While Jesus warned His followers to be on guard and Watch, making sure that we would be ready when He returned … He also left us promises that we can hang onto - Promises that we can trust in !
I always smile at how early a child learns to ask "Promise?" to make sure that he can really count on what is being said to him. We never lose that yearning to have something 'promised' to us...something that we can 'take to the bank' !
We can know... that ALL of the words of Jesus are 'promised' with that divine stamp of authority that trumps all authority !!
When we look at our world and we see the very signs Jesus said to watch for ...it is so easy to let fear fill our minds and hearts. But Jesus said... "Do not fear!" and He gave us His promises to hold onto when everything around us is shaking.
Let's refresh our minds to know that Jesus promised...........
1. That He WILL return…
“I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matt. 26:64)
“You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.'” (John 14:28)
"Behold, I am coming quickly" (Rev.3:11)
One of the temptations is to feel discouraged with waiting and think maybe it is never going to happen. Peter warned against this kind of thinking ... saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." (II Peter 3:4)
Jesus IS coming back... It is an event already recorded in God's history !! We can count on it !!
2. That when He comes He is bringing rewards….
"And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” (Rev.22:12)
I am often amused at how even though the world continually tries to distance itself from the God of the Bible.... they just can't seem to get away from Him. Even in the fabled Santa Claus, this thought is build into the story children are told... 'If you are good you will get good things.. if you are bad you will get black coal'.
There will be a reward for us one day ... what no one notices in this life is being recorded and one day it will make the headlines of the Eternal Proclamation ! And there will be an award ceremony.
3. That we need not be afraid , in fact , we can rejoice when we see the end coming!
“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid!” (John 14:27)
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; because your redemption draws near.” (Luk 21:28)
Satan has done a very good job in building fear into people's hearts regarding the end times. Yes.. it may be difficult ... things that are important to us now may lose their importance... but Jesus' promise is that we do NOT need to fear !! Can we not trust His word, that if He says "don't worry, don't be afraid' that we really CAN hold our heads high and look to what is about to happen ? The joy of seeing Him come in the clouds?
4. He is preparing a place just for us !!
“In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:2,3)
The only time we do not panic with stress and anxiety in leaving our home is when we are excited about moving into our 'dream' home. Jesus addresses man's fear of being 'homeless'. He promises that He has our new home ready for us and He will be our closest neighbour.
How exciting is that ? I know whenever I've moved (which has been as few times as I could manage.. smile) it was absolute chaos with everything uprooted and packed in boxes. For the brief time between two 'empty' houses I felt very lost... but it was also filled with excitement and anticipation of setting up my new home. Is that not how it will be when Jesus is at the doors with the Angel-Moving-Co ? Should the small inconvenience of being separated from the things of this world not pale in anticipation of what is awaiting us ?
5. That we will need no lawyers to defend us !!
"Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." (Luke 12:11,12)
I know that many of us are hesitant to speak of our faith....afraid of offending ....afraid of sounding 'preachy' ... but we may well be coming into a time where keeping silent about our faith in God will not be an option. God in His mercy .. says.. "Don't worry about it!" If we are falsely accused and brought before the courts...we don't even need to hire someone to represent us. It is interesting that Jesus refers to us not needing to worry about how we will defend ourselves...... was He thinking about how in our times as soon as we are accused - falsely or otherwise- we run to find a lawyer ? It may well be that lawyers in the time just before Jesus comes back will not want to represent Christians... but we need not fear even then. We have the best lawyer we could wish for... the Holy Spirit Himself and He will tell us what we should say.6. That His Words will NEVER fail - they will never be proven to be false and every word will stand… even though the destruction of both the heavens and the earth will come!
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." (Matt. 24:35)
It is impossible for God's words to ever fail... His promises are more sure than the fact you lived through yesterday! His promises can simply NOT fail! When nothing in this world is sure anymore and changes swirl faster than we can keep track of, we have this promise. God will never change and I love this verse.... "
" I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him." (Ecc. 3:14)
7. He will never leave us !!!
"For He Himself has said. "I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU!" (Heb. 13:5)
I am not an adrenalin junkie.... I do not admire people who love extreme sports and so recklessly take their life into their own hands. But maybe there is something of the love of excitement in all of us .. we just vary in how far we push the safety net.
When we find ourselves in the end time scenario , we may be tempted to fear what we see coming but KNOW THIS - Our safety net is secure enough for the most timid among us!! Jesus has promised never to leave us ... He will go through it all with us. We are sky jumping in tandem with Him. Need we fear ? Definitely not !! In fact we may boldly declare the rest of the Hebrews passage..... "THE LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT FEAR. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME"
With Jesus' promises above me.. and my hand securely held in His... I do not fear what may come. My heart is filled with excitement for what is to come. How reassuring it is to know I will not be left alone! God already knows exactly what will happen and has already made all the arrangements necessary to keep His followers under His watchful care - that we will be able to stand strong and true, our hearts centered on Him and His promises!