If I text my friend and tell them I’ll come over soon, I’m expressing that I will leave in five minutes or so. For some of my friends, however, leaving “soon” is more like in 30 minutes after a shower and a snack. “Soon” doesn’t have an exact timestamp to it, but we know one thing for sure: it’s not far away. Examine your heart and your day-to-day practices. Are you living as if Jesus is coming soon?
Three times in today’s reading, Jesus says He is coming soon. This promise is not meant to call us to pre-emptively determine the exact day of the Second Coming. Scripture tells us that He is coming “at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44) and that no one, neither angels nor the Son, knows when that will be besides the Father (Matthew 24:36). Rather, this promise is a call to readiness and watchfulness.
“Soon” may not be in our lifetimes, but we should most certainly live as though it will be. The thought that Jesus’ return may happen at any minute calls us into action. We love those who are unlovable. We give to the needy. We show grace to the sinful. We live lives full of compassion and understanding. We share the gospel of Jesus Christ with our neighbors. We do this not for our own benefit, but to point to the One Who is coming quickly. If our time is short, the time to act is now. Now is the time to evangelize, to show others the hope we have in Jesus. Now is the time to encourage others to “wash their robes” of all sinfulness so they can join us in God’s presence forever (Revelation 22:14).
It is my prayer that during this Christmas season, you have not only looked backward to Christ’s first coming, but that you have also remembered the hope we have in His future coming. As we celebrate the humble coming of Christ down to the little town of Bethlehem, let us eagerly anticipate the day of glory when He will return again. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Note: Allison McSwain serves as a Student Ministry Intern. She is also a student at Beeson Divinity School.
Revelation 22:6-21 (ESV):
6 And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”
7 “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, 9 but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”
10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”
12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.