I am not going to speculate that Jesus might be coming back at 11:59 P.M. on December 31, 1999. It’s not that it couldn’t happen, but I am afraid that at least one person would be certain it were true. Since no one knows the day or the hour, that would be the time that He won’t come! (Actually, I don’t believe His return can be prevented by arrogant predictions or anything else!) The truth is, I believe He could come before you finish reading this article! Are you ready?
While no one knows the hour of His coming, those whose hearts are attuned to His know that it must be soon. So it behooves us to examine our hearts and see whether or not that Blessed Hope is the object of our deepest longing and fondest affection. That’s what Yeshua (Jesus) wants to see when He returns—a bride who is eagerly anticipating Him.
Usually when we think of weddings, we imagine the groom standing at the altar waiting for his bride to come down the aisle. But imagine it the other way around. You are at a big, beautiful wedding. The bride is lovely beyond comparison, wearing a dress fit for a queen, waiting at the altar for her husband-to-be. The music starts to play, signaling that the groom is just outside the door, ready to make his entrance. Suddenly the bride turns aside, sits down on the steps of the altar, takes off her shoes and loudly announces that her feet have been killing her all this time. Ridiculous? Absurd? Unthinkable? Maybe, but every now and then, when it comes to Christ’s return, don’t you feel like that bride? Instead of looking with anticipation for His appearing, don’t we sometimes get caught up in our poor aching feet or some other painful distraction?
Brothers and sisters, we have much to look forward to. What will keep us on our feet, alert and awaiting our Messiah? Remembering who He is and what He will do when He comes! Take a moment with me to imagine the blessings in store for us. Think about justice. Real justice. When Yeshua returns, …He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth…” (Isaiah 11:3-4). If you have been reading the Jews for Jesus Newsletter over the past several months, you know that for the past year we have been battling in the courts. Someone had stolen our name to use on his Internet web site, a site totally opposed to everything we stand for. Even though the judge gave a preliminary ruling in our favor, as I write this, the case is still not resolved. These days, when you face a legal problem you hire a lawyer, go to court and hope that your lawyer is better than the opposing counsel so that he can persuade the judge to side with you. But when Christ returns, He will transform the legal system. You will go to the Judge to find out what is right, not to find out if He’ll side with you. His justice will be perfect and righteous. How often do people say, “That’s not fair”? Forget it! That statement will be unheard of when Christ returns. Righteous justice will be applied evenly and swiftly by our coming King. All the frustration we feel about legal loopholes and people getting away with murder (among other things) will vanish, because Jesus will judge fairly and perfectly, and the world will be as it should be.
Think about an end to fear. When Yeshua returns, there will be no more cause for alarm. “But everyone shall sit under His vine and under His fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken” (Micah 4:4). How often are we gripped by fear? You are walking down the street on a dark night. The streetlights are out. You hear footsteps behind you and you find that knot in your stomach. Fear. Your child went to play at a neighbor’s house and hasn’t returned home on time. You call the neighbor and already there is a note of concern, an edge of panic in your voice. Some of our fears are based on genuinely threatening circumstances, others are merely a product of living in a society where evil is tolerated and even enjoyed by many. But when Christ returns, even the little indignities of life that cause us to be fearful will vanish in the wake of the perfect peace that Christ will bring. Think about an end to all disease, suffering and pain. When Yeshua returns, these things will be no more. In the past few years, our ministry has seen an increase in suffering. A few months ago our founder, Moishe Rosen, was hospitalized for a life-threatening infection in his blood. While he is home now and much improved, as I write he is still unable to carry out his regular ministry schedule. Several of our staff families face cancer, serious operations, perplexing diseases and in some cases, chronic pain. And I regularly hear from our Jews for Jesus supporters of similar trials they face. Do I believe the Lord is still in the healing business today? Yes I do, and I pray for healing, believing that some will be supernaturally spared. But I also believe that pain and suffering will continue to be part of this life until Christ returns as our healer to bring an end to all such suffering. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Space does not allow me to continue pointing out the wonders that Jesus will perform when He returns. But you know where to look to remind yourself and meditate on these truths.
Whereas the Bible is clear and all Christians can agree that Christ will return, a great deal of disagreement remains between Christians on other details of His return. In fact, there is debate on a whole range of theological issues among believers and non-believers alike. But when Yeshua returns, all such debates will cease. There will be no more wondering or arguing over who is right or who is wrong. We will all know the truth, “…For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). Imagine, Jews for Jesus will no longer be out on the streets handing out our broadsides! We will no longer be visiting the unsaved in their homes or taking out gospel ads in newspapers and magazines because, “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me…” (Jeremiah 31:34). But while the Lord tarries, we find ourselves motivated by that vision of the future to continue the work for which He has called us.
I believe the return of Christ is a compelling message, and not only for believers. Yes, the future holds judgment, but it also holds great promises for those who believe. We have a message of hope and joy to share with the whole world. God can use that message mightily to bring unbelievers to faith. That is why later this year, Jews for Jesus will be publishing a book on end-times prophecy and the return of Messiah. This new book will be geared toward the unsaved, and we intend to take out full-page gospel ads offering it free of charge to all unbelievers who respond. With all the talk of the Y2K problem as well as the prospect of a new millennium, many people’s hearts and minds are focused on future things. What an opportunity for us to demonstrate the hope we have in Christ and the assurance of a wonderful future in Him. Please pray with us as we prepare this book and strategize this evangelistic project.
More than that, let’s rekindle in our own hearts that great hope we have in Christ and His coming. Can’t you hear the musical strains that let us know our groom is just outside the door? Now is not the time to sit down at the altar and talk about our poor aching feet. Let’s stand together, our eyes shining with anticipation, as a bride awaiting the love of her life. May we ever watch for His appearing, longing to see Him and living our lives in such a way as to please Him on that glorious day. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!