Last week I released a
free download of the hymn “Blessed Assurance along with some thoughts about the lyrics. Here are a few more thoughts on the song…

My pastor recently joked about a bumper sticker that said “Jesus is coming…look busy!” Iron & Wine said “if Christ came back he would find us in a poker game.” And Joe Dirt’s mom used the return of Christ to scare her son out of spending too much time in the bathroom. It’s fairly clear that culture doesn’t have a high view of Christ’s return.

But do you?

How will you feel if Jesus returns during your lifetime? What is the feeling in your gut when you read that sentence? Does that make you feel anxious, or relieved? I’ve found that our perspective on the return of Christ is a good barometer for our spiritual state. People who eagerly await the return of Christ are usually at peace with God. Those who feel anxiety about his second coming are usually spiritually restless and uneasy.

Do look forward to his coming? Like the hymn-writer are you “watching and waiting, looking above”? If we’re really honest with ourselves, I think a lot of Christians could answer “no.” When I was younger, I hated the idea of Jesus returning. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to go to heaven and all. I just wasn’t in any rush to get there. Life was good. I was busy running Power Wheels off bike ramps and sneaking around to watch the second Batman movie. I didn’t really want Jesus interfering, you know?

Maybe that’s how you feel. I admit I do sometimes. This life can be pretty good. We’ve all had those moments where we grasp so tightly to this life that we don’t want Jesus interrupting. I don’t think that makes us the devil. I think that just reveals that we just don’t know him as well as we could or should. Because if we really knew Jesus, and understood what he was offering, I think we’d be begging him to return.

The early Christians were desperate for Jesus to return. These were people that knew Jesus personally. They had seen his power directly through his miracles. Many of them had met him and heard him speak. After Christ’s ascension many of his followers were being persecuted by the Romans. As an exiled prisoner, the apostle John closed Revelation with the cry “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!” When we read the letters in the New Testament, it’s safe to say that the apostles had an eager expectation of Christ’s return. Have we lost that sense of desperation?

When I was a kid we sang an old waltz hymn at church called “Jesus Is Coming Again.” I can still hear the voices swaying to the rhythm and echoing off the wood-panel vaulted ceilings: “Co-ming again! Co-ming again! Maybe morning, maybe noon, maybe evening, maybe soon…”

I hate to sound like a hokey backwoods billboard, but…“Jesus is coming!” How does that make you feel?

Be honest with yourself- if Jesus returned right now, how would you feel about that? Feel free to post honest answers in the comments…


Comments (2)
  1. Andy J. Miller December 18, 2012 at 4:24 am

    I would like to add one thing.

    I agree with most of what you say, all of it really, but just one minor thing to add.

    As a man living in 2012, I can honestly say I want him to come back ASAP and my main motive is to stop the suffering in the world.

    On the other hand, there is an anxiety of doubt or maybe just curiosity that I’m not sure will ever be fully quenched. The fear of the unknown. The story of God in The Bible seems to always be the same, he shows up and ‘his people’ are surprised by what he does and says.

    Is there any way to be sure you aren’t going to be surprised by some element of this return? No way. Not to mention that every encounter with God or angels showing up in The Bible are met with fear. So I think some amount of anxiety will remain no matter what. If God popped up in my house right now I would be frightened!

  2. Mike December 24, 2012 at 7:29 am

    I have to say when I asked myself that question I certainly felt a certain amount of anxiety. Be it, that if Jesus did return that would mean he was real. This story of Christianity, God, Jesus, and everything our culture believes in, would be true. Being that I am agnostic and very rational in my way of thinking, well, lets just say that my agnosticism doesn’t put much faith in the Bible, no offense. Though, I must admit that I cannot certainly rule it out completely, because honestly, I don’t know- nobody does.

    I can certainly say that I hope for his return, who wouldn’t? Who doesn’t want to go to heaven? I mean, you’d have to be crazy to not want to go to heaven, right?

    I do know the power of science for it affects our daily lives in everything we do. The binary math by which our computers, compute. Science is everywhere. People use it on a daily basis to literally cheat death. What if our level of science were to be sophisticated enough to where through genetic manipulation we wouldn’t age, we wouldn’t get cancer or diseases, we would in theory be immortal (so long as our physical bodies didn’t incur any sudden trauma). While that sounds like science-fiction now, it certainly could become science-reality in the future. We can see how interstellar travel could allow us to explore, find, and colonize a planet. Add genetic manipulation to that and one could theoretically create a “species” on said planet in whatever manner or form they so desired only limited by their knowledge and ability of genetic manipulation. As humans we aren’t very far from finding the scientific fountain of youth or deep space travel. Science is a powerful tool indeed. Quite possibly powerful enough for us humans to one day create a species which could call us “God”.

    I don’t know if that’s what has happened here, to us, but it certainly seems plausible.

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