A Pastor’s Ponderings: Fireworks Like You’ve Never Seen Before

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David Holland PastorBy Pastor Dave Holland

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return.” ~Luke 12:35.

Bursting through the clouds, the King of Kings will pierce the eastern sky, racing from east to west like a blaze of lightning. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, NIV, describes the scene, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”

Jesus is coming, and He’s coming for you and me!

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (1 Cor 15:51-52, NIV).

Jesus is coming, and He’s coming for you and me!

4th of July fireworks are amazing, but pale compared to the coming of Jesus. As a young Christian in 1971, I was zealous in my faith, and the coming of Christ was on the edge of every thought. I had been up late Saturday night and my church had an Easter sunrise service at 5:30 in the morning. Exhausted, I drug myself to the early morning resurrection celebration. I sat diligently through the pastor’s dry remarks and followed that with the church breakfast, Sunday School and the normal worship service. At noon the preacher finally said the longed-for words, “Let’s bow our heads for our closing benediction.”

Finally, I thought. I leaned forward and placed my head in my hands, propped on my knees, closed my eyes, and breathed a sigh of relief. When I lifted my head, everyone in that enormous church was gone.

“Oh no,” My heart screamed, “I’ve missed it, the Lord came and left me.” Then I looked at my watch, and it was 2:30 in the afternoon. I had slept soundly for over two hours.
Relieved, but well rested, I went home. Later, my friends said I must have had a good time in prayer that morning.

“Oh yes,” I replied, leaving the illusion of my spirituality intact.

Christ warned us in Luke 12:35-48 concerning His imminent return to gather His flock. He arrests the attention of His disciples with three strong warnings. First, watch for His coming to be ready for His sudden arrival. The Early Church fathers took this teaching to heart, and they would not cross the road without looking to the eastern sky to see if Jesus was coming.

Second, believers are to wait expectantly for the Lord’s return. The church has waited for over 2,000 years, and I fear the cutting edge of our faith is dull. Christ tells us we must be ready and waiting, because we do not know the hour of His return (Luke 12:40). It is a test of patience.

It was Corazon Aquino, former Philippine President and Christian believer, who embodied the essence of patience when she said, “Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past. Rather, it is a spirit that bears things–with resignations, yes, but above all, with blazing, serene hope.” It is this fiery hope burning in the heart of the Christian that sustains our witness while we long for Christ’s return.

Finally, Christ commends those believers He finds working until He comes as “faithful and wise managers.” (verses 42-44). The Lord enjoins us to work while it is day—to do the work of the Kingdom while time remains—to keep our lamps shining as lights in the darkness until every lost person finds their way home to the Father. Live in anticipation of Christ’s return. Scan the skies until Christ blazes into view. Don’t get caught sleeping–even in church. Jesus is coming, and He’s coming for you and me.

Dave Holland pastored churches for 38 years before retiring in Destin. He recently released his new devotional-Bible study based on the Gospel of Luke titled “Extraordinary Jesus: Ignite Your Season of Miracles.” You can get a copy of this book from his website, DaveHolland.org, or at Amazon.com. Pastor Dave is available to preach and teach in churches and conferences. Contact him at DavidvHolland54@gmail.com.

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