Zenas J. Bicket
Where is this
coming He promised? Everything goes on as it has since
the beginning of creation. If that is what you think when
you hear mention of Christs return to snatch away
His people, be careful. Peter predicted last-day scoffers,
following their own evil desires, would be saying just
that (2 Peter 3:3,4).
Yet, with the
many centuries since the promise was given (Acts 1:11),
it is natural to wonder if such a supernatural intervention
will actually take place.
Count on it.
It is going to happen. The Bible is full of references
to this glorious event, the blessed hope of every believer
(Titus 2:13). However, dont be misled by our human
way of counting time. The average human lifetime is 70-80
years. But some life forms live fewer years than humans
and some much longer. Gods lifetime is forever,
without beginning or end. As Psalm 90:4 says, "A
thousand years in [Gods] sight are like a day that
has just gone by" (NIV). So it has been just "a
couple of days" since the promise was given to first-century
But why might
Christ delay His return even for another instant? Several
reasons come to mind:
1. He is giving
our generation a chance to repent and receive His salvation.
2. He is testing
the strength of our faith and commitment.
3. He is giving
the church opportunity to evangelize the lost.
4. His delay
encourages us to work faithfully, as though death is yet
in the future, but to be ready for His coming at any time.
God is not
willing that any should perish or experience spiritual
death. His delay is not slowness in fulfilling His promise
(2 Peter 3:9). He is preparing His bride "to present
as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle
or any other blemish, but holy and blameless" (Ephesians
minds tend to be concerned about the millions since the
first century who have lived on earth without accepting
Christ as their Savior. And we should have a burden for
the lost of our day. But we should be even more concerned
about becoming the holy and blameless bride of Christ
without wrinkle or blemish. Christ tarries now so we may
have opportunity to become that prepared and perfect bride.
children, our earthly lives will end in one of two ways:
by death or via the Rapture. A faithful elderly Christian
woman left detailed instructions for her funeral. But
at the end of the note she wrote, "Prefer to go in
Are you ready
for either departure route?
J. Bicket, Ph.D., is the former president of Berean University
of the Assemblies of God in Springfield, Mo.