by Rex Rouis
It has been over 2,000 years since our Lord laid down His life for us and was raised again for our justification. Ever since that time His Church has been waiting for His return (I Thessalonians 4:15, 16, 17). That is when He will gather all true believers together and take them to Heaven for a little party time (Rev. 19:9) while all hell breaks loose on earth. However, in personal terms, the longest any one individual has ever had to wait is not 2,000 years but just one short lifetime. Everyone is only one life span away from meeting the Lord.
In terms of the span of eternity, even the longest living among us are but a mere flash of time away from being with the Lord. In that context, it is true that ‘He is coming soon, very soon.’ Our lives fly by so very fast. Our kids are grown before we know it, and we will stand before Him before we know it.
It may be interesting to note that the church’s perspective concerning the Lord’s return has changed significantly from the time when the New Testament was written. Now, we tend to look at His return as an escape from this world’s evil pressures. When He comes, we will be released from the traumas of this realm, and all the stress that accompanies the end of the age.
The early church was not so focused on the concept of escape but rather on the realization that when we are caught up to be with Him, we will have to stand before Him. This is when we all will give account of all that we did, and did not do, in this life. Each of us will receive an appraisal from God Himself on the performance of our individual walks (II Corinthians 5:10, I Corinthians 3:13, 14, 15). Within the context of Paul’s ‘fear of the Lord,’ (II Corinthians 5:11) this thought should give us pause to reflect on the status of our lives. The thought of the imminent coming of our Lord should bring both wild expectant joy and a somber self-appraisal. The Bible tells us that if one judges himself, he will not be judged (I Corinthians 11:31).
Some may have their lives prematurely cut short, and others may have the blessing of living very long lives, but no matter how long you live, eternity is still right around the corner. And remember, eternity is for eternity. Yogi Berra once said, “It isn’t over till it’s over.” Well, I say, “It’ll be over when it’s over.”