The Imminent Return of Christ

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.

II Timothy 3:1

From my dear brother Jon’s commentary on this verse—

“Knowing his death was imminent, I believe Paul nonetheless thought the Rapture would happen either in his lifetime or shortly thereafter: So do I. I believe the Rapture will happen in my lifetime.

“Well,” you might say, “if Paul thought the Rapture would happen in his lifetime, and it didn’t—and if men of God throughout the ages have felt as though they were living in the last days and the Rapture would happen in their lifetimes, and it didn’t—doesn’t it seem foolish to think the Rapture will happen in your lifetime?”

Not at all. Throughout the history of the church, the greatest men and women of the faith have all lived their lives believing that the Lord’s coming was nigh. And even though the Lord didn’t come when they thought He would, looking for His return impacted their lives in such a way that they left their mark on history and will be rewarded greatly in eternity (II Tim. 4:8). Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Finney, Moody, Torrey all felt the Lord’s coming was close at hand. Put me in their company any day!

I choose to live my life looking for the Lord’s coming. And if I am wrong, even if He doesn’t come back for another five hundred years, I would rather go through the days I have left looking for the sudden appearing of Jesus Christ because I know the effect it has upon the life of any man or woman who believes He could come today: One’s heart does not get troubled as easily. One is not prone to sin readily. If you want to live a zealous, exciting, fulfilling, pure Christian life, live it looking for the Lord’s coming (I John 3:3).”

On this matter of time and the timing of God—Oswald Chambers comments:

“God’s dates are not man’s. God seems to pay no attention to our calendars; He has a calendar of His own in which He suddenly surprises a man in the midst of his days. Leave room for God. We expect God only on special days, in particular meetings; that is not God’s way. He comes suddenly, at midnight or at noonday.”

Jesus said:

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

This He says in conclusion of His parable of the Wise & Foolish Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13). In this parable, no one knew when the bridegroom was coming; but some were prepared and others were not. Some had oil in their lamps and some lamps had burned out for a lack of oil. The oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Since we don’t know when Jesus will return, we need to be filled and walking in guidance of the Spirit at all times—waiting and looking for Him.