It’s been 2,000 years since Jesus ascended into heaven, promising to return the same way He ascended and to set the world to rights. The church has grown since then, spreading all across the globe, but there has been no sign of Christ.
Some say He isn’t coming back, that we misunderstood. “The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom,” they say, “living inside our hearts. When we die, our souls will be with God, but He isn’t coming back into this world.”
The early Christians struggled to believe that Christ would return and bring heaven to earth. The resurrection of the body was hard to accept, and the “spiritual kingdom” solution seemed like an easy way out. Today many feel the same way.
But the truth can be found in the words of Peter. In his second epistle (or letter) to the church, he denounces those who scoff at the bodily return of Jesus. He points out that the God who created the world will certainly come again to make it new. Peter even tells us why Jesus is taking so long. He wants more people to turn to Him! After all, if He had returned sooner, how could we be part of His kingdom?
So, as Christians we can wait with hope and anticipation, knowing that Christ will truly return bodily to earth. Then He will raise our dead bodies from the grave, and we will live with Him in the new heavens and new earth. And He will reign forever. • Kevin Zeller
• Do you ever wonder why Christ has waited so long to come back? How does 2 Peter address this concern?
• Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave just as He said He would, we can have confidence that He is going to return bodily to earth and restore His creation, and in the meantime He is present with us through His Spirit, His Word (the Bible), and His people (the church). What questions do you have about Jesus’s return? Who are trusted Christians in your life you could talk to about these questions?
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)