How To Become One Who Eagerly Awaits Christ’s Return – by Jordan Thomas

This post originally appeared on Grace Church of Memphis’ blog.  Jordan Thomas is a TCT pastor who planted Grace Church in 2006.  You can follow Grace Church on twitter.

Below is a help for meditation on the return of the Lord Jesus. These items are separated into three groups: everyone, unbelievers, and believers.

Four Reasons Christ’s Return is Relevant to Everyone

1. Everyone will see Christ:

  • Revelation 1:7 – “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.”

2. Everyone will see Christ Bodily:

  • Acts 1:9-11 – “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

3. Only God the Father knows when Christ will return, and many will be caught off guard:

  • Matthew 24:36-39 – “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.  For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,  and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

4. Therefore everyone should live now on the alert for Christ’s return:

  • Matthew 24:42 – “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.”
Obviously, if everyone will see Christ, then both unbelievers and believers will see Him. How should this truth affect each group?

 

Four Reasons Christ’s Return is Relevant to Unbelievers 

1. Meditating on Christ’s second coming ought to cause carnal men to turn from the empty pursuits of worldliness and from hoping in their empty worldly gains, and turn their hearts to seek the Living God:

  • Mark 8:36-38  – ”For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

2. Meditating on Christ’s second coming ought to cause unbelievers to fear God and turn to Christ before the great and terrible day of the Lord when the face of the Lamb will evoke a devastating fear that will never be assuaged:

  • Revelation 6:15-16  – ”Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

3. Meditating on Christ’s second coming ought to cause unbelievers to do whatever is necessary to avoid the impending judgment of God that imminently awaits him/her:

  • 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9  – “…when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,  dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power…”

4. Meditating on Christ’s second coming ought to cause an unbeliever to ready his soul to meet God, far more so than he would ready himself if he knew a thief were certain to invade his home this very evening:

  • Matthew 24:42-43 – “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”
But a lost man will never long for the return of Christ like a saved man longs for Him. The Christian longs for Jesus because Jesus Himself is the Christian’s Greatest Treasure! Meditating biblically on Christ’s second coming will greatly aid the believer.

26 Reasons Christ’s Return is Relevant to Believers

1. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will fill a true believer with joyful anticipation of the day when God’s elect will be gathered together with their Lord:
  • Mark 13:26-27 – “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.”

2. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will fill believers with God’s supernatural comfort today:

  • John 14:1-3 – “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

3. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will ignite a greater desire within Christians to live for the glory of Christ so intentionally now that we will have no regrets at the day of judgment:

  • 1 Corinthians 4:5 – “Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.”

4. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will fill the Christian with holy joy as he/she partakes of the Lord’s Supper because it will cause even greater anticipation for Christ’s return:

  • 1 Corinthians 11:26 – “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”

5. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will provoke a Christian to long to be made fully alive with Jesus Christ!

  • 1 Corinthians 15:22-23 – “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming,”

6. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will stir up a longing in a Christian to be physically united to the Lord with Whom he/she is already spiritually united:

  • Philippians 3:20-21 – “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

7. Meditating on the promise of Christ’s second coming will cultivate a sober awareness that the promise to be with Christ forever is made only to those whose “life is Christ” now, and will therefore stir us up to active obedience to Jesus:

  • Colossians 3:4  – ”When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

8. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will move the believer’s heart to worship Jesus now, which is the way to be ready to worship Him when He appears:

  • 2 Thessalonians 1:10 – “when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed”

9. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will infuse a Christian with true power to turn from all forms of idolatry:

  • 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 – “…you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.”
  • Titus 2:11-13 – “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,”

10. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will motivate the Christian with God- honoring zeal to pour the fullness of Christ into the lives of others:

  • 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 – “For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation?Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.”

11. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will powerfully inform the way we pray for personal holiness in our own lives and in our fellow brothers & sisters:

  • 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 – “and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; 13 so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 – “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”

12. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will cause real comfort from God to flow through your lips to other believers who are bereaved of a loved one:

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

13. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will cause you to live now as you wish you would have lived when Christ does suddenly return:

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6 – “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.”

14. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will persuade a Christian of the Lord’s power, which He will then execute upon all lawless men:

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:8 – “Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;”

15. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will motivate a Christian to live obediently to all Christ’s commandments:

  • 1 Timothy 6:13-15 – “I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about at the proper time…”

16. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will constrain true believers to preach the Word of God or to submit our lives under the faithful preaching of His Word:

  • 2 Timothy 4:1-2 – “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word;”

17. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will cause a Christian to anticipate the day of judgment, not fear it, for he/she will love and be loved by the One Who will be appearing to Judge!

  • 2 Timothy 4:8 – “in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

18. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will prevent Christians from grumbling against other brothers and sisters in Christ:

  • James 5:7-9  – ”Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.”

19. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will clear the Christian’s mind, produce self-control, and flood our souls with hope in God:

  • 1 Peter 1:13 – “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

20. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will sustain God’s child to remain faithful to Him in times of suffering for Christ’s Name:

  • 1 Peter 4:13 – “but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.”

21. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will compel the Christian to praise God for His redemptive patience in delaying the return of Christ:

  • 2 Peter 3:8-9 – “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

22. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will motivate real believers to continue to abide in Christ now and persevere in the faith to the end:

  • 1 John 2:28 – “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.”

23. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will enable Christians to live a life of Christlike purity:

  • 1 John 3:2-3 – “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

24. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will maintain solidly biblical confidence that God loves you:

  • Jude 1:21–21 – “keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.”

25. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will motivate believers to want to live in such a way that you will receive the crown of righteousness upon His appearing:

  • Revelation 3:11 – “I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”

26. Meditating on Christ’s second coming will make you long for, and pray for, His return!

  • Revelation 22:20 – “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

By Jordan Thomas


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