That the Lord had not yet come is undoubtedly the basis for some of Paul’s counsel to the Thessalonians. What does Paul counsel the church at Thessalonica as they wait for the promised coming of Christ? 2 Thessalonians 2. 1
Certain events have to transpire in human history before Jesus will return, yet, the hope for the future is glorious.
The book of Revelation, the great book of “climaxes,” also gives evidence of a time lag. At the opening of the fifth seal, what do the voices under the altar cry out?Rev. 6:9–11. What’s implied there about the question of the “delay”?
Read Luke 12:42–48. How does that text help us understand the “delay”? More so, what important warning should we take from it for ourselves, who could easily start feeling the same way?
What about the texts that talk about Jesus’ coming back quickly, or soon? For example: “Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book” (Rev. 22:7).
In one sense, as far as our own personal experience is concerned, the Second Coming is as “soon” as our death. We die, and regardless of how long we sleep in the grave—two years, two hundred, two thousand—we close our eyes and the next thing we know, in an instant, in a twinkling of an eye, Jesus has returned. Thus, one could argue that from our own personal perspective alone, from what we personally experience ourselves, the Second Coming takes no longer than the span of an individual human life. Though the Second Coming itself is a literal universal event that impacts the whole earth, we experience it only as individuals.
As the years roll by, do you find yourself getting at ease in the world, getting comfortable with things, and less focused on the reality of the Second Coming? If so, you’re probably not alone. How can we fight this natural, though potentially dangerous, tendency? Bring your answer to class on Sabbath.