Expect Jesus's Return 100%
There's no doubt about it. Jesus is coming back. Hooray! How are you feeling about his return? This episode covers what Revelation scholars, pastors, and other Christian leaders are saying about it. It also (of course!) digs into what the Bible says and how Jesus says to prepare (e.g. Matthew 7:21-23) May we enjoying living for him now. Then whenever he comes, we'll be ready and excited. We’ll just have been speaking to him. We’ll know his voice, his character, his presence… we’ll run up and eagerly greet him because finally, finally we get to be together. Forever.
Chapter 8: Expect Jesus's Return 100%
*Listen to the chapter on You Are You Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.*
What’s your first thought when you wake up in the morning? Is it what you’re going to eat for breakfast, your to do list, or maybe how a social media post is performing? You’re not alone if your first thought isn’t about God. But there’s something so wonderful about prioritizing God from the moment we wake up. Not thinking about Jesus first thing doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t love him or aren’t doing our best to serve him. But for me, it’s an indication that my life may be getting out of order. Because really, what meal, earthly task, or Instagram post is more important than worshipping God? They should never take first place in my life. I want to start my mornings with a “Hello, God!”
We must not live for ourselves but live for Christ because there’s no doubt about it — God’s plan is for Jesus to come back soon.
“Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. (Revelation 22:12)
He’s told us he’s coming back soon for ages but many pastors and Bible scholars believe we may be in the last generation. Mike Bickle, Founder of the International House of Prayer, says:
“Jesus said that no one knows the day or the hour of His return. However, I believe that the Church in the generation of His return will know that they are in the final generation of natural history … I do not know if the final events will begin in five years or fifty years. My guess is that it will be closer to fifty years than five years.”
As well, Lifeway Research, an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, released a report in 2020 that said:
Almost 9 in 10 pastors see at least some current events matching those Jesus said would occur shortly before he returns to Earth.
This includes the rise of false prophets and false teachings, love of many believers growing cold, and traditional morals becoming less accepted.
As well, the survey reported 56% of pastors surveyed expect Jesus to return in their lifetime — and 89% of evangelical and historically black church pastors say that communicating the urgency of Christ’s return is important.
We Will See Jesus Face to Face
How do you feel about Jesus’s return? To be honest, for most of my life I didn’t really think about it. When it would be brought up during sermons or small groups, there might be a tinge of nervousness — a reminder that I needed to confess and repent of some sin. But I wouldn’t say I was excited…! But after truly falling in love with Jesus 100%, I realized the error of my previous ways.
I completely get and want what Paul said:
“For me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better” (Philippians 1:21).
Let’s learn from Paul and get ready for Jesus’s return by living for him! Life is so much more fun when our goals aren’t just our goals but his. When we work to the best of our ability and ask him for more strength (Philippians 4:13) because we know we’re working for his Kingdom in line with his will.
Then whether Jesus comes in 5, 50 or 500 years, we’ll be ready. We’ll just have been speaking to him. We’ll know his voice, his character, his presence… we’ll run up and eagerly greet him because finally, finally we get to see him face to face.
Be Ready and Expectant
The more we delay in repenting of our sins, the more we miss out on the rights Jesus died for us to have. Let’s remember: God is not a meanie trying to ruin our fun or keep us from reaching our dreams. He is pure love and wants the absolute best for us!
The ungodly habits we haven’t dealt with, the people we haven’t forgiven, the things God’s told us to do but we haven’t done… let’s confess them to our Lord and choose his better way… today! The enemy would like nothing more for us to delay in obeying — overly focusing on our problems or being in the dark about how much freer we would be if we repented of our sin.
In Matthew, Jesus himself warns that,
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
I pray we always see the Bible as a great gift — literally a manual of how to live for God — read it often and pray for God’s help to understand and live it out. I pray we become effective warriors for God’s kingdom and show others his better way.
Get Excited for Jesus’s Return
In Matthew, Jesus himself teaches us that his return will be sudden and we must be ready at any time. What does preparing look like? Chapters 24 and 25 contain a lot of information on this. This includes teachings that we must:
endure to the end (24:13)
keep watch (24:47; 25:13)
faithfully steward the responsibilities God’s given us (25:14-30)
care for others (25:36)
Revelation is another book that helps us get excited for Jesus’s return. Did you know some call the book ‘ Revelation from Jesus Christ’ because of Revelation 1:1? Gives new meaning to the book, doesn’t it?
This is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to his servant John, (Revelation 1:1)
Last year, I felt God ask me to study Revelation and so I read it along with Mike Bickle’s Book of Revelation Study Guide. Now if you’ve ever tried reading Revelation, it probably left you (or at least it did me) with a lot of questions. In my words, it’s bold and dramatic (in a good way!); it’s full of warnings, promises, and hope. But most of all, it’s about Jesus. Mike Bickle says,
“Revelation is first and foremost about the unveiling of Jesus as a prophet, priest and king at the beginning of the book, and then as bridegroom, king and judge at the end.”
The Study Guide helped me understand that some believe when Jesus returns, he doesn’t bring an end to this world but to this age.
In the age to come, Jesus will govern the nations and his glory and love will fill the whole earth. As well, we will rule with Jesus and we will be judged and rewarded according to what we have done (Revelation 20). However there are many different views.
Nicky Gumbel, Vicar of HTB Church in London and founder of the Alpha course, explains,
[Revelation 20:1-15] is a notoriously difficult passage in the book of Revelation. Many books, commentaries and novels have been written about millennialism and when ‘the rapture’ will take place.
Not surprising perhaps. Job says, “Can you solve the mysteries of God? Can you discover everything about the Almighty? Such knowledge is higher than the heavens— and who are you? It is deeper than the underworld — what do you know?”
Some things in the Bible are very difficult to understand. Other things a re very obvious. But that Jesus will return and that he calls us to be ready at any time is very clear. Exactly what will happen when he does and what our roles will be may be less obvious. To me, it’s not necessary to understand what my role will be or to chase a certain role. I pray for me and you that we’ll live life close to Jesus everyday because… we can!
We’re part of God’s family. Let’s help each other love God with all we are and passionately share the gospel. Jesus died for our sins and he is coming back. Let’s share the good news.
It’s essential to keep God’s laws (Matthew 7:23)
We’re called to expect Jesus’s return at anytime (Matthew 24-25)
Revelation unveils Jesus as a prophet, priest and king at the beginning of the book and bridegroom, king and judge at the end (Mike Bickle)
Let’s passionately share the Good News — the gospel and the fact that Jesus is coming back.
God, help me not to keep anything from you.
God, help me to obey ALL of your laws.
God, give me courage and wisdom to share your good news.
God, help me to be so excited and ready for Jesus’s return.