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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Photo of Second Coming artwork
This large piece of artwork is in the lobby of an office building in Springfield, Missouri.

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"Maranatha, The Lord Is Coming!"

"And if I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am" (John 14:3).

Awhile back I was doing some yard work in the front yard and spotted Brooksyne who had left earlier for a walk. As she was getting closer to our house I looked in her direction and waved.  She quickly returned my wave and for some reason it made me feel a little giddy and young at heart.   I decided to let her see my enthusiasm about the fact that she was getting closer to home so I waved to her again, this time with a jumping jack type motion. 

Since I stand over 6'2" when I'm not jumping, you can imagine that I was quite a visible moving target as I excitedly waved both arms back and forth high in the air.   She didn't wave back which was a little odd.  Growing suspicious at this point I squinted my eyes to sharpen my focus and then, to my great surprise and embarrassment, I realized that it was not Brooksyne at all, but some strange woman who was wearing the same color jacket. I left the yard work right where it was and quickly headed into the house before the strange woman could see my beet red face.  I had mistaken my wife's identity at a distance since the stranger was about the same size, walking from the same direction, and wearing the same color clothing.

The mistaken identity experience reminds me of the many times people mistake current events in regard to Christ's coming.  Prophecy is one of the great distinctions of our faith and a tremendous faith builder. The Scriptures are replete with fulfilled prophecies and contain many that are yet to be fulfilled.  Not only do believers have an interest in prophecy, but much of the world is curious as well. 

Of course the greatest interest in unfulfilled prophecy among believers is in regard to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and the consummation of this present age.  Since shortly after our Lord ascended back to heaven, after his first advent (coming) there has been much speculation regarding these events. This speculation even began in the NT period. All through church history there have been very specific interpretations as to how these prophecies will work out and predictions that later turned out to be wrong. Since I have been a Christian I can recall many very assertive prophecy plans offered by well-meaning believers that were just plain incorrect. The most notable that comes to mind was a widely distributed booklet titled, "88 reasons Christ will come in 1988".

Christ gave His disciples and all of us an assured promise in the daily text.  Even before He went to the cross He assured them (and us) that one day He will come back. I realize we may have a yearning to know just when this will occur and some are tempted to make specific predictions. (Such specific assertions by "prophets" also tend to sell books and get speaking engagements!)

But I am aware of the many mistaken predictions in this regard through the history of the church and today I encourage you to find deep assurance in our Lord's simple words, "I will come back." Indeed, in His perfect timing, these events will surely occur. This is an absolute promise, yet to be fulfilled!  Until then, get ready and stay ready!  Maranatha, the Lord is coming!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: 
Father, the forest and flowers exclaim,
the mountains and meadows the same,

All earth and heaven proclaim that Jesus is coming again!
Standing before Him at last, our trials and troubles will all be past,
Our crowns at His feet we will cast when our Lord Jesus comes again.
O what a wonderful, glorious day it will be when Jesus comes again.

Today's prayer is adapted from the beautiful hymn, "Coming Again" by John W. Peterson

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

(Click on the link to play)

"I Wish We'd All Been Ready"  Video  This is the first "contemporary" Christian song I ever recall hearing. Prior to this I only knew the hymns we sang in church at that time.  My older brother Pat had turned to Christ while in the service in Germany and witnessed to me one May day in 1971.  I initially was unresponsive to his challenge to follow Christ but God used this song to prepare my heart and in August I attended a revival service at the old Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri and accepted the Lord as my Savior.

Are you ready?  Here's a simple explanation of the plan of salvation.

We recently shared a message similar to this titled, "Are You Ready?"

"Jesus I Come"  From the Lifespring Hymn stories podcast
Hymn background and an outstanding version by Scott Wesley Brown.  Audio

Scripture Memory Songs - Last week we referred to a selection of Scripture verses we had recorded in our home with some friends.  The words are set to familar music as an aid to memorization in a discipleship training class.  Here's the full selection!

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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