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Thursday, 2 September 2010

He's Coming!

It is neither my desire, nor my intention, to advertise on behalf of a well-known 'fast-food' chain! However, an advert in today's online Metro caught my eye. It is for Burger King, and the main headline reads: "HE'S COMING. 04.09.10" in very large print. At this stage, I could find no indication as to the identity of the 'HE'!

In Matthew 24, the Gospel-writer records a long discourse by the Lord Jesus, in which He speaks in private to the inner band of His disciples about His return. It's a subject for a book, not a blog-post, but just a few thoughts immediately spring to mind.

1. He's coming! The final promise in the New Testament refers to that momentous event in human history - and there are many other references throughout the foregoing pages, including Matt.24:30.

2. Burger King may be able to accurately predict when the 'He' in their advert is coming, but no-one knows when the Lord Jesus will return. "However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven, or the Son Himself. Only the Father knows." (Matt 24:36)

3. It will be sudden! "... as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so it will be on the day when the Son of Man comes." (Luke 17:24; see also Matt.24:50). I have seen many lightning storms in my lifetime - many of them quite spectacular! I've watched, in awe, as a flash streaks across the night sky, suddenly bringing light.

4. Everyone alive on the earth at that moment, will see His return. Luke records the strange saying of Jesus that "... two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left." (Luke 17:34-36). In other words, at a time when most people believed that the world was flat, and the sun and moon travelled around it, Jesus was indicating that, at His return, some will be asleep in their beds, while others (in a different time-zone) will be at their daily work.

5. There will be signs that the time is 'close' (I put that word in single quotation marks because God's 'close' and our 'close' are not necessarily the same! See II Peter 3:8). Matt.24:6ff indicates what some of the signs will be.

6. We must be prepared before the event - it will be too late afterwards! Jesus used the illustration of the universal flood in the days of Noah. "When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah's day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn't realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes." (Matt 24:37-39). He went on to say: "So you, too, must keep watch! For you don't know what day your Lord is coming." (v. 41).

I was never a member of the Scout movement (although I have held almost every available rank in the Boys' Brigade!), but I have always liked their motto: "Be prepared". It applies to each one of us with regard to the return of Jesus - not as a helpless babe, but as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Burger King is not, I would suggest, the place in which to learn about theology, or predictive prophecy! But their current advertisement is a useful reminder: He is coming - and it may be sooner than we think!

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