There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place. 

People who speculate on when Jesus will return will often mention this passage. They’ll remind us that our world has already seen nations warring against one another as well as great earthquakes and severe famines. They may also call attention to the “plagues” that are now on the rise. Should we conclude that these are sure signs that Jesus’ return is just around the corner?

The fact is, we really don’t need to try to figure out when Jesus will come back. None of us know the answer—not even Jesus himself (Matthew 24:36)! It’s enough for us to know that he will come again. Even if we don’t live to see his Second Coming, we know that he will come for each one of us at the end of our lives. And that could happen any day.

The important issue isn’t when Jesus is coming back; it’s what we are doing to be ready for it. Are you living as if he could return at any moment? If that question makes you uneasy, consider this: Jesus’ return means that you will see him, your Savior, the one who rescued you from sin and death. You will behold the God who created you from nothing, who provided for all your needs, and who cares for you every second. You’ll be before the one whose love for you is greater than you ever imagined while on earth. Think about these things, and your heart will be stirred with joy and eager expectation for that day.

Remember how excited many of the early Christians were at the thought of Jesus’ return. They couldn’t wait to see him! They were freed from anxiety as they waited in joyful hope. As we share that kind of attitude, we will find it easier to live a life pleasing to the Lord. Love and gratitude—not fear—will motivate our expectancy and strengthen us in hope.

So the next time you hear of earthquakes, famines, or plagues, remember Jesus’ promises. Look to the one who loves you and is waiting for you, the one who is coming again to take you with him to his heavenly kingdom. Let him turn your unease into eagerness.

“Lord Jesus, change my heart and make me ready to welcome you!”

Daniel 2:31-45
(Psalm) Daniel 3:57-61
Luke 21:5-11


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