Jesus is coming soon - 3 July 2023
By Ben Fourie
The believers, in the year that John wrote the book and maybe even some of the original followers of Jesus, have expected the second coming to take place in their own lifetime. What Jesus said here, in our verse for today, gives us some insight why they might have expected him soon – “I am coming soon!”. Paul also gives the impression that he expects the second coming quite soon. In 1 Thessalonians 4:17, we see: “… then we who are living (still alive) at that time will be gathered up along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”
People of this era looked at time in a different way than we do today. Present, past and future were seen differently and they would not think about the second coming as something in the far future, but rather as only a few years away. Enough time to spread the gospel of Christ, so that as many people as possible could be saved before the second coming, is probably how they looked at it. In the book of the Acts, we see they tried, with an almost fanatical fervour, to spread the gospel of Christ to the ends of the known world, as quickly as possible.
So when will it be? Nobody knows. The Bible only tells us that it will be unexpectedly, so we do not know anything more than that. What I do know is that, for me, the second coming will be as soon as the day that I die. After that, nothing can be changed.
In my sitting room, hangs a picture that Father Claerhout painted for me. It is a picture of the second coming and the predominant colours are blue and white. In this painting, Jesus is, naturally, the central figure with his hands spread out in blessing. In a half circle around him is a number of faces. If you look carefully, you will recognise one of the faces as that of Father Claerhout himself. When I visited him a few months later, I asked him if it was his face. “Absolutely,” he answered. “I also look forward to the coming of Christ.” What more do we need to know or say about the second coming but, I am looking forward to his coming and I am thankful that I will be part of the jubilant crowd.
Prayer: With all the believers throughout the centuries, we want to repeat the words that we have read in Revelation: “So be it. Come, Lord Jesus!” Thank you that we also know that the grace of the Lord is already with us. Amen