Today marks the close of 2015’s theme and as I reflected on my lesson’s I realized something: something very important to be mindful of when it comes to sharing Christ and His love. What is it? It has to do with a part of the gospel all too often neglected. It has to do with Christ’s return. After Jesus’s resurrection and just as He is taken up to heaven, we read these words in Acts 1:11, “This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even The angels in heaven, but My Father only. Matthew 24:36
In spite of what God clearly teaches, men have sought to predict the second coming of Christ. William Miller said Jesus would come between March 1843 and March 1844. Jehovah’s Witness predicted that in 1914 “the end of the time of trouble” would take place. (Zion’s Watch Tower 1894, July 15, pg. 226) Herbert Armstrong wrote in a booklet entitle “The Plain Truth,” that Jesus would return in 1936. Harold Camping said the end of the world would take place by October 21, 2011. So many saying He is coming! So many who have been wrong: and time simply goes on.
Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. 2nd Peter 3:4
The early church was only around 30 years old when the above words were written. This caused me to realize that even though trying to predict Jesus’s second coming is wrong, what is equally hazardous is becoming complacent about His return. Paul exhorts the church in Thessalonica saying, “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.” (1st Thessalonians 5:2) It is true that some 2000 years have passed and no Jesus. But the reason for this span of time is explained in 2nd Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” God is waiting for as many as possible to come to know His love displayed through His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
This brings me to my final thought of the year on this subject. The great commission found in Matthew 28:18-20, that calls His disciples to go and make disciples, is the means by which this good news is spread to a lost and dying world. Could it be, at least in part, that God is waiting on us, His church, to share Christ with others?