The time is near. That’s what grabs me this morning. That’s what sticks.
Although John wrote it down, it is “the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His servants” (Rev. 1:1). And what He had to show them were “the things that must soon take place.” Things for which the time is near (Rev. 1:3b).
What sort of things? Well, beyond seven letters to be read , seven seals to be opened, seven trumpets to be sounded, and seven bowls to be poured out, here’s the bottom line thing:
Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him. Even so. Amen.
(Revelation 1:7 ESV)
Jesus is coming again. Coming in the clouds. Coming in a way that no matter where you are on the earth, no matter what language you speak or what belief you hold, you will see Him in His glorious appearing. For EVERY EYE will see Him.
For some it will be horror, lament, and a wailing with the realization that the Judge has returned. And for others–like for this guy in this seat–with an eye to sky, there will be a shout, “Yes!!! Even so. Amen!” For those eyes, the eyes of believers, will behold their Savior.
Reading also in John’s gospel this morning. And there I was reminded of the promise of His return. The promise that one day the eye of faith will give way to a face to face encounter of the divine kind.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.” ~ Jesus
(John 14:1-3 ESV)
I will come again, Jesus said. I will take you to be with Me, Jesus said. The time is near, Jesus says. So don’t be troubled.
No profound words really coming to mind this morning. Somethings are sometimes more felt than tell’t.
But what does occur to me is that if this advent season should remind us of anything, it’s that another advent is near. If His coming as a child stirs anything afresh in us, it should be that one day–perhaps soon and very soon–He is coming as King. If Immanuel, God with us, fills us with any hope, it is that the time draws near when it will be us with God.
Because He came from heaven to earth, we are assured that while on earth He is preparing a place for us in heaven. Because He bore the wrath for our sin on the cross, we can, with confidence, anticipate a day when we will sing of His praise with a great crowd.
Oh, that this advent season wouldn’t be consumed only with the present (nor the presents). But that it would be a time to thoughtfully look back at His first advent, and marvel at the wonder of a Son given for a people lost. Yet, even more, that it would be a time for looking forward in heightened expectancy of His imminent second advent. That we would awake to the reality that the Master’s return is near and that, by His continued enabling, we need to press on and be about the Master’s business until then.
It’s the bottom line thing. Jesus is coming again. People get ready!
Wait like you’ve never waited before. Worship like you’ve never worshiped before. Work like you’ve never worked before.
Because of grace. For His glory.