Why aren't we longing and praying for the return of Christ?

Will you join me?

After my last blog I had one church leader call me and catch me off-guard with these words: - "Thank you for that last article… it has encouraged me to begin praying for the return of Jesus"

His words stopped me in my tracks - because I suddenly realised I have never really prayed that as a consistent prayer. I may have written an article last month about my sense that Jesus’ second coming is only a generation or two away… but I never connected the dots that maybe I should also be regularly praying for His return!

I mean, I can't recall the last time I heard anyone say that. Can you?

I asked this leader if it was common in his circle of Christians to be praying for the return of Jesus?

He pondered that for a minute and said: "Actually, no. No one I know is praying that prayer… but after reading your article I felt strongly convicted that I needed to start".

He also went on to say: "No one even talks about it... I’ve never heard a sermon on it that I can remember. I certainly have never preached on it at our church before… but that is about to change."

To me, Christ’s return to the earth, and his ushering in the Kingdom of God feels like a pretty central part of our Christian faith. Kind of crucial, really. But as I have attempted in various conversations with Christians to bring up the imminent return of Jesus, the mood often turns awkward – or just goes silent - like I wanted to talk about aliens or Bigfoot! That's my experience, too.  It feels very revealing to me about the times we are in, as though there is an unholy spiritual fog that wants to place ‘scales over our eyes’ to prevent us from realising that the risen Christ did indeed promise that He will return.

If I push into the subject, highlighting I believe the return of Jesus is not as far away as some may think, their mood turns foreboding like I wanted to talk about their likelihood of getting cancer.

I simply don't get it.

As His disciples - are we afraid of the second coming?

Is this not something we should be looking forward to?!?

Two ideas are absolutely basic to a Christian understanding of this world. First, that you are created to know love, joy and peace. Second, you will not truly know that love, joy and peace until the Prince of Peace comes again and brings into fullness the Kingdom of God.

So, what's with the awkwardness of Christians talking about his return? And, more fascinating (and troubling) - what's with no one really praying for it?

Every one of the major Christian Creeds clearly mentions Christ is coming again. Here is the key line from the Nicene Creed referring to Jesus’s return:-

“He ascended to heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead”

I was ordained under these Creeds!

Belief in these Creeds has become the barometer for me as to who are my true brothers and sisters in the faith, because sadly there are plenty still claiming to be Christian whilst having discarded much of what the Creeds declare to be true.

At this juncture I feel compelled to venture a question that Holy Spirit may use to challenge some of us:- If you are not personally longing for and praying for the return of Jesus, could that suggest you are more committed in your heart to making life here on earth work better for you - more so than pursuing the Kingdom of God?

It has been my experience that our prayers often reveal what we are really after.

So if you are not praying for the return of Jesus, you are probably either not looking forward to it, or have just been oblivious to the fact that Jesus is actually going to one day return.

You were created to know true love, joy and peace, and you are not going to truly find it until your heart is set on the pursuit of the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you”).

At the end of the book of Revelation, we find the church is longing for and praying for the return of Jesus: "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!'" Note the exclamation point, as in, "Please come! Come now! We want you to come!" 

Also note when it says "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!'" in Revelation 22:17 - that verse is an invitation to the whole Church (i.e. ‘bride’) to be praying with the help of Holy Spirit (‘The Spirit’) to usher in Christ’s return.

So, none of this has anything to do with aliens or Bigfoot. It centres on the great Christian hope!

That church leader was convicted by God to begin praying for it daily! Why shouldn’t he? The Scriptures implore us to do so. I am now convicted to do the same. Will you join me?It should be the eager expectation of every dream you ever had come true. This is the expectation of the abundant life coming to you in all its fullness. Not to mention our dear Jesus coming for each of us – for you!

Until next time,