As I write, many of our American readers are at the polls, casting votes in hope of God raising up those who will lead in the fear of the Lord. And without knowing who is leading or who will win, I boldly predict that America's divisions will only grow and our Christlessness continue to show itself by our the elevation of politics and leaders into the American pantheon of minor deities. So as you read this on Wednesday morning, unable to wash the sour aftertaste of another election out of your mouth, here is a brief but Biblical word of encouragement.
Jesus is coming back.
We don't know the when, but we do know the who, the what and the why.
We know the second person of the Trinity, the incarnate Christ, will come once again into this world.
We know He will come as a conquering King, revealing what had been hidden during His first time on earth.
We know He will come to make all of God's promises "Yes!" and "Amen!" We know He will come to bring full, final and perfect justice. We know the world itself will be remade. We know all the oppressed will be set free and every wrong thing made right. We know He will abolish funerals and goodbyes, which will be in that day as unthinkable as death and sadness itself. We know the dead in Christ will rise first, joining forever in their Savior's reign.
So, in the words of Peter, "What sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness?" (2 Pet. 3:11) It's a powerful question: If you really believed Jesus' return is certain, how should you live?
We should be purposeful. Not only does the certainty of His return give us every reason we need to pursue righteousness and put away unrighteousness, but it also gives purpose to what we do every day. If Jesus is returning, then the good works you do are part of "waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God" (2 Pet. 3:12). If death has been conquered, then you can be "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." (1 Cor. 15:58) Rather than making us lazy, Jesus' return reveals the importance of every moment, every act of obedience, every sacrifice of service.
We should be restful. If the King is returning, then the church can be a beacon of peace and hope in nations increasingly enraged and hopeless. We can carry ourselves just as joyfully when our candidate loses as when he wins. We can show the world Jesus' impending return frees us to pursue righteous justice joyfully and confidently rather than desperately. (There is no better way to cultivate this type of joyful, confident rest than keeping the Sabbath day holy!)
What sort of people should we be? Hard-working and holy. Peaceful and restful. Purposeful and just. And maybe, finally, our neighbors will finally see through the church's life that what they keep failing to find in their politicians can only be found in Jesus.
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together before the LORD,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.