Anticipation—it’s an electrifying feeling we all experience in the major moments of life. As a kid, when my family was planning to visit my grandparents in Florida, I remember the anticipation that went into packing. I made a checklist to make sure I had everything I needed to be ready. I knew what I needed for the car—headphones, pillow, books, games—and for some vacation fun—swim clothes, flip-flops, goggles, pool toys—so I was careful not to forget anything I really wanted to bring with me.
Fast-forward 15 years to the week before my wedding. I had unexplainable, incomparable excitement for the big day and the honeymoon week to follow. It gave me lots of energy, exactly what I needed to make sure I finished my share of the wedding details. With the day coming so soon, I knew I had no time to waste and no excuses not to make sure I’d finished all my responsibilities.
I’m sure you can think back to moments in your life you felt this type of anticipation. Maybe you felt this way the time you graduated high school. Or when you started a new job. Or maybe it’s this time of year that’s always made you feel this way: Christmastime. Throughout the month of December when Christmas is coming, many of us light up with anticipation for the happy times the month brings. We decorate our homes and bake favorite foods and plan special events with friends and family to celebrate Jesus coming to this Earth as a human.
Or maybe you felt this way when you came to know the Lord. When you placed your faith in Jesus for salvation, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit, who guarantees our inheritance from God the Father (Ephesians 1:13–14). In other words, the Holy Spirit now lives in us as we await our reward with the Lord. That makes me (and probably you, too) more excited for Christ’s return than anything else that could ever happen!
Here are two reasons His return is so special to us.
1. Jesus is the greatest gift you’ve ever received!
We anticipate Jesus’ return so much because there’s nothing more exciting to look forward to. Desire is the motivating factor here. The greater the reward, the hungrier you are to receive it. If you’re sitting down to dinner after having a nice big, pancake breakfast and a heavy, filling, burger-and-fries lunch, maybe dinner doesn’t seem extra appetizing. But if you’ve had a difficult, tiring day in which you skipped breakfast and worked right through lunch, your mouth is probably watering at the very thought of the reward of dinner. We need our Savior more than we need food at our hungriest moment.
We need our Savior more than we need food at our hungriest moment.
His return is our great and sure hope. When He comes, all that is wrong for us will be made right; all that was lost will be restored. All creation will see this on a larger scale when He comes to establish His Kingdom on Earth, reversing the curse of sin and making all things new (Revelation 21:5). We eagerly await His return because He is worth more to us than any desire. The list of His attributes for which we love Him is endless—love, mercy, grace, righteousness, comfort, kindness, sovereignty, and holiness, to name a few. But He is best summed up in one word: perfection. He is perfect in every way: morally, relationally, justly, any way you can imagine.
But His perfection might resonate with you in a different way than with others. Maybe you experience His goodness as the father you never had but always needed. Maybe you most value the fact that He’s the Mediator who advocated on your behalf to wash away your sin and to spend eternity in His spotless presence. Maybe what means the most to you is His role as the unfailing Comforter and Confidant who’s stood by you through every hardship, dark day, broken bone, broken heart, cancer treatment, psychiatric treatment, lost job, new job, relationship, graduation, vacation, and celebration you’ve experienced. Whatever may reveal His perfection to you, if you’re a child of God, you know exactly what I mean when I say He is the epitome of goodness, the ultimate gift, the living water that satisfies your heart and soul now and forever.
2. Jesus is coming again soon!
Here’s hope that should keep your heart happy: Jesus is coming back to take believers to live with Him and again to restore His Kingdom on Earth. Best of all, these days are coming soon! This is not some open-ended promise, like when parents promise their child they’ll go to Disney World if he’ll just stop crying. This is an unbreakable guarantee.
Three different times in the final chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22, God says, “I am coming quickly!”
Only God knows the exact moment He’ll return. But we know we won’t have to wait an eternity. It may sound cliche, but the hour is nearer than ever before, and with every new year, we feel time marching on closer and closer to that blessed day when He returns.
This is a truth God didn’t want us to miss. Three different times in the final chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22, God says, “I am coming quickly!” We echo John’s response in verse 20: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” I can hardly wait; I’m sure you feel the same!
In light of these truths, we should have one goal in mind at all times:
Let’s tell everyone this Good News today!
Since God is as amazing as He is, why would we not want others to share the matchless love and eternal security provided by a relationship with Him? What can really cause us so much fear that we would fail to tell people that God sent His Son, Jesus, to live as a Man, and die on a cross, and rise again to life to secure our salvation and provide a way to redemption through Him?
When all you can see is the world in front of you, sharing the Good News of the gospel feels like a tough thing. But when your perspective is an eternal one, recognizing that God has created a way to make all things right and new again and that anyone can partake in that perfection, fear loses its teeth, and the avenue to evangelism is wide open.
And there are so many methods to share the gospel! You might be most comfortable passing out tracts with the message of salvation. Or you might prefer starting a conversation and leading into spiritual questions. A simple invitation to church works well for people who’d rather leave the speaking part of evangelism to their pastor. Sometimes a physical conversation starter like a wordless bracelet or an evangecube helps stimulate a presentation of the Good News. And regardless of what yours includes, whether you find it inspiring or not, your personal testimony and your willingness to share the goodness of your Savior are powerful tools God often uses to draw people to Himself.
Spreading the Good News of salvation and Christ’s return is a privilege and an opportunity we have almost every day! Whether at the store, your workplace, your appointments, or any other interactions you might have, you’re likely to meet someone in desperate need of a relationship with the Lord. I pray our anticipation for Jesus’ return motivates you and me to share the story of His love and mercy as God leads us through each day.