The President came into town last week to view the hurricane damage and to check on the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, so I drove up to be to the airport when he was flying in. While I was outside, I heard the loudest noise I have ever heard coming towards the runway. I looked up into the sky and saw two fighter jets roaring towards me. They had missiles loaded on both wings and their guns locked and cocked. Right behind the first two jets was a huge airplane descending from the clouds; it was Air Force 1, carrying President Bush to the runway. On both sides of Air Force 1 was a set of fighter jets, with two more jets cruising behind the airplane. While the airplane landed, the six fighter jets circled the airport in formation, ready to eliminate any ground or aerial threat that may want to cause trouble. After the President had landed and stepped into the terminal, the other jets landed to fuel up and prepare for takeoff that afternoon. It was an amazing display of how powerful and intimidating our military is. I thought, “That guy sure knows how to make an entrance, doesn’t he?!”
The noise and mighty display of power made everyone around stop what they were doing and stand in awe. The more I think about it, the more familiar this story sounds. Jesus tells about his second coming in the gospels. He will appear in the sky with power and glory, and angels sounding loud trumpets will make his arrival known. I think of it as similar to what I witnessed at the airport that day, multiplied times 1000! Unlike an arrival from the President, Jesus’ arrival will be swift and unannounced. Because of this, people have to be ready. There will be no time for repentance or bargaining, which makes our daily walk with Christ and witness for Him even more important. For Christians, it is a great day to anticipate. However, for non-Christians, the Bible says it will be a time for mourning, for it is too late for them.
When John the Baptist starting preaching, his message was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 3:2). Then Jesus came, preaching “The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the Good News” (Mark 1:15). Peter and Paul both preached “Repent and be baptized” (Acts). So, are you ready? Or maybe a better question is, are you living like you are ready?
-Spending Time in the Word-
-Read Matthew 24:26-35. Jesus himself talks about what His second coming will be like, both for his followers and for people who have scoffed at His teachings.
-Look at the descriptive phrases throughout the Bible describing what this day will be like: swift, unpredictable, like a thief in the night, like labor pains on a pregnant woman.
-Hiding the Word in your Heart-
After Paul finishes talking to the church at Thessalonica about the second coming, he gives them this advice in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”