Will This Be the Year?
By Dave Breese
There is some degree of expectation which lives in the heart of every person. Were this not so, what would be the reason for getting up in the morning? The fact is that most have expectations which reach into not only today, but also the months, the years to come. For them, when an annual milestone is passed and they look forward to the year to come, most will certainly ask the question, Will this be the year?
For most people, however, expectations run along the lines of the natural world. They ask, Could this be the year? but they are referring to a clearly human event.
Most are probably asking, Could this be the year when I break through into long-awaited success in life? They have labored for years and looked forward to that indefinable time in the future when success would be theirs.
There are many other kinds of expectations. Many others will say, This could be the year of my happy marriage. From that point, expectations begin to slowly circle around that event which is coming up on the 4th of June. The fact is that the majority of hopes, of expectations center around the achievement of personal happiness. Dreams that are carried in mind, often for many years, become the object of expectations. Truly, hope springs eternal within the human breast: This could be the year when dreams come true.
We Christians, however, have greater expectations. For us, the year, could bring the return of Christ. The Bible says that every Christian should Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Col. 3:2). Those who obey this admonition (and the numbers are growing) find themselves often in a time of thrilling contemplation. They ask questions such as, What will it be like to go to heaven? and How will I feel when I walk the streets of gold? Especially, they wonder, What will it be like to meet Jesus Christ face-to-face? Even the simplest answer to that question creates a thrill for the soul that can be afforded from no other source. The hope of heaven is a very real thing! Every person who has believed in Jesus Christ has eternal life. That eternal life will include residing in one of the palaces of heaven. It will include partaking of the fountains of pure water. We will thrill to the music of the angelic choir, and, the greatest delight of all, fellowship with God Himself.
The great thrill reverberates within the soul when we are able to say, Perhaps today. Yes, our hearts are lifted with ecstasy when we give the Christian response to the assertion, This could be the year! The year of what? Why, of course, the year when Jesus comes again to take us home to be with Himself.
Let there be no doubt about it! The coming of Jesus Christ and our trip to heaven is a sure and certain promise given to us in the Word of God. Listen once again to the Apostle Pauls description of that great event, the Rapture of the Church; The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (I Thess. 4:16-18).
The Lord does not give us the day or the hour of His coming. Why? Because, of course, He wants us to be ready for His coming at any given time. He wants us to say, This could be the year, or even, Perhaps today.
Remember that Jesus said, But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes (Matt. 24:43).
Many will say, I believe Christ may come this year, but what shall I do?
The answer again comes from the words of Christ, Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. Verily I say to you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods (Matt. 24:45-47). The faithful servant was the one who, in the absence of his master, continued to faithfully conduct himself as a servant of the Lord. What then shall we do? With this example of faithfulness in mind...
Our service for Jesus Christ must be done in the light of His appearing. When will that appearing take place? This is the year of our Lord, 2003. He could appear at any moment. Yes, this could be the year!
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