return of the King
2 Peter 3:3-18
Examine 2 Peter 3:11 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 to learn how Jesus’ expected return should inspire you to live for Him.
What prevents you from longing for Jesus’ return? What steps can you take to prepare for His coming?
Harold Camping received a lot of attention for declaring that Judgment Day would begin around dinnertime on May 21, 2011. Few people believed him—even his receptionist admitted that “no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen” (Matthew 24:36). The secular world had much fun at Camping’s expense, planning apocalyptic survival parties and playing R.E.M.’s rock song It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine). Even those who interviewed Camping didn’t take him seriously. One anchor closed her segment on his prediction with a knowing smirk, “Let’s hope he’s wrong.”
That’s where all who love Jesus must disagree. We’re the first to say that Camping’s aim and method were wrong. No one can predict when Jesus will return, and Camping’s convoluted and implausible argument for May 21, 2011, was not particularly promising. We were right to declare that Camping was wrong, but we also should have wished that he wasn’t.
We should feel a twinge of sadness every night before we drift off to sleep, for we’ve lived another day without the return of our King. The Lord’s Prayer includes the line, “May your kingdom come soon” (Luke 11:2). As far-fetched as Camping’s prediction was, his spectacular miss should prompt us to reassess our deepest longings. Will we only scoff at his delusion, or will we also remember how much we want our Lord to return? Perhaps we aren’t excited for Jesus’ return because we’re too easily pleased with the present. As one preacher said, “It’s hard to pray, ‘Thy kingdom come,’ when your kingdom has had a good year.” Thank God for the good life you presently enjoy, but don’t allow His current blessings to distract you from praying, “Our Lord, come!” (1 Corinthians 16:22).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 2 Kings 2:13-25
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