Surely I come quickly

Norbert Lieth

I am writing these lines during an extended mission trip through Germany. It is conspicuous to us that in many different places, we are constantly confronted with how important and necessary people find our magazine, since hardly any biblical prophecy is preached, and the coming of Jesus has become a peripheral theme. This does not make us at all proud; rather, we are sad about it, but it encourages us to fulfill our mission all the more.

The last testimony of Jesus in the Bible is, “Surely I come quickly.” And the last prayer in the Bible is the fitting response of the faithful to this statement: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev 22:20).

One of the final statements of the Apostle Paul, shortly before his death, was:

“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Tim 4:6-8).

Paul testified that his whole struggle of faith, all his work and effort was motivated by having the coming of Jesus in view; and he clearly wants us, like him, to also love the Lord’s appearing and work toward it.

One of the last testimonies of the Apostle Peter, also shortly before his death, reads:

“Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me…We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Pet 1:14, 19).

We therefore have two, even three witnesses which confirm the importance and urgency of Biblical prophecy, and which exhort us to be properly concerned with it (Mat 18:16; John 8:17). If God positions these statements in three such important places, then this must be very important to Him. It sounds like a legacy, like the last directive in a will.

We cannot calculate Jesus’ return, but we should always expect it. We are urged in the New Testament to be concerned with biblical prophecy, to love His appearing, to expect it, to watch for it, to pray for it, and to comfort ourselves with it. The doctrine of Jesus’ return must not fall short of all other important doctrines of the Bible.

We celebrate Easter, the death and resurrection of Jesus, as well as His Ascension. As surely as He ascended into heaven, so surely will He return (Acts 1:11). When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes (1 Cor 11:26).

Even in Revelation, the most prophetic book in the New Testament, the Lamb of God is presented to us almost 30 times. We are confronted with salvation through the Lamb that was slain, but also with the worship of the Lamb, the power of the Lamb, the wrath of the Lamb, the blood of the Lamb, the song of the Lamb, the throne of the Lamb, the victory of the Lamb, the marriage of the Lamb, and the Bride of the Lamb.

The first coming of Jesus as the Lamb of God and His act of salvation on Calvary cannot be separated from His glory and return. Just as we look back at His finished work to help us live victoriously, we should look to His future, for that is eternal life made visible.

In this spirit, we wish you a richly blessed Easter time.

Maranatha.

News From Israel - 04/2017

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