Maranatha!

Norbert Lieth

Charles Spurgeon once put it this way: “And even if the night has never seemed so dark, the morning comes! [. . .] Do you know what it means to live looking to the future with expectancy—to anticipate heaven?”

Every Christian has the living hope to one day be taken up into heaven, raised to new life. Even in the darkest days, he can live in this divine assurance. His life can and should be shaped at all times by the anticipation of this precious glory.

One example: If we’ve invited guests and my wife prepares a special dinner, she sometimes let me sample what she has prepared. This foretaste increases my anticipation of the time the guests will arrive and this good meal be served.

God, our Father, has given us a “pledge” in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, like a foretaste of the glory that awaits us. As the Apostle Paul writes: “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Eph 1:13-14).

When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about the resurrection and the Rapture, he ended his discussion of the topic with these two sentences: “And so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess 4:17-18).

The certainty of being with the Lord all the time is a great comfort. There is no greater thing on earth. “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee” (Psalm 73:25).

But where has this encouragement persisted in the Church of Jesus? Is it still a theme? Is it still spoken of, prayed for? Or does the issue of the Rapture simply remain at the periphery of our churches, if anywhere at all?

Jesus Christ won this blessed hope for us through His death and resurrection. It is Calvary’s triumph: “I will that they also [. . .] be with me where I am.” We “may behold [His] glory” (John 17:24).

The purpose of our emphasis on the Rapture isn’t to argue about different perspectives and interpretations, but to uphold our unerring hope, the unrivaled achievement of Jesus. God’s glorious plan of salvation, which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ accomplished, should be put on a lampstand.

Rejoice in the appearance of the Lord with us. Be encouraged again and take solace in the fact that Jesus is coming again!

Maranatha, our Lord, come!

Midnight Call - 04/2019

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