Recently, I was listening to a two part series on the return of Christ by Matt Carter over at The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Tx. I have to admit I was a little bit nervous about listening to the return of Christ, but Matt approached the scriptures faithfully and preached the return of Christ with joy and enthusiasm, which I have never heard before. During that sermon series, Matt talks about how you know Jesus is coming back and what can keep us for getting excited about Jesus coming back.
After listening to this two sermon, I began to think about why the return of Christ does not excite me. I think it is because of my exposure, I know I am not the only one who thinks this, to Dispensationalism, which is the belief that Jesus will return and gather his church in the air, a.k.a. The Rapture, and those left behind will be in a seven year tribulation where Israel, the chosen people of God in the Old Testament, will recognize that Jesus is the true Messiah. If you have read the Left Behind books, you know what I am talking about because that series teaches Dispensationalism. This teaching did not make a whole lot of sense to me in fact it freaked me out. After 9/11 happened, many Christians were comparing that event to Left Behind where people were in a state of panic because thousands of people disappeared.
I have heard sermons on the return of Christ, but it is always with charts and periods of history. It was always filled with gloom and despair rather than joy and excitement. I truly believe that many Christians have had their excitement over the return of Christ killed because of Dispensationalism. I am not saying those who embrace this teaching are not Christians nor do they not love Jesus less, but I think what they teach is not how Jesus wants His followers to sense when we bring up His coming again.
Another thing that can kill our excitement for the return of Christ is loving the world. Matt Carter said many of the saints who have gone before us thought about Jesus coming again constant. Christians in the 21st century, not so much. He is right. I know as a teenager I thought about college, marriage, and even experiencing life before Jesus returns. This world has a lot but nothing in this world, expect for our souls, are eternal. How many followers you have on Twitter, what car you drive, or even having that dream job of yours will not last forever. I am not sure any of you have noticed how messed up this world is. When Jesus returns, He is going to make things right. No more droughts, students in school killing one another, and no more death.
One more thing I think that kills our excitement for the return of Christ is failure to understand that the Bible is really about Jesus. Jesus was there in the beginning of creation and He will be there at the end of the age. The superstar of Revelation is Jesus. Jesus is obligated to fulfill the will of Father and not our charts. Jesus will be the one who will reign on the earth and we, His true followers, will reign with Him for all eternity. That is exciting. Also we will be worshiping Him for all eternity as well.
So, Dispensationalism, love for the world, and failure to understand the Bible is about Jesus can bring death to our excitement for the return of Christ. So, are there any other thoughts as to what can kill our joy for His return?
These two videos are those sermons Matt did on the return of Christ: