Jesus Is Coming Again!
Heaven is indeed a wonderful place. But I think that when Christians think of the future, they focus overmuch on heaven. Their longing is to be with Jesus in paradise, to be reunited with loved ones in a celestial home, to be freed from the burdens of this sin-cursed world.
I would certainly say amen to all of that. The hope of heaven is the birthright of every believer, a blessing beyond description. But when we depart this life to walk that street of gold, this fallen world will still be lying in wickedness (1 Jn. 5:19). The “prince of the power of the air” will still be working in the “sons [children] of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2), and all that is sacred will still be profaned on this earth, even as all that is unholy will still be honored (Ezek. 22:26). And the name of God and of His Christ will be the object of derision in every quarter of a blighted world that despises light (Jn. 1:1–5).
Thus, I would insist that Christians should long the more passionately for that day when God finally dispatches the Son of Man to destroy all that is wicked (Dan. 7:13–14), to fulfill the marvelous covenant promises He has made with men (Ps. 89:24–29), and to satisfy the earnest expectations of the created order that groans under the weight of the futility to which it has been so long subjected (Rom. 8:19–22).
Indeed, Jesus is coming again! And in that regard, believers have been vouchsafed a double hope. The first is that, when we die or are raptured, we will indeed go to be with Jesus in a place of paradise. But the second is even more glorious. It is the hope that we will return with Jesus in a moment of unimaginable triumph, that moment when every eye shall see the victorious Lamb of God descend from heaven with a mighty host, having “on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:16).
Because of the glory of that anticipation, Jesus taught His disciples that the longing that ought to dominate their prayers and their lives is this: “Thy kingdom come.”
The longing of every believer’s heart ought to be preeminently for that blessed day when “the kingdoms of this world” shall, in fact, “become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (11:15).