Happy New Year!
At the beginning of each new year, I always find myself experiencing a refreshed sense of yearning for the Lord's return. The prayer of my heart each New Year's Eve is, "Lord, let this be the year You will send Your Son for His Church!"
How about you? Do you ever find yourself yearning for the return of Jesus? Really yearning with all your heart? Yearning with a passion beyond words? Yearning like a lost man in the desert yearns for a sip of water?
I fear that most Christians have little, if any, desire for the Lord's return. It is a concept that has been shoved to the back of their consciousness — one they will claim to believe in, but one that has no impact on their daily living.
And this can be easily proved, for the fact of the matter is that if you truly believe in the return of Jesus, and if you believe this is an event that could occur any moment — as the Bible teaches — then you will be motivated to holy living and to evangelism. So, let me ask you: Are you making Jesus the Lord of every aspect of your life and are you sharing Him with as many people as possible?
Or, are you like most Christians — are you simply apathetic?
Which brings us to another crucial question: Why are so many professing Christians so apathetic about the Lord's return? For many, I'm sure it is due to ignorance. They simply have no idea what is going to happen when Jesus returns. Ignorance breeds apathy. You cannot get excited about an event you know nothing about.
But for others, if not most, I fear that the root of their apathy is that they are in love with the world. And that is very sad, for this world is corrupt to the core and is crying out for God's wrath. Furthermore, the Word of God specifically warns us about falling in love with this world:
"Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world." (1 John 2:15-16)
Think of it this way: When you love someone, you want to be with them. I love my wife, and when I have to be away from her, I call her daily, and I yearn to return to her.
I love Jesus. I love to fellowship with Him in prayer, in the Word, and in worship. But it is no substitute for being with Him. I want to dwell in His presence. I want to look into His eyes and tell Him how much I love Him. I want to kiss His nail-printed hands. I want to thank Him personally for going to the Cross for me.
And I want to see this corrupt and perverted world transformed under His rule. I yearn for a world flooded with peace, righteousness and justice.
One other thing. Did you know the Bible promises a special reward for those who live yearning for the Lord's return? In 2 Timothy 4:8 the Apostle Paul states that there is a "crown of righteousness" that will be awarded "to all who have loved His appearing."
Are you a candidate?