“Just wait till your father gets home!”
That statement has struck fear in the hearts of many kids through the years. What inevitably follows that statement are hours of anxiety, fear and nervousness as the minutes tick slowly by until the fateful hour when Dad’s shadow darkens the door of the house. And really, the feeling of dread is usually completely called for because, let’s face it, most of the time the punishment that’s coming is rightly deserved… and we know it!
Unfortunately, a lot of believers subconsciously carry the same sense of dread from childhood forward into our adult years, allowing it to skew our expectations of our Heavenly Father.
Even though scripture clearly tells us that “all have sinned” (Rom 3:23) and that the punishment for falling short of God’s perfect standard is death (Rom 6:23), we must always hold fast to the truth that once we truly express faith in Jesus, the same scriptures give us the joyous promise of our new and eternally established standing with God.
He has rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin.” (Col. 1:13-14)
However, cancelling our debt of sin isn’t the only thing that happened. We’ve also been adopted into the family of God, (Gal 3:26) and are now “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom 8:17).
But even with the multitude of wonderful assurances we have about God’s complete love and acceptance of those who follow Jesus, passages like 2 Peter 3:10 and 1 Thessalonians 5:2 still strike fear in the hearts of many Christians. Memories of wrongdoing and feelings of guilt make us wonder what might be waiting for us when we stand before Jesus at the doorway of eternity.
However, Titus 2:13 clearly says that instead of inspiring fear, the return of Christ should be our “blessed hope” …a day to which we should all look forward to! For it won’t bring judgment and condemnation to believers in Christ; it will bring the long desired completion of the work that God began at the cross.
Most of us have heard a pastor or teacher quote Hebrews 9:27 which says “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,” but few go on to read the following verses that give us the foundation of our hope. Verse 28 reminds us that Christ “will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
This is the promise we eagerly await! The work that Jesus began on the cross which saves us from sin will be completed at His second coming by delivering us from the wrath of God and granting us rest in His eternal kingdom.
So many things we hear in the news these days lead many to wonder if the hour of the Lord’s return is at hand. But take comfort from the Word of God that this coming (whenever it is) shouldn’t be an occasion for fear, but for celebration! For we know in Whom our hope rests, that He is faithful and true (Rev. 19:11) and, most of all, that He loves us!
So as children of God, let us not shrink away from the arrival of our Father, but say, with the same anticipation as the Apostle John, “Amen! Come Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20).