At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
The good news about soccer and professional football is that both have a game clock. The game only lasts so long. And if they are tied at the end of the game, it can only go on for so long. And, if they are still tied at the end of overtime, the game still ends.
Basketball and college football are sort of like this. They have a game clock and overtime. But their overtime is different. If they’re still tied at the end of overtime. Guess what. They play another overtime. And then another overtime “until a winner is decided.”
Baseball, on the other hand have no time rules. While there are nine innings, there’s no time limit on an inning. And if the game is tied at the end, there is no limit to the number of extra innings. Golf is the same way, there’s no limit to the number of playoff holes.
We like knowing when it’s going to be over. When the end is coming. A race has the finish line. A play has three acts. A movie flashes “The End” on the screen.
So, when asked about the “end,” Jesus tells them what to look for. And “The End” that flashes on the screen of time is that he comes again.
But this time it’s no “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild” born alone in obscurity and laid in a feeding trough. Instead, this time King Jesus arrives with no hiding his return. He comes from the heavens, through the clouds, surrounded by tons and tons of angles.
And like any conquering hero, he’s celebrated by all his faithful followers.
I can’t think of anything close to what this will be like. Our celebrations when a team becomes world champions are nothing in comparison. The liberation of Europe is the best, closest comparison I can think of. Examples of these liberations are truly stunning and moving.
Can you imagine what it was like to live in Europe?
Before the war, there was peace. Then the brutal army of our sworn enemy came in and occupied not only our country, our land, but also our way of life. They were ruthless, took anything they wanted without payment or permission. They stole our innocence, our money, our land, our children. There was death and destruction everywhere they went.
So, when things were made right again, when our liberty and freedom were recaptured at the heavy price of the death of so many, how could we not celebrate wildly? There had been oppression and brutality unlike anything that had been known before. The ruthless and cruel enemy had been driven out and defeated. How could we not cheer and shout? How could not scream and applaud the ones who had paid the price for freedom?
They clearly understood what had been taken from them. How bad things had gotten. They lived through an evil and oppressive occupation that brutalized everyone and everything.
And now, even though their land and lives still were scarred by the ravages of war, they didn’t care. They gladly overlooked it because their freedom had been paid for at a terrible price.
When we look back at our lives that were been occupied by a brutal enemy, how thankful are we for Jesus? If we see ourselves as totally lost, even being his enemy, we see the cost he paid for our liberation as hugely beyond anything we could think or imagine.
And like the crowds welcoming the victorious allies, we will run out into the streets rejoicing. We will cheer, shout, cry, and sing with joy unspeakable. Words will fail to adequately express or explain the truth of liberation.
Is this anywhere close to how we think and feel about Jesus? Do you choose to rejoice over King Jesus and his victory over sin, death, and our enemy? Or do sit back, with our arms crossed, and with calm expression talk about him?
It’s time to stop asking when will it be over. It’s time to celebrate with great joy! What’s stopping you from responding like this to his victory?
Will you be too easily identified as one of “those” Christians? The answer is who cares. If he’s really done all this and more, he trumps any temporary embarrassment we might feel.