“He went on to say to His disciples, ‘The days are coming when you are going to be desperately homesick for just one glimpse of one of the days of the Son of Man, and you won’t see a thing. And they’ll say to you, ‘Look over there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Don’t fall for any of that nonsense. The arrival of the Son of Man is not something you go out to see. He simply comes,’” Luke 17:22-24.

Jesus warned His disciples time and again that bad times were coming because His people had refused to receive Him. He wept over Jerusalem because of the people’s insensitivity to their opportunity. Because they had rejected their Messiah, the Roman army would come and raze Jerusalem to the ground, demolish their temple to a pile of rubble and kill their people until their blood ran like a river in the streets.

Like a thief in the night, Jesus appeared on the human scene, unexpected and unannounced except to the few who were looking for Him. Even His words and His works did not convince them and they killed Him as a fake. How they would long to turn the clock back when Rome finally took revenge for their rebellion against their overlords! They had foolishly called down His blood on their own heads, not realising that their own mouths had sealed their doom.

Jesus made it clear that He was no phenomenon to be viewed as an object of curiosity or interest. When He came the first time, He came quietly. No-one heard the angelic announcement except a few humble shepherds on a hillside outside Bethlehem. He simply came. Those who visited Him were invited by the Father Himself. The rest were unaware that Messiah had made His appearance in human form.

Even when He comes to dwell in the spirit of a human being, He comes quietly. Jesus assured Nicodemus that the work of the Spirit is like the wind. You cannot see the wind but you can see and feel its effects. So it is with the Spirit of God. When He comes as Jesus’ personal representative on earth, to take up residence in a human heart, the effects of His coming are real as the new believer is rescued from the dominion of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of light.

His return will not be a phenomenon to be observed, but a sudden, visible and earth-encircling flash, like a flash of lightning which lights up the sky from east to west. His return heralds instantaneous changes, not like the ideas conjured up by the imagination of movie writers and producers. As much as they are intrigued by the concept of “the end of the world”, they all, strangely enough, ignore its association with the one who created it in the first place.

Nuclear war, heavenly bodies crashing into the earth, massive volcanic eruptions and earthquakes line up to take responsibility for the final demise of our planet, but God is omitted in the mix. However, the Bible tells us that He will destroy all evil by the word of His mouth and make all things new. This makes sense since it was His word that brought forth the world in which we live.

It is not God’s plan to destroy the planet which He created to be the perfect home for man. Just as He did with the flood, He will destroy all the wickedness on it, and restore it to its former perfection to be the dwelling place of all those who have responded to His invitation to join His family through faith in his Son.

“Then I saw a new (renewed) heaven and a new (renewed) earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea….And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them…’  He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!'” Revelation 21:1-5 (NIV).

He did not say, “I am making all new things,” but “everything new”. When God renews all things, He comes full circle, completing what He started and perfecting forever His family of men and women who have been recreated in the image of His Son. When Jesus returns, He will simply come and that’s it, forever.

The time to decide is now…

Luella Campbell

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