Pull together a group of believers, ask them to brainstorm what marks a Christian, and, I’m guessing, the answers will come flying pretty easily. Born again, forgiven, adopted, disciples, filled with the Spirit. Bought, blessed, and being made like Jesus. Declared righteous, being made righteous. Called holy, becoming holier. People of faith, hope, and love. Graced, gifted, and going to heaven. And the list would continue to build. But I’m wondering how quickly, or how predominantly, would come to mind that we should also be marked by being a people who live in anticipation? And not just waiting complacently for what’s next, but are eagerly waiting.
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.
(Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV)
Jesus is coming again. He will appear a second time. Showing up on this earthly scene just as undeniably as He did the first time–to forever be a fact of history. Showing up, though, in a far grander, far more widespread manner. Not just being born in a small town in a small country having to rely on the testimony of those who were with Him to bear witness of Him. But coming “in the clouds” with such glory that “every eye will see Him” (Rev. 1:7). Coming so undeniably as Creator and King that every knee will bow before Him, “in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Php. 2:10).
The same Christ, whose first coming we remember frequently, will appear a second time, assuredly. Not to deal with the penalty and power of sin, but to save from the very presence of sin. To take His own home. To present His Bride to her Bridegroom.
And if we really believed what we say we believed, then wouldn’t we be marked as a people who are eagerly waiting?
Eagerly awaiting the “revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Cor. 1:7). Eagerly awaiting the finalization of our adoption as sons and daughters of God, “the redemption of our bodies” (Rom. 8:23-25). Eagerly awaiting “the hope of righteousness” (Gal. 5:5), the physical realization of being justified and declared holy–that is, actually standing in His holy presence. Eagerly awaiting stepping foot in the land of our true citizenship, heaven itself, from where we eagerly await “a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Php. 3:20).
We should be marked as a people who are eagerly waiting. People of expectation. People of anticipation. People who awake each morning, regardless of circumstance of situation, and whisper to ourselves, “Perhaps today!”
Oh, that God would make us such people. That the indwelling Spirit would, today, make tomorrow so real. That we would be so heavenly minded we couldn’t help but be of earthly good.
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure.
(1John 3:2-3 ESV)
We shall behold Him! We shall be like Him!
I can’t wait. How ’bout you?
Eagerly waiting . . . by His grace . . . for His glory.