By Grant Phillips
Those of us who write of Jesus soon return have mentioned it so often I fear a great many people have stopped listening. Do you know that Jesus anticipated this? He said through one of His apostles, a man named Peter, the following:
“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4 NLT)
Aren’t we hearing almost exactly the same words today? Are not many saying something like, “Jesus is coming back? I’ve heard this all my life, and nothing has happened. The world has been here millions of years and it’ll be here millions more. If He hasn’t come in 2,000 years, He isn’t coming, so don’t talk to me about it.”
Since Jesus knew people would have this attitude, He explained why there would be a delay, at least in our minds. He said through Peter again,
“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:9 NLT)
Jesus is the God of second chances. He doesn’t want anyone to perish, so He is giving plenty of time for those who are willing to be saved from His wrath to come. Yes, that’s right. When He returns, it will be in judgment, but if you belong to Him, He will remove you from all danger before His wrath falls upon this world.
Very briefly this is what is coming:
1. Rapture: He will remove His bride, the Church, from the world first.
2. Tribulation: There will be seven years of God’s wrath upon the entire world.
3. Christ Coming: For the second time, He will come to earth, but this time to set up His kingdom.
4. Millennium: His kingdom will be for 1,000 years upon this earth.
5. Eternity: At the end of the 1,000 years He will judge all who have rejected Him and they will be sent to the Lake of Fire to spend eternity. He will provide a New Heaven and New Earth for all who are His and we will spend eternity with Him.
Now that is a very basic, bare-bones outline of the near future. Yes, it has been a long time since He told us that He will return. However, every prophecy He has given has come to pass (that would be a 100% accuracy rate), and all future prophecies will also come to pass. He doesn’t lie.
But back to the statement that Jesus is the God of second chances. If you still have breath in your body, you can make a decision right now to be on the side of Jesus, the Son of God. Otherwise, there is only certain judgement for your future.
Perhaps you are one of those who feel that you have failed so much Jesus would want nothing more to do with you. That just isn’t true.
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done in life, Jesus can fix it. Listen to His words in these verses.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
“And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 21:6)
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)
“Whosoever” will is you. Anyone who wants, may come to Jesus and be saved. What about an alcoholic, or a drug addict, or a prostitute you say? What about a church member, or a hard-working man, or a loving mother? Anyone who comes to Jesus can be saved. Your status in life, your accomplishments or failures, your wealth or lack of wealth don’t matter. Jesus takes us just the way we are and gives us His righteousness, wiping away all the stains of the past and present. He takes us where we are and makes us somebody, a child of God.
Maybe you’re afraid your friends will laugh at you. Jesus said,
“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38)
Only a fool would allow their friends to deprive them of the eternal joy of knowing Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. If you die without Him there is no hope. If He comes back today and you have never asked Him to save you, there is no hope.
Whether you believe it or not, Jesus has provided, to those who are willing to notice, signs of His soon return. The signs are all around us and increasing each day. When He came the first time, most ignored the signs. When He comes this second time, will the same be said of you? Will you ignore His warning?
Don’t put off what needs to be settled right now. The Lord is the God of second chances, but there will come a time when there is no second chance. We will either reign with Him or be judged by Him. Which will it be for you?