Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
As we systematically study the New Testament, one is quick to see that the writers encourage and expect Believers, to anticipate the soon coming of the Lord for His church. Paul, above, reminds younger pastor Titus to be “looking” for His appearing. For very good reason the Holy Spirit exhorts us to be on watch for our Lord. Thinking the Lord may very well come back this day will likely affect everything I do. It will influence how I weigh decisions with resources, energy and time itself. It will influence how I talk, what I watch, where I go and that which I do.
Just as my decision to anticipate His return will have effect, so will a purposeful apathy or denial of His soon coming. It has been sad to observe so many in today’s church apathetic or even championing that the Lord is delaying His coming. This perspective is not found in the writings of the epistles and neither is it found in the words of Jesus Himself—
Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and heave them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. Luke 12:37
Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 24:44-51
Midway through the above words of Jesus he references the “evil servant.” The Greek word for “evil” refers to that which was once good but has gone bad—like a piece of fruit, or a musical instrument which once was in tune but is now out of tune. Jesus is presenting to us that the once-good servant became sour, or slipped out of tune, because he said, “The Master is delaying His coming.” Such a conclusion affects the body of Christ and the individual.
For the body of Christ there is a “beating of fellow servants.” I have seen this, perhaps you also–there is a harshness and cynicism which sets in towards the believers who are delighting and living in anticipation of a soon returning Lord. Secondly for the individual himself there is a carnality which often results– a let down of a life governed by the Word and Holy Spirit. Kind of a “The Lord isn’t due anytime soon so let’s party.” There is a telling story in Exodus 32 of what occurs when a people no longer actively look for the return of their leader.
I John 3:2-3 is tremendous counsel for us—
but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Above gives me great reason to say…