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A Renewed Sense of Urgency

August 7th, 2012

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw – that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

Revelation 1:1-3

The words of the angel to John have come to us. Delivered to John as he was an impoverished prisoner, despised by the world, the Lord gave Him and us a reason for eternal hope. The angel showed him “what must soon take place” (NIV) or “what must shortly come to pass” (KJV). The original words are so well formed that by themselves they construct a theology of the future and revelation relating to the future.

Things must come to pass, is the meaning. The Greek used a short word dei meaning something that must or is forced to come to pass, something that is literally “bound to happen”, bound in the sense that a slave is bound to his master – not something that should happen, but something that must happen. God is the Master of time and world events and though He gives us relative freedom of choice, He still works His will and no one can prevent Him from accomplishing His purposes. The events described in The Revelation are not optional plans in the preferred schedule of God, rather they are more firm than the foundations of the earth. The Lord is who this book says He is and will come again victoriously, and usher in His eternal kingdom.

The Revelation does not promise to tell us everything that will happen – no book is long enough to tell such things – nor does the emphasis of the phrase rest on the events themselves, as though all of these events must be fulfilled in a short time. Some will be fulfilled only in the distant future, but a taste of these future events will be experienced today. The idea is that God is now wrapping up the history of the world, He is now writing the final chapter of life before the Return of Christ – the final chapter began in the New Testament, that Peter rightly called “the last days” (Acts 2:17). A taste of the judgments and the promises and the blessings are experienced at present.

These words focus our attention on the matter of urgency: we must be quick to be obedient and quick to follow the Lord. In this world today there is a missing sense of urgency – at least this is missing in the lives of the Christians I have been associating with. We have become so organized and so well controlled emotionally – not bad things, mind you – that we have missed out on the passion and excitement that should accompany God’s people. Passing, excitement, and urgency – time is short, death is sure, Christ is coming, and life is running out.

This truth may be embraced in panic or in peace but it must be recognized, proclaimed, shared, and not just shared in words but shared in the same spirit. The announcement of the pending end of this age should be a source of great joy to believers, for what comes after is much greater and grander than what we have now. God does not push us into a panicked rush, rather He calls us to see time and life differently. Life is about Christ, not about us, and godly urgency does not mean that we are in a hurry, rushing around in confusion. God is a God of order, not chaos.

It means though that we should live life from heaven’s front door perspective. We are no longer running a race that we began at our natural birth, getting tired and distracted along the way. No. We are now looking into eternity where Christ is, where our true home is, and where we will be for ever. How should we live, then? We should put our lives and our priorities in order, our actions also, and our relationships. We should have no time for petty arguments, but invest in the things that matter, loving others for Christ’s sake.

The time is near. Before we know it, life on this earth will be over. Are we ready? Are you ready for eternity?

Second Coming of Christ