Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with promises of the Second Coming. There are 1,845 references to it in the Old Testament. Of the 260 chapters in the New Testament, there are 318 references to the Second Coming—that's one in every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this event. For every prophecy on the 1st Coming of Christ, there are eight on Christ's 2nd Coming. We can only conclude that it must be a significant event in God's plan.
When is that event going to take place? There is only one thing you and I can be absolutely sure about when it comes to our Lord's return to this Earth in power and glory. Every morning we wake up brings us one day closer to that blessed event.
The Christians of the 1st century had as many questions about the Second Coming of our Lord as Christians of the 20th century. At the Church of Thessolonica, some of the Christians were worried about those believers who had already died. Would they have a part in the Second Coming and the resurrection? The Apostle Paul devotes most of the final paragraphs of his first letter to the Thessalonian Christians to the subject of the Second Coming. His thoughts on the matter give us hope and teach us how we are to live in light of our Lord’s return.
I Thessalonians 4:16-18 ”For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
1 Thessalonians 5:4-11
1 Co 15:57-58 "but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."
James 5:7 "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains."
2 Cor. 5:11, 20 ”Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men . . . Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us, we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
Heb. 10:25 "not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
The important question of the hour is not When is Jesus coming back? The question is, What do we do and how do we live while we are waiting? In the 1987 NCAA Regional Finals, LSU was leading Indiana by eight points with only a few minutes left in the game. As is often the case with a team in the lead, LSU began playing a different ball game. They became more conservative and less aggressive in their play.
The television announcer pointed out that the LSU players were beginning to watch the clock rather than wholeheartedly play the game. As a result of this shift in focus, Indiana closed the gap, won the game by one point, and eventually when on to become NCAA champions.
While Jesus called us to be aware of "the signs of the times," he clearly called us to expend our energies in faithful, active service. As we await Jesus' promised return, we are not so much to watch the clock as to be diligent servants during the time we have available.