Our anticipation of the return of Christ is framed partially by the reality of the world we observe around us. That is because the conditions that we see, look increasingly like those which Christ had foretold. The disciples had a natural curiosity about the things Christ told them would happen in the future. They asked Him, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?” (Luke 21:7). In response Christ provided an overview of world conditions and then told them in a parable that by observing a fig tree one could discern the timing of the summer season. Likewise, when we see the things He outlined happening, we can know that world events are indicating that the time of Christ’s return is drawing near.
Specifically, Christ said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). World events will cause fear and anxiety – “Men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things.” (verse 26). We are beginning to observe this as the magnitude of the impact of what Christ referenced is increasing. We have just seen the biggest hurricane to ever develop in the Atlantic, coupled with a massive earthquake close to the western shore of Mexico. As people and nations are being “bowed down” under overwhelming disasters (see Isaiah 2:17), God’s people are told to “look up and lift up your heads.” We are to react totally differently than the world. We are to be positive and confident – not because people are suffering, but because our “redemption draws near.” Neither are we to indulge in blaming specific sections of the world for the disasters they are experiencing as if they were sinners above the rest and being singled out for punishment.
Clearly there is to be a certain positive expectation of Christ’s return. This “looking up” can only come about in the mind of one who is allowing him or herself to be led spiritually. Such people will not have their hearts weighed down with engagement in this world’s reaction to stressful situations, such as “carousing and drunkenness and the cares of this life.” (Luke 21:34).
Our peace of mind and confidence will be influenced by some important factors. Firstly, we must be looking forward to and preparing ourselves to be ready for His return. “… being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Secondly, we know that Christ’s return will bring an end to the miserable darkness that covers the earth. “And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces: the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 25:7-8). Our joy and confidence is deeply spiritual. “And it will be said in that day: Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation” (verse 9).
Are you looking up and lifting up your head as we approach the all-important Holy Days which picture these things? Don’t let the cares of this life rob you of looking forward to the fulfillment of God’s intent for His people – the positive anticipation of your redemption drawing near.
Feast of Trumpets
Service times for Feast of Trumpets within the U.S. are posted on the website under Services > Meeting Information.