Religion column: Waiting on the promise of the Lord’s return

Published 10:39 am Monday, September 26, 2022

As a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I wholeheartedly believe the scriptures. I believe them to be the authentic, infallible, inerrant word of almighty God. I believe the biblical accounts of history. I believe in each of its promises as well as its prophesies. I once read there are over 8,000 promises in the Bible. I also read there are over 1,800 prophesies. I have not taken the time to count them all and suspect that I am not even bright enough to do so. However, regardless how many truths there are in the scriptures, past or future, I believe them all. The scriptures have a proven track record. Every prediction of scripture that has ever been given has come to past, to the minute detail.  Since the scriptures are batting a thousand, in terms of accuracy, doesn’t it stand to reason that its predictions for the future will be just as accurate?

When Jesus walked the earth, He maintained to His disciples that He would leave the earth for a time, go to heaven to prepare a dwelling place for His church, and then return to take the church to heaven. Paul described the return of the Lord as a catching away. Today, we simply call it, the Rapture.

Christ made that promise a long time ago, over 2,000 years ago in fact. Because His returned has not taken place yet many have given up hope of Christ ever returning. This is not surprising. Peter predicted as much. Peter said that in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” Every believer who embraces to the teaching of the Rapture has heard that argument; “We’ve heard that all our lives, and He still hasn’t returned.”

Don’t you think many of the Jews of Jesus’ day were ascribing to the same argument regarding the promised Messiah? Since the day Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, the Jews had been looking for the Redeemer. They had not been waiting for 2,000 years, but 4,000 years. In the days leading up to Jesus’s birth many were arguing, “I’ve heard Messiah is coming all my life, and he has not come yet.” But regardless of how long they waited and despite how many had lost heart, He came. He came on that blessed night in Bethlehem when Mary brought forth her first born son, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger. Messiah had finally come.

The same will be true on the day when Christ returns. Some will not be looking for Him because they never believed. Others will have given up hope. Some will be distracted by the things of this world. But ready or not, one day, very soon, “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout … the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive will be caught up (raptured) with them to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thessalonians 4:16) So, ready or not, here He comes!