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Articles

"Lord, Come Quickly"

The book of Revelation was written to encourage God’s people in the midst of great tribulation. It explains that persecution is the result of a behind-the-scenes battle, a spiritual one between the devil and the Lord. Satan tried to devour Jesus before He was caught up to His throne, but he failed (12:1-12). He therefore lashed out at Jesus’ followers (12:13-17).

Early in the vision, John heard the souls of Satan’s victims, those who had been beheaded because of their faith, crying out, “How long?” (5:9-10). They were understandably anxious for the Lord to come in judgment. They were told to rest a little while longer.

John’s vision continued, revealing a ghastly picture of suffering and bloodshed. But it ended “happily ever after,” with the glorious scene of God’s people coming home to Him. Jesus Himself then promised, “I am coming quickly,” to which John added a hearty amen (22:20).

Have you ever prayed for the Lord to come quickly? Would you amen someone who did? What is the difference between those folks and us? Why were they seemingly more anxious for the Lord to come? It occurs to me that there are two possible explanations. (Note: In context, the “coming” of 22:20 was coming in judgment, not the final coming. Nevertheless, these Christians would just as readily have welcomed the final coming, therefore the point remains the same.)

One is that we may be more attached to this world. The world to them was a place of suffering. To most of us it is closer to a palace of luxury. We are only pilgrims here (1 Peter 2:11), yet it is so easy to grow attached to earthly things and plans. What if the Lord came now; would you feel cheated? Are you thinking about things you have looked forward to but would miss out on: perhaps the fruition of your financial dreams or career goals, retirement, greatly anticipated leisure activities, or just watching your children or grandchildren grow up? How foolish it is for us to compare such things with the joys of heaven.

Of course, when the Lord comes again there will be something else besides heaven. That brings us to the second reason we may not be so anxious for the Lord to come: we are not yet prepared for Him to come. The thought of Jesus coming quickly is surely a dreadful one to those who know they are not serving Him faithfully, who are counting on the future to give them time to prepare. Are you ready for the Lord if He comes today? Are there things in your life that need to be changed? What are you waiting for?

Our willingness to pray, “Lord, come quickly,” is a telltale sign of our spiritual condition and/or perspective. Remember, the crown of life to be awarded on that day is for those who have loved His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8). Do not just sing about it or pray about it. Live so as to be in that number.

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