The Sure Word

Jonnie Hutchison, Green Plain church of Christ

Jesus promised, “I will come again” (John 14:1-3). The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the New Testament to tell us that the coming of Jesus will be like that of a thief in the night, at a time unannounced and unexpected (1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10). Those who have predicted the time of Christ’s return have failed with each prediction. No human knows when Christ will come again, but the certainty of His return is beyond dispute for those who believe the Bible.

Why is Christ coming again? He came the first time to die on the cross, shedding His precious blood for the sins of the world.  His death was no accident but a fulfillment of God’s plan for man’s salvation.  “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10).  His second coming has a different purpose. He will come to serve as the appointed judge of each and every person who has lived upon this earth. Acts 17:31 reads, “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” According to 2 Corinthians 5:10 we will each stand before the judgment seat of Christ to receive sentence for what we have done in this life, whether good or evil. Jesus gives us a picture of this coming judgment in Matthew 25:31ff. In this reading all nations will be gathered before the great Judge at His coming and separated into two groups represented as sheep (the saved) and goats (the lost). The Judge will address the saved in the words “come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Verse 34). Yet, the lost will hear the words, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Verse 41). The account ends with the words, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Verse 46).

Dear reader, you and I and every other person will be present on that day. As you think about the life you are now living, where would you be standing if Jesus came today – with the saved or the lost? We plead with you, do not delay but make the necessary preparation today so that you may look forward with confidence to the day when Christ comes again (1 John 4:17).

Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of the Murray Ledger & Times.

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