[This is the twentieth post about the Blessed Hope–the return of Jesus Christ (Endurance)]
Who can forget the sweeping saga of the Old South, Gone with the Wind? Or the memorable character, Mammy, who often got the best of Scarlett O’Hara when the two had a battle of wills? When Scarlett defied her instructions, Mammy scolded, “I done told you and told you!”
Mammy’s words make me laugh, but sometimes I wonder if God doesn’t feel this way about us. So many things He has told us–over and over.
Prophecy in the Bible lets us know what God is going to do ahead of time. His grace-filled assurances keep us from being taken by surprise or unprepared for things that are about to happen. He gives us peace when everything around us is chaos.
The prophets of the Old Testament gave sign after sign to the Hebrew people, telling them of things to watch for as they looked for Messiah. They understood Messiah as a King who would be sent by God to save them. They had foreknowledge of His coming, but most didn’t recognize His visitation.
Christians believe Jesus is the fulfillment of the expected King. We are looking, not for the first appearance of Messiah, but for the next appearance of Jesus Christ. We have foreknowledge of His coming. How important is it that we don’t miss the signs of His imminent return?
When the wait seems long, questions arise in our hearts. Which signs should we look for? Do we search the skies for an eclipse? How about the alignment of the stars? Which end-times commotion should we ignore?
It is good to remember that even the forerunner of Christ, John the Baptist, needed reassurance.
John baptized Jesus and witnessed the Holy Spirit descending upon Him as a dove. John was present when a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17, nkjv).
Yet from his lonely, dark confinement in prison, John apparently did some soul-searching. Had he gotten it all wrong?
Even after witnessing the dove and hearing a voice from heaven, John still longed for reassurance. He sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3, nkjv).
If John the Baptist needed assurance of God’s word concerning Messiah, we are in good company when we have questions about His next coming.
We can guard against end times panic by checking our Bibles for truth and relying on the Holy Spirit to alert our hearts.
When we are forgetful of God’s faithfulness and truth, He doesn’t scold us. Even though He has already told us of Jesus’s coming, He will remind us again. He is gracious and kind, guiding and reassuring us through His Spirit.