Current Articles

Coffee, Christ’s Coming, and a Sip of Comfort

The other evening my wife and I were enjoying a quiet conversation together. We were sipping some fresh-perked coffee, the house was unusually still, and we had no plans to go anywhere that evening. You of those priceless moments that you wish you could wrap up and reserve for later use when it’s really needed.

For some reason our discussion turned to the subject of Christ’s return, and out of the blue, I found myself thinking about it more than I had for months. Cynthia and I chuckled at some comments we’d made about letting the folks in the Tribulation worry with the hassles that we had to handle then—like cleaning out our garage or landscaping the backyard! We also smiled together, contemplating the joys of sharing our lives throughout eternity with family and friends in the body of Christ.

For the balance of that evening, I kept returning to the thought, He is coming back. What a difference it will make! It is remarkable, when you stop and think about the many things we take for granted that will suddenly be removed or changed drastically. Think about that.

Is it a waste to focus on the Lord’s coming? Quite the contrary. It’s biblical; it’s the very thing Titus 2:13 says we ought to do:

Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. (NASB1995)

When was the last time you—on your own—meditated on that fact? If you’re like me it’s been too long.

People who are more practical than mystical, who are more realistic than idealistic, tend to only dwell on that stuff during times like funerals or near-death experiences. Most of us are here-and-now thinkers more than then-and-there thinkers. But Scripture says we are to “comfort one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18) with information about Jesus’ return for us. It says these truths form the very foundation of a “steadfast, immovable, always abounding” lifestyle (1 Corinthians 15:50–58).

Listen, this Bible of ours is full and running over with promises and encouragements directly related to the return of our Lord Christ. I just checked. It’s not just hinted at; it’s highlighted. It’s an obvious theme of New Testament truth. You can’t read very far without stumbling upon it, no matter which book you choose. In the New Testament alone the events related to Christ’s coming are mentioned over 300 times.

Critics have denied it.

Cynics have laughed at it.

Scholars have ignored it.

Liberal theologians have explained it away (they call that “rethinking”), and fanatics have perverted it. Many will shout sarcastically, “Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Peter 3:4). The return of our Saviour will continue to be attacked, misused, and denied. But there it stands, solid as a stone, soon to be fulfilled, ready to offer us hope and encouragement amidst despair and unbelief.

“OK, swell. But what do I do in the meantime?” I can hear a dozen or more pragmatists asking that question right now. First, it might be best for you to understand what you don’t do. You don’t sit around, listening for some trumpet blast. You don’t keep staring up into the sky, looking for the “rapture cloud.” You don’t whip up a white robe and buy a helium-filled balloon with angels painted all over it. And for goodness sake, you don’t try to set the date because of “the signs of the times”!

You do get your act together. You do live every day—as if it’s your last—for His glory. You do work diligently on your job and in your home—as if He isn’t coming for another 10 years—for His Name’s sake. You do shake salt out every chance you get...and you do shine the light...and remain balanced, cheerful, winsome, and stable, anticipating His return day by day.

And most importantly: “Comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). Has the weight of the world crushed your spirit? Take comfort. Be encouraged. The Lord is coming soon.