The second coming of Jesus is the culmination of all Christian hopes; it is the fulfillment of all that we have been promised. Without it—what? We would rot in the ground after death just as everyone else does. Without the Second Coming and all that it entails, everything else about our faith becomes a lie, a farce, everything that the critics and opponents have claimed against it.
No wonder, then, that in eager anticipation of His return, some Christians have set dates for His return. After all, so much hinges on that return. Of course, as we know, every past date set for the return of Christ has been wrong.
Precisely because we don’t know when Christ will return, we are told that we must be ready and that we must “keep watch.”
Read Matthew 24:42-51. What is Jesus saying here about what it means to keep watch and to be ready for the Second Advent?
Jesus is clear: we do not know when He is going to come back. In fact, He’s coming when we don’t expect Him. So we need always to be ready for Him when He does come back. We need to live as if He could come back anytime, even if we don’t know when. The thinking that, Well, He isn’t coming back for a long time; so, I can do as my heart desires is precisely the attitude that Jesus is warning against. We should seek to be faithful because we love the Lord and want to do what is right by Him, regardless of when He returns. Besides, too, with all the texts that warn about judgment, especially against those who treat others badly, the timing of the Second Coming doesn’t really matter. Sooner or later, judgment will come.
|As Seventh-day Adventists who have long believed in Christ’s return, how can we make sure we don’t make the mistake, even if only in a subtle way, of this “evil servant”?|