I am not a big fan of “church signs.” I put that in quotations because of course I don’t have a problem with signs that inform people of church services or church locations etc. What I do have a problem with is the trivializing of serious biblical truths that can be found on church billboard such as “Hell is hot, come on in we are prayer-conditioned.” Despite my disdain for some of the sillier signs, every once in a while, I will come across one that I really like, this happened to me recently on the way home from running. The sign that I saw said this, “COMING SOON: Jesus!” I read that and I thought, “YES, my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ is coming again and he is going to raise me up to be with Him forever!”
Are you excited about the Lord’s return? This is how the Bible ends:
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. (Revelation 22:20-21).
When John received the promise and vision of Christ’s glorious return to finally and fully redeem his children, he got excited. He said, “Amen” which literally means “truly” or in more modern terms, “YES!” “Come, Lord Jesus!” Paul was excited about it too, when Paul wrote the Philippians, he was in prison and wasn’t sure if and when he would be executed, he said, “If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which shall I choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:22-23). In other words, Paul is saying, if I got what I wanted, I would go to be with Christ. Paul is saying here, “I want to be with Jesus, I long to be with Him for eternity!” If you read on, Paul admits that it seems that God has more ministry in mind for Paul (thus he indeed live on in the flesh) and he submits himself to God’s will in that regard—there is no morbid longing to die in Paul, just a longing to be with Christ in a fuller way than he currently is.
This is a great question to ask yourself to gauge where you are spiritually—“do you long for Jesus to return?” If not, what is keeping you from longing for that? What is it that you want in this life that is keeping you from longing for Christ? What do you want to experience this side of eternity that is keeping you from longing for Christ supremely?
When I was in high school and newly converted, I started dating a girl (neither of us were mature enough in our faith to be dating but that is another story) who from time to time would make comments like, “I hope Christ doesn’t come back before I have the opportunity to get married and have a family.” At the time I suppose I sympathized with the sentiment, but I was also devouring the Bible at the time and Paul’s words, to “be with Christ is far better” seemed to contradict her sentiments. So from time to time, I ask myself—is there anything keeping me from longing for Jesus to come back? Are there things I think I would miss if Jesus came back now? Those questions have helped me to identify idols in my life that are keeping me from delighting supremely in Christ.
If your heart’s desire is not, “come Lord Jesus,” why not? Answering that question could be key in removing tremendous road blocks to growth in your walk with Christ.