“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” — Matthew 24:42-44
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In the old days, professional athletes worked on a seasonal basis and sometimes sold insurance or had some other type of job in the offseason to make ends meet. As the demand to win grew exponentially, athletes’ salaries have certainly increased, but they also have less time to reduce stress and get a real break from their intense schedules. It’s no surprise that athletes often look forward to vacations with great delight, and anticipation builds as they look forward to their adventure and a break from their regular routine. That kind of anticipation is something we can all relate too.
Anticipation is a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen in the future. One of the greatest future events we as Christians have to look forward to is the second return of Jesus Christ. In the Bible, as the time for Jesus to return to Heaven approached, He spoke several times to His disciples about the certainty of His second coming, though did not say when that would be.
But Jesus emphasized the importance of always being prepared: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:42-44).
As angels encouraged the disciples to live for God and not be dismayed in the meantime, they tell us the same today: “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven'” (Acts 1:9-11).
During Peter’s ministry, he and the other apostles also reminded believers to anticipate Christ’s coming by living the kind of life that pleases God because He could return at any moment. “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him” (2 Peter 3:13-14).
While we wait for Christ’s return, we may be anxious like the disciples in Bible times. But we can trust that the Lord will return at the best time because He has perfect and infinite wisdom. We can look forward to Jesus’ second coming with great anticipation, living lives that honor Him in the meantime.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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