What is the Hope that Christians keep referring to?
John Wesley White wrote, "The teaching of the second coming of our Lord is dealt with some 1,845 times in the Bible, 318 of these being in the New Testament. The return of the Lord is the dominant theme of 17 Old Testament books, and one epistle in the New. In fact, 7 out of every 10 chapters in the New Testament make reference to the second coming. Whole passages of the last half of the Bible are given over exclusively to its discussion."
In Titus 2:13, Paul exhorted us to be "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." Dr. G. Campbell Morgan testified, "I never lay my head on the pillow at night without thinking that before morning dawns the final morning may have dawned."
In John 14:3, Christ promised, "I will come again." While the present tense is used in this expression, its meaning is an emphatic future. A. T. Robertson describes it, "Futuristic present middle, definite promise of the second coming of Christ." As in English, a present tense is sometimes used in the Greek of a certain future event pictured as if already coming to pass (i.e.) the present is used for an emphatic future action. At the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, a profound moment happened. When the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Geoffrey Fisher, extended to her Majesty the crown, he said, "I give thee, O Sovereign Lady, this crown to wear, until He who reserves the right to wear it shall return."
It was Billy Graham who stated that in preparation for the Second Coming, Christians should do four things: wait with patience, watch with anticipation, work with zeal to solve the world's great social problems, and prepare with urgency. In a small country store in a southern state, an elderly lady came to do her shopping. Two or three young men were standing around passing the time of day, and knowing that she was a Christian, they began to taunt her. "We hear you're expecting Jesus to come back," they said. "I sure am," she replied brightly. "Do you really believe He's coming?" they asked. "Sure as you're born," she answered. They said, "Well you'd better hurry home and get ready, He might be on the way!" She turned, giving them a fixed look, replied, "I don't have to get ready, I keep ready!"
"The early believers were not looking for something to happen, they were looking for Someone to come" (Vance Havner).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654