and hymns). Things didn’t unfold like people predicted. Jesus didn’t come when we expected him to. Because we were so certain, we feel a bit foolish and a bit reluctant to talk about Jesus’ return; it reminds us how wrong we were.
In addition, there has been a renewed interest in the present reality of the kingdom. We have focused on God’s kingdom coming now on earth as it is in heaven and have a broader understanding of the good news: it’s not only that someday we get to go to heaven but that all things are being reconciled in Christ!
We understand our role as ambassadors of God’s kingdom involves working for justice and compassion in our present world. This is good!
However, as is our tendency, we have allowed the pendulum to swing too far.
We’ve become so focused on the present that we’ve lost sight of the end. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is consistent with the rest of the Bible: Jesus is coming back. It could be any time!
So don’t give up! Things will not always be as they are because when Jesus comes back he will wipe every tear from our eyes and make all things right. Don’t compromise! Keep announcing and demonstrating the good news of God’s Kingdom. The values of our society will fade away while the values of Jesus and the kingdom will remain for eternity.
Let’s continue to “encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
Jeremy Light is Pastor of Peer Ministries at the Evangelical Free Church of Lethbridge. He is one of the teaching pastors we hear from during our Sunday worship services.
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